All You Need to Know About Getting Dreadlocks Hairstyle

dreadlocks hairstyle
Image credit: All Things Hair

Dreadlocks are a hairstyle that has been popular for centuries. However, the “dread” in dreadlocks is typically not due to their popularity. Dreadlock hair is individual strands of hair that are braided together to make a thicker, rope-like look.

It’s healthy for your hair from head to toe since it promotes scalp health, minimizes shedding, and avoids hair breakage and damage. It also offers an alternative hairstyle choice for those who wish to keep their hair out of their faces but still show off their locks! This article gives you an overview of dreadlock care in general, as well as the best way to style your dreadlocks.

What Do Dreadlocks Symbolize?

Dreadlocks often symbolize unity, strength, and individuality. They have also been associated with culture, religion, and spirituality because of their connection to African culture. In many parts of Africa, they are meant to signify social status or religious position and are often associated with resistance against oppression and colonialism.

Is Dreads Good For Your Hair

Dreadlocks promote great hair growth as the hair sheds minimally when locked. This is because your hair is in a permanent protective style and you won’t have to manipulate your hair often, so there is much less wear and tear on your strands. Your hair is free to simply grow and thrive.

Types of Dreadlocks

When switching up your hairstyle, there are about four types of dreadlocks hairstyles you can get. They are;

  • Traditional Locs: This is one of the most popular types of locs. These are medium-sized locs that are easy to maintain. usually no bigger than a medium-sized box braid.
  • Sister locs: This type of dreadlocks hairstyle is very small in size and has a long installation time. The size of this dread makes it easier to style, and you can try out versatile styles.
  • Freeform locs: These are dreadlocks hairstyles that are created naturally, as in, you’ll have to clean and wash your hair as you normally would, then let it lock up over time. They require little twisting or manipulation and have the lowest maintenance needs out of all dreadlock types.

Dreadlocks vs. Faux Locs

Dreadlocks and faux locs are similar hairstyles, with the difference between them being that faux locs are a temporary protective style similar to box braids, whereas dreadlock extensions are intended to be a permanent extension of your hair.

Faux locs are created by twisting or braiding real hair, then wrapping more hair around the braided or twisted shaft. The wrapping method produces the look of locs and is typically implanted with Marley hair, Kanekalon hair, or yarn.

Dreadlock extensions, on the other hand, are more extensive. They are installed with only human hair, and the density ratio of the attached hair must match the density of the real hair growing from the scalp. Also, when properly done, loc extensions can be left in permanently as the natural locs grow.

Can You Wash Your Dreadlocks?

Yes! You can wash dreadlocks with shampoo or conditioner like you would your other hair. Some people are under the impression that only natural oils should be used to maintain locks, but this is not true. Shampoo and conditioners can be used when washing dreadlocks.

Do Dreadlocks Smell?

Dreadlocks don’t need to be washed every day. It depends on your scalp and hair type and whether washing them daily or weekly is necessary. Some people find that they do not need to wash their dreadlocks at all. If soap and water don’t remove oil from dreads, they can still smell.

Dreadlocks Stages

  • Starter stage: Locs typically grow in five stages, and the first one lasts three to six months. At this stage, the hair is started in coils, double-strand twists, or box braids. If you leave your hair in one of these styles, it begins to lock over time.
  • Budding stage: The hair starts to lock up and becomes matted during the second stage. Since your hair could become a little fuzzy as it grows out, this stage is one where it’s easy to get discouraged. You shouldn’t worry, though, as it’s all a part of the process. Just make sure you shampoo and re twist your hair regularly.
  • Teen Stage: Your hair should unravel much less when you manipulate it in the third stage. Your locs might not always be growing in the desired direction, but this stage of the process only lasts a few months until your hair reaches the fourth stage.
  • Mature Stage: This is the stage where your locs are long enough to hang and you are more skilled in how to take care of them.
  • Rooted locs stage: Finally, rooted locs are the last stage in locking your hair. Once you’ve had your locs for a while and are confident in caring for them however you see fit, you reach this stage.

How Often Should You Retwist Your Locs?

That depends on what stage you’re at on your LOC journey. People with starter locs should come in two to three weeks after their initial start, and after that, they can revert to four weeks in between retwists.

Dreadlock Styles

How you start your locs is up to you, but there are a few different ways to do it.

  1. Comb Coils: To achieve this style, you use a small-tooth comb to twist small sections of the hair until they form coils.
  2. Palm Rolling: To make the hair thicken and lock up, the hairstylist takes little parts of it and rolls them between their fingers.
  3. Braids or Two-Strand twists: You can try this styling If you have longer hair. You can start your loc journey by braiding or two-strand twisting the hair, but this styling can take up to six months or a year for the braiding pattern to fully disappear.
  4. Organic/Freeform: This is when you stop detangling your hair altogether and let your hair lock up naturally, with little manipulation.

Dreadlock Styles for Short Hair

  1. Side-Swept Braided Dreads: Smaller twists can be braided or twisted to achieve a more interesting texture.
  2. Curly Colored Dreads: Do more with your dreadlocks by curling them and adding vibrant colors to refine your looks.
  3. Dreaded Halo with Highlights: Add colored highlights to this chic hairstyle and get the attention of everyone.
  4. Dreadlock Bantu Knots: Be ready for any event with braided dreads in cute, tight Bantu knots that look good at any time of the day.
  5. Mohawk with Loopy Dreadlocks: This hairstyle combines flat twists on the sides that work as an undercut and kinky dreads layered up in two heaps to form a funky Mohawk. Accessorize with cowries, beads, or fancy earrings to give off more eccentric vibes.

Dreadlocks Styles for Long Hair

  1. Cornrows and Dreadlocks: Cornrows and dreadlocks are a fashionable style you can wear for a cool look.
  2. Bohemian Dreads
  3.  Soft Dread Crochet
  4.  Dreadlock Ponytail

Updo Dreadlocks Hairstyle

  1.  Dread Updo Bun
  2.  Dreadlock Fringe
  3. Dread Twist: This is a combination of twists and locs. It can be styled in an updo.

Can Dreadlocks or Locs be Removed?

Yes. But take into account two things when considering removing your locs; the method used to install your beginning locks and for dreadlock upkeep, and the maturity of your locs.You could choose to remove the oldest part of the locs first before detangling because older locs might be more difficult to untangle than the younger section.


Dreadlocks are a stunning and daring hairstyle that can be worn to make a statement or simply for fashion. What matters is that you know how to manage your locs and style them for different occasions. They can draw attention, both positive and negative, but it should not be a decisive factor when selecting whether or not to loc your hair. The popularity of locs has expanded over time, with many major fashion houses and businesses jumping on the bandwagon to develop products that appeal to people with locs, making it relatively easy to locate haircare products and accessories for your locs.

Frequently Asked Questions About Dreadlocks Hairstyle

How long do Locs Last

The lifespan of locs is dependent on how well you take care of them. There are many ways that you can style locs, and the maintenance for each one varies based on what you choose to do with your locs.

Does Hair Grow Faster With Dreads

Hair in dreadlocks grows just as fast as undreaded natural hair, it’s only the speed at which the dreadlocks gain length that changes compared to the speed at which undreaded natural hair gains length. In other words, when your hair is in dreadlocks, it grows at the same speed, it just has further to go!

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