One of the coolest hairstyles to ever exist are dreadlocks or, in short, dreads. They’ve been here for thousands of years and are almost always in trend. Don’t worry if you don’t know what they are in-depth, though. In short, it’s a style where your hair matted together in plaits to form a kind of clump.
Even though we seem to be connecting dreads to the African culture, everyone can rock them without representing any specific culture. Now, one specific question that arises in most minds is “how to get dreads?”
Neglecting on hair combing and any sort of haircare might seem like the most straightforward answer. But it takes years for the dreads to come in a structured form. You can also get them in salons; however, they can get quite expensive.
Don’t worry because we have brought you some hacks and a step-by-step guide to help you get dreads at home without any help!
Table of Contents
- 1 What Are the Different Types of Dreads?
- 2 How Long Do Dreads Take to Style?
- 3 How to Get Dreads That Will Mature Well?
- 4 Prepping in 3 Easy Steps
- 5 How to Maintain Dreads?
- 6 Conclusion
What Are the Different Types of Dreads?
There are quite a few styles of doing dreadlocks that require different techniques and hair lengths/types.
‘Natural’ dreads are when you let the hair lock up on its own without using any specific method. ‘Crochet’ method requires the use of crochet to section out the hair. However, ‘Backcombing’ is for the longer hairs, where you simply just comb towards your scalp.
The amount of crimp and twists you want in your dreads can also differ in what procedure you’ll need to follow. People with coarse and frizzy hair mostly prefer the twisting method and interlocking method.
How Long Do Dreads Take to Style?
Dreads usually take about 8-12 hours on average, but it totally depends on the hair length and type. If you go for thicker dreads along with undercuts and mohawks, then you’ll need somewhere between 4 to 6 hours.
If you have thick, long hair, you’ll need more dreads, which might take up to 12 hours or even more.
How to Get Dreads That Will Mature Well?
Before jumping onto the wagon, let’s find out what locking method you should follow for different types of hair.
This is the most versatile type of hair where you can try out any method of dreadlocking. You can try the ‘Sister Locking’ procedure for finer dreads, but the common crochet, coils, braided, and double-stranded method will also work nicely.
Straight hair is what most Caucasian people have, and the easiest way to dread them is by backcombing. Here, you mostly comb a few strands of your hair together until the hair starts tangling itself into a knot.
Among all the hair types, Asian hair is the straightest. And unfortunately, they are the most difficult for creating dreadlocks as tangling them is not easy.
You need to put in a lot of effort for Asian hair to be matted and crimped. The crochet method is applied toAsian hair most of the time as it seems to be an optimal option than the other ones.
Any method favors loosely-textured hair, but concerns arise when you need to unkink your dreads. With enough patience, hopefully, that won’t be a problem anymore, though.
Prepping in 3 Easy Steps
Coming to the prepping part, let us go through a few basic steps that will help you prepare your hair well for the dreadlocking process.
Grow Out Your Hair
The more hair you have, the easier it is to work on them. So try growing out your hair a few inches before getting dreads.
Use a Residue-Free Shampoo
Clean and dry hair helps the dreads to form faster, so you should use a clarifying shampoo and wash your hair squeaky clean.
Be Consistent with the Sectioning
If you want your dreads to look symmetrical, you need to part them consistently. A rat-tail comb that has an extended end might come in very handy for the sectioning of your hair.
Hopefully, by now, you’ve figured out what type of dreadlock method your hair needs, and you’ve prepped your hair as well. So, let’s jump straight on the steps you need to follow for each of the methods.
Crochet Method: for Instant Mature Dreads
- After shampooing your hair, refrain from using a conditioner because silky hair would resist dreads from forming.
- Next up, you need to determine the size of your locks and section out your hair accordingly right from the nape. The base of the sections should form a square shape.
- After that, you need to backcomb the hair upward and place a crochet hook between the strands. Pull the hairs back, and you’re done!
Backcombing Method: For Easier Dreads on Long Hair
- Similar to the crochet method, you need to section out your hair so that the base forms a square. To secure the hair a bit more, you can put elastic bands around them.
- Starting from the back, you need to remove the bands one by one and tease your hair towards the scalp. We recommend combing only half of an inch of hair at once to keep your dreads from forming loops.
- Once you are done backcombing, start twisting that section into a tightly formed cylindrical shape. Then use your palm to roll out the whole backcombed area. This helps the locks to retain their shape.
- If you want to cover your scalp, you can stagger the locks without following a consistent pattern. Your hair will look fuller and more voluminous.
Twist & Rip Method: For Messier Locks
- First, section out your hair in 1 inch by 1-inch measurement and secure them with rubber bands.
- Then you need to wash your hair and massage it in a circular motion, preferably clockwise.
- Coming from the shower, dry your hair and pull apart those parts of the hair where you had fastened the elastics.
- You can try the palm-roll method and put in some wax, but we do not recommend using wax as it slows down the maturation process of the dreads.
- You can also try twisting and ripping them a couple more times for a more messy look.
Dread Braiding Method: For Quick Dreads on Afro Hair
- First of all, you need to wash your hair with just shampoo and then dry it.
- Then you need to section out hair according to how thick of a lock you want. You need to make bigger sections for thicker dreads and then wrap them in elastic bands.
- Remove the rubbers and start braiding each section of the hair one by one. Do the classic three-strand braid as it is easier to do so even on afro hairs.
- After you’ve braided a particular section, you need to wrap a strand of your hair around the braid. Then you can see that your locks have started to form.
Brush Rubbing/Comb Twist Method: for Uniform Coiled Dreads
- After you’ve washed your hair and dried it, you need to rub a soft-bristled brush and rub it in small circular motions.
- You will see that dreadlock balls have started to form. You can now add wax to the dread balls for a more polished look.
- On the other hand, you can also use a comb as an alternative to section out your hair with a square base, as we have mentioned above. After that, you remove rubbers from each section and start twisting the strands.
- The twisting needs to be done with the comb or brush tip. You can comb downwards as you go to form more even-looking dreads.
How to Maintain Dreads?
After you have started on the dreads, your scalp might be slightly sore at first, and the locks might look stiff. So, to get out from those struggles or any nuisance that might come in the future, you need to maintain your dreads properly.
Here are a few quick tips that will help your locks stay in shape and mature well with time.
1. Don’t Wash Them for the First Week
As the dreadlocks are very delicate once you’ve braided them, it is better to refrain from washing them. Make shower caps your best friend for a week, and then opt for showers.
2. Dry Your Locks Completely
After the first, you would obviously be washing them, and it’s better to use a residual-free shampoo. But after shampoo, you need to make sure that your locks are dried down entirely, or else they will stink badly.
3. Wrap Your Hair with Silk
Befriend a silk scarf and wrap it around your hair when you’re indoors or sleeping. This will help keep your dreads lint and dirt-free.
4. Use Organic Products
Organic products are perfect for dreadlocks, but they come with inconvenience too. Check out the ingredient list to be safe from any allergic reaction or build-up in your hair.
5. Regular Waxing and Palm-rolling
As we have said earlier, we don’t recommend waxing, but there are times when you might feel that your dreads are loosening up. For those times, you can use wax for a quick fix and use your palms to roll them out.
With patience and a little bit of effort, you can also style this hair-do and hop on the trend bandwagon.
Hopefully, the care tips we have provided will help you maintain your elegant locks. Now that you know how to get dreads, what are you waiting for? Get them today!