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How to Start Dreadlocks

Kalpana Kumari
Dreadlocks are always in fashion, and suit every hair type and length. You will find majority of fashion conscious people wanting to know how to start dreadlocks. Read on to know about it.
Locks, also called dreads, give you a fabulous, versatile, and super-stylish look. Irrespective of ethnicity, men and women both enjoy wearing this wonderful hairstyle.
With the help of a few simple techniques, it can be done on any type and length of hair. The following writeup covers all the common and easy methods on how to grow dreadlocks with long, short, and curly hair.

With Long Hair

Backcombing is the method of starting dreadlocks with long hair. The minimum length of hair, suitable for backcombing, is 3 inches. In case your hair is shorter than 3 inches, you will find it quite troublesome to hold the locks in it.
Backcombing will make them permanent, and therefore, you should go for this method only when you are willing to stick with this style for a long period of time.


  • Divide hair into square sections of 1-2 inches width. Square sections will give you round dreads.
  • Secure the sections temporarily with rubber bands.
  • Take one section, hold it between your fingers, and use a dread comb to backcomb it. Start from not more than a distance of 1 inch from the scalp.
  • Keep backcombing. You will find the hair packing up at the roots.
  • Continue combing the hair backwards, and try to make the dread as tight as possible.
  • When you reach the scalp, secure the dread with a rubber band. You can also apply dread wax to better secure it.
  • Do this on each section of hair.
  • Allow all the dreads to mature for a period of 3-4 months. They will further tighten and smoothen up.

With Short Hair

The brush rubbing method will come to your help if your hair is shorter than 2 inches. This method is comparatively simpler, and less time-consuming than the rest.


  • Take a soft bristle brush, and rub it against your hair in circles. Continue doing this for a couple of minutes.
  • You will notice the formation of dreadlocks in the form of little balls of knotted hair.
  • You will have to twist your hair everyday to keep hold of the locks.

With Medium Hair

You might have heard about the twisting method. It is only meant for those whose hair length is between 2-9 inches, i.e., medium hair. This is, because you have to twist your hair to lock it, which is not possible if your hair is too short or too long.


  • Make sections in your hair as you do in the backcombing method.
  • Take one hair section and twist it. Keep twisting till it develops dreadlocks.
  • Apply dread wax to better secure the twists.
  • Do it separately for each section of hair.

With Curly Hair

Curly hair is believed to be the best hair type for styling into dreads. It gets locked easily, and hence assists in the easy formation of dreads. It also requires lesser amount of dread wax for formation and maintenance. In case your hair is curly, you are the best candidate for this hairstyle.


  • Divide your hair in small sections.
  • Take a section of hair, and split it into two strands.
  • Twist these strands of hair around each other.
  • You can use dread wax to hold the twists in position.
  • Do the same for each hair section separately.
  • Alternatively, you can take hair sections one by one, and roll them with your palm. Apply a little amount of dread wax to secure them in place.

Tips on Growing Dreadlocks

  • Shampoo your hair well before starting any of the above methods. Oil-free, clean hair will provide more friction to hold the locks.
  • After making dreads, do not shampoo your hair for the first 3-4 weeks. This period varies on the softness of the hair.
  • Keep your hair well-covered with dreadlock hair wraps during showers and workouts.
  • You can spray water-free moisturizer or sheen to give your hair a shiny appearance.
  • Clean your scalp with antiseptic on a regular basis. This is essential to maintain the strength and health of your hair.
Your hair goes through a number of changes while forming locks. Its maintenance requires a lot of time and patience. Therefore, you should consider all aspects well before deciding whether to go for it or not.