how to make dreadlocks

The moment someone mentions ‘dreadlocks’, chances are that you’ll either visualize a rap artiste or a celebrity footballer. There is also a likelihood that you’ll associate this hairstyle with people belonging to a particular race/region. While dreadlocks have long been a favorite among those with an Afro-frizz type of hair, it has now gained global popularity. What’s more? It is equally popular with women as it is with men. In fact, some women find it way easier to maintain than any other type of hairstyle.

Why Get Dreadlocks?

As with any other popular hairstyle, getting your hair done in dreadlocks is an individual’s choice. But there may be many reasons that can inspire a person to adorn dreadlocks. They could be as follows:

1. As A Style Statement:

With dreadlocks becoming a fashion statement of late, we can see many celebrities sporting them effortlessly and with elan and grace. What makes dreadlocks even cooler is that they now go with any kind of outfits. Whether it is a chic bohemian dress, a gown, or even a tuxedo, dreadlocks blend easily with the look. Fans of celebrities who sport dreadlocks quite understandably try to emulate their idols and thus adopt this trendy hairstyle.

2. They Are Versatile:

Unlike other hairstyles, dreadlocks can be worn in a variety of ways. They can be loose or braided dreadlocks, worn up or down; or crinkly or straight. You can add your own twist to this hairstyle by streaking them with different colors or going global with one bright color. You can also embellish them with seashells, beads, jewelry, and whatnot. So, no matter how you choose to wear them, you can personalize it according to your imagination and personality. This makes you look unique and helps you stand out wherever you go!

3. Ease Of Maintenance:

As mentioned above, a lot of people prefer dreadlocks as they are easy to maintain. Most people would have tried different hairstyles before finally settling for dreadlocks. Contrary to popular misconception, dreadlocks are not dirty and can be adapted to any kind of hair – curly hair, wavy hair or even straight hair. As soon as the hair locks in, it can be shampooed and maintained like normal hair.

How To Make Dreadlocks?

Of course, the easiest way would be to get it done at a professional parlor or salon. But then, it can become an expensive affair. However, it doesn’t mean that you can’t do it yourself at home. Creating dreadlocks, even at home, is a time-consuming process. So make sure you keep yourself free for the next 4 to 8 hours. And yes – be patient! Here’s how you can go about it:

Step 1: Before you start creating dreadlocks for yourself, first and foremost, wash your hair thoroughly with a clarifying shampoo. Our scalp produces oil naturally and this can make your hair slippery even if you had washed the hair a day before.

So, you’ll need to freshly shampoo your hair again. Do not apply any wet-hair conditioner or leave-in hair serum after that. Simply let your hair dry naturally.

Step 2: Once the hair is fully dry, brush it nicely to remove any tangles. Keep a bunch of rubber bands, both big and small and a wide-toothed comb. Start with sectioning your hair in four major sections using the wide-toothed comb.

Hold each section apart with a rubber band. Now, start sectioning your hair into small squares from the top section. You can make each square of 1-inch size to get medium-sized dreadlocks or go with ½-inch squares for small-sized ones. Complete the same steps for the remaining 3 major sections.

You can go with a combination of dreadlocks sizes, but keeping the same size will give it a neat look. Each square you make will now grow into a complete dreadlock.

Step 3: Put a rubber band around the scalp and tip of each dreadlock as you go about doing it. This will help to hold the dreadlocks in place as they grow. This is especially necessary for people with wavy hair or straight hair. But if you have an Afro-frizz type of hair, then your dreadlocks will naturally hold their position.

Step 4: Now you can apply some natural dread wax, tightening gel, locking gel, or a beeswax molding paste to your newly-created dreads. This will keep your dreads away from fraying and frizzing.

While applying such products to your dread, make sure you cover the full dread length. The whole strand should be covered with the product. If you wish to keep your dread waxed, then stick to doing so once in 2-4 weeks. However, some people totally avoid it as they believe it could hinder the natural process of dreading.

Step 5: If you don’t wish to wax your dreads, then here’s what you can do. After you have secured your dreads with rubber bands, gently start rolling them with your palms. Do this throughout the length of your dreads, from top to bottom.

You’ll start feeling them tighten in no time. The tighter your dreads get, they will start locking in faster too. However, note that this method works well for an Afro-frizz type of hair. For straight or wavy hair, it’ll take more time to tighten the dreads without using a dread wax. Even then, the dreads might not become as tight as with the other type of hair. You’ll need to keep at it for a while to get your straight or wavy hair to lock in into a perfect dread.

The steps mentioned above are for the day one of creating your dreads. Thereafter, you’ll need to try and lock in your dreads every day until you get the desired results.

Maintaining The Dreadlocks

Making dreadlocks for yourself is just one part of the job. The other important part is to maintain them well. Here’s are the key steps to maintain your dreadlocks:

1. Rolling:

From the very next day, you’ll need to roll your dreads between your palms each day. Start from the roots and roll down the length of the dreads up to the tips. Keep a sturdy hand while doing so. Also, ensure you roll in the same direction every time. Once your dreads are rolled in a particular direction, rubbing them in the opposite direction can unravel them. Regular rolling of your dreads will not only help them in locking in position quickly but will also give them a neat and smooth look.

Once the dreads lock in perfectly, continue to gently massage your dreads at the roots each day. This will promote your hair growth and the new hair will automatically grow into dreadlock knots.

2. Moisturizing:

There is a huge misconception that dreadlocks are usually dry and frizzy and don’t need moisturizing. But that isn’t true. Dreads need to be moisturized daily to prevent them from breaking. And let us not forget, all that rolling will definitely create some amount of tension of the hair strands. To naturally moisturize your dreadlocks, use natural oils like almond oil or coconut oil. Add one part of this natural oil to 3 parts of natural aloe vera juice in a spray bottle. Shake well and spray it on your dreads every morning after waking up to keep your dreadlocks hydrated.

3. Washing:

Another major misconception about dreadlocks is that they are dirty and are not washed regularly. This is incorrect. Dreadlocks can be shampooed and washed like any other hairstyle, which can be done once a week. No wonder it is considered to be easy to maintain. However, you’ll need to wait for a minimum of 2 to 3 weeks after you’ve first created your dreadlocks before starting to shampoo them. To avoid unraveling your dreads, focus on washing your scalp. So, when you rinse, the shampoo-containing water will run down the dreads and gently clean them without causing any fraying.

Useful Tips For Maintaining Dreadlocks Well

Maintaining dreadlocks in good shape is not difficult. Just follow some of these simple tips to avoid fraying or unraveling of your dreadlocks and maintain them in good shape:

  • Regularly check for frayed dreadlocks. Use your fingers to tuck in long hair strands back into the dreadlocks. For smaller hair strands, you can use a tweezer or crochet to tuck in.

  • While rubbing your roots promotes hair growth into dreadlocks, do not overdo it. This might result in unnecessary hair fall.

  • Once your dreads lock-in and become tighter, remove the rubber bands. If the rubber bands at the scalp get entangled with the hair, ask a friend to carefully cut it out.

  • While regular shampooing is good, you can try and moisturize the scalp with some apple cider vinegar once in a while. Use it as a final rinse to give some shine and bounce to your dreadlocks. But use it only once every two months as its overuse can result in excessive scalp dryness.

  • To protect your dreadlocks from getting frayed or hair fall, wrap them in a silk scarf while sleeping. This will effectively protect your dreadlocks from any kind of damage due to friction during sleep. And, do not forget spraying them with the natural oil and aloe vera moisturizing spray you created for your dreadlocks.

Dreadlocks are popular not only because they are easy to maintain, but because of their versatility too. So, whether you have Afro-frizz, wavy hair, or straight hair, you can wear them in any way that you want including streaks, global hair color, or even with embellishments. However, no matter how you choose to enhance them, make sure you keep them clean and in good shape. Because dirty dreadlocks will definitely be a huge turn off!