Dreadlocks are times and iconic, we all know that. However, they are often mixed with crochet braids, which are entirely different. It is best if you memorize that and learn how to distinguish the two. Today we are going to talk about the dreads in all their types and variations. What is more, we are going to open up the curtain of the past and prove it to you that these locks existed throughout the centuries. Are you ready to discover some new hairstyles and make a statement? You have come to the right place!*We may earn money from affiliate links on this page. Please check out our disclosure policy for more details.
- What's The History Of Dreadlocks?
- What Do Dreadlocks Symbolize?
- Different Types of Dreadlocks
- How Do You Get Dreadlocks?
- Dreadlock Maintenance and Care
- Dreadlock Hairstyles
- Dreadlocks For Short Hair
- Dreads For Medium Length Hair
- Long Dreadlocks
- Twisted Dreads
- Freeform Locks
- Bohemian Dread Style
- How To Make Dreadlocks
- Celebrities Choices
All about Dreadlocks
What's The History Of Dreadlocks?
History of dreadlocks dates as far back as to ancient Egypt. The fact is that there were discovered mummified remains of ancient Egyptians who wore dreadlocks. It needs to be added that even in the Bible there is a reference to dreads when the take of Samson is told. Of course, Celts and Vikings were the warriors with the snakes of their hair. As you may understand, it is how our ancestors viewed dreads back then.
It is obvious enough that dreads weren’t something new when the trend hit the world, but something as ancient as the world itself. These days, for the most parts, dreads are specially made by professionals, but centuries ago they formed naturally. So what are dreadlocks? It is what is going to come out of your hair if you do not comb and wash it for a while. The hair will start clogging. Thus you will end up with natural dreads.
Credit photo: instagram.com/yefimiya
Surely, we are modern people, and going as far as to not washing the hair and let the dreads form naturally is not an option. That is why almost any hair professional knows how to make dreads these days. What is more, these days, there are so many types and variations of dreads that it is hard to imagine.
Just before we proceed to all the available dread types definition, it needs to be mentioned that locks were considered something more than just a hairdo. The fact is that spiritual people believe that if you do not comb your hair, you do not leave the special energy out of your head, and that is a good thing. Think about it!
What Do Dreadlocks Symbolize?
A lot of things depend on appearance, especially in the modern world. People try their best to look neat and flawless. However, at the same time, we forget that looks are not the main thing that matters after our life ends its circle. According to Buddhism and other spiritual practices, dread hairstyles represent the vanity of one’s outlook. These practices teach that physical appearance is fading, but other more important things remain. An interesting fact is that shaving your head bold serves the same goal as wearing dreadlocks. The symbolism behind the particular hairstyle is indeed deep, but nowadays, dreads are also a stylish way to express your uniqueness too. Whether you wish to emphasize your spirituality or show off your style, there is a number of things that you need to know about the given hairstyle, and we are the ones to bring the details to your attention.
When Should You Start Dreads? How Long Should Your Hair Be For Dreadlocks?
Of course, one of the first things that come to mind when you are thinking about dreadlocks hairstyles is how long your mane should be. The fact is that there is no one length for all. The length actually depends upon three factors:
- Hair type
- Final look
We are going to discuss all the three factors as we move one with our review.
Different Types of Dreadlocks
The type of dreadlocks women prefer these days differ immensely, even though not everyone is able to differentiate between those without proper guidance at hand. There are 5 primary dread types that you should consider before finalizing your hairstyle decision.
Should you decide to pick the most realistic option of all, then you have to aim at freeform dreads. The freeform locks are called that way since they require no interference but time to form. When you leave your hair unattended for an extended period of time, let’s say a year, the strands will start to matt and tangle. The outcome will look irregular in terms of the size and width dreadlock. Usually, the first dreads will appear at the tape of the neck. That is where the most natural friction and rubbing take place due to your daily and nightly activities. On the dark side, the style isn’t as neat as it can be and takes a while to succeed with.
Finger coil locs
Another popular type of dreads would be the finger coil loc. One can say that it is one of the most common and unique black woman dreadlocks styles. It should be noted that it is a speed-up variation of freeform locks with a bit of pattern and improved neatness to it. To get the style, you should wash your hair clean, coil or twist small sections of hair, pin the coils, so they dry out, and remove the pins. The finger coil locs should remain unbrushed for about half a year to transform into true-form dreadlocks.
Three-strand braid dreads
One more sought-after type of dreadlocks would be the three-strand braid option. Its utmost popularity is dictated by the ease of creation. Essentially, you have to section your hair into even parts and braid every section the way you would with a regular three-strand braid. After you are done with the whole head, you should leave the braids unattended for about 6 months so that the hair mats and you get the desired outcome. The only downside of this style is the fact that the dreads will look a little flatter than other variants due to the structure of the braid.
Three-strand twist locks
Just like in the case of three-strand braids, the twists are a low-effort style that you can opt for to achieve a trendy vibe. The major difference between the styles is the fact that you twist the loc instead of braiding it. Thus, the outcome is slightly fuller and more cylindrical, very close to the original variant but with a neater touch to it. On top of that, it takes around 2-6 months for the hair in the twists mat well.
This type of dreads is entirely simple and effortless in terms of dread formation. However, it can be pretty damaging to your hair. The core of the method lies in rubbing a piece of wool against your hair in circles, so that small locs start to form. Yet, the mentioned friction damages the hair cuticles, which is critical if you want to sport healthy strands afterward. Most experts recommend using the technique only as a head start and don’t go all the way down until you create full-size dreads. It should be added that the locks that you achieve will be uneven and different in size since the method isn’t easy to control.
How Do You Get Dreadlocks?
So, how do you get dreadlocks? If you think that there is only one method, then you are mistaken. There are at least four known ones:Freeform
If you want your dreads to form naturally, all you need to do is to let your hair do the job. Your dreadlocks will form over the time necessary for a finished look. However, you need to wash your hair with dreadlock-friendly shampoo and separate the roots in the beginning so that you do not end up with just a big knot instead of neat natural dreads. If you use this method, the length of your hair does not matter.
If you want loose dreads, then this would be the best method to opt for. However, for this technique, you want your hair to be at least 13 centimeters long so that the locs do not unravel.Backcombing
For this method, it is said that 10 centimeters are enough. However, we would advise that you wait until your hair gets to 15 centimeters. The longer the hair, the lesser is the chance that the dreads will unravel. Also, when you pick this method, you can decide whether firm or loose dreads you want.Crochet
The crochet technique is used for firm locs, and the minimum length required is 15 centimeters. This method is popular with natural-haired girls, as they can start with cornrows or box braids as a base.
The truth is that you do not need to wait until your hair evens out while it grows. If some parts of your hair are longer, you can start from there. Then when the rest of your hair reaches the required length, you can continue.
What Type Of Hair Do You Have?
The type of your hair influences the length required for female dreads.Coarse&Kinky
If it is your hair type, then you need to grow it out to 7 centimeters before you start making dreads.Loose/Curly
Even though curly hair holds dreads better, you need to start with the 15-centimeter length.Straight, Oily or Thin
The perfect length for these hair types would be 20 centimeters. However, some sources say that 10 centimeters are enough.
The fact is that it is always better to have a little longer hair than to have your dreads unravel due to being too short. Another word of advice is to sleep with a silk cap on to save your dreads. Besides, gentle washing, as well as drying of the locs, is important too.
What “Look” You’re Going To End Up With?
When you are considering dreadlock hairstyles, and you do not want to wait until your hair grows out, you need to know a few things. First of all, short dreads will look pokey and will stick out in every direction. Clearly, that is not the prettiest hairstyle there is. You can cover your dreads with beanies and wait until they grow. You can also opt for artificial dread extensions to smooth things out. What we would advise is to wait until your hair reaches at least the medium length.
Are Dreads Bad For Your Hair?
There are lots of false facts circling the web, stating that dreads hairstyles damage your scalp. However, we need to clarify one point - your scalp is not aware that there are dreads on your head. The hair starts dreading inch away from the scalp, so there is no damage to come from wearing locs. Besides, you can always uncomb them if you are tired of the look, it will take a while, but you can always preserve your hair with the least damage to it.
Dreadlock Maintenance and Care
Despite the variety of dreadlocks styles, some things remain unchanged – the maintenance and care for the style. Should you be willing to learn the basics of dreadlock aftercare – you have come to the right place.
1.1 Should You Wax Your Dreads?
If you have been researching dreadlocks hairstyles, you may have come across a mention of dread wax a couple of times. For a while, wax was used as the main product to create and maintain neat dreadlocks. However, over the course of its exploitation, dread wax has proved to bring in more downsides than benefits. The fact is that wax does not dissolve in water, and thus it remains in your hair as long as you keep the style. Furthermore, the wax attracts buildup and ensures that you can’t get it out – thus smelly ropes. Keep in mind that wax neither dissolves in water nor leaves it out, so that damp hair mixed with dirt and buildup starts to mold and smell bad. In short – you shouldn’t use dread wax.
1.2. How to Shampoo Dreadlocks
No matter the types of dreadlocks you choose, sooner than later, you will have to wash your locs, and it is critical that you do it correctly. You may not need to shampoo your dreads as often. Every two weeks is enough. Yet, it is essential that you use no-residue shampoo in the process and center all the attention on the scalp rather than the ropes themselves. Also, don’t use too much shampoo and as much water as you can. Keep in mind that drying the dreadlocks well is as vital for your style to look fresh and smell well.
Can You Undo Dreadlocks? How To Remove Dreads?
When it comes to dreadlocks hairstyles for women, everyone knows that ‘fact’ that you need to shave your head when you want to get back to normal hair look. Another ‘fact’ is that the process of detangling is very painful and damaging to both your scalp as well as your hair. Both of them are not true. You can easily get rid of dreads with the slightest impact on your hair or scalp. We are going to present the two most popular methods for your attention.
Cut Your Dreads
In case you do not care about the length of your hair, you can always cut the dreads off. It depends upon whether or not you are ready to shave your head, or you are willing to leave some length. In the first case, you need to cut the dreads as close to your roots as possible and then shave all the remaining hair. If you choose the second option, then you can cut the locs so that there is an inch of them attached to your loose hair. After that, you will need to wash your hair and comb the dreads with a metal comb.
Pick Out Dreads
We need to warn you straight away that this method will take you a lot of time to get over with it. However, on the bright side, you will save your hair. So, here is what you need to do:
- Soak your locs in a bath for about 10 minutes.
- Wash the dreads with shampoo as thoroughly as you can. Wash the shampoo off with the hottest water possible, so that all the wax and build-up grease dissolves.
- Condition your dreads with conditioner. Make sure that you apply a proper amount of it to every loc.
- Start picking your dreads out, start from the bottom, and work your way up.
- When you are through with all the dreadlocks, condition your hair once more and leave the conditioner on for about 5 minutes.
- Get yourself a new haircut.
Dreadlocks For Short Hair
Among all the dreadlocks hairstyles that we are going to discuss today, short locks are the simplest to get and the easiest to look after. However, that does not mean that they are any less appealing than all the other styles. You can think of short dreads as of a stylish bob that does not need regular maintenance. You do not need to think about the texture, volume, and body since the dreads will look equally beautiful on a daily basis!
Dreads For Medium Length Hair
When you are considering the dreads you need to realize that not only the length matters but also the thickness of them. The longer the locs, the thicker they should be and vice versa. If you choose medium length, it is best to think about the thinner dreads since they will not avert attention from your face. Besides, in order to add some more polished look and feel you can experiment with various hair accessories on the dreadlocks. With such thickness, there is not a chance that they will look out of place.
It may happen so that you are not a fan of short hairstyles thus short dreadlocks are not your cup of tea. If that is the case, you should better be patient. The thing is that it takes a while for the dreads to grow out. However, there is also a chance to skip the wait and use extensions. When you combine both the extensions and your own hair, you can choose the length that appeals to you most, just like that.
There are also dreadlocks women with spiritual values choose. They are named Rasta locks. It needs to be mentioned that not everyone can grow them naturally since they are peculiar from folks with African roots mostly. The main difference from all the other types lies in the fact that they grow naturally without any artificial interference. You can wash your hair, of course, but the fact that they grow on their own binds you spiritually with the religion of Rastafarianism.
These days many dreadlocks styles intertwine with one another. Twisted locs are the best representation of the idea. What is done - dreads are twisted with one another to form such beautiful locks. For the most part, they look especially great with longer hair. However, there are no boundaries set.
Crinkle Dread Style
Some people say that there is a lack of ways to experiment with your dreads. We beg to differ. For instance, if you miss your curly hair, you can make your dreadlocks curly instead. Besides the process is far simpler than with the regular beach waves or curls. All you need to do is to wet your dreads, braid them and let them dry. Once you unbraid the locs, you will end up with such a crinkle dread style.
Freedom locks may be that contradictory hairstyle form that many discuss these days. The fact is that while some consider such a style to be messy and unattended the others take it for freedom. The key point is to let your hair grow the way it does without trying to re-twist your dreads or detangle them. However, you should wash your hair regularly, though.
We know that there are many people who would like to give the locs a try but are afraid of the commitment. That is when faux dreadlocks come in more than handy. The fact is that these artificial dreads are wrapped around your natural hair. While the trendy impression is preserved, the faux dreads also save your hair from all the external damage. It is a win-win option, in our mind, if you are just willing to give the style a chance.
Wool locks are another type of protective dreads. The fact is that they prevent frizziness. What is more, since it is not your natural hair we are talking about, you can experiment with different colors with the minimum damage to your hair. For instance, these silver-blonde dreadlocks will certainly make a statement no matter where you go. However, you need to keep it in mind that such dreads dry a little longer than the regular ones so that you are going to need to wash your hair less often. Luckily, you can always apply some dry shampoo to keep the look fresh.
In some cases, wool locs are not acceptable since you may be allergic to wool, or you are a devoted vegan. In times like this you can easily play around with yarn dreadlocks. The fact is that they are created through the same principle as wool locs and can be as colorful and trendy-looking. However, on the downside, they may be a little heavier when wet.
Bohemian Dread Style
Boho style represents your personal beliefs and ideas. It is not just another trend to follow. If you feel spiritually connected to nature and you are a free-spirited human being, such a dread style may come in simply irreplaceable. What makes bohemian dreadlocks stand out are the loads of earthly accessories that are usually added to the dreads.
There is a popular opinion that you can only wear your dreads loose. If you ask us, that would be the most boring hairstyle of all if that were the case. However, the truth is that you can braid your dreads just like you do with your non-styled hair. In fact, even the simplest look such as a regular braid will look unique and charming. If there is a special occasion ahead, such a hairstyle will add some more femininity to your look.
Pin-up looks are on the edge of popularity these days. Guess what – you can pull such a style off with your dreads too! All you need is a significant twist on the top of your head and sleeker sides. If you worry that it all will fall apart once you nod your head, there is nothing impossible for a proper amount of bobby pins!
Fishbone braids are known for the unique patterns that can be created with their help. Surely, every fishbone look has certain authenticity – but do you know what is even more unique? Of course fishbone dreads! Besides, a style like that will always look peculiar and elegant but with a note of edginess to it. Think about it!
Dreads Updo Bun
Buns have been in the hair fashion for a while now, and they seem to keep that way at least for a while more. To be honest, you can replicate any significant bun look with your dreadlocks with ease. Be it a regular updo, or a half-up, half-down one even a full bun looks fantastic on dreaded locks. See for yourself!
If you wish to keep up with all the trends while bonding with the roots, we know a perfect way out. The thing is that all sorts of undercuts are the hottest right now, and combining an undercut with dreads is another way you can make a real statement. Besides, any time, when you are not feeling like showing the undercut, you can put your dreads down, and that’s it!
You are probably aware of the fact that a Mohawk is always the edgiest cut, no matter men or women we are talking here. However, if you wonder what would double the effect such a cut creates – we say pair it with dreadlocks. With your sides shaved clean and the dreaded Mohawk, you will be the center of attention no matter where you go!
Colored Dread Style
There is a false assumption that dreadlocks may limit you in some way. That is not true. Dreads can help you express yourself the way you want. If you are thinking about changing your hair color, you can easily do it with locs too. Just choose a significant shade, be it blue, green, or red dreadlocks and soak them in corresponding hair dye. It may take a little longer for the product to soak in, but the result will be worth it. There is no doubt about it.
How To Make Dreadlocks
In case you wonder how to make dreadlocks, that is not that difficult. In fact, you can learn how to get dreadlocks from this simple tutorial that we have prepared for you. The only thing is that if you want to give yourself a dreaded look, you may need an assistant to help you succeed.
- To begin with, get yourself a practical comb, that you are going to use to separate the hair section. It would be great if it has a poky end for the sectioning.
- You are going to need a bunch of rubber bands and a little crochet hook too.
- Section your hair in rows. Do it so that the upper section falls in-between the two lower ones.
- Secure the sections with the rubber band as you work on the row.
- Grab an unsecured section.
- Split it into two pieces.
- Twist the pieces twice and pull them up.
- Think about pulling as if you are tying a knot.
- Repeat the process until you reach the end.
- To smooth your freshly-made dreadlock, us a crochet hook.
- Pull all the stray hairs into your dread.
- You can move the hook in any direction as long as each loop you pull is not out of the locs, but rather keeps all the pieces together.
- Use the hook up to the point when you are satisfied with the smoothness of the dread.
As you can see, there is nothing too fancy about dread-making, and you can do it even in your backyard in a matter of a few hours.
Dreadlocks are a mystery to many. Some of you may think that there is one kind of those and nothing more. Today we are going to reveal some secrets, and we assure you that you are going to be surprised!
Credit photo: Featureflash Photo Agency/Shutterstocki
Credit photo: Everett Collection/Shutterstocki
Whoopi Goldberg is one of the most famous celebrities known for sporting medium-length dreadlocks. Her thick and full locks are coiled tightly to create the classic dreadlock shape and often adorned with colorful beads or accessories. Goldberg's signature hairstyle is an integral part of her image, making her instantly recognizable.
Credit photo: DFree/Shutterstocki
Credit photo: Kathy Hutchins/Shutterstocki
Shanola Hampton is an acclaimed actress who is currently flaunting an awe-inspiring hairstyle comprising long and loose dreadlocks. The locks are styled in soft waves that elegantly cascade down her shoulders, creating a relaxed and bohemian vibe. The texture and length of the dreadlocks lend depth and volume to the hairstyle, making it a unique and captivating choice. While creating dreadlocks may take several months to years, the outcome is worth the effort for those who wish to make a statement with their hair. Hampton's hairstyle exemplifies how dreadlocks can be worn in a chic and fashionable manner, making it a notable and distinctive look.
Credit photo: Tinseltown/Shutterstocki
Credit photo: Tinseltown/Shutterstocki
Willow Smith is a renowned personality who's gained recognition for her distinctive and innovative hairstyles. Her hairdos frequently feature vibrant hues and intricate braiding methods that showcase her fashion sense and originality. Willow's hairstyles mirror her fearless and daring personality as she enjoys experimenting with fresh looks. Whether she's adorned in braids, colorful extensions, or a bold haircut, Willow Smith's hairstyles are consistently in style and make a bold statement.
Credit photo: Kathy Hutchins/Shutterstocki
Credit photo: Featureflash Photo Agency/Shutterstocki
Lisa Bonet, a beautiful actress known for her bohemian style, is captured in these images with a natural and free-spirited hairstyle, which is her signature look. Her hair is styled in loose, messy curls that drape around her face, creating a relaxed and effortless vibe. The hairstyle flawlessly complements her chic and casual outfit, featuring flowing fabrics and earthy tones. Her hair exemplifies her unique and eclectic personality, capturing the essence of bohemian style. Lisa Bonet's hairstyle has been a source of inspiration for numerous women who want to embrace their natural curls and rock a carefree and effortless look, making it a timeless and iconic hairstyle.
Credit photo: Jamie Lamor Thompson/Shutterstocki
Credit photo: /Shutterstocki
The Grammy-winning songstress Lalah Hathaway is renowned for her bold and unique sense of style, which often includes edgy hairstyles and daring fashion choices. These images showcase her long, beautifully styled dreadlocks adorned with intricate twists and braids. Hathaway's hairstyle exudes a bold and fearless vibe, a true reflection of her distinctive and artistic personality. Her choice of hairstyle proves that dreadlocks can be a chic and fashionable choice, a statement look for those who want to make a lasting impression. Lalah Hathaway's daring and stylish hairstyle is a perfect representation of her fearless and artistic personality.
Halle and Chloe Bailey
Credit photo: Kathy Hutchins/Shutterstocki
Credit photo: Kathy Hutchins/Shutterstocki
Halle Bailey, an actress and singer, along with her sister Chloe Bailey, are recognized for their mesmerizing natural curls that they frequently wear in long and relaxed waves. These images exhibit the sisters with an array of hairstyles, ranging from beachy and tousled to sleek and straightened looks. The sisters' hairstyles complement their captivating features and exude a natural, effortless charm. Halle and Chloe Bailey's hairstyles have been a source of inspiration for many women looking to embrace their natural curls and wear them in a variety of chic and stylish ways. With their stunning curls, the sisters prove that natural hair can be beautiful and versatile, creating a timeless and iconic hairstyle.
Why is it bad to say dreadlocks?
You can easily offend someone without even knowing it just by using a term “dreadlocks”. Unless you are informed of the history behind this word or you are a member of the Rasta community. The Rastafarian warriors were persecuted for their hair which was considered to be “disgusting” thus the term “dread” got its association with locks.
Are dreadlocks spiritual?
Dreadlocks aren’t spiritual as they are. They may be a part of your life style or your spiritual journey. It really depends what meaning you are putting into them.
- Dreadlocks, also locs, dreads, or in Sanskrit, Jaṭā, are ropelike strands of hair formed by matting or braiding hair.Source
- Giving yourself dreadlocks doesn't require much more than dreadlock wax and a lot of patience.Source
- Dreadlocks are essentially entangled locks of hair achieved through various means of rolling hair.Source
- The roots of dreadlocks can be trailed to the Rastafarians of Jamaica, and further, to Indian sages and yogis, but they have never been more popular or widespread than they are today.Source
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