Ever wondered how to make dreadlocks with natural hair? If you’re reading this, you probably have a routine for your hair. You comb your hair, shampoo it, and condition. You probably also style it in different ways. What happens when you just leave your hair alone? No combing or styling? This is a guide to growing dreads.
Chances are if you leave hair for a while without combing it, it will begin to tangle and form knots that eventually become large matted sections. Dreadlocks are formed when hair is left to grow on its own. If you decide to stop combing your hair, your hair will matt and form what is known as freeform dreadlocks.
How to make dreadlocks
Although dreadlocks can be formed by neglect, it does not mean that it is a dirty or nasty hairstyle. Dreadlocks can be neat and attractive. You can achieve healthy looking starter locs by careful styling and maintenance or with the help of a professional loctician. This article explains the different methods for starting your lock journey, so read on!
To understand dreadlocks properly, you need to know what a single lock of hair looks like at its most basic level. The idea is that, when hair is left alone, it will tangle and become matted in some sections. So, dreadlocks are individual clumps of matted/tangled hair that you encourage to continue to grow in that form until it resembles a rope. A single lock of hair is a tangled mass of hair that is woven so tightly together that it forms a solid mass. Once dreadlocks are formed, the hair will continue to grow in that pattern until the lock becomes permanent, However, you don’t have to abandon your hair to form starter locs. You can grow dreadlocks intentionally. Read on to find out how to make dreadlocks.
The act of leaving your hair and stopping all forms of grooming is known as the neglect method. However, there are disadvantages to this method. It can take up to a year for the hair to properly lock, and the ‘in between’ stage can be very unattractive. You’re probably going to get really funny stares on the street and not be able to wear your hair freely in professional environments. Another thing is, dreadlocks that are grown through the neglect method have no set pattern or uniformity, and if your hair is not very kinky, you can have hair that does not lock from the beginning of your scalp and hangs very low. But don’t worry, there are many other methods that you can use.
Very kinky natural hair works best for dreadlocks. Remember that locks are formed out of spirals of tangled hair. Kinky hair grows in spirals already, so it’s much easier to form into really tight dreadlocks. A good example is how telephone wires coil easily because they come in spirals, but straight wires won’t coil so well, and typically stay tangle free. People with really tight kinky hair, have an easier time forming dreads. If you have straight hair, it’s possible to grow dreadlocks, but it will take a lot of time and effort to encourage your hair to grow into a spiral pattern. This is because forming dreadlocks is about accelerating the hair’s natural tendency to form tangles and kinky hair does this almost automatically. In order to facilitate the locking process, hair needs to stay as close as possible within each individual lock.
To start dreadlocks, the format is basically the same whether you’re doing it at home or a professional loctician is getting it done for you. The point where the difference comes in is when it’s time to twist the locks into shape. There are various methods you can use, which will be discussed later on in this article, but this simple procedure is the foundation for permanent dreadlocks.
- Wash and dry your hair properly
- Divide your hair into sections
- You should pay attention to the size of the sections. When pulled tight, the roots of the hair you’re holding should be outlined by a perfect square of exposed scalp. The larger the squares, the thicker the locs will be
If you have curly or kinky hair, you have several options for forming dreadlocks. Here are a few methods you can use to start your dreadlocks.
How To Make Dreadlocks With The Twist Method
The twisting method is great because you have control over the size of the dreads and how they form. To achieve this, all you need to do is twist the entire strand of hair in a clockwise direction. Ensure you twist in a clockwise direction, so when you retwist, your locks don’t come undone.
How to Dread – Strand twist method (Double/Triple)
The strand twist method gives locks a solid internal foundation and helps you have thicker locks. To achieve this, Divide your hair into two or three sections and overlap them in a clockwise spiralling pattern. Two strand twists can take as long as 6 months- 2 years to become full blown locks and twists may unravel in the beginning. If you start your locks with the strand twist method, you can use palm rolling or comb twisting for maintenance.
How To Dread- Braids/Plaits method
This method is great for people who don’t want the rough/dishevelled look. To achieve this method, braid your hair, but leave out a few inches at the bottom. The braided sections are usually cut off once the locks begin to mature. Note that the braided pattern in the hair takes a while to disappear and your locks might appear flat rather than circular. Locks started with braids can be maintained with the palm rolling or interlocking method.
How to dread- Comb coils/Comb twist method
The comb twist method uses a comb to roll uniform coils around your head. Short hair locks really fast with this method, but for longer hair, it takes a while. This is because the inside of the coil is hollow and has to join together before the hair starts to lock. The drawback of the comb coil method is that it is very sensitive to water and is easily unravelled. So shampoo only when necessary if you’re going with this method.
How To Make Dreadlocks With The Backcombing Method
If your hair texture is straight and fine, backcombing will work best for you. It involves manoeuvring the hair to create an internal intertwining. You need to be careful with this though, because if it is not properly maintained, your hair can begin to bud on the shaft of the locs instead of the ends. The backcombing method is easily maintained by palm rolling or comb twisting.
How To Make Dreadlocks With The Sisterlocks/ Interlocking Method
If you start your locs with this method, you get to enjoy the freedom that comes with low maintenance. This method is achieved by using a tool or your hands to interweave the loc through itself. If you use this method, expect your locs to be thinner Your locs will also take 6 months to 2 years to fully form.
How To Make Dreadlocks With Loc Extensions
This method is perfect for those who don’t want to go through the ‘untidy loc’ phase. Loc extensions can be attached with human hair fibers, synthetic fibers, or someone else’s locs. You can maintain new growth with palm rolling, comb twisting or interlocking.
How To Make Dreadlocks With The Free Form Method
You can decide to skip all these methods and let your hair do what it wants on its own. I already explained earlier that if kinky hair is left uncombed, it will lock naturally. Growing dreads with free form locs means that you don’t really know how your hair is going to turn out, and you don’t have to go through any form of maintenance.
It is important to always remember that it’s not the texture of your hair that determines if your hair will loc. Your patience does.
Dreadlocks require care and maintenance. Even with freeform locs, you have to wash. When you start your locs, you should not wash too often so they don’t unravel. However, if your locs start to come undone, they can be retwisted according to the method you used to start them. You can also use a technique called palm rolling to encourage the hair to grow into dreadlocks. To do this, take each loc between your flattened palms and roll it in a clockwise direction.
In the first few months, your coils/twists will begin to form knots close to the roots. This is known as the budding stage and is the first step to growing dreads. Different people experience this stage at different times depending on the texture of their hair. Some people’s hair will begin to form dreadlocks as early as two months, while others have to wait as long as six months to a year.
Now that you know how to start dreadlocks and what dreadlocks at its most basic form is like, here are some general grooming and hair care tips!
Once your dreadlocks mature, you can wash them as often as you want. When you wash, focus on the scalp and massage it very carefully.Then, allow the soapy water run through the dreads.
To prevent product buildup and mildew it is essential that you dry your locs properly after each wash. You can wring them to get rid of all the excess water and then use a blow drier.
In another article, I will discuss in depth, the best products for your dreadlocks. Make sure you avoid products that leave a lot of residue.
I hope that you’ve learned something new, and if you’re considering starting dreadlocks, you learned how to make dreadlocks. If you already have locs, what method did you start with, and why?