Make dreadlocks with your natural hair

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Information powers every good decision; and the decision to make dreadlocks is no exception.

There is a lot of information out there about making dreadlocks. Some of it is useful and - let's be honest - some of it is downright bad for your hair.

Before you start dreadlocks, you need to prepare your hair and scalp - known as transitioning - as well as ensure that you have the right tools.

(If you want to share how you started your dreads - or read about others who have - scroll down to the "Do you have tips on how to do dreadlocks yourself?" section below.)

The proper tools for making dreadlocks

Not only do you need the right hair products, like residue-free shampoo, but you also want to make sure that you have the right hair tools.

At the very least, you'll need:

Depending on which locking method you'll use for making dreadlocks in your hair, there are usually only one or two other tools that you'll need.

Just how many ways can you lock hair?

Speaking of locking methods, there are at least 10 proven ways to get dreadlocks. Most can be done on your own with the help of an extra pair of hands and some should only be attempted under the care of a dreadlock stylist.

Choosing the right method to make dreadlocks in your hair will mean less frustration and better looking locks over time. The right method for you depends a lot on your hair type.

One of the most common ways to get dreadlocks is to use the backcombing method. This method can be useful for those with Caucasian and Asian hair types but can also damage your hair if you're not careful. We won't go over backcombing instructions here, mainly because there's already a lot of fairly good guides on backcombing Instead, you'll learn another method: SINGLE TWIST.

Making dreadlocks with a twist

Finger twists (or comb twists) are one of the many methods used to create dreadlocks.

It's included here in detail because the single twist method is one of the few that can be used on any hair type.


Strands of hair are twisted together using the fingers or a comb. The hair may take longer to lock with this method and needs more maintenance because the comb twists can unravel whenever hair gets wet (i.e. while exercising or shampooing).


  • Minimum: 2" or 5 cm
  • Maximum: 7" or 18 cm


Only the ones mentioned above:
  • Bobby pins/hair clips
  • Tail comb
  • Wide-tooth comb
  • No-snag hair elastics

    These rubber bands are hard to find but worth the hunt, because they won't damage your precious grab a bunch when you find them.

  • Wax or wax alternative


  1. Section hair using a rattail comb;
  2. Secure each section with a no-snag rubberband;
  3. Apply a small amount of wax/wax alternative to each section;
  4. Start at back of head, near the nape of your neck, twist the hair from one section around your tightly around one of your fingers;
    • If you are using a comb (a wide-tooth comb), then twist the section of hair around a group of teeth.
    • Make sure you twist all sections in the same direction (either all clockwise or all counter-clockwise).
  5. Take the twisted lock and separate it in two from the tip. Try to get as close to the root as possible;
  6. Lightly palmroll the two strands back together;
  7. Repeat Step #5, but this time separate the strands with two different halves then before;
  8. Repeat Step #6;
  9. Continue this process until there is not much unknotted hair left at the tip;
  10. Secure the tip of your new lock with a snag-free rubber band so that it doesn't unravel. You may want to do the same with the root;
  11. Continue this process with the rest of the sections;
  12. Set your finger or comb twists with a heat source like a hair dryer or blow dryer.(Optional)

Making dreadlocks in your natural hair is, well, naturally beautiful and a far cry from the majority of popular hair styles today that tend to burden your hair with chemicals.

Enjoy your new dreadlocks and wear them with pride for your style, pride for your culture or pride for your spirituality.

Whatever you're proud of, dreadlocks are a great way to express yourself!

Do you have tips on
how to do dreadlocks yourself?

Share how you started your journey with dreadlocks! How long was your hair? Which method did you use?

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What Others Have Said

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

Dreadlocks Question: Starting Out With 7 cm (2.5") 
I'm wanting to start my own dreadlock journey ASAP!!! my hair is about 6.5cm to 7cm long, and I have heard from a person who used to have dreadlocks that …

Extensions Feedback: Started Locs With Kinky Twists 
I started my journey 6 months ago with kinky twist extensions in my hair. I had been contemplating dreads for a long time. After wearing braids for …

Starting dreadlocks by transitioning hair. 
I have always wanted dreads but afraid of what people may think. Now I am 54 with my first grandson. I am making the journey. And this is something …

JJ's Dreadlocks Question: Just starting dreadlocks short hair 
I just got my dreadlocks done at an African shoppe. Basically they are finger twists right now and I'm just worried that they will mess up in anyway. …

Janiqua's Dreadlocks Question: Do I Have To Cut Out My Perm? 
Mmm, I don't got dreads yet but I really want em. My hair is permed and I don't wanna cut my hair. What is the best method? Some one please help.

Starting dreadlocks with long hair 
My long hair was about 5' when I got dreads. When I did my long dreads, I did them myself. It took me two weeks to complete the process and I still have …

Jawanna's Dreadlocks Tips: Two Strand Twist 
I have dreadlocks. I started mine with two strand twists. They locked within 6 months. I also used wax....and i regret it big time. But if you do use …

Dreadlocks Question: Hair Help 
I started my hair with two stranded and single twists. I got my hair done with a tool to get them tight but they're still twisted and my roots are dreads? …

Dave's Dreadlocks Tips: Finger Twists 
With the finger twist method the hair needs to be at least 2" long before you can start. It will take 15-20 minutes to do which means you need to have …

Dreadlocks Question: How to keep locs looking neat Not rated yet
My son's hair is thick and curly not "good hair" but decent. He has been in dreads now for about 3-4 months and they are anywhere between 4-6" long. …

Dreadlocks Question: Transitioning For A Man Looking For Locs Not rated yet
I have had short hair for 98% of my life and am looking to dread my hair soon. I have cut my hair as low as possible and am now on the journey to locks. …

Dreadlocks Question: New Dread Journey Not rated yet
I've had an amazing journey with my hair. I have literally had every style except dreads until 5/17/2011.It has been my best decision to date I simply …

Dreadlocks Tips: Small Braids Micro Not rated yet
I always wanted Sisterlocks but was concerned about the price and how it will look afterwards. I had a girl who does my extentions to just try my own …

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Links (each opens a new window)

» Use snag-free elastics to avoid breaking your dreads
» Backcombing instructions

From this website

» Find out which shampoos are good for your do
» Wax On? Wax Off?
» Prepare your hair for dreadlocks with a transitioning approach

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