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How to Achieve Dreadlocks By Yourself: 3 Easy Methods

Ever stopped to admire real locs and wondered how the hair strands got locked? Perhaps, you saw someone rocking the hairdo and you felt like touching the locs. You must have even tried to grasp the process of how to achieve dreadlocks.

If you’ve experienced this, it’s normal.

It’s completely normal for dreadlocks hairstyles to fascinate people; especially those who are considering having the hairdo. And if you’re one of them, this article will show how to achieve dreadlocks hairstyles. So, be sure to save this page if you’ll like to do it yourself.

What are Dreadlocks?

Otherwise knows as dreads or locs, dreadlocks are strands of hair that look like ropes. They are formed by braiding, locking or matting the hair.

Materials Needed to Make Dreadlocks

Lady just finished dyeing her dreadlocks red
  • Fine toothed comb
  • Blow-dryer
  • Dread wax
  • Residue-free shampoo
  • Hair clips
  • Rubber bands

How to Make Dreadlocks

Lady with nose ring showing how to achieve dreadlocks

You love locs but keep wondering how to achieve dreadlocks yourself? Worry not. Just use any of these methods to make dreadlocks:

  • Twist and rip method
  • Backcombing method
  • Dread braiding method

Now let’s examine them one after the other.

1. Twist and Rip Method

When using this method, you’ll first of all have to divide your hair into sections. Then tie the different sections with a rubber band.

Afterwards, use the residue-free shampoo to wash your hair. Do this to get rid of dirt from your hair. But make sure the direction with which you apply the shampoo is uniform. That is, either clockwise or anti-clockwise. Once you’re done washing, let your hair air dry.

When your hair gets dry, rip the individual sections you initially parted and apply dread wax to them. Then roll each rip between your palms until they form dreads.

Once you do this, your hairstyle is ready to be rocked. You can as well leave the rubber bands to stay on your hair until your locs are a month old.

2. Backcombing Method

Like the twist and rip method above, you’ll have to wash your hair first for the backcombing method.

 After washing your hair with your residue-free shampoo, blow-dry it. When blow-drying, be sure to blow every part of your hair. This is necessary to ensure there is not one wet strand left.

Then section your hair in a horizontal manner. If the rest of your hair disturbs the process, use your hair clips to keep them in place.

Afterwards, from one part of your sectioned hair, pick some strands about an inch wide and begin to backcomb. Backcombing simply involves holding your hair and combing it towards your head to give it a bushier look. This will tangle your hair and achieve the foundation for your locs.

After backcombing, twist each sech section of backcombed hair to form a tight cylindrical shape and use a rubber band to secure the roots. Go ahead and apply dread wax on your fingers; working it down the length of your hair as you continue to twist. This will help to smoothen and unite each strand that may be loose.

Afterwards, roll each dread between your palms from tip to end. Do this until they feel tight between your palms. You should always roll your dreads between your palms. It is a good way to maintain your locs and keep them neat.

Finally, ensure the position of your locs are all uneven. This will ensure your scalp doesn’t look scanty and exposed. So, stagger the dreads all over your scalp to cover it and achieve that dense look.

3. Dread Braiding Method

Similar to the aforementioned methods, wash your hair with the shampoo to get rid of dirt and buildup. Then proceed to dry your hair and section it inch by inch. Braid each section and secure the ends with your rubber band. And finally, pick a braid, apply wax on it and roll it between your palms to achieve the locks. Do this repeatedly for all the braids.

How Long Does it Take to Start and Grow Dreads?

Lady making a dreadlock hairstyle

Depending on the growth phase of your hair, it could take between 10 months to two years to get your dreadlocks to the maturest stage. People have a different hair growth phase and while yours may be short, someone else’s may be quite long.

How to Take Care of Your Dreadlocks

Lady caring for her dreadlocks hairstyle

Once you’ve learnt and practised how to achieve dreadlocks, your next step is to maintain it. And to do this, you need to know how to take care of your dreads.

Well, it’s not difficult. Follow these simple steps:

1. Wear a Satin Hair Bonnet

At nighttime and when you wouldn’t step out, wear a satin hair bonnet or tie a silk scarf. This will help to retain moisture in your hair and ensure your locs stay neat.

2. Use Salt Water to Tighten Your Dreadlocks

Salt water is good for tightening your locs. To use, mix salt and water then store in a bottle and spritz on your hair whenever your locs feel loose.

3. Massage Your Head Regularly

Sometimes, it could get tiring carrying those dreads. When it feels like this, give your scalp a massage for about five to ten minutes. This will help you relax and combat irritation.

4. Use Dread Wax to Tighten New Growth

When your hair grows out of the locs, apply dread wax on your fingers and roll the locs between your palms to tighten them. Do this especially at the root.

5. Apply Natural Hair Products

Since your dreadlocks are natural, you should be careful of the products you use so as not to hamper the growth of your hair. Hence, use natural hair products that neither contain chemicals nor leave residue on your hair. This will ensure your dreadlocks are properly maintained.

6. Apply Tea Oil to Get Rid of Lice

If you don’t properly maintain your dreads, lice and other parasites may find abode in your hair. To prevent this, apply tea oil on your scalp and locs.

Usually, a loc is formed by leaving your hair to get tangled at the root and form knots. Irrespective of the method on how to achieve dreadlocks you go for, if done properly, you’ll get your chosen hairdo.

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Victoria B. Willie

Writing has always been a part of me. From writing stories as a young child to studying Communication Arts in the university, it has always been more than a medium of expression to me.

And then one day, I found myself toeing the path of an entrepreneur and becoming a fashion enthusiast. This made me develop an interest in content marketing and copywriting which I've been chasing alongside my fashion career.

That aside, when I'm not sharing style articles, selling with stories, or creating fashion-forward pieces for Ria Kosher, you'll find me telling wild stories that always come with a twist.

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