45 Great Ways to Style and Maintain Your Dreadlocks

Unique ways to style your dreads.

Dreadlocks–aka dreads or locs–is a ropelike hairstyle, achieved by braiding and matting sections of hair. This style dates back as far as 2,500 BCE. It’s said to be worn by various religions and cultures, but the first written evidence of dreadlocks is in India’s Verdic scriptures. Later on, dreadlock hairstyles were found in Ancient Egypt too.

It’s no surprise that dreadlocks have been around for a very long time. Over the years, this hairstyle has evolved, and we’ve so many new variations: Dreadlock updos, braided locs, and even colorful locs. But we’re going to be breaking everything down, from how to even get dreadlocks in the first place and how to maintain them to best-looking styles and products for your locs.

  • Best Looking Dreadlock Styles
  • How to Do Dreadlocks
  • How to Maintain Your Dreadlocks
  • Best Products for Dreadlocks

 

dreadlocks styles angled bob
Keep your dreadlocks short and with a touch of color this summer.

1. Short Dreads

We love how a shorter dread looks fetching right at the chin or on an angle. Another way to wear your shorter dreads is to enhance this look with a touch for color. Red looks particularly fetching on brown or black hair. Keep your short dreads clean and your scalp moisturized with an anti-dandruff shampoo and conditioner duo. We love Dove Dermacare Scalp Soothing Moisture Anti-Dandruff Shampoo and Conditioner for the job!

dreadlock styles fishtail braid
Who said you can’t braid dreads? This fishtail braid on dreadlocks hairstyle is great for any occasion.

2. Braided Dreadlocks

Have a lot of hair and can’t bear the big chop? We totally feel you as you search for options to styling your dreadlocks. One look we love is the braided dreadlocks where you can twist and contort your hair into the latest plait. Looks pretty stunning with a fishtail braid, right?

dreadlock hairstyles updo
The top knot style is a polished way to wear your textured locs.

3. Dreadlock Updo

Another way to get your dreadlocks out of your face, while still maintaining the style is to wrap them up. We love the look of a twisted updo where you can show-off the incredible collection of coils and dimension in your hair.

South African Dreadlocks
Try a more defined dreadlock!

4. South African Dreadlocks

Try this skinnier, more defined dreadlock style!

long dread locks

5. Long Dreadlocks

Long locs make a statement! Try growing them out!

dreadlock style for weddings
You can’t go wrong with an updo for a wedding!

6. Dreadlock Style fro Weddings

Need a more formal hairstyle for a wedding? Try twisting your dreadlocks into a big bun!

DIY Dreadlocks
Do your own dreadlocks!

7. DIY Dreadlocks

Try doing your dreadlocks yourself! This gives you complete control to decide how you’d like them.

Curly Dreadlocks
Wear your locs curly for a standout look! Photo Courtesy of Andre Adjahoe.

8. Curly Dreadlocks

Use rollers to curl your dreadlocks! This adds a unique twist to the style, which you don’t see very often.

Dreadlock Ponytail

9. Dreadlock Ponytail

Need a quick and easy way to keep your dreadlocks out of your face? Hold them back with a ponytail, it’s seriously that easy!

Two Strand Dreadlock Twists
A unique take on dreads!

10. Two-Strand Twist Dreadlock

Do you want more a stylized dreadlock? Try a two-strand twist version!

Fancy Dreadlocks
Updos are perfect for any fancy occasion.

11. Fancy Dreadlocks

A unique dreadlock updo is a perfect style for any fancy occasion!

Professional Dreadlocks
A very put-together locs style!

12. Professional Dreadlocks

So, maybe you work in an office setting and need to look professional, but don’t want to sacrifice your precious dreadlocks? This skinnier, tight dreadlocks style is great for a put-together look!

Crochet Dreadlocks
You can literally use a crochet hook for this.

13. Crochet Dreadlocks

Yes, you can literally use a crochet hook to install and maintain this type of dreadlock. Try this crochet dreads for a unique approach to this popular style.

Dreadlock Weave
This lets you try so many styles!

14. Dreadlock Weave

If you want to try dreadlocks, but don’t want to fully commit, get a dreadlock weave! This allows you to test out the style, but it can also easily be removed if you end up not liking it.

Short Dreaded Braids
A more put-together dread!

15. Short Dread Braids

Creating a dreadlock with a braid will make it look a little more put-together. Plus, it’ll add additional texture!

Elegant Dreadlocks
You can never go wrong opting for mid-length dreads.

16. Elegant Dreadlocks

Opting for mid-length dreadlocks is a great option when you’re looking for an elegant style. You’re able to do updos still, but the length is still manageable.

Layered Dreadlocks
Add movement to your hair!

17. Layered Dreadlocks

Adding layers to your dreadlocks can help create more movement in your hair. Your hair also won’t feel as weighed down, which is great if you have longer locs.

Pin Up Dreadlocks
Definitely a go-to dreadlock style.

18. Pin-Up Dreadlocks

Not sure how to style your dreadlocks for the day, or want to keep them out of your face? Try this pinning them up with a top knot updo.

Thin Dreadlocks
Dreadlocks can be any thickness.

19. Thin Dreadlocks

Do you want a more discreet dreadlock style, or just don’t want to deal with thick dreadlocks? Try a thinner option!

Thick Dreadlocks
Photo courtesy of @TaylorCKT1

20. Thick Dreadlocks

Creating thick dreadlocks is a great way to amp up the volume of your dreadlocks

dreadlock hairstyles fake dreadlocks
There’s no pressure to commit to dreadlocks when you can create fake dreadlocks!

21. Faux Dreads

If you want to try out the dreaded look temporarily, try out some faux locs. This look involves teasing and intertwining your hair to create twists. This Twist & Rip method creates a knotty texture and using a gel, like TRESemmé TRES Two Ultra Firm Control Gel, keeps your temporary locs in place. Check out our full fake dreadlock tutorial for more step-by-step details.

Goddess Locs

22. Goddess Locs

Goddess locs are a type of faux loc has an open-end. It’s perfect if you want to try out the style without damaging your own hair.

Sister Locs
This is a great option for a thinner version!

23. Sister Locs

Sister locs is a great of dreadlocks to wear if you want to try out a thinner style.

Bohemian Dreadlocks
You can never go wrong with a boho vibe.

24. Bohemian Dreadlocks

Add beads or a fun color for a boho twist on a classic dreadlock.

Crochet Locs
Crochet hooks can be used to install and maintain locs. Photo courtesy of @boholocs.

25. Crochet Goddess Dreadlocks

There are multiple ways to install faux dreadlocks in your hair. One way to do this style is with a crochet hook!

Short Faux Locs
You can try faux locs in any length.

26. Short Faux Locs

Looking to try some faux locs before committing to the style? From wait length to a bob, you can wear faux locs at any length. Try a short length for a versatile look!

Starter Locs
Everyone has to start somewhere.

27. Starter Locs

If you’re just starting out your dreadlocks, it’s understandable that they’ll be on the shorter side. Even with starter locs, you can do so many hairstyles!

Blonde Faux Dreadlocks
Step out of your comfort zone!

28. Blonde Faux Dreadlocks

Want to step out of your comfort zone, but don’t want to fully commit just yet? Try blonde faux dreadlocks to test out the style!

Faux Bob
Opt for any length with faux locs!

29. Faux Locs Bob

Faux locs come in handy when you want to try out dreadlocks, but don’t want to commit to the style. The great part about this is being able to choose any length you want! So, why not go for the bob you’ve always wanted to try?

Faux Locs Wig
With a wig, you can try any dreads style! Photo courtesy of @Shanta_Katierra.

30. Faux Locs Wig

The great things about wearing a dreadlocks wig is having the freedom to constantly change up your style, so your options are endless!

Freeform Dreadlocks
When dreads begin to form naturally.

31. Freeform Dreadlocks

When dreadlocks begin to form naturally in your hair over time, you have a freeform dreads style! Take full advantage of this and start showing off a new dreadlock look.

Jumbo faux Locs
Opt for a jumbo loc!

32. Jumbo Faux Locs

Just like a faux locs bob, you might as well go big or go home when it comes to faux locs! Step out of your comfort zone and try jumbo faux locs!

Micro Locs

33. Micro Locs

Just starting your dreadlock journey or want an ultra-short look? Try micro locs!

Colored Faux Locs
The skies the limit when it comes to colorful faux locs!

34. Colored Faux Locs

The great thing about faux locs is that you can try any color you want, and don’t have to worry about damaging your actual hair!

Red Faux Locs
Switch up your color!

35. Red Faux Locs

Getting bored with your locs? Change up your look by dying your locs red!

Faux Locs With Curly Ends
Leave some curls at the end of your locs!

36. Faux Locs With Curly Ends

Want to embrace your natural texture? Keep the ends of your faux dreads curled for a fancier looking dread.

Ombré Dreadlocks
Add some dimension with a ombré hue!

37. Ombré Faux Locs

Do you have long dreadlocks? Add dimension to your look by opting for an ombré hue.

High Top Dreadlocks
A great updo option!

38. High Tops Dreads Style

Dreadlocks can be heavy. If you want your hair off your neck, but don’t feel like wearing a bun or ponytail, try a high top style.

Dreadlock Twist Style

39. Dread Twist Style

Try twisting thinner dreadlocks for a unique style!

Dread Bun Style
This bun will make a statement!

44. Dread Bun Style

Create a bun that stands out, by twisting your dreads into a top knot!

40. Dread Fade Styles

 

Dreadlock Wrap Style
Dress up your locs with a scarf!

41. Dread Wrap Style

If you’re not sure how to wear your dreadlocks for the day, try dressing them up with a scarf!

Crinkle Dreads
Add quirkiness to your dreads! Photo courtesy of @boholocs.

42. Crinkle Dreads

If you want to do something a little unique and quirky with your dreadlocks, try a crinkled style!

Dyed Dreads Style
Switch up your style with a new color! Photo courtesy of @shanta_katierra.

43. Dyed Dreads Style

If you’re looking for a way to change up your dread style, try dying your hair! Switching the color can make a huge difference in your look.

Medium Dread Styles
Can’t beat a mid-length style! Photo courtesy of Tarzine Jackson.

44. Medium Length Dreadlock Hairstyle

Mid-length hair is actually the best length to use when it comes to creating dreadlocks!

Rasta Dreads
Embrace your dreads and let them grow long.

45. Rasta Dreads Style

Dreadlocks are extremely symbolic to Rastafarians. They believe their hair is their strength, and also their weakness if it’s cut off.

How to Do Dreadlocks

When you decide you want dreadlocks, you’re probably wondering, “Where do I even start?” You can achieve this style in a variety of ways: Backcombing, twist and rip, twisting, and brush rubbing. But the most popular way to do this style is by backcombing. Follow the steps below to learn how you backcomb your way to dreadlocks!

Step 1

Start by washing your hair with a clarifying shampoo and then letting it dry. We love Suave Essentials Daily Clarifying Shampoo because it deep cleans your hair without stripping away the moisture.

 

Step 2

After your hair is all cleaned and dry, section off 1-inch pieces with hair elastics. Continue this step until all of your hair is sectioned off.

Step 3

Once all of your hair is sectioned off, begin removing one elastic and a time and teasing (aka backcombing) that section of hair. It’s best to start by backcombing 1/2 inch sections of hair at a time, so you achieve a tighter dread.

Step 4

Now that you have a backcombed section of hair, secure one elastic at the root of the section and one at the end. Next, take about a dime-sized amount of wax and begin to roll the section of hair to form the dread. We love the AXE Messy Look Matte Wax because it gives you hold and structure without making your hair stiff. After the dread is rolled and set in place you can remove the elastics.

Step 5

Repeat steps three and four on all sections of hair. Once you’ve completed that, you’ll have a head full of dreads!

How to Maintain Your Dreadlocks

Maintaining your dreadlocks is actually easier than you think. The longer you have your dreads, the less maintenance they’ll require overtime. Keep scrolling to find out how you can maintain this popular style!

Keep Clean

Your dreadlocks can easily pick up lint and debris, it’s critical that you keep your dreads clean. It’s recommended that shampoo your dreads every 2-4 days. This is also essential because clean hair will lock and tighten faster than dirty hair.

Re-Twist

After washing your dreadlocks, they may loosen up at first. You don’t need to re-twist your dreadlocks every single time you shampoo your hair, but re-twisting every other time will do the trick!

To re-twist your dreads, use the same wax as before and begin to twist the dread again. Once it’s completely twisted, pin the dread for at least three hours so it can dry and set in place.

Keep Locs Smooth

The last step for maintaining your dreadlocks is to fix any loose hairs that might come up from either washing or general wear over time. This can be done by using a loose hair tool.

To use this tool, insert it about 2-inches away from the loose hair, and make sure it’s through the dread. Next, use the latch to pull the loose hair into the dread and through the middle. Once the hair is inserted in the dread, push the tool forward and out of the dread.

Best Products for Dreadlocks

When wearing your dreadlocks, it’s important to make sure you’re using the right products and caring for them properly. It can be tricky to decide what exactly you should be using on your locs, so keep scrolling to find out the best products for your dreads!

Wash and Condition

Just like you would regular loose hair, it’s important that you wash your dreadlocks on a regular basis. You should be washing them at least every two weeks. We love the Suave Sulfate-Free Cleansing Shampoo and Suave Moisturizing Curl Conditioner set because the formula is infused with natural shea butter and coconut oil, which will help keep your locs moisturized and frizz-free.

Keep Your Locs and Scalp Moisturized

It’s important to make sure your locs don’t get too brittle. If they become very dry, they can break off overtime.  Use a spray like The Good Stuff Frizz Control Oil to maintain the health of your dreadlocks.

While you’re keeping your dreads healthy and moisturized, you can’t forget about your scalp. Ensuring your scalp maintains its moisture is very important too. Use  Love Beauty & Planet Lavender & Argan Natural Oil Infusion to moisturize your scalp about every three days. We love this oil because it will also help reduce frizz in your hair.