Fake Dreads: An In-Depth Tutorial for How to Create Fake Dreads

Feeling irie? Get ready to rock some 'locks!


Dreadlocks are matted ropes of hair that are deliberately twisted or sculpted. Not only a hairstyle, this look is also often connected as a style that has a deep religious and political background. Christian ascetics, Hindu holy men and women and of course, Rastafarians all have a rich history with this hairstyle, which was a symbol of their beliefs and philosophies.

Those with natural hair achieve the look with relatively simple twisting and coiling of locks of hair. Other hair types have resorted to what’s being called fake dreads, or creating dreadlocks on straight hair, which involves quite a lot of backcombing for texture.

Fake dreads are a fun, easy way to try your hand at this unique-looking and culturally significant hairstyle, especially if you’re not born with natural, dread-friendly texture. Read on to see how you can start rocking fake dreads with a few simple texture hacks:


Start with clean hair.

Wash and dry hair with a nourishing system, such as Dove Regenerative Nourishment Shampoo and Dove Regenerative Nourishment Conditioner. It’s best to start with freshly cleaned hair, so the shaft has some just-washed fluffiness. This is better for texture and will ensure your strands aren’t yet completely coated with oils from your scalp.


Backcomb small sections.

First prep hair with a hair gel or texturizing product. We like how one quarter-sized drop ofTRESemmé Ultra Firm Control Gel on our entire lengths can give just the right amount of traction. Next, divide hair into small sections (it doesn’t have to be super-precise), and, using a fine-toothed or rat-tail comb, begin to tease. Backcomb the hair from the tip to the root, until you see visible cowlicks and some splaying. Be as gentle as you can!


Twist backcombed sections into ropes.

Twist the freshly teased section until it resembles a thin rope.


Begin ripping.

(It’s not as brutal as it sounds.) Called the Twist & Rip method, this entails you to alternately split up or “rip” each rope as you twist, effectively locking some knot-like texture in place as you move down the rope.


Continue till the ends.

Continue alternately twisting and splitting the roped section till the tips. You will now have a rough-feeling rope at this point.


Repeat on all sections.

Repeat this process on all sections of your hair. You may want to temporarily clamp the upper half of your hair away from your face for easier access to your bottom layers.


Unclamp your crown area.

After all of your bottom layers form rough ropes, free up the hair at your crown and begin to work on those top layers. It’s up to you how tight or near your scalp you want your twists to start!



Finish off by twisting and ripping all your sections, and you’re all set to work those fake dreads!