Tutorial: How to Make Dreadlocks

Create dreads at home with this simple tutorial.

Believe it or not, dreads can be achieved on all hair types. What started in Rastafarian culture has now transitioned to the mainstream with an ever-evolving set of “locs” that are adorned by both men and women. Renowned for the look of having sculpted ropes of long hair that are matted and formed together, this style naturally forms on its own as it creates different looks over the course of time. Whether you’re loc-curious or want to know how to master the roping phase, we can show you exactly how to make dreadlocks.

Check out our super easy tutorial to help you create your very own stylish dreadlocks:

How to make dreadlocks with charms
Dreads can be also started with braids as opposed to twists. Accessorize your locks with hair charms to add a touch of glam.

Ed’s Note: Have patience with this style as dreadlocks take time to form. The formation of the locs can vary from eight months to a year or more. During this time, strands of hair grow and mat into each other, similar to the formation of a tangle. Loc-ing straight or wavy hair may even take up to two years.

You can begin your dreadlocking process using either coils or braids. We’re keeping this how to make dreadlocks tutorial simple with the use of a twist. This method can be done on all hair types. Let’s begin!  

Step 1: Start with clean hair.

When wondering how to make dreadlocks, start with freshly washed and product-free hair. Use a shampoo and conditioner duo that will rid your hair from residue while adding moisture to your hair like SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine Shampoo and Conditioner.  Ready to make a dreadlock? Don’t completely dry your hair. The best way how to make dreadlocks is with damp hair.  The hair must be damp in order for it to be seamlessly shaped into dreadlocks.

Step 2: Create your sections to make dreadlocks.

Still unsure how to make dreadlocks? Sectioning off your hair will make the process start to come together. Starting at the front hairline or nape, section-off hair in square shapes using any type of comb or your fingers. The size of each section can vary from 1 ½ inch areas or larger.

Step 3: Start twisting your hair.

To start the actual dreadlock, begin two-strand twisting your hair section by section. This is the most important step when figuring out how to make dreadlocks. You can place a rubber band or hair tie at the root to keep your sections in place.

When you’ve finished twisting, simply cut off the band or slide it down the section to remove. Twist-cross hair strands over each other in a downward motion, back and forth between your fingers, until you reach the ends.

Step 4: Remove rubber bands or hair ties.

Your entire head should now be covered in twists. If you used rubber bands or hair ties in the previous step, now is the time to remove them.

Step 5: Tease your hair.

For those who want a messier feel, use a fine-toothed comb to tease each twist upward in a gradual motion. As you tease each twist, pull the ends of the hair apart (i.e. split the very end of the twist into two). Then, twist the ends back into a two-strand twist. This can speed up the locking process, resulting in an instant dreadlock look.

When it comes to how to make dreadlocks, patience is key. As the hair begins to loosen throughout the days and months, simply twist the loose strands of hair around your locs-to-be. Only perform your loc-maintenance methods on damp hair as dry hair will lead to damage and breakage.

Try not to wash your hair for the first couple of weeks, as wetting and manipulating hair during washing can loosen up your twists. If you need something that will soak up oil in between washes, try a dry shampoo like Dove Detox + Purify Dry Shampoo or rinse, like SheaMoisture Moringa & Avocado Power Greens Hair Tea Rinse.