So you’re thinking about getting dreadlocks. Congratulations and welcome to the club! You’ll love it! But everything has to start somewhere, right? So, how do you form these long strands or ropes of hair that we call dreadlocks? Does it take skill and practice? Can you do it yourself at home or do you need a professional to help you? How long does it take and what products should you use?
We’ll answer all these questions and more and provide you with awesome visual aids to help you learn how to do dreadlocks!
1. The Crochet or ‘Instant’ Method
Although many people think this is a maintenance method, they’re wrong. It can surely be used as a way to maintain your dreads if you have a bit of growth, but the instant or crochet method is primarily used to create dreadlocks from scratch. Here’s how you do it.
- Use the smallest and thinnest crochet or hook you can find.
- Section the hair in square or even diamond patterns if you’re more comfortable with that. The size of the section should depend on how thick you want your dreads to be.
- Comb twist the strands but be careful – don’t start right at the root and don’t go all the way to the tip of the hair.
- Take your hook and crochet each loc. Start in the middle of the strand and work your way toward the bottom. Remember that the hair needs to be dry for this part of the process.
- Round the tips in so that you don’t have any loose ends.
Attention – you can use a little bit of gel if that helps you loc the hair better but never any wax. Wax is responsible for residue on the dreadlocks that will then be very difficult to wash off.
2. How to Do Dreadlocks with Braids
Braids and locs go together like peanut butter and jelly. Although you should know that the best hair to use for both braiding and locking is natural hair, which has not been colored or treated in any way. That being said, let’s get down to business!
- First think about how you would like your braids to hang. If you have long hair, then just braid them exactly like you wear your hair. If your mane is medium to short, pull your locs to the back.
- Section the hair in a square pattern and comb each hair strand.
- Divide the hair strands in three and start braiding.
- Wrap a separate strand of hair around your braid.
3. How to Do Dreadlocks with the Two Strand Twist Method
This is another method that has been gaining a lot of traction in the past few years especially when it comes to natural black hair. Here’s how it goes. After you section the hair, divide each piece in three strands. You can use a bit of product such as oil, gel or loc cream to keep them moisturized.
Spin each strand counter-clockwise a few times and then pass it over the others one at a time. Repeat this process with every strand until you get to the bottom of the hairs. You’ll notice a thick spiral forming. That’s your dreadlock!
4. The Comb Twist Method
This might just be the easiest way to create locs yet. This is all you need to do.
- Separate the hair into strands.
- Wet each strand with a bit of gel to moisturize it and make it easier to work with.
- Catch a strand in the head of a rat-tail comb and twist it in a clock-wise motion.
- Pull all the way to the tips of the hair as you are twisting.
5. The Twist and Rip Method
Don’t let the name of this method scare you away. There isn’t any ripping involved. Actually, this is also called the twist and pull method and here’s how you do it.
- Make sure your hair is washed and dried.
- Section it as small or thick as you want.
- Separate each section into two strands.
- Lightly twist the two strands around each other and then immediately pull them apart.
- This, in time will create a series of tangled knots starting with the basis of the hair and continuing all the way down the length of the hair.
- When you’re done, palm roll each dread to make sure it stays in place.
6. How to Do Dreadlocks with Backcombing
This is the method most Caucasians like to use because they typically have straight hair and this is a process that requires you to tease the hair up, as you will see.
Hold a strand of hair with one hand and with the other use a dread comb to push all the hair back up toward the scalp. The motions need to be short, of about three inches. If too much hair rises up at once, stop and pull it back down. Slowly you will see that a knotted rope is forming in your hair.
7. The Freeforming Method
Freeforming also means allowing your dreadlocks to grow in a completely organic way without you or anyone else working on them or interfering mechanically to shape them. In other words, you can get them started by never detangling your hair again after you washed it and let it dry. Or, maybe you can use a small curl sponge and still allow them to form on their own.
It is a simple method, but it does have one major inconvenience. You can never tell exactly how your locs will turn out since you don’t want to work on them yourself.
8. The Interlocking Method
Last but definitely not least on our list is the interlocking method. This one will require a tool such as a hook or a locking needle and some skill. So get ready!
- Section your hair and moisturize your roots.
- Run the tip of your strand of hair through the locking needle.
- Create an opening at the basis of your strand of hair close to the scalp.
- Pull the locking needle with the strand still attached to it through the hole you’ve just created. Repeat this process until you create the whole dreadlock.
The most important thing to remember is that there is no one correct way to do locs. How to do dreadlocks depends a lot on your needs, the length of your hair, its texture, what type of dreads you would like to have and what attracts you the most. Therefore, it’s crucial that you’re educated on all of them but choose the one that’s right for you!