How to get a dreadlock

How to Get a Dreadlock in 2024 – A Step-by-Step Guide

Is your everyday hairstyle becoming too casual and boring? Do you want to change to something trendier this year? Well, a dreadlock can be the answer for you.

Dreadlocks are like big, thick braids made of tangled hair. There are different ways to get dreadlocks. You can let your hair twist naturally and knot it together or twist it yourself to make these chunky, ropelike strands.

Throughout history, many cultures have worn dreadlocks for religious and cultural or only because they liked the fashion. Although this hairstyle is most commonly associated with curly and kinky hair types, you can still get it even if you have a different hair type. Dreadlocks can come in various sizes, lengths, and even styles.

Today, in this blog post, we’ll provide a thorough guide about how to achieve dreadlocks, what things to avoid, tips on how to have dreadlocks while maintaining them, and more. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about dreadlocks!

Which Equipment Do You Need to Create Dreadlocks?

Are you preparing to get your dreadlocks but don’t know which tools to keep in handy? Although it’s a fascinating journey, it’s as important to gather the right tools. If you have the proper equipment before starting the process, it can be smothered, and your dreads can be ensured to form correctly and healthily.

Let’s take a look at how to make dreadlocks with different tools –

1. Dreadlock Comb

Keep a metal fine-tooth comb or a dreadlock comb designed so you can pull and push hard. Then, Use the comb to section and backcomb your hair. Don’t use regular plastic combs; the bristles will bend and snap off before you finish getting your dreadlocks.

2. Dread Wax or Locking Gel

Choose a residue-free product to avoid buildup. Dread wax or locking gel can bind, tighten, and accelerate the locking process of new dreadlocks. It can also help hold your dreads in place during formation. These are best suited to afro or dry, coarse, curly hair types.

3. Rubber Bands

Use small but strong rubber bands that won’t be easy to break. Tying rubber bands can secure your sections of hair and can be really helpful during the initial forming process.

4. Crochet Hook

After backcombing a section of hair, use this crochet hook to pull in and condense the hair to make a dreadlock. These hooks can be used to tighten and maintain your dreads, especially at the roots. A 0.6mm or 0.75mm crochet hook can be perfect for getting mature and tight dreadlocks.

5. Dreadlock Shampoo

Use a natural, residue-free shampoo to keep your scalp and dreads clean. Make sure to choose a shampoo designed especially for dreadlocks, as it will keep your scalp and dreads clean without leaving any residue.

6. Dreadlock Conditioning Spray

Use a light, non-greasy formula. This can give a light, leave-in miracle moisturizer that de-frizzes, softens, smoothens, and strengthens dry locks that feel fuzzy or fragile. It can also leave them smelling really nice.

7. Sectioning Clips

Hair sectioning clips are really handy when you are cutting, styling, applying, and removing hair extensions. Their size allows you to take a large amount of hair and separate it into sections while you work. Use metal section clips to separate your sections while you work.

8. Mirror

Keep a handheld mirror and pair it with a wall-mounted mirror. This will allow you to see all angles of your head evenly and easily create neat dreadlocks.

9. Spray Bottle with Water

This keeps your hair damp while you’re backcombing and makes it easier to form dreads. You can mix a little sea salt into the water for better texture and hold. Other than this, there are also different dread sprays that can help.

How to Form Dreadlocks – 5 Effective Methods

Don’t know how to get dreadlocks in different ways? Creating dreadlocks is an art, and several methods exist to achieve your look. Every technique has benefits and a challenge, so choosing the one that best suits your hair type, lifestyle, and preferences is essential.

Here are five different methods to create dreadlocks, along with their pros and cons –

1. Backcombing

Backcombing is also known as teasing or ratting. It is a traditional method in which you must section your hair and repeatedly comb it towards your scalp. It makes your hair tangle and knot up. Then, you must twist your hair and apply dread wax to hold the stage.

Here are some pros and cons of this method -


  • Backcombing can help you create neat and uniform dreads.
  • This method is suitable for most hair types.
  • This method also gives you control over the dread size and placement.


  • This method is time-consuming.
  • Sometimes, backcombing can be painful and cause scalp irritation.
  • This method requires regular maintenance to tighten dreads.

2. Twist and Rip Method

This method is a way of matting up your hair without using any comb. In this method, you must split your hair strands into two and then twist them. Then, pull each side of the strands backwards in a ripping motion toward the head till it knots up.

And then roll them with your palm to shape the dread. Here are some of the pros and cons -


  • The twist and rip method is quick. It is also easy to learn.
  • This method causes less damage to the scalp than backcombing.
  • This method is suitable for straight and wavy hair, so you don’t have to worry about not having curly or kinky hair.


  • In this method, you don’t have control over the size of the dreads. So, it may be uneven.
  • This method requires frequent maintenance.
  • This method can result in loose hairs that need to be incorporated.

3. The Freeform Method

The freeform method lets you grow the freeform dreads, also known as the neglect dreads. It is a natural method where you stop brushing your hair and let it separate into natural locks. Let your hair grow and tangle on its own without any interference.

It allows your dreads to form organically. Let’s see the pros and cons -


  • In this method, you need minimal maintenance.
  • This method gives your dreadlocks a natural and authentic appearance.
  • With this method, you don’t need any special tools or products.


  • In this method, your dreadlocks will take a long time to form fully.
  • This method prevents you from predicting the results and dread sizes beforehand.
  • In this method, your hair can look messy during the formation period.

 4. Twisting Method

The twisting method for creating dreadlocks is a widespread technique, and the process is the same as the name suggests. This method separates damp hair into sections with a locking gel and then twists the sections to encourage them to lock together.

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of this method –


  • This method is suitable for coarser, curly hair types.
  • This method is gentle on the scalp.
  • This also allows you to have control over your dread size and placement.


  • This method requires frequent twisting.
  • In this method, the dreads can unravel quickly in the early stages.
  • This method usually takes longer to lock fully compared to other methods.

5. Crochet Hook Method

As the name goes by, you need a crochet hook here. In this method, you need to push a crochet hook into the dread about halfway, then pull it back and knot it. It creates tight, mature-looking dreads instantly.

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of the crochet hook method -


  • This method reduces instant, tight dreads.
  • This method creates less frizz and loosens your hair.
  • This method is suitable for all types of hair.


  • This method requires skill and precision.
  • This method can be time-consuming.
  • In this method, there’s a risk of damage if done incorrectly.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Prepare Dreadlocks

Don’t know how to do dreadlocks step by step for the perfect outcome? Preparing your dreadlocks is essential and can impact the quality and longevity of your dreads. Before starting, take the time to prepare your hair and scalp, as it can make a world of difference.

Here are the steps to get dreadlocks-

Step 1: Cleanse Your Hair Thoroughly

Wash your hair with a clarifying shampoo and remove any dirt, oil, or residue to form your dreads properly and prevent issues like mould or odour. Avoid using conditioner or other products that may leave residues, hindering the locking process.

Step 2: Dry Your Hair Completely

Ensure your hair is dehydrated before starting the process, as damp hair can lead to mildew and an unpleasant smell in your dreads. Air dry for the best results, but you can use a blow dryer on a low heat setting if needed.

Step 3: Section Your Hair

Divide your hair into sections using section clips or rubber bands to make the dread size uniform and get a neater look. Use a comb to create sections based on your desired dread size. If you want thinner dreads, go for smaller sections, and if you want thicker dreads, go for larger sections.

Step 4: Trim Split Ends

Trim any split ends before you start the process to ensure your hair is more robust and can make more uniform dreadlocks. If you’re unsure about cutting your hair, you can also visit a professional stylist for a quick trim.

Step 5: Choose the Right Products

Make sure to select residue-free dread wax, gels, or locking creams designed for dreadlocks for the initial formation and maintenance of your dreads. Look for natural, organic products to avoid chemical buildup.

Step 6: Prepare Your Scalp

Massage your scalp and ensure it’s moisturized and healthy, as it can promote better growth and stronger dreads. Use natural oils like coconut or jojoba oil sparingly to avoid greasy buildup.

Step 7: Gather Your Tools

Keep all the necessary tools handy, like the comb, section clips, rubber bands, and any products you plan to use. Having everything at hand will make the process smoother and more efficient. Don’t forget to double-check that your tools are clean and in good condition to prevent complications.

Step 8: Set Aside Enough Time

Make sure you have ample time dedicated to the process without any interruptions. Getting your dreadlocks done is a time-consuming process that requires patience and attention to detail. Plan for several hours, especially if you plan to do it on your own rather than going to a loctician.

How do you do Dreadlocks without any mistakes? – Things to Avoid

In this exciting and transforming process, some common pitfalls can hinder your progress or damage your hair. Don’t know how to get dreadlocks without making any kind of mistakes?

Well, here are some key facts that you need to avoid –

  • Avoid using a conditioner or residue-heavy products. It can make your hair slippery and difficult to knot.
  • Don’t wash your hair too frequently, as it can hinder the locking process by loosening the knots and tangles.
  • Don’t skip the drying process. It can lead to mildew, mould, and an unpleasant odour.
  • Don’t overdo the tightening or twisting of your hair. It can cause hair breakage and scalp irritation.
  • Don’t neglect your scalp health. Neglecting it can lead to dandruff, itching, and other scalp issues and affect the health of your dreads.
  • If you’re using rubber bands, don’t leave them in your hair for too long or tie them too tightly. It can lead to hair breakage and weak spots in dreads.
  • Avoid using excessive wax. While it can help hold dreads in place, too much wax can lead to buildup and attract dirt to make your dreads feel sticky and heavy.

Opt for DIY or Salon – Which is Best for Your Dreadlocks?

Are you deciding whether to use the DIY method or visit the salon? Both options have advantages and disadvantages. Take a look and select the perfect choice for yourself!

DIY Dreadlocks

Doing your dreadlocks alone can be rewarding and create a personal experience. Let’s check the pros and cons of doing your dreadlocks by yourself –


  • You can save money by not paying for professional services.
  • You can control the process thoroughly and create dread that perfectly matches your style.
  • You can work on your locs at your own pace and schedule.


  • Getting your locs can be complex and requires practice to perfect the technique.
  • You may encounter issues like uneven dreads or improper sectioning without professional guidance.
  • The process can be physically demanding and time-consuming, especially if you have long or thick hair.

Salon Dreadlocks

If you want a professional dreadlocks in Calgary, it can also offer many benefits, especially if you’re new or want a polished look. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons –


  • Experienced professionals have the skills and knowledge to create well-formed dreadlocks.
  • They can customize the process to your hair type and desired style.
  • It also takes less effort for you. You can relax and let the professionals handle the intricate work.


  • These services can be expensive.
  • You need to align your schedule with the salon’s availability.
  • You have less control over the process.

Don’t Know How to Maintain Your Dreadlocks?

Maintaining them can seem daunting at first, but if you have the proper routine to care for them, you can keep them looking neat and healthy.

Here are some tips to help you maintain your dreadlocks with ease –

  1. Wash your dreadlocks every 1-2 weeks with a residue-free shampoo. Gently squeeze the shampoo through your dreads and rinse thoroughly. Avoid using conditioners as they can loosen the dreads.
  2. Make sure your dreadlocks are completely dry after washing. Use a towel to blot excess water and let your dreads air dry, or use a blow dryer in a low heat setting.
  3. Palm roll or twist your dreadlocks regularly to maintain their shape and tighten the roots.
  4. Moisturize your scalp with natural oils like jojoba or tea tree oil.
  5. Twist your dreadlocks as needed, but avoid doing it too frequently. Over-twisting can cause hair breakage and thinning at the roots.
  6. Cover your dreadlocks with a silk or satin scarf, or use a silk pillowcase when sleeping. Ensure your dreads are dry before covering them to avoid mildew growth.
  7. If you prefer professional care, schedule regular maintenance sessions. Professional maintenance can help address any issues and keep your dreads looking their best.
  8. Keeps your loose hair back into the dreads using a crochet hook.

Myths and Misconceptions on Dreadlocks

Many people often misunderstand people with dreadlocks. Numerous myths and misconceptions can create confusion and deter some people from embracing this hairstyle.

Here are some of them –

Dreadlocks Are Dirty

Many people believe that dreadlocks are inherently dirty or unhygienic. In reality, they can be as clean as any other hairstyle.

Dreadlocks Are Permanent

There’s a common belief that you can never return to your natural hair once you get dreadlocks. Well, removing dreadlocks can be a lengthy process, but it is possible. Dreads can be combed out with patience and the right products.

Dreadlocks Are Only for Certain Hair Types

Some think that only people with naturally kinky or curly hair can have dreadlocks. But in reality, dreadlocks can be created for all hair types. The method and maintenance may vary, but anyone can achieve dreadlocks with the proper technique and care.

Dreadlocks Form Naturally Without Any Maintenance

There’s an assumption that once dreadlocks are formed, they don’t require any maintenance. But no, dreadlocks need regular care to maintain their shape and health.

Dreadlocks Damage Your Hair

Some people believe that creating and maintaining dreadlocks will damage their hair. But if it is appropriately done, dreadlocks can be a healthy hairstyle. However, improper techniques or neglect can lead to issues like breakage or thinning.

Dreadlocks Are a Result of Neglect

Many think that dreadlocks are simply a result of not brushing or caring for one’s hair. While freeform dreadlocks can form naturally over time, most are created through intentional methods that require time and effort.

While these are the most common misconceptions, there are many other misconceptions that you will find from different people.

 Key Takeaways

Creating and maintaining dreadlocks is a unique and rewarding journey that requires understanding, patience, and proper care. Here are the key takeaways to keep in mind:

1. Preparation is Crucial

Cleanse, prepare, and gather the right tools. Start with clean, healthy hair to ensure the best results. Avoid conditioners and residue-heavy products that can hinder the locking process.

2. Choose the Right Method

Understand your options and choose from various methods, such as backcombing, twist and rip, freeform, twisting, and the crochet hook. If needed, seek professional help.

3. Maintenance is Key

Clean your dreadlocks every 1-2 weeks with a residue-free shampoo to keep them fresh and healthy. Dry thoroughly, care for your scalp, avoid over-twisting, and protect while sleeping.

4. Avoid Common Mistakes

Steer clear of myths. With the right care, dreadlocks can be clean, healthy, and professional. They are not limited to specific hair types or cultures. Also, remember to use the correct methods.

5. Cultural Respect

Understand the cultural significance of this hairstyle and respect their origins. Education and appreciation can enhance your dreadlock journey.


As you can see, achieving and maintaining beautiful dreadlocks requires time and dedication. So, stay consistent with your care routine for the best results.

We hope this comprehensive guide can help you answer the questions about how to get dreadlocks, choose the perfect method, and prepare for your dreadlocks! If you need further guidance on obtaining the ideal dreadlocks, visit Radiance Beauty Inc.

We provide loc extensions to help you achieve your loc dreams quickly. We also have teams of professionals that allow people to maintain their dreadlock extensions. Join us to make your dreadlocks dream come true and bring a luscious volume to your hair!

 Frequently Asked Questions

1. Are dreadlocks permanent?

Dreadlocks can be permanent if you maintain it well. Once your hair is locked together, you can’t comb it out without cutting the hair or using different chemicals to loosen the hair. But with time, if you don’t take proper care and never moisturize your hair, your locs may end up loose, which will be easy to comb and reduce the duration of your dreadlocks.

2. How fast do dreadlocks grow?

Dreadlocks don’t affect hair growth. So, in the growth process, the hair you shed and the hair that breaks at the ends due to manipulation stays retained within the loc. So, if you take proper care and avoid harmful practices, your locks can potentially grow up to 5 – 6 inches in a year.

3. Can people with straight hair get dreadlocks?

Absolutely! Having straight hair doesn’t mean you can’t get dreadlocks. Many methods can help you get your hair dreaded, such as the twist–and–rip method and backcombing.

4. Is it painful to start dreadlocks?

Getting dreadlocks is like having too many small ponytails on your head. Dreadlocks need to be tied to your head tightly, which you are not used to. So, in the beginning, your scalp may be sore for some days. But with care and patience, it’ll be alright.

5. Do dreadlocks cause hair damage?

If your hair is long, the weight of the dreadlocks can damage your locks near the roots. So it’s better to keep the hair short. Other than that, there are also different hairstyles that you can avoid to reduce the damage, such as – twisted hair, tight ponytails, etc.

6. Can anyone start dreads?

Yes, anyone can get dreads. While some hair types, like curly or kinky, will be easier and take less time to get dreads, others can get it with patience and care.

7. How long do starter dreads take?

Different factors, such as your hair’s textures, volume, maintenance routine, and hair growth rate, can decide the timeline for getting your dreads. But it usually takes 3 to 12 months for them to start locking.

8. Can I shower with dreadlocks?

If you have just done your dreads, avoid getting your hair wet for at least 2 – 4 weeks, as it may loosen your hair and damage the neat look of your dreads. But after that period, you can do anything with your regular hair, whether taking a shower or swimming, etc.

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