How Do I Choose the Best Dreadlocks Hairstyle?

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  • Written By: Kay Paddock
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Images By: Marcell Dietl, Bst2012
  • Last Modified Date: 10 September 2019
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Dreadlocks are coils, clumps or ropes of hair that stay together to form a distinctive hairstyle. The best dreadlocks hairstyle will depend on your hair's length, how you want to create the locks and how you want them to look. There are three basic types of dreadlocks to choose from: cultivated, freeform and organic. Cultivated dreadlocks may need to be created at a salon for the best results. Freeform and organic locks can typically be created without professional help.

Backcombing, waxing, twisting and other techniques are generally used to create cultivated dreadlocks from any length of hair. This is a popular dreadlocks hairstyle in which the locks are created evenly over the head in about the same length and shape. A uniform look can be created if you want to pull the locks back into a ponytail or style them in some other way. Cultivated dreads can take from a couple of hours to several hours to create, depending on the length of your hair and the styling method.


Your hair's texture can help you choose the best cultivated dreadlocks method to use. Hair that is kinky or naturally coiled can be styled with any of the several methods used to make locks. This type of hair generally mats easily. Straight hair or hair that does not tend to mat can be styled in dreadlocks through braiding or weaving. Interlocking the hair using these techniques will help the hair rub together and start to mat naturally over time.

The dreadlocks style known as freeform can take six months or longer to create. After washing your hair, let it separate into natural clumps and clusters. Squeeze these sections of hair together to separate them a little from the rest. Eventually, you should notice the hair starting to mat. This starts the freeform dreadlocks hairstyle, which should mat fully after several months.

An organic dreadlocks hairstyle is done in a similar way. Instead of separating hair into its natural parts and clusters, you can simply leave it alone after washing. Frequent hair washing can speed the matting process, which can take from several months to a few years. Naturally coiled and kinky hair will generally start to lock faster than straight hair. Short hair may respond to the freeform or organic dreadlocks hairstyle much faster than longer hair, though the texture of the hair is an important factor, too.

Both men's dreadlocks and women's dreadlocks can be created in any of these styles. The organic and freeform dreadlocks hairstyles both have a natural and unstyled look during the long period while the locks are forming. Cultivated locks may be best for you if you want to have a dreadlocks hairstyle without the wait. The locks can still take weeks before they are completely set, but they will usually look almost the same the day you get them as they will weeks later.


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