What Are the Different Types of Dreadlocks Hairstyles?

Karize Uy

Dreadlocks may already be a hairstyle on its own, but there is so much one can do with his “dreads.” Many dreadlocks hairstyles can accommodate long hair, short hair, and even curly hair. Dreadlocks can also be braided, twisted, and dyed, just like any other kinds of hairstyles.

Dredlocks were made popular by the late Bob Marley.
Dredlocks were made popular by the late Bob Marley.

One of the most common hairstyles to create with dreadlocks is the loose one, in which a person just lets his hair hang untied, very much popularized by the late musician Bob Marley. In Hinduism, this hairstyle is called “jata,” meaning “long locks,” and it is donned almost exclusively by Sadhus, or the mystics. Sometimes, the jata are so long that they reach below a Sahdu’s thighs, or even the ground. This kind of loose hairstyle lets the hairs “lock” or bond together naturally, resulting in a very uneven, natural-looking hairstyle.

One of the most common ways to create a dreadlock is to twist the hair.
One of the most common ways to create a dreadlock is to twist the hair.

One can form other hairstyles from the loose and long dreadlocks, such as the braided dreadlocks. This style is very easy, as the individual locks are just braided together to form thicker ones. Long dreadlocks can even be tied in a single bun by pulling the hair up like a ponytail, twisting or knotting the hair together to create an up-do. This look is very appropriate during formal occasions, especially for women. A more fun hairstyle would be the multiple buns, where one or two dreads are piled up and twisted together to form small buns on the head.

Another dreadlocks hairstyle is the “sisterlocks,” which is a thinner type of dreadlocks. Many regular styles contain an average of 10 to 50 locks of hair, but the sisterlocks style can make as many as 400 locks. Thin dreadlocks like these look very good when shoulder-length, as they are not as bulky as other options. The hairstyle can even be salon-permed to create more texture and personality in the style.

One of the more unusual dreadlocks hairstyles is the “crew-cut dreadlocks.” This hairstyle is very similar to the common crew cut, where the hair on both sides of the head is cut shorter or closer shaven than the hair on top. The difference is that the hair on the top is matted into dreadlocks. This hairstyle is ideal for men who want to have dreadlocks, but do not want to grow their hair long.

Different styles not only can be formed through braiding or twisting, but can also be created by coloring the locks. Usually, several locks are dyed into a lighter shade than the original hair color, just like highlights. Some adventurous people even use vibrant, yet subtle, colors, like deep purples and maroons, to dye their hair. Dyeing is a very easy and convenient way to style one’s dreadlocks if the person does not like to experiment with more braiding, twisting, or shaving.

Sisterlocks look good at a shorter length.
Sisterlocks look good at a shorter length.

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