How to Dread Curly Hair Naturally

A common misconception is that dreadlocks are a ‘free-forming’ hairstyle that’s effortless and straightforward to grow and maintain.

Anyone with dreadlocks knows this is entirely false, especially those with curly hair. This hairstyle has a deep affiliation with Rastafarian and African religion and lifestyle, which means that the practice of dreading is something that takes time and attention.

Nonetheless, this guide is here to help those who have curly hair and want to know the best method of dreading it.

The Cultural Significance and History of Dreadlocks

Numerous cultures have commonly worn dreadlocks. In many cultures, these locks are a display of religious belief while other cultures wear these dreadlocks as a sign of ethnic pride.

Nonetheless, this hairstyle is also widely known as a simple fashion statement without fully understanding the cultural significance behind these locks. Several African ethnic groups continue to wear dreadlocks and the meaning behind this hairstyle differs from group to group.

The Maasai warriors are recognized for their thin red dreadlocks. This color is achieved by dying the hair with red ochre or root extracts. Shamans also wear these dreadlocks, which helps identify those who claim to speak to spirits and deities. However, the most well-known dreadlocks are those worn by Rastafarians. These locks symbolize the Lion of Judah.

Due to the rise in Reggae music, dreadlocks have been widely accepted into the world and have become a modern fashion statement.

This hairstyle is popular among rappers, athletes, musicians, and actors. You might wish to achieve this style, which is what brought you to my page. For this reason, I have put together a guide on how to naturally and effortlessly dread your curly hair. Continue reading to find out everything you need to know before dreading your curly hair.

How to Dread Your Hair

1. Step One

One massive advantage curly-haired people have when dreading their hair is that these curls allow the dreads to form more easily. This is because the dreads can curl around the cylindrical shape to produce dreadlocks. Now, this helps these locks to lock in place quicker. In addition to this, not as much wax or gel is needed to hold these dreads.

With that being said, the first thing you need to do is decide how big you would like your dreads to be. It’s crucial to understand that the smaller the section of hair you use, the thinner the dread is going to be. Most individuals decide to pick one- to two-inch parts. After choosing your desired size of dreadlock, you can go ahead and use a comb to section your hair accordingly.

2. Step Two

After sectioning your hair, you can begin the process of dreading your curly hair by making two-strand twists. This is done by taking one section in your hair and splitting it into two parts equally. Once you’ve done this, you can twist these pieces around one another. You can apply a little gel or wax to hold this twist in place. Making these twists takes advantage of your curly hair’s natural coil pattern and makes the process quicker.

You might decide that you don’t like the shape produced from this twisting. If this is the case, you can ignore this step and roll your hair into a dread-like shape instead. This is produced by palm rolling your hair. While performing this palm rolling, you can add a little wax or gel to your hair and roll this hair between the palms of your hands. After doing this, your hair is going to produce a cylindrical shape that takes the form of a dreadlock.

3. Step Three

From here, we recommend that you continue rolling or twisting the roots of your hair with your existing dreadlocks every three weeks or as your hair grows out. These twists or rolls are going to join with your dreadlocks that are forming and locking in place when you roll or twist your curly hair’s roots.

A rock girl with dreads

Useful Tips and Tricks

It’s crucial to note that the amount of time it takes for your dreads to ‘lock’ is going to vary from person to person. However, a general rule is between one to six months and is highly dependent on how soft and curly your hair is.

With that being said, there are some considerations you should understand before starting this process. We highly recommend that you avoid any petroleum-based waxes or beeswax when you start forming your dreads. This is because these products are known to hold dirt and can be challenging to wash out.

Recommended Products

Even though dreadlocks are a popular hairstyle, many common haircare product manufacturers don’t sell goods for developing dreadlocks. Due to this, most natural soaps and shampoos available on the market leave behind product build-up or undesirable fragrances.

To help prevent this problem, we suggest using shampoos and soaps that are residue-free. These are shampoos that actively clean between hair strands and work to remove most (if not all) residue. This results in your dreadlocks and scalp having a cleaner appearance. Such products are:

  • Dreadlock Shampoo from Dread Head
  • The Rasta Jamaican Mango and Lime Tingle Shampoo
  • Dollylocks Professional Liquid Shampoo with Organic Tea Tree Spearmint Extract

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to make dreadlocks uniform?

Making your dreadlocks uniform comes down to the technique you use. It’s vital that you tighten your new growth while using the same direction and technique. Maintaining uniform dreadlocks comes from applying a consistent process when your hair grows out. However, it’s also crucial to keep in mind that every dread is going to be somewhat different.

How long does my hair have to be to start forming dreadlocks?

The answer to this question mainly depends on how you choose to start your dreads. When twisting and palm rolling, you don’t require very long hair. Having shoulder-length hair (or even shorter) is going to work just fine if you want to have short dreadlocks.

Can you wash dreadlocks?

You should wash your dreadlocks regularly to ensure that dirt and odor are avoided. This is the same as washing loose hair. In addition to this, wetting your dreads encourages your hair to tangle more. This is helpful when forming dreads and getting these dreadlocks to ‘lock’ in place.


Hi I'm Hati and my hair is naturally very curly, obviously! I have started this blog to share curly hair stories and what I use to manage my own hair. Hopefully you will find it useful! My other main passions are food, art and animlas. I have a little cat who I love very much.

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