Dreads 101: Unlock The Secrets to This Effortless Hairstyle

by Maria Konou

In the realm of hairstyling, there are some looks that transcend time and trend. Dreads, also known as dreadlocks, are one such hairstyle. With roots dating back centuries and a contemporary presence that’s hard to ignore, dreadlocks offer more than just a way to wear your hair; they are a statement, a celebration of individuality, and an embodiment of self-expression. Today, we embark on a journey to unravel the secrets of dreads, exploring their charm, maintenance, and how to make them uniquely yours.

This is your ultimatre guide to getting, maintaining, and styling dreadlocks

braiding styles for dreads.jpg

What are Dreads?

Dreads are more than just a hairstyle; they are a form of self-expression and a statement of individuality. Often associated with various cultures and belief systems, dreadlocks are created by allowing the hair to mat and form into rope-like strands. This natural, low-maintenance style celebrates the beauty of embracing your hair’s unique texture and letting it shape itself over time.

They are created by allowing the hair to mat and form into rope-like strands

white woman with dreads

Cultural Significance of Dreads

Dreadlocks hold deep cultural and historical significance in various societies around the world. While the meaning and symbolism of dreads can vary among cultures, some common threads include:

  • Rastafarianism: Perhaps the most well-known association with dreadlocks is within the Rastafarian religion, which views dreadlocks as a symbol of faith, spirituality, and a connection to the divine. Rastafarians believe that dreadlocks represent the “Lion of Judah” and the biblical Nazarite vow.
  • African Traditions: In many African cultures, dreads have been worn for centuries and hold significance related to identity, spirituality, and social status. Dreadlocks have been associated with strength, wisdom, and ancestral connections.
  • Resistance and Rebellion: In some societies, particularly among marginalized or oppressed groups, dreadlocks have symbolized resistance, rebellion, and a rejection of mainstream norms and expectations.
  • Counter-Culture Movements: In the West, dreads have been adopted by various counter-culture movements, including the hippie movement of the 1960s and 1970s. Dreadlocks became a symbol of non-conformity and a rejection of societal norms.

It’s essential to approach dreads with respect for their cultural significance and to recognize that their meaning can vary widely among individuals and communities. Many people today wear dreadlocks simply as a personal style choice, but understanding their cultural roots adds depth and appreciation to this unique hairstyle.

Dreads have been associated with strength, wisdom, and ancestral connections

dreads styles updo inspo

Who Should Get Dreads?

Dreads are the epitome of versatility and inclusivity. They welcome anyone with open arms, regardless of age, gender, or background. If you’re someone who values embracing their unique charm and expressing themselves freely through their hairstyle, then dreadlocks might just be your calling. It’s a hairstyle that transcends societal norms and invites everyone to celebrate diversity and individuality.

Dreads are the epitome of versatility and inclusivity

female dreads hairstyle inspo

What Type of Face Do Dreads Suit the Most?

While dreads are incredibly versatile and universally flattering, certain face shapes tend to harmonize exceptionally well with this unique hairstyle.

  • Oval Faces: The balanced proportions of oval faces serve as a perfect canvas for dreadlocks. Dreads accentuate the natural contours of oval faces, adding a touch of elegance and highlighting the symmetry.
  • Heart-Shaped Faces: Dreads work wonders for heart-shaped faces by softening the wider forehead and enhancing the delicate chin. They add a romantic touch to the overall look, creating a harmonious balance.

However, the true beauty of dreadlocks is their innate ability to defy conventional norms. It’s not about adhering to strict guidelines; it’s about embracing your inner confidence and choosing the style that resonates with your heart and soul.

The balanced proportions of oval faces serve as a perfect canvas for dreads

short dreads braided styles

Who Should Avoid Dreads and Why?

While dreads are a powerful symbol of individuality and self-expression, they may not align with everyone’s preferences or hair types.

  • Fine or Thin Hair: Individuals with extremely fine or thin hair may discover that dreadlocks accentuate the lack of volume in their hair. In such cases, it’s advisable to consult with a skilled hairstylist who can recommend alternative styles that better complement their hair type.
  • Low-Maintenance Preferences: Dreads require a level of commitment and maintenance. If you prefer a more low-maintenance hairstyle that doesn’t require regular upkeep, dreadlocks might not be the ideal choice for you.
  • Conservative Style Preferences: Some individuals may gravitate towards more conservative or traditional styles, which might not align with the bold and expressive nature of dreads. In such cases, exploring other hairstyles that better suit their style preferences is recommended.

Ultimately, the decision to get dreadlocks or opt for a different hairstyle is deeply personal. It’s a choice that should align with your unique personality, style, and hair type, ensuring that you feel confident and comfortable in your own skin.

If you prefer low-maintenance hairstyles that don’t require upkeep, dreads might not be for you

dreads styles for ladies

What Type of Hair Do You Need to Get Dreads?

Dreads can be achieved with various hair types, but certain hair textures lend themselves more readily to the process. Here’s a general guideline:

  • Curly or Coily Hair: People with naturally curly or coily hair often find it easier to form dreadlocks because their hair texture naturally encourages the locking process. Hair that forms a coil or zigzag pattern will hold dreads well.
  • Straight Hair: While straight hair can be dreaded, it may require more time and effort to lock. The use of specific methods, products, and maintenance techniques can help straight hair develop and maintain dreads effectively.
  • Thicker Hair: Thicker hair tends to hold dreadlocks better, as there is more hair to create and maintain the locks. However, individuals with finer hair can still achieve dreads with patience and care.
  • Chemically Treated Hair: Chemically treated or relaxed hair can be dreaded, but it may be more fragile and require extra care during the locking process to prevent damage.

In essence, dreadlocks can be tailored to suit various hair types. Consultation with a professional dreadlock stylist can provide personalized recommendations based on your hair’s unique characteristics and your desired dreadlock style.

People with naturally curly or coily hair often find it easier to form dreads

dark skin with dreads.jpg

Pros of Having Dreads: Celebrating Individuality

Dreads are a unique and iconic hairstyle, celebrated for several compelling reasons. Let’s dive into the pros of dreadlocks, highlighting their low-maintenance appeal, self-expression potential, and timeless allure.

  • Low Maintenance: One of the standout advantages of dreads is their low-maintenance nature. Unlike many other hairstyles that demand daily styling and attention, dreadlocks require minimal day-to-day fuss. Once they’re properly established, you can enjoy the freedom of waking up with a distinctive and stylish look without investing hours in front of the mirror.
  • Self-Expression: Dreads are a powerful form of self-expression. They allow individuals to convey their personality, beliefs, and cultural affiliations through their unique hairstyle. Whether you choose to adorn your dreadlocks with colorful beads, wrap them in vibrant fabric, or let them flow freely, each dreadlock tells a story and celebrates your individuality.
  • Timeless Style: Dreads have an enduring appeal that transcends generations. They’ve stood the test of time, remaining a symbol of style, culture, and rebellion. From the countercultural movements of the 1960s to the modern runways of today, dreadlocks have consistently made a statement. Choosing dreadlocks means embracing a timeless style that defies trends and celebrates authenticity.

Dreads have an enduring appeal that transcends generations

types of dreads articles

Cons of Having Dreads: Exploring the Challenges

Every hairstyle comes with its set of challenges, and dreads are no exception. Let’s explore the cons of dreadlocks, from the time-consuming initial process to the potential for misconceptions and prejudices.

  • Initial Process: Creating dreads is a time-consuming and labor-intensive process. It involves sectioning the hair, backcombing or twisting, and often requires professional assistance. This initial phase demands patience and commitment, as it can take several hours or even days to complete, depending on the desired dreadlock size and quantity.
  • Misconceptions and Stereotypes: Dreadlocks have occasionally been associated with misconceptions and stereotypes. Some people may hold preconceived notions about individuals with dreads, making it essential to navigate potential biases and educate others about the diverse reasons people choose this hairstyle. It’s an opportunity to challenge stereotypes and promote understanding.
  • Social and Professional Considerations: While attitudes are evolving, it’s crucial to acknowledge that dreadlocks may still impact social interactions and career opportunities for some individuals. In certain environments, visible dreads may be met with resistance or curiosity. It’s important to consider how your choice of hairstyle aligns with your personal and professional goals and to navigate potential challenges with confidence and resilience.

Dreadlocks may still impact social interactions and career opportunities for some individuals

dreads on white people

Choosing dreads as your hairstyle is a deeply personal decision that involves both embracing the advantages they offer and acknowledging the potential challenges they may present. Ultimately, dreads are a celebration of individuality, and your choice should reflect your unique style, values, and aspirations.

How Much Do Dreads Cost?

The cost of getting dreadlocks can vary widely depending on several factors, including your location, the method you choose, and the salon or stylist you select. Here’s a breakdown of some cost considerations:

  • Professional Services: If you opt for professional help, the cost will include the initial creation of the dreads, which can take several hours to complete. Expect to pay anywhere from $200 to $800 or more for this service, depending on the complexity and length of your hair.
  • Maintenance: Dreads require regular maintenance to keep them neat and well-defined. Maintenance sessions are usually needed every 4 to 8 weeks and can cost between $50 and $150 per session.
  • DIY: Some individuals choose the DIY route, which can significantly reduce costs. However, it requires patience and dedication. You’ll need to invest in quality dreadlock products, such as shampoos, conditioners, and wax, which can amount to around $20 to $50 initially.
  • Accessories: Depending on your style preferences, you may want to invest in dreadlock accessories like beads, clips, or bands, which can vary in cost.

Ultimately, the total cost of dreads will depend on your choices and preferences. It’s essential to budget for both the initial creation and ongoing maintenance to keep your dreads looking their best.

Dreads require regular maintenance to keep them neat and well-defined

light skin with dreads.png

How to Maintain Dreads: A Journey to Effortless Style

Maintaining the allure of dreads is a rewarding journey that requires some effort, but the results are undoubtedly worth it. From washing to regular upkeep, let’s explore essential tips to keep your dreads looking fresh, vibrant, and effortlessly stylish.

Washing and Conditioning

  • Dreads require a unique washing routine.
  • Use residue-free shampoos for effective cleansing.
  • Emphasize eco-friendly, natural conditioning methods.
  • Consider aloe vera, tea tree oil, and apple cider vinegar for conditioning.

Regular Maintenance

  • Separate dreads to prevent merging and matting.
  • Palm rolling encourages dreads to maintain their shape.
  • Both techniques promote neatness and individuality.

Choosing the Right Products

  • Specialized dreadlock shampoos and conditioners cater to dread needs.
  • Natural oils like jojoba, coconut, and argan oil provide hydration and nourishment.
  • Select products that suit your hair type and maintenance goals.

The right hair products can make all the difference in maintaining healthy, vibrant dreads

difference between locs and dreads.jpg

How to Style Dreads: Unlocking Endless Possibilities

Styling your dreads offers boundless creative opportunities, allowing you to express your personality and mood uniquely. From chic updos to effortless waves, let’s explore inspiring ways to make your dreadlocks uniquely yours.

Chic Updos

  • Dreads offer a versatile canvas for chic updos and buns.
  • Explore elegant styles that showcase your dreads with sophistication.
  • Suitable for special occasions or polished everyday appearances.

Effortless Waves

  • Achieve a carefree, bohemian vibe with relaxed, beachy waves.
  • Emphasize embracing the natural texture of your dreadlocks.
  • Effortless waves celebrate the unique beauty of your dreads.

Creative Accessories

  • Accessories are powerful tools to elevate your dreadlock style.
  • Options include beads for a touch of boho chic, scarves, and headbands.
  • Discover how simple additions can transform your overall look and celebrate dreadlock versatility.

Accessories are powerful tools to elevate your dreadlocks’ style

braided dreads styles

Maintaining and styling dreads is a journey of self-expression and creativity. With the right techniques, products, and a dash of inspiration, your dreadlocks can be a captivating and integral part of your personal style.

Dreadlocks offer a lot of room for creativity and experimentation

dreads styles for ladies celebrities.jpg

Dreads Inspiration from Celebrities

Here are some celebrities who have embraced and inspired dreadlock hairstyles:

  • Bob Marley: The legendary musician’s thick, freeform dreads symbolized his connection to his Jamaican roots and represented a movement of peace and unity.
  • Naomi Campbell: The supermodel showcases the versatility of dreadlocks, effortlessly transitioning from sleek, elegant styles to bold, statement-making looks on runways and at high-profile events.
  • Zendaya: The actress and fashion icon has embraced dreads both on and off-screen, challenging beauty standards and celebrating self-expression through her ever-evolving dreadlock styles.
  • Lenny Kravitz: Known for his rock-star persona, Kravitz’s dreadlocks exude an effortlessly cool and edgy vibe, making him a style inspiration for many.
  • Willow Smith: The young singer and actress has made dreads a part of her unique, eclectic style, proving that age is no barrier to expressing oneself through hair.
  • Whoopi Goldberg: The acclaimed actress has rocked dreadlocks throughout her career, breaking stereotypes and showcasing the enduring appeal of this hairstyle.
  • Jason Momoa: The actor’s rugged, free-spirited dreads perfectly complement his adventurous and outdoorsy image.
  • Lisa Bonet: Known for her bohemian chic style, Bonet’s dreadlocks have been a source of inspiration for those seeking a natural and laid-back look.

These celebrities, among others, have not only embraced dreads but have also used their influence to promote self-acceptance, diversity, and cultural appreciation, making dreadlock hairstyles a symbol of empowerment and personal expression.

Lisa Bonet always wears her hair in beautiful dreadlocks 

dreads hairstyle lisa bonet.jpg

Whether you’re drawn to the classic elegance of traditional dreads, eager to explore modern twists and creative variations, or intrigued by the cultural tapestry that weaves through this hairstyle’s history, there’s a unique dreadlock style waiting for you to embrace.

In the world of dreadlocks, inspiration knows no bounds

braided dreads hairstyle woman

Conclusion: Embrace Your Unique Style with Dreads

In a world where hairstyles come and go, dreads stand as a timeless symbol of self-expression and individuality. Whether you’re considering dreadlocks for the first time or seeking fresh inspiration for your existing style, remember that dreads are more than just a hairstyle; they are a celebration of your unique journey, an embodiment of your spirit, and a reminder that true beauty lies in embracing your individuality.

Now you know why dreadlocks can be such a liberating and individual hairstyle! 

difference between dreads and locs.jpg

More Articles You Might Like

Maria Konou

Maria Konou is a specialist in the field of digital marketing and fashion. However, she has always had a way with words. That’s what led her to her dream job here at Archzine. She has worked in many different fields over the years, but according to her, being an author has been the most rewarding. Maria is a huge plant enthusiast, loves everything fashion-related, is very sustainably aware, and is always open to learning about new things.