How to Grow Dreads

Published By Brooke
Updated 03-1-2023

Gone are the days when dreadlocks were solely reserved for the Rastafarians or individuals who hadn’t touched a comb in 6 years. Dreadlocks are now a pretty common occurrence, and they can be seen all over the place, no matter the social setting or income bracket. Healthy dreads are becoming more and more popular and you can find them on anyone from hippies and computer geeks, to hipsters and surfers.

Wanna know how to grow dreads, stimulate hair growth, support the healthy hair look, and make your growing dreads look good during an extended period? The answers are below:

How to Grow Dreads


So you want some dreads, but you have no idea where to even begin. How do you start to grow dreadlocks?

There are numerous different ways and processes to get your dreads started such as the rubbing wool method, general neglect or the very expensive dread perm. However, we would advise backcombing as the most successful and hair friendly of all the procedures.

grow dreadlocks girl





By far the most popular, and effective way of making dreads is backcombing.

You should section your hair into squares for each dread that you want, determining thickness yourself, and then secure them with rubber bands close to your skull.
Once you have the different sections clearly marked out, you should begin backcombing.

Use a metal comb and beginning about an inch away from your scalp, begin combing the hair backwards towards your head, this should be done until the hair is packed in nice and tight and the bottom of the dread, then you should move up the dread until the whole thing is done.

dreads fastened with rubber


Each dread should be done like this, and at the end of the process each one should be fastened with a rubber band at the tip of the dread. A thick all natural dread wax should be used to keep the dreads in shape and looking neat.

Buy some residue free shampoo and give your hair a gentle wash after about a week, a small amount of wax should be used regularly, and gently rolling your dreads every day will help them mature.


Backcombing is a purely natural way to start your dreads and there won’t be any chemical damage done to it. The process leaves the hair looking instantly like dreadlocks and they shouldn’t take too long to mature, 3 months is about the average time for dreadlocks to settle when they have been done through backcombing.

dreadlocks long hair length



Backcombing can be incredibly time consuming, and you should expect it to take a couple of hours at least. It is best to try to convince some friends to assist you in making them or pop down to your local dread salon for some help. It can also be incredibly painful when you first start the backcombing, and it takes a lot of willpower to sit through the long process.

dreads with beard

Getting dreadlocks requires a fair amount of commitment, as they need a high amount of maintenance to keep them looking good, and this is especially true in the first few months. However, dreads are addictive and once your have them, you will find it very hard to look back.

How Fast Can Your Locs Grow in a Year?

How Fast Can Your Locs Grow in a Year


Firstly, let’s clear up the good old “do dreadlocks grow faster” confusion: it doesn’t affect the speed of hair growth if you wear dreadlocks, natural hair, braids, or any other style
With proper care and an avoidance of harmful procedures and experiences, your hair strands can potentially grow up to 6 inches per year.

The healthy hair and growth routine can include scalp massage to stimulate blood circulation, applying hair oil (argan oil, coconut oil, or castor oil) on top of a moisturizing spray to keep dryness away, and a proper drying technique.

Maintaining Your Dreadlocks To Be Healthy While Growing

Maintaining Your Dreadlocks


Long or short dreads are a perfectly versatile way to wear natural hair. But besides versatility, dreadlocks are also known for being a protective hairstyle. Thus, many people create dreadlocks believing that loc styles will help them grow long and healthy hair without any hair care procedures, oils, supplements, or balanced diet. And this is a huuuuge mistake that can cost you your hair.

So, there is a lot you have to know about maintaining your growing dreadlocks beautiful, healthy, and really protective for your hair. So, what are the basics?

  • Shampooing and conditioning: If you don’t do workout or any other activities that make you sweat excessively, it’s enough to wash your scalp every 2-3 weeks – this will allow you to detox your hair and remove all the products, natural oils, and debris stuck in the locks and scalp. Washing and conditioning also restore the pH balance essential for healthy long hair growth.
  • Right drying techniques: The best way to dry locs is air drying. Since direct heat can damage dreadlocks, it’s better to avoid the blow-dry when possible. After washing you hair, squeeze your dreads slightly and use a microfiber towel to absorb some of the water before further styling. Finally, let it dry naturally.
  • Proper moisturizing: Keeping your long or short dreads moisturized is the key step of loc care. Your dreadlocks can get dry and break easily unless they’re properly moisturized. Apply scalp and hair oils or a moisturizing spray.
  • Preventing hair loss and maintaining new hair growth


grow dreads faq


What to expect after starting dreadlocks?

When the hair loc journey starts, a newbie might not be ready for all the challenges and issues it entails. Here are some things that you can face after starting dreads:

  • Your locks can unravel, to prevent it, try sleeping with a sleeping cap or a dread sock.
  • The “baby” stage of your dreadlocks is gonna be much longer than a few weeks: from 3 to 9 months.
  • You’re going to wash your short or long dreadlocks as rarely as each 2-3 weeks.
  • Dreadlocks are highly likely to become fizzy at the starter loc phase.

Is it necessary to dry the hair completely prior to dreading?

Absolutely. Hair should be completely dry before dreadlocking. This will ensure faster drying time and prevent the hair from getting tangled.

Is locking gel better than locking wax?

The question of locking gel versus locking wax is typically confusing for dreadlocks newbies. Both products naturally lock the hair, both products have fans, each of the products has its pros and cons.

A locking gel makes the hair flexible, and the dreadlocks formation easier. It is a water-based formula, so it’s easier to rinse it out.

A locking wax is more dense as a product and can weigh down your hair, it’s more difficult to remove it. However, it’s a solution to tame thicker hair.

Enjoyed these hairstyles? Then you're sure to enjoy more long hairstyles for men.

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