The Evolution of J. Cole Locs & How to Get Same Dreadlocks!

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The Evolution of J. Cole Locs & How to Get Same Dreadlocks!

Apart from his music and many talents, the evolution of J Cole’s dreads is an iconic journey to behold by fans across the globe. Through spotting low cuts and changing the way he looks and feels, his dreads now extend beyond his shoulders as a symbol of freedom from oppression and self-worth.

The purpose of this guide is to explain the evolution of J Cole’s dreads and how you can get your own.

Also Read: 60 Stunning Two Strand Twists Hairstyles for Black Men You Can Trust!

J. Cole Locs

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When did J Cole start his dreads?

Late 2014 and early 2015 marked the beginning of J Cole’s dreadlock growth.

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Cole started his journey during this time with thick afro twisting portions of hair to provide the groundwork for his dreads. His afro appears to have undergone less manipulation, laying the groundwork for his dreads.

What type of dreadlocks is J Cole’s?

J. Cole Locs 3

The dreads on J Cole are semi-freeform.

Semi-freeform dreads are a particular dread style that promotes natural hair growth requiring less combing, manipulation, and styling.

Typically, you’ll wash your hair or dreads. Then, you’ll massage oil, preferably coconut oil, into your scalp. There is no specific size, maintenance technique, or parting system, but you can choose how your semi-freeform dreads will look during the locking process.

If you look closely, you’ll notice that J Cole’s locs come in a variety of sizes and densities. The only thing that never changes about his semi-freeform dreads is that they’re strong and don’t need any styling.

Guide on getting J Cole’s semi-freeform locs

Here is a how-to for anyone who desires to style their hair in semi-freeform locs and are getting ideas from J. Cole’s dreads.

J. Cole Locs 5

1. Grow your roots or an afro

The growth of J Cole’s locs followed from the afro styling and allowed it to freeform at its own pace, hence the reason why some twists were varying in sizes and lengths.

However, keep in mind that you still need to monitor and maintain the parting system, although letting the growth come organically is the main goal.

2. Consult a loctician

The majority of people start their semi-freeform Locs alone, which is absolutely acceptable. While your semi-freeform dreads need less manipulation, it’s still a good idea to use a professional whose services can be enlisted so they can keep an eye on the process and assist you with washing them properly.

3. Separate your Roots

When laying the foundation for your semi-freeform dreads, it’s crucial to separate your roots. You can see that J Cole grew an afro first before twisting his hair by looking at his dreads.

His semi-freeform hairstyle would be built upon the base of his twisted afro. Your scalp is protected from manipulation because of this. However, make sure to preserve your parting system by popping your locs at least once every week.

4. Allow your hair to freeform

Allowing your hair to naturally dread is the best way to get dreads that mimic J. Cole’s hair. Keep your locs moisturized and avoid frequent retwisting or manipulation.

You can always separate your dreads if you find that they are combining too much in great quantity and you want them to resemble J Cole’s dreadlocks. In order for you to try it if you like that look, he fades the side.

5. Be Patient

You must keep in mind that locs demand time, attention, and patience. Likewise, even if the style may be the same, no two locs are exactly alike. There will always be variations. Labelmates J Cole and Jay Z are the clearest examples of this stage. Jay-z fears looking different from J Cole despite the fact that they both have the same semi-freeform.

How to grow semi-freeform locs

J. Cole Locs 6

Here are the steps to take to get freeform dreads

  1. Wash your hair before you start semi-free forming your locs.

It is recommended to cleanse or prep hair for semi-freeform dreads with SheaMoisture Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo. Another option if you have curly hair is SheaMoisture Raw Shea Butter Restorative Conditioner.

These products help to deeply moisturize your hair while adding shine. 

  1. Part your hair into the size of locs you’d prefer.

You can use any type of locking technique to install your dread.  You can also use two-strand twists, palm rolling, or braids. Braids help the hair to grip better and enable them to stay put.

  1. With semi-freeform dreads, there is no obsession with the parting system so feel free to make the lock unique to you.
  2.  Do not apply any products when installing your locs.
  3.  Let the hair breathe as it takes shape naturally
  4.  Do not re-twist your hair and let it grow organically
  5. Wash your hair once or twice a week and separate your roots if you feel the need

Picture details of J Cole’s semi-dreads journey

2007 – 2012

J. Cole Locs

J Cole was introduced to the public as a freshman through mixtapes and video freestyles, in which the artist could be seen wearing the conventional fade, a short back and sides, and a comfortable underworld.

2014 – 2015

J. Cole Locs 1

His musical ability wasn’t the only one that people were sleeping on when he first emerged and began to establish himself in the music industry years later. J Cole’s hair experiments were seen by admirers. At the time, it might have been mistaken for Cole’s new afro because he had only recently begun to grow out his hair.

But as his hair started to grow over time, it was clear he desired something more than just an afro.

During this time, he was observed twisting the afro component of his hair to lay the foundation for dreads.

At this time, Rihanna also suggested to J. Cole that he apply some Aloe Vera to his hair after noticing the first attempts at growing out his dreads.

2016 –2018

J. Cole Locs 7

Cole’s hair was no longer a loose afro for the majority of 2016 but rather twists that were developing into locs. His journey of hair growth was documented in interviews, music videos, and album covers. J Cole’s dreads had grown and were now perfectly locked.

He has some congos but isn’t quite in the adult dreadlock stage yet. Although his dreads were short, they were dense enough to be considered high-density.

Since 2017, his hair has developed into semi-freeform locs. densely packed and having a brief length. Most of his locs had combined by 2018 because his dreads were obviously thicker. While his locs were still combining, he felt less frizzy, and some of them seemed flat because he didn’t control them.

He has interesting dreads that he hardly styles, leaving them alone to continue to freeform.

2019 – Present

J. Cole Locs 2 1

J Cole doesn’t manipulate his dreads, as we stated earlier. He only gives his hair a simple wash and rubs oil onto his scalp. He doesn’t employ any parting or pattern-maintaining methods to control the development of his hair. He lets the natural course of his hair growth take its course, and everything about his dreads is entirely natural.

His locs currently have a variety of knots, thicknesses, and lengths if you pay close attention to how they look. Everything you see is healthy and simply follows the natural pattern of how he allowed his hair to grow, so there was no manipulation involved in this.

He recently joined the Rwanda Patriots Basketball Club, a part of the recently established Basketball Africa League, despite the fact that music is his primary passion.

When he is playing basketball, occasionally his thick dreads get in the way of his view. As a result, he ties them up most often when necessary.

J Cole has undoubtedly continued to wear his dreads today despite the expensive maintenance he now needs to maintain.

How does J Cole’s Dreads Stand out from the Crowd?

Although many rappers and artists in the music industry have adopted the dreadlock look, few have done so as successfully as J Cole.

J Cole’s dreads are not artificially enhanced to seem as magnificent as they do, in contrast to the dreads we typically see on celebrities or everyday people. They are not unnaturally altered through styling or even combing, and they are semi-freeform. He doesn’t structure his hair beforehand; he just lets it grow naturally.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are free-form locs?

Freeform locs are locs that have naturally formed without any manipulation through new growth. This means natural products to assist the twist and growth. It’s as easy as it sounds, but of course, there is a little more to it than that. The first and foremost allure of freeform locs is, of course, freedom.

How do I make dreadlocks?

When starting to learn how to make your hair dreadlocks, rip apart each tied-off section of hair. Apply dread wax to the section and roll it between your palms until it forms a dreadlock. This technique is called palm rolling and is the most effective way to create dread by yourself.

Should I wrap my dreads at night?

We recommend covering your dreadlocks while you sleep. You’ll minimize the risk of breakage. If you toss and turn while sleeping but your dreadlocks are exposed, you might accidentally pull them during the night.

Are freeform dreads healthy?

Freeform dreads are a very natural way to wear your natural hair. However, even though it’s a natural and low-maintenance style, there are a few things that you’ll want to keep in mind to keep them healthy and strong. Start with clean, dry hair. Don’t use conditioner before starting your locs.

Are dreads supposed to be frizzy?

While dreads are forming, they can tend to be a little more frizzy, but this will settle down as they mature. You may also notice your dreads are more frizzy, especially after washing, or if it’s been a while since you had any maintenance.

Can you undo freeform dreads?

Well, yes, dreadlocks can be combed out, especially ones that have been properly cared for during their life, including regular shampooing and conditioning. This is very important! If you decide to comb out your ‘locks, it’s critical that you approach the process with much patience.

How often should I wash my locs if I work out?

If you generally wash your locs once per month, it may be best to change that to wash your locs every 7-14 days if you are working out regularly. This is because you do not wash your hair after every workout, and so you don’t want that sweat to build up for too long.

What are semi-free form locs?

Semi-free form locs are locs formed naturally without manipulation. Unlike free-form locs that do not require separating the roots, one of the steps in making semi-free-form locs is separating the roots to achieve your desired loc thickness and pattern.

Now it’s your turn

There is no doubt that J. Cole’s dreadlocks are iconic. There are not many people who do it as well as he does, even getting comments from Rihanna in the process.

When growing semi-freeform locs, your hairline, your hair type, and how your locs grow freely are all important factors. It is likely that your hair type and condition will prevent you from nailing it as well as you would like to.

The only thing you need to do is give yourself time and let your hair take its natural course.

Having committed to inspiration from his look, we encourage you to get started and have full faith in your choice. If you want to freeform your hair, you can do so!

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Ben Brown, a seasoned wordsmith and cultural aficionado, is your go-to for all things eye-opening. A black man on a mission, he's been serving up well-researched insights with a dash of wit, stirring curiosity and sparking dialogue. When he's not writing, Ben's exploring the world or creating culinary masterpieces. He may not claim to be an expert, but his pen begs to differ. Stay tuned for a refreshing take on the black experience, one article at a time.