Jay-Z’s Dreadlock Journey & Your Guide to Achieving the Look

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The Evolution of Jay-Z Dreads & How to Get Same Dreadlocks!

Alright, so you are here because you are a fan of Jay-Z dreads and want to have the same. I got you, buddy. 

Jay Z or you can also say Shawn Carter is a well-known rapper. He is one of the influential personalities when it comes to pop. Fans follow the rap star’s every move, from his songs to his dreads. I am one of them. Literally, I adore seeing black celebrities embrace the dreads culture. People do get inspired and love to know more. 

Also Read: 12 Best Oil for Dreads You Can Trust!

The Evolution of Jay Z Dreads

Well, along with his title, and dress-ups, Jay-Z’s hairstyle has also evolved. In this post, I will cover every possible thing about Jay-Z’s dreads. What is the type? It’s evolution, and also how to get one. 

Let’s unlock Jay-Z’s locs!

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

Take care Of Your Dreadlocks

Jamaican Mango & Lime

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Lion Locs Hair Loc Growth Oil

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Alikay Naturals Nat Unique Loc Oil

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Dollylocks Professional Organic Tightening Spray

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Dollylocks 4oz Vanilla Twist Dreadlock Conditioning Oil

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Knatty Dread Scalp Oil for Dreadlocks

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NOW Solutions, Organic Jojoba Oill

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SNO Dreadlock Oil Spray

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Argan Oil Treatment by Creme of Nature

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Dr. Miracle's Feel It Formula

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Jay-Z’s Hair And Dreads Type

If you have seen J Cole’s dreads, you may know that Jay Z’’s dreads are also freeform. As he has free-form dreads, he does little to no maintenance to achieve his dreadlocks. This style develops when the hair grows in random directions, and the dreads stay thick and distinctive even without combing or shaping. Because there is no maintenance procedure or root splitting system, the dreads form naturally.

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

 Freeform dreads will always have a distinct style and this thing sprinkles more inspiration to Jay Z’s dreadlocks, right? 

Jay-Z stated in an interview with WKYS radio station that he is following his previous practice of growing out his hair while writing his new album, but for this record, he opted to grow freeform dreads rather than his typical afro.

If I talk about his hair type, it’s so obvious, you can easily tell his hair type is 4B just by looking at it. Moreover, a closer inspection of Jay’s hair reveals that he has 10 to 20 thick dreadlocks running over his head. He mostly wears headbands, which pulls his dreads upwards and adds to the personality of his dreads, cool hun?

 I also noticed, congos are also forming in his dreads, which always lend a stylish touch to any dread look.

Depending on individual hair texture, 4b hair can either be soft or course. Further, 4B hair has tight curls which resemble a zig-zag pattern.

Celestine – Trichologist Commentary

Also Read: Semi Freeform Dreads Sponge: The Ultimate Guide!

Evolution of Jay-Z’s Dreads

From the research that I did, in the earliest picture, I can find him growing his hair out. From press appearances to on-stage performances, his hair journey has been recorded in the media.


You can see this picture here below. This is 2018 as you can see he has started growing his hair out.          

Jay Z Dreads

I know he was starting his journey of what would be known as freeform locs or freeform dreads so this is kind of the earliest photo of him starting his journey. Nice, thick and healthy hair, you see? His short, dense afro provided the framework for his dreads to emerge.


Jay Z Dreads 1

In 2019 his hair starts getting longer as you can see the dreads are starting. He was spotted with grown hair and semi-formed dreads during the “SOMETHING IN THE WATER” event in April 2019. You can see his signature headband look.

 His hair is thick and you can’t see the scalp. There is no evidence of him maintaining whatsoever at this point. 

I’m going to assume he’s having free form but I can also get that, at some point during his journey, between 2018 in the early early days of 2019 he might have helped his hair alone by either using a hair sponge or maybe a washcloth. But, I only suspect he probably did that a couple of times and then just let his hair grow. 

As you can see the dreads on top of his head are still in the baby phase but you are starting to see a little separation. They are starting to get a little long. look at that very healthy set of locks. If you look at his locs, there is no evidence of him separating or running his fingers through it or pulling it apart so he’s definitely going to have some Congos as his hair gets longer. 


Jay Z Dreads 2

Let’s do a little update on him in 2020. I mean, wow look at that look… how long it has gotten!

I don’t really see any separation. It’s starting to come over his ears. Just a little evidence of frizziness but not too much. They are getting longer, and more mature, and at this point, I can see that he is in the teenage phase of his dreadlock journey. Still very young, still with nice big healthy hair, and still can’t see any scalp part. 

He got a lot of new growth at this point in his journey of 2020.


Jay Z Dreads 3

Now, you can see how different Jay-Z’s dreads are looking in 2021. I can clearly see a side separation. They are long and thick. They are almost touching his shoulders. You can noticeably see thick congos.  I really like it! They are truly organic!

I think they are pointing in an upward direction as he frequently wears headbands which are making them stand. 

How To Get Dreads Like Jay Z?

If you are desperate about getting dreads like Jay Z, read this session carefully.

Jay Z Dreads 4

Products You Will Be Needing

WOW Skin Science Moroccan Argan Oil Hair Conditioner

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3Pcs Magic Twist Hair Sponges

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You can get it from the convenience of your own place if you use the right approach and equipment. Let me explain to you everything you’ll require. Make a note!

1. A Good Hair Moisturizer

You can buy moisturizer oils or a moisturizer with argan or coconut oil. Argan oil’s radicals repair the damage. It also leaves a slight residue, which maintains the dreads glossy and smooth.

On the other hand, coconut oil penetrates the dreads. It contains a variety of nutrients that help to prevent broken ends and splitting.

2. Hair Sponge For Dreads

The hair sponge is a product with structural holes and grooves that will give your genuine hair the perfect coils or spins while dreading.

Steps To Follow

Carefully follow the steps below and you will get Jay Z like dreads on your fingertips.

1. Wash Your Hair With No Conditioner

start with freshly cleansed and clean hair. Use a high-quality nourishing shampoo that leaves no residue. Use no conditioner; conditioners are intended to keep hair from tangling, which is the exact reverse of our goal. If your hair demands it, moisturizing oil is fine! 

After that, you should totally dry your hair. Start by putting your hair in a cotton towel to absorb excess water. If you’re using a hairdryer, transfer it between sections of your hair regularly to avoid accidentally baking your hair.

2. It’s Time To Twist

So many people are willing to wait years or even months for their freeform dreads to appear, whereas others aren’t. There is a way to quicken things. It requires using a hair sponge to massage the hair.

The twisting goes here. Do the twisting direction (clockwise or anti-clockwise) that is most suitable for you while twisting the hair. Maintaining the original direction is important to a proper twisting since changing directions in the middle would lead to tangled dreads. 

3. Wear A Headband Most Of The Time

Wear a headband frequently and most of the time on your front hairline. In this way, you will get that slightly flattened look that Jay Z has from the front. Also, it will lead your dreads upward.

4. Separate Your Roots

Jay’s hair journey proves this. While his hair began as an afro, he proceeded to coil it as it thickened in portions that developed into one loc. You can also call it as congo. 

This would then serve as the basis for his locs to emerge.

You must manage your parting process and guarantee that your locs do not merge together when semi-free forming.

How To Maintain Jay Z Like Dreads?

Jay Z Dreads 5

Reduce styling and alterations to promote healthy dread development. This also helps to avoid bald patches. The excessive style would actually impede the growth process, causing the hair to flatten.

Wash and condition your hair once or twice a week with a gentle, sulfate-free product, then allow your locs to air-dry or sit under a hooded dryer.

Additionally, do loc wrapping as illustrated in this video and basing. These are modest grooming techniques that must occasionally be added to your dreadlock regimen. They help to speed up the locking process while also keeping the locks healthy and strong, reducing the possibility of them breaking.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What kind of dreads does Jay Z have?

Jay Z has free-form dreads with congo. He has locked multiple locs into one big loc.It may not require much upkeep, but he had to initially grow his afro hair a little longer.

What made Jay Z grow his hair?

Jay explained the question on New York’s Hot 97 today, saying his growing ‘do is simply a byproduct of his recording an album. “I usually don’t cut my hair when I’m doing songs,” he says.

When did Jay Z start his dreads?

Jay was still in the early stages of his natural hair adventure in 2017 when he ditched his short haircut and began growing out his locs.

What are congo dreadlocks?

A Congo is a phrase used to describe when two or more dreadlocks combine into one. Congos are frequently the product of the method of neglect. Dreadlock roots develop into one another and combine into one dreadlock.

Who can wear Congo dreadlocks

Anyone male or female can wear congo dread locs. However, being culturally sensitive and informed about the origins and significance of Congo dreadlocks is key when choosing to adopt this hairstyle.

There you have it…

He has thick and strong dreadlocks, as said before. All that is necessary is time, commitment, and the right hair type. To create the Jay Z dreads style, let your hair grow 5 to 6 inches long. Your dread will grow if you just use a few things in your hair.

Cleaning and moisturizing your freeform locs with natural oils can keep your dreadlocks clean. Use a shampoo that does not leave any residue. And after all, patience is the key here. So, what do you say? Are you going to try the above process?

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Sedi here...Fascinated by the interplay between people, lifestyle, relationships, and communication dedicated to empowering women and spreading positive messages about black people. When she's not writing, Sedi is busy advocating for plastic-free earth with her local NGO. Got questions? Just hit the comments" Her socials: @SediDjentuh

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