Starter Dreads: Everything You Need to Know!

Last Update:
Starter Dreads: Everything You Need to Know!

What first began as a cultural signature of black civilization has now become a fashionable pop culture hairstyle. From women to men to young adults, dreadlocks have become part of a global hairstyle.

Whatever your hair type, you can have dreadlocks. In this guide, I’ll take you through starter dreads and everything you need to know.

What are dreadlocks?

Starter Dreads

Dreadlocks are hair that naturally forms mats and knots when left to its own freely without detangling or brushing. A knot develops when hair strands are knotted together or deliberately styled as it grows tighter and encompasses more hair.

Depending on your hair type and how fast it grows, starter dreads can last three months to six months.

Dreads can be started in a variety of ways, including braids, two-strand twists, comb coils, and palm rolls. The starting dreads are the foundation of dreadlocks, so you must pay attention to how they part at this point.

Depending on your preference, you can either choose small, medium, or large threads or let the dreads grow at their own pace.

You can expect your hair to grow for about three to six months during this stage. It depends entirely on your hair type and how fast it grows. It will look pretty neat and uniform when your locks are neatly arranged. At this point, I recommend just letting them grow on their own.

Try Starter Dreadlock wigs

8 Inch 20 Strands Kinky Dreadlock Extensions

8 Inch 20 Strands Kinky Dreadlock Extensions

  • 1.Hair Material: 100% Handmade Permanent Loc Extensions 0.8cm ,1B natural black. Full Handmade Human Hair
  • 2.Advantage:Can be dyed,Suitable for Men or women,Soft, comfortable and easy to take care of,light weight, tight shiny and silky, no smell,Beautiful hair and look natural, last long time.
  • 3.Packing: 20 locs/pack with Quality Dreadlocks Crochet Hook/Needle.
  • 4.Easy to install: The loc extensions handmade human hair can be added to existing locs to add length or for repairs on broken. And they can also be washed normally and they are safe for swimming.
  • 5.Fast Delivery :The order is delivered immediately, usually within three to five days to receive the goods,If you're not satisfied, just return it for a 100% refund. We support an unconditional refund,You can rest assured that you can buy it.
Check Price
FAVE Short Braided Wigs

FAVE Short Braided Wigs

  • 【Wig Material】: High Quality Low Temperature synthetic hair. This wig may lose its hair sometimes,But this is normal because it is made of low temperature fiber.
  • 【Style】: Short Dreadlock Wig Starter Loc Wig.This dreadlock wig is made of solid heart braids,Each braid is made of several chemical fiber hair strands.So the hair is a bit hard.It's normal to be a bit heavy.
  • 【Wig Cap】: The wig cap is 19.5"-21". Please pay attention to the size of the cap, small will make your head feel tight.
  • 【Parting】:This wig is thick and full,But please don't worry. Shake your wig in your hand,You will easily find that the parting appears.
  • ❤Kindly Note: When you get this wig, It may be different from the picture. Don't worry. Just take care of it or cut it, It will look like the picture
Check Price
Loc Extensions Human Hair 30 strands

Loc Extensions Human Hair 30 strands

  • 🎄Dreadlock Extensions Hair Material: 100% human hair ,soft and health,light weight and natural, can be bleached and dyed,can be extended or cut as you like,can passed burning test.
  • 🌸Loc Extensions Advantages: Full Handmade Permanent Loc extensions,0.6cm-0.8cm thickness,the loose top is very easy to install.Perfect for men,women and kids,suitable for any occasion and season.
  • 🌹Human Hair Loc Extensions Features: Easy to install, dreadlock extensions can also be washed normally and they are safe for swimming.
  • ❤️ Aonkia Dreads Extensions Package: 30 strands dreadlock extensions with dreadlock crochet needle and comb. Can be trimmed to the length you want.Usually 30-60 locs can make a full head.
  • 🎀Our Service: Fast delivery by Amazon within 1-3 days.If you encounter a problem,please contact us first,we promise to help you in 24 hours.
Check Price
HANNE Dreadlock Wig Short Twist Wigs

HANNE Dreadlock Wig Short Twist Wigs

  • Dreadlock Wig Material:High Quality Heat Resistant Synthetic Dreadlock Wig.
  • Wig Style: Dreadlock Wigs Twist Curly African Wig Style for Halloween Wig
  • Wig Cap: Mideum Size 20"-22" with 3 Combs and 2 Adjustable Straps. Can be Adjusted to Fit Most of the People.
  • Warm Reminder: For some people, The Hair Volume is Fuller, But You Can Trim It Yourself, Mind Buying Carefully, Thank You.
  • Notice:Give Take a Shake After Taking Out of The Package ,It will Be More Beautiful, This Dreadlock Wig Is More Suitable for People with Small Faces.
  • Service Guarantee: We Provide all Customers with High Quality Products and 100% Satisfied Shopping Experience. If You Have Any Problems, You Will Get a Full Refund or Free Replacement within 30 Days.
Check Price
100% Human Hair Dreadlocks Extension For Men

100% Human Hair Dreadlocks Extension For Men

  • Hair Material: Handmade dreadlocks 100% guarantee made with 100% human hair.They can also be washed normally
  • Advantage: 100% Hand-made Permanent Loc Extensions 0.8cm thickness,Natural, Adequate Quality,
  • Feature: These dreadlock extensions can be dyed or Bleach.You will become like a Superstar by using it. It's also the Hairstyle of REGGAE and Hip-Hop Culture
  • Packing: 20 locs/pack.Length:8".Weight: 70 g/pack.Can be trimmed to the length you want.Usually 30-40 strands(2 packs) can make a full head.If you just want some mixed with your own hair,20 strands(1 packs) will be ok.
  • Easy to install: The locs can be added to existing locs to add length or for repairs on broken locs. And they can also be washed normally and they are safe for swimming.
Check Price
HANNE Short Dreadlock Wigs

HANNE Short Dreadlock Wigs

  • Afro Dreadlock Wig Material:High Density Heat Resistant Synthetic Fiber Dreadlock Wig
  • Short Wig Style:Dreadlock Wigs Afro Twist Curly African American Crochet Wig Style
  • Wig Cap: Mideum Size 20"-22" with 3 Adjustment Straps. Can be Adjusted to Fit Most of the Heads
  • Function: It can be used for daily use ,theme party, cosplay, or any other occasion
  • WARM TIP: Give the wig a shake after taking out of the package and hang it on for some time the curls become tight and natural,it will be more beautiful than before.
Check Price
Kalyss 12

Kalyss 12" Knotless Twist Braid Wig

  • Material: High Quality 100% Imported Japan Synthetic Fibers, Natural Luster, Full Right Thickness, Neatly and Tightly Done, Tangle Free, Fully Handmade, Light Weight Braiding Swiss Soft Lace Front Twisted Wig.
  • It Is a Short Fully Handmade Realistic Hand-Braided Glue-less and Twist Braids Wig with Ear to Ear Swiss Soft Lace Frontal Natural Parting Gives People an Illusion You Just Stepped Right out of Your Salon, Natural Edges with Baby Hair and the Pretty Full Baby Hairs Allows for a Seamless Hairline Transition.
  • Type, Length, Weight and Texture: Lace Frontal Braided Collection Premium Synthetic Hair Wigs with Baby Hairs, Approx 12 inches , Approx 7.8 oz Weight and Lightweight Bomb Braiding Hair Texture. Perfect Lace Braided Twist Wig Creates a Trendy Style Great for Wig Beginners and Wigs Hobbyist.
  • Cap Size may Vary Slightly by Brand, Our Kalyss Cap Circumference 21.5-22”, Ear to Ear 13.5”-13.75”, Front to Back 14”-14.5” which fits most head size. Flexible Mesh Cap with Combs and Adjustable Straps for A Comfortable and Secure Fit.
  • The Style is Perfect for Work ,Church ,School ,Night out , Weddings, Dating,Concerts,Gifts,Theme Parties. Dress it up for Occasions or Casually for Every Day Use. Its a Perfect Protective Style for All Hair Types. Warm Notes: Wash your braid wig in either lukewarm or cold water with mild shampoo. Never wash wigs in steaming hot water as this can cause the braids to look chapped and because braided wigs are synthetic, washing it with hot water will damage the fibers and your braids will fall out.
Check Price

Basic guide for growing dreadlocks with short hair.

Starter Dreads 1

1. Assess your initial hair length.

You can grow dreadlocks at any minimum hair length. The variety of ways you can begin developing dreadlocks, though, ultimately relies on the length of hair you have when you first start.

If at all possible, hold off on starting to twist and manipulate your hair into dreadlocks until it is at least three to six inches long.

2. Consider your hair texture.

Additionally, when growing dreadlocks, you must consider your hair texture. Typically, black hair is curly, wavy, kinky, and easily entangled in natural coils. You can work with your hair more effectively if it’s a bit longer.

3. Analyze the visual appearance.

Take into account aesthetic factors too. When you start developing dreadlocks with short hair, you won’t have lengthy dreadlocks for months. It may take a year for your dreadlocks to reach a reasonable length. Your first dreadlocks will be short, spiky, or thick hair knobs protruding from your scalp.

Do you want to wait for a few inches for your natural hair to grow before you lock it? Or you don’t mind? The choice is yours.

4. Consider the sacrifices.

You must also consider the time and grooming sacrifices that are required when beginning dreadlocks with short hair. Instead of transforming your current hair length into dreadlocks, you will grow and twist dreadlocks from the scalp.

How to get started with dreadlocks

Starter Dreads 2

1. Use a soft bristle brush pad.

You should start brushing your hair with a soft-bristled brush pad. Using the soft pad, brush your hair into small entangled and curly hairballs.

Using a soft pad brush to prepare your short hair follicles for dreadlock twisting could take a few hours or a few days. Exercise patience.

2. Apply Dreadlock Gel

Apply a natural and organic cream, gel, or oil to your hair to create dreadlocks. Your hair will naturally coil and entangle into dreadlocks with the aid of dreadlock gel.

Additionally, dreadlock gel keeps the intertwined hair follicles naturally set as dreadlocks while also organically moisturising and hydrating dreadlocks.

On your hair, only apply natural and organic dreadlock cream, oil, or gel. Likewise, avoid beeswax. Products for dreadlock gel that contain decomposing beeswax might become clogged and lodged inside the dread follicles.

3. Create Dreadlock Component

To make small, inch-sized separate portions in your hair, use an ordinary comb or rat tail comb. The centre of each component is where you will start twisting your hair into dreadlocks.

Rubber bands can be used to keep the hair segments in place for a few hours. However, if you use the rubber bands for an extended period, they may become irreversibly entangled in your hair follicles. Furthermore, tugging or cutting rubber bands may destroy or damage your hair follicles.

And, because you’re starting with a small amount of hair, you’ll want as much healthy hair as possible.

4. Let It Dry Out.

Allow your hair to dry for one to two hours after it has been damped with dreadlock gel. To speed up the process, use a hairdryer on the lowest power setting.

5. Start Finger Coiling

You can then start finger coiling the previously produced hair segments.

Backcombing is an option if you have three inches of hair to deal with. Backcombing is the practice of holding a length of hair and combing it towards the scalp rather than away from it. Backcombing your hair gently encourages the follicles to become organically mixed and intertwined.

If you have extremely short hair, the finger coiling method is the way to go. The use of a brush should thoroughly entangle the short hair follicles. Begin by coiling and twisting the hair at the centre of each section with your thumb, pointer, and index finger.

Move on to the next one until the hair is sufficiently coiled for your liking.

Wear a silk or stocking hat to bed to protect your new dreadlocks. And start finger coiling your hair every day till it grows longer.

Tools for Creating Dreadlocks

Starter Dreads 3

1. Dread Sponge

A dread sponge is a necessary item for all methods, particularly the sponge/brushing ones.

A dread sponge is a useful device developed for dreading tough or rough hair. This tool is highly recommended for quickly dreading short hair. When it comes to short hair, a sponge brush is preferable to a bristle brush.

2. Dreadlock Cream

This cream is essential for locking the dreads successfully. It helps in holding the hair together and keeping it knotted.

3. Rattail Comb

This rat tail comb is designed for the twisting method of dreadlocks. This can be used to comb through, twist, part, and pull hairs.

Techniques for Creating Short Hair Dreadlocks

1. Brushing Method

This method allows you to achieve dreadlocks with hair that is less than 3 inches long. A dread sponge or a soft bristle brush is required. Make smaller portions or little balls with your hair. The sponge holes will aid in hair gathering and parting.

Use the terrible sponge in small circular motions. Brush small, inch-sized circles clockwise until the hair begins to form balls. This should take no more than a minute or two. Once a ball of hair has formed, move on to the next segment of hair to continue generating dreadlocks through the hair.

After completing the dread balls, secure them using a dread gel. You can also use Jamaican Mango and Lime locking gel to keep your dreads in place. Elastic bands are used to secure the little parts. To avoid discomfort, make sure it is not too tight. 

Allow it to dry naturally for about 3 hours, or blow-dry the locks. Following that, you will have short dreads and your hair will continue to clump as it grows.

2. Twisting method

This technique is comparable to brushing, however, it is more manageable. Instead of clumping the hair together with the brush, simply part your hair with a comb. Take a tiny section of hair and divide it into one-inch squares with a comb. Apply gel to the portions you divided and secure these squares using elastic bands or hair clips.

Insert a rat tail comb into your hair at the roots, being sure to hold the hair in the comb teeth. Twist the comb while pulling till you reach the end of your hair. As you twist, make sure the hair is in the teeth. When you’ve completed, the portion of the hair should be twisted into a small dread.

The twisting method works best on short hair. You can make horizontal dreads across your head with an inch between them. Continue until all of your hair is feared. Allow the dreads to dry naturally for a few hours before using a hairdryer to eliminate the moisture.

3. Locking From the Braids or Plats

This technique is best suited to hair that is extremely textured and short in length. Because the plaits or braids serve to secure the hair, this technique is appropriate for active lives. Hair sectioning will assist you in adjusting the dread size and forming clean dreads.

What Hair Type Is Best For Dreads? 

Starter Dreads 4

Dreadlocks can be worn on any hair type, although kinky, coarse hair tends to look best. Tightly twisted hair naturally develops a coiling shape. Curls readily produce lovely, cylindrical, rope-like dreads when securely twisted and begin knotting over themselves.

Straight hair is more difficult to dread, but it is certainly achievable. It just takes a bit more time. Because straight hair lacks the natural spiral shape, it must be conditioned to form cylindrical knots and mats.

This takes a little more effort, but it is doable. Getting dreads without employing the neglected approach encourages your hair to knot, twist, and tangle faster than it would ordinarily. There are several ways to accomplish this.

Things to Consider Before Getting Dreads

1. Dreads Can Hurt

New dreadlocks are soft and flexible, whereas mature dreadlocks are rigid and tight. Sleeping with dreads can be uncomfortable or even painful, according to people with this hairdo.

2. You May Experience Frizz and Itching

If you have dreads, you will experience frizz, especially in the beginning. Some solutions can help you tame it, but the nature of dreads makes frizz unavoidable. This is critical to understand right away. Itching is another typical complaint among deadheads.

You may feel flakes and itching if you do not exfoliate your scalp regularly. You can treat a dry scalp with moisturisers and oils, but be aware that itching will be a part of the process.

3. They Take Time to Mature.

You’ll be sadly disappointed if you want neatly groomed, uniform dreads from the start. It takes time for dreads to grow and mat into locks. They may appear oddly shaped at first, protrude out at unusual angles, or reflect the pattern of the braid or twist you’re using to begin them.

This is typical and part of the process, but you should be prepared. That way, you won’t be cursing us for giving you lousy directions.

4. You’ll Hear Everyone’s Opinion

Dreads can attract negative reactions, so expect to hear criticism from anyone who doesn’t like your locks. You’ll listen to anything from harsh comments to well-intended queries about whether or not you wash them, why you picked dreads, and so on.

Knowing this ahead of time will help you approach these circumstances with a calm and prepared response.

5. They’re Not Meant to be Temporary.

Dreads are a long-term hairstyle that should not be used for a short period. It takes time for the knotting, tangling, and matting required to develop mature locks.

And once completed, those knots are firmly in place. Combing out dreads is difficult and time-consuming, but it is possible. If you merely want to experiment with your hairstyle, avoid dreads.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How long do starter dreads take?

Three to six months. In the lock’s process, the starter stage (also known as the baby stage) lasts roughly three to six months. But how long this stage lasts depends on a couple of things, such as your hair type and how fast your hair grows.

What are good starter dreads?

Braids (or plaits) may be the go-to starter loc style for people with a looser hair texture to prevent unravelling in the beginning loc stages, particularly when the hair gets wet. Keep in mind that braid locks will not be as circular as rolled or twisted locks; since the braid is flat, your locks will be flat too.

How much do starter dreads cost?

How much does it cost to start dreads? Professional-made dreadlocks cost between $200 to $1,500, depending on how much hair you have.

What should you not do with starter locks?

Moisture is important to healthy hair, but skipping this step will prevent locks from unravelling. So, say no to deep conditioners in the starter loc stage and you’ll be on your way to healthy and defined locks in the future. Consider deep conditioning only when your hair begins to lock up.

Why is my starter locks so frizzy?

Frizz is an inevitable part of the lock’s journey and process. Frizz is a sign that your hair is growing and maturing healthily. Your frizz is needed to continue to form the loc as the hair begins to take the shape, form and mat itself together.

Are dreadlocks expensive to maintain?

Maintenance can cost as little as nothing if you’re just washing and separating the roots. It can be expensive if a professional has to maintain or fix them, but that price is up to the loctician to determine.

How thick should your starter locks be?

If you want your locks to be extremely thick, closer to 20 locks will be your best bet. It’s important not to go for less than 20 dreadlocks because that would result in extremely thick locks that don’t get fully dry.

Now it’s your turn…

Starter dreads, which can also be called dreadlocks, are beautiful, long-lasting hairstyles that can be healthy for your scalp. As a beginner, there are different methods to choose from, including brushing, twisting, or plaiting.

Whatever method you choose, make sure your hair is at least three to six inches long to avoid overly rigid strands and pain. Maintenance is key as it will help you keep your locks neat and moisturised.

And you need a lot of patience to see your locks mature and balanced.

Read Related Articles:

Photo of author
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

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.