How to Make Dreadlocks

So you want to be a dreadhead. Start forming those ropelike strands of hair today with these easy instructions.


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You Will Need

  • Residue-free shampoo
  • Rubber bands
  • Dreadlock accelerator
  • Teasing comb
  • Dread wax
  • Blow dryer
  • Friend (optional)
  • Patience (optional)


  1. Step 1

    Wash your hair

    Wash your hair with a shampoo marked "residue-free" and let it air dry.

  2. Step 2

    Section it

    Using rubber bands, secure your hair into 1- by 1-inch square sections at the root. When you're finished, spray them with dreadlock accelerator; it helps your dreads set faster, especially if you have straight hair.

  3. The sections should be a little slimmer than your target dreadlock width--your dreads will widen once they dry.

  4. Step 3

    Back-comb it

    Starting in the back, take one section at a time, remove the rubber band, and back-comb the hair toward your scalp, a half-inch at a time.

  5. It's helpful to have a friend help you with the hair in the back.

  6. Step 4

    Secure it

    Once each section is back-combed, wrap one rubber band at the scalp and one at the tip.

  7. If you can slide your fingers though the dread or spread it apart easily, you haven't back-combed it enough.

  8. Step 5

    Wax it

    Rub a pea-size amount of dread wax on each section and roll it vigorously between your palms for at least 30 seconds. When all the sections are done, blow-dry them on hot to melt the wax into the hair.

  9. As hair grows in, rub the root of the dread clockwise against the scalp to help this new hair dread.

  10. Step 6


    To lock in your new do, palm-roll each dreadlock 15 seconds every day, and wash them every three days with residue-free shampoo. Whenever the locks feel dry, work a tiny bit of dread wax into them to tame fly-away hairs. Refrain from removing the rubber bands until the dreads are completely set, about three months. Enjoy your new hairstyle!

  11. Floridian Asha Mandela set a Guinness record for longest dreadlocks in 2008 with her 8½-foot locks, with one dread measuring 19 ½ feet!