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How to Make Dreadlocks

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


  • Step 1: Wash your hair Wash your hair with a shampoo marked "residue-free" and let it air dry.
  • 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.
  • TIP: The sections should be a little slimmer than your target dreadlock width--your dreads will widen once they dry.
  • 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.
  • TIP: It's helpful to have a friend help you with the hair in the back.
  • Step 4: Secure it Once each section is back-combed, wrap one rubber band at the scalp and one at the tip.
  • TIP: If you can slide your fingers though the dread or spread it apart easily, you haven't back-combed it enough.
  • 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.
  • TIP: As hair grows in, rub the root of the dread clockwise against the scalp to help this new hair dread.
  • Step 6: Maintain 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!
  • FACT: Floridian Asha Mandela set a Guinness record for longest dreadlocks in 2008 with her 8½-foot locks, with one dread measuring 19 ½ feet!

You Will Need

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

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