Dreadlocks Styling Guide
Once I overheard a fellow dreadhead saying, “with dreadlocks, I never have a ‘bad hair day’ anymore”. I can only agree, dreadlocks are super easy to manage and offer an incredible variety of easy, quick and beautiful hairstyles.Of course, the number of hairstyles you’ll be able to create depends a lot on the length of your dreadlocks. With short dreads you won’t have so much space for creativity, maybe you could tie a few dreads in a small bun or a half ponytail... Headbands, head wraps and dreadlocks decorations can make everything more interesting.
With long dreads, however, the possibilities are nearly endless.NOTE: you can always make your natural dreadlocks longer by attaching crocheted extensions. That’s what I did, and you can see the result in the pictures below.
On DreadLab there are two guides to help you creating/attaching dreadlocks extensions:
- to create your own extensions from scratch, read the Jumbo Braid Hair Guide
- to attach DreadLab’s already made crocheted dreads as extensions, or to attach extensions you made yourself, read the Synthetic Dreadlocks Guide - last paragraph: “How to install crocheted dreadlocks as dreadlock extensions”
I made my dreadlocks extensions using with 4 different colours of the Jumbo Braid Hair: #23-Dark Greenish Gray, #24-Turquoise, #25-Pale Cyan, #27-Cyan. In this picture I’m wearing a pink 80cm “spiral tie”.
To create most of the hairstyles you’re about to see, you’ll need an elastic band or, even better, one of DreadLab’s Spiral Ties. These spiral ties are made of ethically sourced wool and a bendable wire, which can adapt to any hairstyle and are gentle on your hair. Spiral ties are known in the dreadlocks community as the best tool ever to tie dreadlocks. DreadLab’s Spiral Ties come in 5 different lengths: 30, 40, 50, 60, and 80cm.
DreadLab’s Spiral Ties
1.The ”Helicopter” Bun
Top-head buns are particularly loved by dreadheads, because they make their dreadlocks feel less heavy. The easiest way to create a bun is the “helicopter”:
- Holding your hair upside down, divide them in two halves
- Turn one half around the roots of the other half until it’s all wrapped up
- Start wrapping the second half on itself. Secure everything with a spiral tie, ideally 60 or 80cm long
The helicopter bun, with loose tips, held by a 80cm Spiral Tie (black with green thread).
A common alternative to the helicopter bun is to just fold your dreads in two at the top or back of your head, secure it with a spiral tie or an elastic, and leave the tips flowing down. You can see the result in the picture below.
Folded bun with a 80cm Spiral Tie (black with red thread).
For half buns a smaller size spiral tie will be enough, so get yourself a 30, 40 or 50cm long spiral tie. “Half buns” means that you’ll leave half or more of your dreadlocks loose, tying up only the ones on the top and on the front of your head. To create a half bun:
- Pull back a few dreads, as many as you like
- Twist them in one big rope at the back of your head
- Start wrapping the “rope” on itself to make a small bun
- Secure it with the spiral tie
This hairstyle looks a bit like Sailor Moon’s hair, with two little buns on the top sides of your head, and is very common at festivals. To create it, divide your hair in the middle and follow the same instructions for the “half bun” above. To secure it, choose a pair of 30, 40 or 50cm long spiral ties.
Wearing the white 80cm Spiral Tie.
Creating a braid with dreadlocks is no different than creating it with loose hair. To secure the braid you can use a spiral tie of any of the lengths available: even the shortest spiral ties (30cm) are enough for this hairstyle.
To create a half braid, the same as for the “half buns” is valid: you’ll leave loose the dreadlocks at the back and work with the dreads from the front and top of your head. The result will look like the picture below.
Wearing the brown 80cm spiral tie on a half braid
Dreadheads love this hairstyle because, similarly to the top bun, it allows the weight of your dreads to sit on your head so that they don’t pull down. It’s probably the easiest one to create, as you just need to hold your hair upside down and wrap them with your spiral tie.
Here I’m wearing the 80cm black spiral tie with blue thread.
To make a ponytail, whether low or high, a shorter spiral tie might be enough. To create a ponytail using a spiral tie:
- Place your straightened spiral tie between your neck and all your dreadlocks, at the back of your neck
- Start folding the spiral tie around your dreads, pulling them up if you want a high ponytail
- Secure the spiral tie by wrapping it around
8.Spiral ties patterns on half ponytails
The quickest hairstyle with dreadlocks is a half ponytail, where you pull back some of the dreadlocks from the front of your head in any way you like. This hairstyle is practical, because it keeps your hair from coming on your face, it’s quick to create and it always looks good. It can be as loose or as tight as you prefer, as you can see in the pictures below, and it opens the door for a lot of creativity with your spiral ties.
Here I’m wearing the black, black with white thread, blonde and light pink Spiral Ties.
Tying your dreads without any accessory
Long dreadlocks can be tied with no accessories at all, so even if you forgot your elastic band or your spiral tie at home, you can pull back a few dreads from your temples, and make a simple knot with them on the back of your head. This is an easy, quick way to fix your hair so they don’t swing over your face, and it looks nice too.
We hope you enjoyed this article. If you’re sharing your creations on Instagram, don’t forget the tag #DreadLab!
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