With hairstyles, taste, preference and sometimes convenience play a role in selection, including African-American styles such as twisted versions like dreadlocks, two-strand twists and comb twists.
This hairstyle is most often associated with the Rastafari movement, but the style actually goes back deeper into African heritage. Contrary to the popular misconception of dirty, unkempt dreadlocks, this twisted hairstyle does require some maintenance, including washing. Most men with this hairstyle wash their dreadlocks once every one to two weeks. The styling of dreadlocks varies depending on the tastes of the wearer. They can be worn both long and short and are formed using twisted, braided or coiled sections of hair. Combining several techniques to create the dreads adds more dimension and detail to the final look. Periodically, the dreadlocks need to be unwoven (or even cut off) so that the hair has a chance to breathe and relax.
Two-strand twists are the basis for many different hairstyles, including flat twists (a variation of cornrows). Simple two-strand twist styles require only a wide-tooth comb and a large hair clip to style once the hair has been properly washed and conditioned. The two methods of achieving this hairstyle are using a comb or fingers to part sections of hair (hair clips are used to keep excess hair out of the way). Each method creates a different result. Parts that are created with a comb are more visible once the style is complete than those made with fingers. Each section is divided in two and the two pieces of hair are twisted around each other for the entire length. Once all the hair has been twisted this way, the hair is blow dried so that all outer moisture is removed. This keeps the style in place until the twists are removed.
Comb twists often act as the starting point for dreadlocks in men with short hair. The twists themselves are made using a rattail comb. To begin this style, the hair is sectioned off into different parts (the desired size of the twists determines the size of the parts). If time allows, shape the base of these parts into diamonds, triangles or circles rather than the more common square shape. Apply gel to each section prior to styling. Place the rattail comb at the root of the section and, as it’s drawn upward through the hair, it’s twisted in a clockwise motion to create the coil of hair.
References and ResourcesThirsty Roots: African American Dreadlock Hair Styles
Thirsty Roots: Twist Styles for Black Hair