Dreadlocks is a hairstyle where hair is matted onto long braids. The origin of dreadlocks is unknown. There have been several ancient societies which are credited with originating this hairstyle. Egyptians, Celts, Germanic tribes and Vikings all have a history of dreadlocked hair. Although it is most commonly associated with the Rastafarian movement, it was introduced to the mainstream by the singer Bob Marley, the tradition continues today. Dreadlocks are easy to create, even in blonde or Caucasian hair.

Things You'll Need

Wash your hair with a residue free shampoo and allow it to air dry. The idea that dreadlocks form in dirty hair is a misconception. Residue in the hair will prevent it from matting. Comb the hair out until it is free of knots.

Divide the hair into 1 inch square sections. Use a comb to section off the hair. Section off all of the hair on your head. Use rubber bands to hold each section of hair in place.

Undo the elastic band holding a section of hair, starting at the back of your head. Hold the hair about two inches from the root. Place your thumb on top of the hair and cradle the rest in your hand. Start combing from your thumb towards the scalp, one inch at a time. The hair will start to bunch up. Do not let go. Backcomb your hair starting about 1 inch from the root and working towards the tip. Move your hand back in one inch increments. Secure the roots and tips of the dread with rubber bands.

Place a pea sized amount of dread wax on the palm of your hand. Rub the backcombed dreadlock between your palms. The dreadlock should look smoother and thinner. The more you roll the drealocks, the faster they will mature. As the locks mature, they will keep their shape better. The advantage of backcombing is that you have instant dreadlocks, whereas other methods take weeks or even months to form the dreadlockslocks. Backcombing will work with short blonde hair and can be used in hair that is only 3 inches long, where it would almost impossible to braid the hair.


  • You can expedite the process of the hair matting by applying wax and rolling the dreadlocks between your palms every day.

  • In the absence of a willing friend, there are many hairdressers who will be happy to help you out when initially preparing your hair for dreadlocks. Taking your own products and giving backcombing advice is recommended.

  • Instead of backcombing, you can follow steps 1 and 2 and then braid each section. Leave the braids in and, over time, they will form dreadlocks.

  • If you don’t have a friend to help with backcombing, follow steps 1 and 2 and then take a pea-size amount of dreadlock wax and rub it on your finger tips. Twist each section of hair. Continue to do this every day until the hair begins to matt into dreadlocks. This method can take weeks, depending on how long you spend twisting the locks every day, but does result in thinner, neater dreadlocks than the backcombing method.