Dreadlocks have been a popular hairstyle since the beginning of known human history. Cavemen wore them and dreadlocks were common in ancient Egypt, Asia, India and Nazareth. Bible characters Samson and John the Baptist wore dreads, as did Celtic and African warriors. Rulers of great empires even wore them, including King Tut who wears them in his mummified form to this day.

Real dreadlocks take some time to fashion and can be difficult to remove. If you have ever wanted to wear dreads or wonder what they would look like on you, you can fashion faux “dreads” in a short time by making braids look like dreadlocks.

Things You'll Need

Wash hair the day before styling with a product free of petroleum or other waxy substances. Avoid applying any products before styling.

Backcomb dry hair slightly with a fine-tooth comb.

Braid 1/2-inch sections of hair, starting about one inch from the root for average looking dreads. Start further down the hair strand and keep the top of the braid loose, tightening as you go down, for looser or messier-looking dreads. Start closer to the scalp, braiding tightly from top to bottom, for neater-looking dreads. Leave 1/2-inch loose sections next to each braid.

Apply wax to braids to keep them intact. Rub the braids slightly between your palms while applying wax to give them a fuzzier texture

Apply a texturizing cream or paste to loose sections. Rub hair between palms to twist it up. Twist while sliding hands downward for a smoother dread. Rub with downward motions interspersed with short, sporadic upward motions for a fuzzier dread.

Wrap the twisted hair around the braid, beginning at the scalp, so the ratty hair completely covers the braid. Apply a heavy-duty hair wax to the ends and twist to keep the dread intact.

Rub the entire length of the dreads between your fingers with a small, gentle up-and-down motion to enhance the texture.

Spray each dread separately with shine-enhancing, maximum-hold, super-fine mist hairspray. Hold each dread away from other hair until completely dry for the best effect.


  • Decorate your dreads with one of the following for added impact.

  • Bead strands of hair into small portions of the 1/2-inch loose sections before forming dreads.

  • Wrap long strands of ribbon along with 1/2-inch sections around braids

  • Color small sections of 1/2-inch loose hair sections with bright hues before wrapping into dreads.