While many believe the dreadlock hairstyle originated in Jamaica, the hairstyle’s origins are actually African, with the Masai tribesmen of Kenya given credit as the original wearers of the hairstyle. Men’s hairstyles for dreads include variations of short and long dreads, which can be worn with or without accessories. Some looks are messier than others as well.
The short dreadlock hairstyle is when dreads are first being grown out. Some start their dreads when the hair is extremely short, so it looks a bit like “pin cushion” hair, though others choose to lock their hair once it has reached shoulder-length or a little above. Shorter dread styles are sometimes comprised of more locks than longer dread hairstyles, as long dread styles can feature thicker lock strands.
The long dreadlock hairstyle was immortalized by Bob Marley, and featured thick, unkempt-looking locks that fell below the shoulders. Lenny Kravitz also sports the long, thick lock look, though Kravitz’s dreads tend to look more maintained. A common style worn by those with long dreads is to take two or more each of the front dreads and tie them together in the back of the head as a type of half updo.
Another option for shorter dread hairstyles is to use strong-hold hair gel to sculpt the dreads into spikes all over the head. This hairstyle works best for shorter dreads, as longer dreads can become too heavy after wearing the style for an extended period of time. Depending on the length of the dreads, you might be able to sculpt them in different angles to create a bent appearance. You can also gather the spikes together in clumps with coated rubber bands to create high dread ponytails all over the head.
“Jack Sparrow” Dreads
A final option for men’s hairstyles for dreads is the look popularized by movie character Jack Sparrow from the “Pirates of the Caribbean” series. A few strands of hair should be left unlocked, if possible, with other sections of hair woven into braids. Leave some of the dreadlocks bare and decorate the others with assorted beads and pieces of fabric. Tie a maroon-colored bandana around the front of the head or go without the bandana for a more subtle look.
References and ResourcesCool Mens Hair: Dreadlock Styles--Hairstyle Gallery and Tips
Jamaicans.com: Jamaican Culture: The Dreadlocks Hairstyle; May 2003
ResourcesKnotty Boy: Dreadlock Styles
Daily Hair Tips: Dreadlock Hairstyle Ideas for Women