How to Grow Your Own Dreadlocks: A Rastafarian DIY Guide

Dreadlocks have become a popular hairstyle in recent years, but their origin can be traced back to the Rastafarian movement. Rastafarianism is a religion and way of life that originated in Jamaica in the 1930s. The followers of Rastafarianism believe in the divinity of Haile Selassie I, former Emperor of Ethiopia, and see dreadlocks as a way of expressing their faith and connection to their African roots.

The importance of growing dreadlocks goes beyond just a hairstyle, as it is a symbol of spiritual growth and connection to the Rastafarian movement. It is a way to embrace individuality and express one’s beliefs through physical appearance.

In this blog post, we will discuss how to grow your own dreadlocks through a Rastafarian DIY guide. We will cover the preparation process, different methods of creating and maintaining dreadlocks, recommended products and tools, and answer frequently asked questions. By the end of this guide, you will have a better understanding of how to grow your own dreadlocks and how it relates to Rastafarianism.

Prepararing Your Hair For Dreadlock Process

Before you begin the dreadlock process, it’s essential to prepare your hair. The preparation process involves understanding your hair type and texture, growing out your hair, and maintaining it properly.

Hair Type and Texture:

The first step in the preparation process is to understand your hair type and texture. Natural hair is the best type of hair to use when growing dreadlocks. If you have chemically treated hair, it’s essential to give it some time to grow out before starting the dreadlock process. Hair texture is also a critical factor in growing dreadlocks. Coarse and thick hair is ideal for growing dreadlocks, but any hair type can work.

Growing Out Hair:

The next step in the preparation process is growing out your hair. Ideally, your hair should be at least six inches long to start the dreadlock process. Growing out your hair will give your hair time to strengthen and create a solid foundation for your dreadlocks.

Hair Care and Maintenance:

Proper hair care and maintenance are essential in the preparation process. Keeping your hair clean and moisturized will help prevent breakage and make it easier to create dreadlocks. Regularly washing and conditioning your hair is crucial in maintaining healthy hair. It’s also important to avoid using products that contain sulfates, as they can dry out your hair.

Starting the Dreadlock Process

Once you have prepared your hair, it’s time to start the dreadlock process. The first step in this process is choosing a method of creating your dreadlocks. The two most common methods are freeform and interlocking.


Freeform dreadlocks are created by allowing the hair to naturally knot and tangle over time. This method requires little to no manipulation and is a popular choice for those who want a more natural and organic look.


Interlocking dreadlocks, on the other hand, involve using a tool to manually create knots and twists in the hair. This method results in more uniform and precise dreadlocks.

Washing and Drying Hair

Before starting the dreadlock process, it’s essential to wash and dry your hair thoroughly. Clean hair will make it easier to section and create dreadlocks. Be sure to use a clarifying shampoo to remove any buildup and oils from your hair.

Sectioning Hair

Sectioning your hair is a crucial step in creating dreadlocks. Depending on the method you choose, you may want to section your hair into smaller or larger sections. This will help ensure that your dreadlocks are even and well-formed. You can use clips or rubber bands to hold the sections in place while you work on them.

Creating and Maintaining Dreadlocks

Once you have started the dreadlock process, it’s important to maintain your dreadlocks to ensure they look their best. There are several methods for creating and maintaining dreadlocks, including backcombing and twisting, palm rolling, and interlocking.

Backcombing and Twisting Method

Backcombing and twisting is a popular method for creating dreadlocks. This method involves backcombing the hair to create knots and then twisting the hair to form dreadlocks. This method can be time-consuming, but it produces well-formed dreadlocks that are durable and long-lasting.

Palm Rolling Method

Palm rolling is a gentle method of maintaining dreadlocks that involves rolling them between your palms. This method helps to tighten the dreadlocks and smooth out any bumps or lumps in the hair. Palm rolling can be done daily or weekly to keep your dreadlocks looking neat and tidy.

Interlocking Method

Interlocking is a method of maintenance that involves using a tool to re-tighten the roots of your dreadlocks. This method is popular among those who want to maintain their dreadlocks without using products or damaging their hair. Interlocking is best done every four to six weeks to prevent damage to the hair.

Maintenance and Upkeep of Dreadlocks

Proper maintenance and upkeep are essential in keeping your dreadlocks looking their best. It’s important to keep your dreadlocks clean and well-maintained to prevent odor and buildup. Regularly washing and conditioning your hair will help to keep it clean and moisturized. It’s also important to avoid using products that contain alcohol, as they can dry out your hair and cause breakage.

Products and Tools for Dreadlocks

To maintain healthy and well-formed dreadlocks, it’s important to use the right products and tools. There are many different products and tools available that are specifically designed for dreadlocks.

Recommended Products for Dreadlocks

There are several products that are essential for maintaining dreadlocks. These include a residue-free shampoo, a clarifying shampoo, a leave-in conditioner, and an oil or wax for maintenance. A residue-free shampoo is important because it cleanses the hair without leaving any buildup that can lead to odor or dandruff. Clarifying shampoo is used to deep-cleanse the hair and remove any buildup or residue. Leave-in conditioner is important because it moisturizes the hair and prevents breakage. Oil or wax is used to keep the hair moisturized and to prevent the hair from drying out.

Tools Needed for Dreadlocks

There are several tools that are needed for creating and maintaining dreadlocks. These include a comb, a brush, clips or rubber bands, a crochet hook, and a dreadlock tool. A comb is used for sectioning the hair, while a brush is used for smoothing out any bumps or lumps in the hair. Clips or rubber bands are used to hold the sections of hair in place while you work on them. A crochet hook is used for maintenance to re-tighten the roots of the dreadlocks. A dreadlock tool is a specialized tool that is used for interlocking or for maintenance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Dreadlocks are a popular hairstyle among people of all ages and backgrounds. However, there are several questions that people commonly ask when it comes to growing, maintaining, and removing dreadlocks. Here are some frequently asked questions about dreadlocks:

Can Anyone Grow Dreadlocks?

Yes, anyone can grow dreadlocks regardless of hair type, texture, or race. However, some hair types may be easier to dread than others. Those with coarser and thicker hair may have an easier time forming dreadlocks, while those with finer and softer hair may have to work harder to achieve well-formed dreads.

Can Dreadlocks Be Removed?

Yes, dreadlocks can be removed, but it can be a lengthy and time-consuming process. One way to remove dreadlocks is by cutting them off. However, if you want to keep your hair length, you can also use a combination of products and tools to gently unravel the dreadlocks. It’s important to note that removing dreadlocks can cause some damage to the hair, so it’s important to be patient and gentle when removing them.

How Long Does it Take to Grow Dreadlocks?

The time it takes to grow dreadlocks varies from person to person and depends on several factors, including hair type, texture, and length. It can take anywhere from several months to a few years for hair to fully lock up into dreadlocks. It’s important to be patient and allow your hair to naturally dread over time.


Growing and maintaining dreadlocks is a process that requires patience, dedication, and care. By understanding the different methods of starting and maintaining dreadlocks, as well as the products and tools needed for the process, anyone can achieve beautiful and healthy dreadlocks.

Embracing Rastafarianism and dreadlocks is a personal choice that can have a significant impact on one’s self-expression and identity. Dreadlocks are an important part of Rastafarian culture and symbolize spiritual growth, unity, and freedom. By choosing to grow and maintain dreadlocks, one can also embrace the values and principles of Rastafarianism, such as respect for nature, equality, and social justice.

It’s important to note that dreadlock maintenance is an ongoing process that requires regular care and attention. By using the right products and tools, as well as following the recommended maintenance practices, you can keep your dreadlocks healthy and beautiful for years to come.

Final Note

If you’re looking to embrace the Rastafarian culture and style, check out the unique and stylish Rastafarian clothing from Fifth Degree. Their collection of Rastafarian clothes and accessories features bold colors, patterns, and designs that embody the spirit and values of Rastafarianism. Whether you’re looking for a new outfit or want to add some flair to your wardrobe, Fifth Degree has something for everyone. Visit their website today to browse their collection and show off your Rastafarian style.

Picture Credit: antrophistoria

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