Dreadlock Questions: How do you start dreadlocks?

One way that I make extra money is through maintaining people’s dreadlocks from home. I love doing this, it’s a fun way to meet all kinds of different people and I think it’s really relaxing too. People always have endless questions for me, so I thought I would try to answer some of them in this post. People often wonder how to start dreadlocks in the first place?

Dreadlocks are just tangled hair that overtime become matted in a way that they can’t be removed.

There are lots of different ways to start this process.

“Backcombing and Crochet hooking” is the method I like to use. This means dividing up the hair into sections, then backcombing the sections of hair and finally tightening the lock with a tiny crochet hook. This method can be done all in one sitting, but can take up to 20 hours depending on the length and texture of your hair. The reason I like this method is that even if you have fine, smooth hair you can generally get a “tighter” look. You can also create a rounded end with this method. Here are some examples of backcombing and crochet hooking:

Backcombing and Crochet Hooking

Here’s a picture of my dreads, using this method:

My short dreads

“Freeform”, “natural” or “organic” method simply means not brushing your hair and overtime your hair will naturally become dreaded. If your hair is smooth and straight, this method could take years. If your hair is thick and curly, this method could only take a few months.

Here are some examples of freeform dreads:

Freeform Dreads

Freeform Dreads

“Palm rolling” Method means starting natural dreads that you help along while they are forming by rolling them in your palms. These are very similar to natural dreads, but a little tighter looking. Here is an example of this method:


There are plenty of other methods out there too! Twist and Rip, braiding, and so many more! These are just the most common ways of starting dreadlocks.


2 thoughts on “Dreadlock Questions: How do you start dreadlocks?

  1. mine started by themselves. well actually, one started by itself and by the time i noticed it, it was about the roundness of a cigarello. i just let it be and 3 years later my hair is still dreading by itself. i just do maintenance (crochet hook to keep them tight and apple cider vinegar to keep them clean; popping to keep them from forming one giant dred). im still in the “messy” stage because i just leave em to do their own thing and some form quickly while others take a while. i live in a small rural city (or a big town, whatever) so there arent a lot of options; i just surf youtube looking for tips.

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