this crimp and dread combination by Tracey Hughes of Meika hair really works as a hair style
Feminine dreads by Tracey Hughes of Mieka hair
Pic from Ainslie Elphick, Valonz Sydney


Dreads or dreadlocks are often believed to be a hair style for Rasta's or afro hair but they are becoming very popular with hippy and beach cultures too. Not a hairstyle for everyone but with so little information out there on how to produce this type of hair, how could we overlook it?

If you have Caucasian hair the method for creating dreads differs greatly from that used when you have Afro hair. So decide on your hair type and follow the instructions below:

Method for Caucasian Hair

Dreads have become quite popular and although not suited to Caucasian hair, they are possible. The curlier your hair is naturally, the easier it is to achieve this look by following option 1. If your hair is dead straight or Asian then you will need to follow option 2.

Option 1

This method of making dreadlocks will result in fine neat dreads rather than large chunky ones. You basically won't get them to matte and hold if you make them too large. It is possible to very carefully, brush out these dreads if you don't like the result. They may also unravel on their own if your hair is only slightly curly or soft in texture, but you will have had the look for a few days at least.

This is very time consuming and a friend to help out would be great, especially for the back. You may find a hairdresser that will set your hair in this way, but the fact is that it takes so long that the cost will be high. Ring or book a consultation first and get a price quote.

Tools and bits and pieces you will need:

A strong gel or mousse

A selection of silky material strips. The material needs to be cut into lengths 3 to 4 cm wide (3 inches) and 2 and a 1/2 times the length of your hair.

Strong wax to finish


  • Take a rough section 1 to 2 cm (half to 3/4 inches) square.
  • Apply your gel etc to the whole length of the section.
  • With a small amount of wax on your finger tips, rub and slightly backcomb the base of your section.
  • Tie one end of your material strip over the base of the section that you just formed.
  • With a little more wax on your finger tips rub, finger backcomb lightly and twist the hair along its length. Basically the rubbing/backcombing 'mattes' or 'knots up' the hair and the twisting holds it in place.
  • Once the section becomes stiff from twisting, hold the twist tightly and pick up the long end of your material strip. Bind it around your twisted hair. It is very important to bind in the opposite direction to the way you twisted the hair. You will know straight away if you get this wrong as the whole thing will unravel!
  • When you get to the ends of your hair, bind back on yourself a couple of cm's and then tie off as you would a bandage by tearing the fabric down the middle a little way and knotting.
  • You guessed it! Repeat until the rest of your hair is bound and leave overnight.
  • Remove the strips of material and spray with firm hold spray.

Over the next few days you will have to decide whether you are into this new look as you will either need to keep it up or let it begin to unravel.

If you decide to go with it then any unwinding or separation should be dealt with by using a small amount of wax and the, by now, practiced rubbing and finger backcombing motion!

As your hair grows you will need to repeat the whole operation on the new hair ones you have about 5 cm's (2 inches).

Option 2

You cannot achieve dreads without using a form of perming you need to consult a professional hairdresser. Not just any hairdresser though as this is not something that you learn to do in basic hairdressing school! It's best to make a few phone calls first to find out if there is a hairdresser in your area who does this type of work. You will find that salons that don't do this will be happy to point you in the right direction. Once you have found the right hairdresser, you will need to have a one-on-one consultation to ascertain whether your own hair is up to this process as it is puts lots of stress on it.

Although what you want to do when you perm hair in this way, is make it into "bad" condition, there is a big difference between that and making it fall out by overstressing it! Once all that has been worked out, get a quote. This can be very expensive as it takes ages. I once did this to a guy with Asian hair who asked to look like Maxwell (and he did by the end of it) but it took a whole day! Oh, I should mention that you can look pretty silly whilst all this is happening and you may not want to invite your friends along!


Method for Afro Hair

Afro hair, if left to its own devices will dread naturally, although the size and neatness of each dread may be unpredictable. For a more refined and slimmer dreaded look:

  • separate your hair into sections that represent the type of dread effect you are after.
  • You then simply begin to twist the sections of hair with a little wax.
  • As you twist the strands, rub the hair at the same time to 'matt' it together slightly.

At first you will find the hair tends to unravel a little, but as it does, go over each strand again with some wax then re twist and rub. It is important to always twist the strands in the same direction to avoid unraveling.

As your hair grows you will need to twist and rub the roots from time to time.

The only down side of this look is that when you've had enough of it, the only way out is to go for the big chop!

Visitors to this page also went to:

Back combing

Plaiting and braiding hair

Mens hair styles

Detangling your hair

Greasy hair

Hair loss

Itchy scalps

Dry damaged hair

Visitors to this page also went to:

Cuts to suit you

Hair coloring, perming and chemical straightening

Hair extensions

Hair salons - getting the most from your next salon visit

More about your hair type

Hair style galleries

How To's of Hair styles and Blow Dry's

"Scrunch drying" for curls

Blow-drying your hair straight

How to Create a Quiff

The Flick; how to create the look

Plaiting or 'braiding' your hair

Blow drying for volume, body and bounce

Latest looks for party hair

Creating those textured "messy" looks.


Hair Up and Prom Styles

Hair up-styles

- including French Rolls, Classic Buns and the Chignon

Pony tails

Plaiting or 'braiding' your hair

-includes simple, french and fishtail plaits as well as plait gallery of styles

Getting Married?


Tools, Products and Techniques

Which brush should I use?

Back combing

Styling Irons

Styling with rollers

Styling with tongs

Styling with flat irons or crimpers

What do 'thermal protectors' do?

Gel, Mousse, Pomade, Wax, Hairspray or Oil? Which one should I use?

Making Ringlets


Brushing Tips from the professionals

Blow drying Tips from the professionals

How do I make it look as great as it did when I left the salon?

© VirtualHairCare



Go Back To Previous Page Back to Styles Main Menu