Should I Get Dreadlocks

Thinking about getting dreadlocks? Well, I’m here to help you make that decision. Dreadlocks have been a popular hairstyle for centuries, and they can definitely make a statement. But before you commit to this bold look, there are a few things to consider. Are you ready for the commitment and maintenance that comes with dreadlocks? Do you have the patience to go through the process of creating and maintaining them? In this article, I will provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision about whether or not you should get dreadlocks. So, let’s dive in and explore the world of dreadlocks together!

Should I Get Dreadlocks

Dreadlocks are a popular and unique hairstyle that has been around for centuries. If you’re considering getting dreadlocks, there are several factors to consider. In this article, I will provide an in-depth look at the various aspects of having dreadlocks, including the pros and cons, maintenance tips, suitability, and professional considerations. By the end, you should have a better understanding of whether or not dreadlocks are the right choice for you.

Understanding Dreadlocks

What are dreadlocks?

Dreadlocks, simply put, are matted coils of hair. They form naturally when hair is left untouched and allowed to tangle and coil together. Dreadlocks can also be created intentionally through various methods, such as backcombing, palm rolling, or using a crochet hook. The result is a unique and distinctive hairstyle characterized by tightly coiled or matted locks of hair.

The history of dreadlocks

Dreadlocks have a deep cultural and historical significance. They can be found in various cultures and ethnicities around the world, including ancient Egypt, India, Africa, and among Rastafarians. The hairstyle has been associated with spirituality, religious beliefs, and cultural identity, symbolizing unity, strength, and rebellion against societal norms.

Different types of dreadlocks

Dreadlocks come in various forms and styles, depending on the method used to create them and individual preferences. Some commonly known types include traditional dreadlocks, freeform dreadlocks, sisterlocks, and crochet dreadlocks. Each type has its own unique characteristics, allowing individuals to choose a style that best suits their desires and hair type.

Pros of Getting Dreadlocks

Low maintenance

One of the major advantages of having dreadlocks is their low maintenance nature. Unlike other hairstyles that require daily styling and frequent visits to the salon, dreadlocks can be relatively low maintenance. Once your dreadlocks mature, daily maintenance mainly involves washing and occasional retwisting or palm rolling to maintain the shape and structure of the locks.

Versatility in styling

Contrary to popular belief, dreadlocks offer versatility in styling. Although they cannot be easily manipulated like untangled hair, dreadlocks can be styled in various ways using accessories, beads, wraps, or by creating updos. Whether you prefer a casual, bohemian look or a more formal and intricate hairstyle, dreadlocks can be adapted to suit your personal style.

Cultural and personal expression

Dreadlocks are a powerful form of cultural and personal expression. They have been used throughout history to signify identity, cultural heritage, and even religious beliefs. By choosing to have dreadlocks, you are embracing a hairstyle that carries deep cultural significance. Additionally, having dreadlocks allows you to express your individuality and create a unique look that represents your personal style and values.

Cons of Getting Dreadlocks

Lengthy process

One of the drawbacks of getting dreadlocks is the lengthy process of forming and maturing the locks. Depending on your hair type and the method used to create the dreadlocks, it can take several months to years for your hair to fully lock and mature. This requires patience and commitment, as the initial stages of forming dreadlocks may not look as polished or well-defined.

Patience required

In addition to the time it takes for dreadlocks to mature, maintaining and caring for them requires patience. Dreadlocks tend to tighten and mature over time, but during the early stages, they may require regular maintenance, such as retwisting or palm rolling, to prevent them from unraveling or becoming tangled. It’s important to embrace the journey and understand that achieving the desired results may take time and patience.

Possible hair damage

While dreadlocks can be a fantastic and unique hairstyle, it’s important to note that they can potentially cause hair damage if not properly cared for. The weight of long or heavy dreadlocks can put strain on the scalp and hair roots, leading to traction alopecia or thinning hair in some cases. Regular maintenance, proper washing techniques, and gentle handling of the locks can help minimize the risk of damage.

Suitability and Commitment

Are dreadlocks suitable for all hair types?

Dreadlocks can be achieved on various hair types, but the ease of forming and maintaining them can vary depending on your hair texture. Generally, textured hair with a tighter curl pattern tends to form dreadlocks more easily, while straighter hair types may require more effort and specific techniques to achieve and maintain locks. Consulting a professional hairstylist who specializes in dreadlocks can provide insight into your hair type’s suitability.

How long do dreadlocks last?

Once fully formed and matured, dreadlocks can last for several years or even a lifetime with proper care. However, it’s important to note that individual hair type, maintenance routine, and lifestyle factors can affect the longevity of dreadlocks. Regular maintenance, such as retwisting or palm rolling, can help keep the locks intact and prevent them from unraveling or merging together.

The commitment involved

Having dreadlocks requires a certain level of commitment. It’s not just a hairstyle; it’s a lifestyle choice that requires dedication to maintenance, regular care, and a willingness to embrace the unique challenges and rewards that come with having dreadlocks. Before deciding to get dreadlocks, it’s important to consider whether you’re ready to commit to the long-term care and maintenance required to keep them healthy and looking their best.

Dreadlocks Maintenance

Washing and cleansing dreadlocks

Contrary to popular belief, dreadlocks do need to be washed regularly to maintain cleanliness and prevent odors. However, washing dreadlocks requires a different approach compared to traditional hair washing. It’s important to use residue-free shampoo or specially designed dreadlock cleansers to avoid build-up and ensure the locks remain clean and healthy. Additionally, gently massaging the scalp and using a residue-free conditioner can help prevent dryness and keep the hair and scalp nourished.

Retwisting and palm rolling

To maintain the shape and structure of dreadlocks, regular retwisting or palm rolling is often necessary. Retwisting involves twisting the roots of the locks to help them tighten and grow in a uniform manner. Palm rolling, on the other hand, involves rolling the locks between your palms to smooth out any frizz or loose hairs. These maintenance techniques require patience and practice, but they are essential for keeping your dreadlocks looking neat and well-maintained.

Keeping dreadlocks clean and odor-free

In addition to regular washing, keeping your dreadlocks clean and odor-free involves practicing good hygiene habits. It’s important to avoid excessive product use, such as heavy conditioners or styling agents that can cause build-up and make your locks greasy or smelly. Regularly drying your locks thoroughly after washing and allowing them to fully air-dry between washes can also help prevent mildew or unpleasant odors from developing.

Professional Considerations

Job prospects and dreadlocks

When considering getting dreadlocks, it’s important to be aware of the potential impact on your job prospects. Unfortunately, some employers may have strict grooming policies that prohibit certain hairstyles, including dreadlocks. While the specific policies vary by industry and company, it’s essential to research and understand how having dreadlocks may affect your ability to secure or maintain employment in your chosen field.

Stereotypes and cultural appropriation

Dreadlocks have been associated with various cultural groups throughout history, and wearing them as a hairstyle can sometimes lead to cultural appropriation. It’s important to educate yourself and respect the cultural significance and history behind dreadlocks. Understanding the cultural context and engaging in conversations about appropriate hairstyle choices can help promote cultural appreciation rather than appropriation.

Acceptance in different communities

The acceptance of dreadlocks can vary depending on the community or social circle you belong to. While some communities embrace and celebrate the uniqueness of dreadlocks, others may hold negative stereotypes or biases. It’s crucial to consider the acceptance and support you may receive from your desired community, as well as the potential impact it may have on your sense of belonging and comfort.

Alternative Hairstyles


If you’re hesitant about getting dreadlocks but still want to embrace a unique and stylish hairstyle, braids can be a great alternative. Braids offer versatility in styling, and they can be worn in various sizes, lengths, and patterns. Whether you choose box braids, cornrows, or intricate plaits, braided hairstyles allow you to express your creativity while providing a low-maintenance option.


Twists, like dreadlocks, involve creating coils or rope-like strands with your hair. However, twists are not fully matted like dreadlocks and offer a more temporary hairstyling option. Twists can be achieved using a two-strand twisting technique or with the assistance of extensions. They provide a unique and trendy look that can be easily styled and changed up whenever desired.


Cornrows are an ancient and culturally significant hairstyle that involves braiding the hair close to the scalp in neat, uniform rows. They can be worn in various patterns and are particularly popular among individuals with textured hair. Cornrows offer a practical and stylish option, providing the opportunity to experiment with different designs, sizes, and even adding accessories for a unique touch.

Seeking Professional Advice

Consulting a hairstylist

Before making a final decision on getting dreadlocks, it’s highly recommended to consult with a professional hairstylist who specializes in dreadlocks. They will be able to assess your hair type, discuss your desired goals, and provide personalized advice tailored to your specific needs. A hairstylist can also guide you through the initial stages of forming and maintaining your dreadlocks, ensuring a smooth and successful journey.

Researching reputable dreadlock specialists

If you decide to pursue getting dreadlocks, it’s crucial to find a reputable and experienced dreadlock specialist. Do thorough research, read reviews, and seek recommendations from friends or online communities dedicated to dreadlocks. Working with a professional who has expertise in creating and maintaining dreadlocks will greatly enhance your chances of achieving the desired results and avoiding any potential pitfalls.

Avoiding DIY disasters

While it may be tempting to attempt creating dreadlocks yourself, it’s important to exercise caution. Improper technique or lack of knowledge can lead to damage, frustration, and even the need to start over from scratch. Dreadlocks are a significant commitment, and investing in professional guidance can help ensure a successful and enjoyable journey.


In conclusion, getting dreadlocks is a personal choice that should be carefully considered. They offer low maintenance, styling versatility, and the opportunity for cultural and personal expression. However, it’s important to be aware of the lengthy process, patience required, and the potential for hair damage. Suitability and commitment play a role in determining whether dreadlocks are the right choice for you. Alternative hairstyles can also provide unique and stylish options for those hesitant about dreadlocks. Consulting professionals, researching reputable specialists, and avoiding DIY disasters are essential steps to take when considering dreadlocks. Ultimately, with the right education and preparation, you can make an informed decision that suits your personal style, preferences, and lifestyle.

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