What Causes Dreadlocks In Infants

So you’re wondering what causes dreadlocks in infants? Well, it’s actually quite common for infants to develop dreadlocks, and the main culprit is usually tangled hair. Infants have soft and delicate hair that is prone to tangling, especially if it’s not regularly combed or if they rub their head against their crib or pillow. This can result in the hair strands intertwining and forming tight knots, which eventually lead to dreadlocks. But don’t worry, there are ways to prevent and manage dreadlocks in infants, and I’ll be delving into those in the rest of this article.

What Causes Dreadlocks in Infants

Dreadlocks, also known as “locs,” can occur in infants due to various factors. Let’s explore the different causes of dreadlocks in infants and understand why these patterns form in their hair.

Natural Hair Texture

Curl Pattern

Infants with naturally curly hair are more prone to developing dreadlocks. The coil-like structure of their hair makes it easier for strands to interlock and form knots over time. The tighter the curl pattern, the higher the likelihood of dreadlocks forming naturally.

Kinky Hair

Infants with kinky hair, characterized by tight, coiled strands, are also predisposed to dreadlock formation. The unique texture of their hair makes it more prone to tangling and knotting, ultimately resulting in the formation of dreadlocks.


Rubbing Against Surfaces

Frequent rubbing of an infant’s head against surfaces like car seats or strollers can cause friction and tangle the hair. The repeated contact can lead to the formation of dreadlocks, especially if the hair is left unattended.

Constant Contact with Pillows or Bedding

Infants who spend a significant amount of time lying on their backs or sides may experience their hair constantly coming into contact with pillows or bedding. This continuous friction can cause the hair to tangle and eventually form dreadlocks over time.


Movement and Activity

Infants are naturally active, often crawling, rolling, and exploring their surroundings. The constant movement can cause their hair to intertwine and tangle, especially if they have longer hair or a naturally textured hair type.

Hair Knotting Together

If an infant’s hair is not regularly combed or detangled, the strands can naturally knot together. These knots can become more tightly intertwined as the hair continues to grow, eventually leading to the formation of dreadlocks.

Hair Products

Residue from Hair Products

Certain hair products, such as leave-in conditioners or styling gels, can leave residue on an infant’s hair if not properly rinsed out. This residue can contribute to the hair strands sticking together and forming dreadlocks over time.

Heavy Oily Substances

The use of heavy, oil-based hair products on infants’ hair can promote the matting and tangling of strands. Oils with a thick consistency can weigh down the hair, making it more prone to knotting and potentially forming dreadlocks.

Neglected Hair

Lack of Maintenance

Infants require regular hair care to prevent the formation of dreadlocks. Neglecting to comb or brush their hair can lead to knots and tangles that, if left unresolved, can progress into dreadlocks.

Infrequent Combing or Brushing

Combing or brushing an infant’s hair at regular intervals helps prevent tangling and knot formation. However, infrequent or irregular hair care practices can contribute to the development of dreadlocks.

Hair Length

Long Hair

Infants with longer hair have a higher likelihood of developing dreadlocks. Longer hair is more susceptible to tangling, especially if it is left unattended or not properly maintained.

Untouched Hair

If an infant’s hair is left untouched for an extended period, either due to parental choice or lack of hair care practices, it can naturally form dreadlocks. Without regular grooming and attention, the hair strands can interlock and tangle, resulting in dreadlocks.


Inherited Hair Type

The genetic makeup plays a significant role in determining an infant’s hair type and texture. If the parents or immediate family members have natural curl patterns or textured hair prone to forming dreadlocks, there is a higher chance that the infant may also develop dreadlocks.

Family History of Dreadlocks

If there is a family history of dreadlocks, it increases the likelihood of infants developing them as well. Certain hair characteristics may be inherited, making the hair more susceptible to dreadlocks.

Medical Conditions

Matting Due to Skin Conditions

Some infants may have underlying skin conditions that cause matting of the hair. Dermatitis or eczema, for example, can lead to the hair sticking together and forming clumps, potentially resulting in dreadlocks.

Hair Disorders

Certain hair disorders, such as trichorrhexis nodosa, can cause weakened hair strands that are more prone to tangling and knotting. These conditions can increase the likelihood of infants developing dreadlocks.

Environmental Factors

External environmental factors, such as climate and humidity, can contribute to the formation of dreadlocks. High humidity levels can increase moisture retention in the hair, making it more likely to tangle and form dreadlocks, especially when combined with other factors like natural hair texture or lack of maintenance.

Habitual Actions

Constant Hair Twisting

Infants who habitually twist or fiddle with their hair may inadvertently encourage the formation of dreadlocks over time. Repeated twisting can cause the hair strands to interlock and knot together, eventually resulting in dreadlocks.

Playing with Hair

Infants often explore objects and textures with their hands, including their own hair. Consistent playing with their hair can lead to tangling and knot formation, making the hair more prone to dreadlocks.

In conclusion, dreadlocks in infants can form due to various factors such as natural hair texture, friction, tangling, hair products, neglected hair, hair length, genetics, medical conditions, environmental factors, and habitual actions. Understanding these causes can help parents and caregivers take appropriate measures to prevent or manage dreadlocks in infants. Regular hair care, gentle detangling, and proper maintenance are essential in ensuring the health and well-being of an infant’s hair.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using our website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Cookie Policy
Accept All