Dreadlocks have been worn for various reasons in all different cultures- sometimes as an expression of religious or spiritual beliefs, ethnic pride, political statements, or simply a fashion preference. Traditionally, it was believed that in order to create dreadlocks, you had to refrain from brushing, combing or cutting. This method, known as the “neglect method,” creates “freeform” dreadlocks that can vary in size and shape. It is important to know that “salon methods” still rely on the hair naturally matting over a period of time to form dreadlocks. The difference is in the initial technique when the “brushable” hair is encouraged to form an immature set of dreadlocks, but they still need time and attention in order to grow, lock, and mature.

There are many different methods that exist for creating and maintaining dreadlocks. It is important to do your research and determine what the best method is for your hair type, and for the type of journey you want to have.


This is the method that we use here at Liz Kidder Studio. Sometimes called "instant dreadlocks," crocheted dreadlocks look a lot like matured dreadlocks on Day One. It is one of the most professional techniques (biased opinion), in that the dreadlocks come out looking very neat and uniform from the beginning, and start much further along in the maturing stage than other techniques. A higher level of skill and understanding is required to use this method, so as to not damage the hair, as one is weaving a tiny metal crochet hook back and forth through the dreadlock in order to weave it tighter, pull in loose hair, fix bumps/loops, attach extensions, and repair weak spots. Crochet hooking is one of the most effective techniques for manipulating the dreadlock to achieve your desired look.


  • Freeform: Also know as the neglect-method. Discontinuing brushing/combing your hair until it naturally forms into dreadlocks. Can take years to form. Results vary immensely depending on hair texture and other factors.
  • Twisting: Typically using a gel or some sort of locking product, hair is sectioned and tightly twisted into coils. Works best on extremely curly or afro-textured hair, since straighter hair tends to unravel completely after washing.
  • Interlocking: Hair is sectioned and looped through itself (topsy-tailed) to create knots/twists in the hair. Can cause twists, gaps, and weak spots in the hair, especially on thicker/straighter-hair locks.
  • Backcomb: Hair is sectioned and then pushed up towards the scalp by combing backward. Sometimes finished off with palm-rolling. Very easy at-home technique. Looks very messy at first, changes a lot over time, and results will vary a lot.
  • Twist n Rip: Hair is sectioned, back-combed, twisted, split, and pulled apart to create knots in the hair. Easy at-home method, although can be damaging (ripping) and results vary depending on hair texture and technique.

Can I Get Dreadlocks?

Click here to learn about the prerequisites for starting new dreadlocks.