Ways to Style Dreadlocked Hair

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Dreadlocks have gained popularity among different ethnic groups and you can find them everywhere, from the beaches of Waikiki to the boardrooms of Madison Avenue. While there are several resources for locking, and maintaining those locks, styling resources are rare. Dreads come in all shapes and sizes and are actually quite versatile. Although dreads are thicker than individual strands of hair, there are still options for styling beyond the ponytail.

Styling Short Dreads

  • If you have enough length on top, try wearing your dreads in a modified pixie cut or high-top fade. If you are trying to grow your dreads out, use colorful scarves as headbands. The scarves will add a splash of color, protect your hair and keep your hair out of your face as it grows out. Create a crown effect by pinning your dreads back from your forehead and temples. Highlight the tips to enhance the effect. Style ear-to-chin-length dreads into mini ponytails. Try a dread faux-hawk or, if you're feeling adventurous, go all the way.

Styling Long Dreads

  • Dreads that are shoulder length, or longer, are extra versatile. Dreads don't have to be all one length, so try a Cleopatra look with bangs or an asymmetrical cut to enhance your jaw line. You can also give your dreads shape with layered cuts. Keep your length and curl your dreads with spiral rollers. Or braid or twist them together, while damp, and when they dry, unravel them for a wavy look. Curl the ends and style your hair into a sophisticated side sweep. You can also wear your dreads in French braids and stylish updos. Long dreads lend themselves to almost any style. The only considerations are in the thickness of the individual dreads and the length of your hair. The thicker the dread, the stiffer it will be and more bulk it will add to your style.

Coloring Dreads

  • Dreads are spongelike and will soak up color easily. If your dreads are dark, you may want to consider bleaching before adding a brighter color. If you do decide to bleach, have it done professionally to minimize breakage and damage. Coloring involves a lot of rinsing and washing, so if your dreads are fairly new, wait until they have completely locked before coloring. You will need to use more color than you would for nondreaded hair and vegetable-based, semipermanent dyes are best. You can color your whole head or just a few dreads. Try multiple colors for the George Clinton look or just color the tips. You can even try an hombre look by adding a darker color to the roots, then adding progressively lighter colors along the length of the dreads.

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