Dreads look good and cool on anyone, and besides the hairstyle is easy to use because of its minimal required maintenance after the dread has formed. This is one of the reasons why many women and men love to use dreadlocks, especially before the summer season. On the other hand, the natural hair length can be an issue, if you want to start dreadlocks.

Generally, you must have about 6 inches or 15 centimeters of hair length before heading to a loctician office for a dread. In most cases, the determinant of the hair length depends on the types of dread you want to do and depending on your budget. You should be willing to invest extra time in maintaining your dreads at their early stage.

Several factors will determine the length of your hair, especially if you are just starting. So, therefore, in this article, you will learn about how long your hair needs to grow and the factors you should consider before dreading it.

Factors That Influence Hair Length for Dreadlocks

When starting dreadlock, you must have at least 3-6 inches of hair length. However, here below are some factors that greatly impact your hair length and the challenges you will encounter in the dread-making process.

A. The method you are using.

The first factor that will influence the hair length for your dreadlock is the method of dreadlock you are going to use. Some methods allow you to use short hair conveniently, while some allow both long and short hair.

Below are the four common methods to choose from, especially if you install a dreadlock for the first time.

1. Freeform method

The freeform dreadlock method allows you to install a dreadlock without a specific natural hair length. All you need while using the freeform method is to wash your natural hair with a residue-free shampoo, and after the installation, you can start dreading it. The most important thing in freeform is to ensure you separate the root early so that you don’t have a messy knot later.

2.    Twist and rip method

The twist and rip method is also a great dreadlock method that you can install with a minimum of three inches of hair. However, it will take more time for short hair to settle than it would be on long hair. Also, if a professional loctician does not do the installation, it can lead to hair breakage and can also shorten your hair.

3.    Backcombing method

A backcombing method is a method you should avoid if your natural hair is below six inches in length. With backcombing, you will either end up with firm or loose dreads depending on your hair length and the loctician professionalism.

If your hair is less than six inches and you still want this dreadlock method, keep in mind that your hair is at risk. That’s why professional and certified locticians mostly recommend that you should wait until your hair length grows to six inches or fifteen centimeters before you use backcombing.

4.    Crochet method

The crochet method is one of the greatest methods when it comes to dreadlocks. This method will leave you with a firm dreadlock that will hold together, especially at the early stage.

The crochet method also allows you to start with a short hair length of at least three inches if a professional loctician does it for you. But if you are doing it yourself, you must have at least six inches of long hair.

The main point here is that your hair doesn’t have to be long to start a dreadlock, but you will be on the safer side if your hair length is long.

And if you have short hair, less than three inches, ensure you wait till your hair is long enough before you start dreading it. However, regardless of your hair length, your dreadlocks will not have the same length when they mature.

B. Your Hair Type

The type of your hair is another factor that influences the hair length before you start dreading it. Some hairs are more predisposed to dreadlocks than others due to their texture.

So, therefore ensure you check how your hair texture can influence your dreadlock before heading to the saloon. Here below are the types of hair:

1. Coarse or Kinky hair

If your natural hair is coarse or kinky, the minimum length of your hair you must have before starting dread is four inches or ten centimeters. It would be best if you abide by this rule because failure to do so may lead to hair breaking or make you lose your natural hair during the dreading processes.

2. Loose or curly hair

If your natural hair is curly or loose, the best time to start dreading is when your hair is at least six inches or fifteen centimeters long. This type of hair has the natural benefit of holding the shape of dread for a long time. So, it is worth waiting for if your loose or curly hair is less than six inches.

3. Thin, Straight, or Oily Hair

If you are someone with thin, straight, or oily hair, you will need to wait till your hair length is at least four inches or ten centimeters long before you start dreading it. In some cases, it is also recommended by most loctician that you should till your hair is eight inches or twenty centimeters long for you to be on a safer side.

The point is that you will only enjoy the benefits of dreading if your hair length is longer than the minimum length required for your hair type. Regardless of your hair type, your hair will undergo constant downward and upward motions at the early stage until they are matured. But the longer your hair, the more knots you will form and be able to maintain.

C. What Look Are You Going to Have

The most important factor that will determine your natural hair length to start dreading is the kind of look you want to have. After all, you won’t start dreading it in the first place if you don’t want your appearance to be attractive. It is dangerous to focus on just having dread without any focus on how you will look.

If you have natural hair less than three inches, the dread will look like pokey things that will stick out of your hair in no time. Also, you can control your dreadlock appearance by using a dreadlock extension and covering it with beanies.

How to make your hair grow long faster for dreading?

Regardless of the popular misconception, the fact is to grow a long dread requires time, effort, and patience. In most cases, it takes years to grow, and this length will also apply to your natural hair.

If you are not ready to wait long, you can go for a dreadlock extension or preferably wait for your hair to grow long and then dread it. Mostly, your dread length depends on some things. Here below are how you can make your hair grow faster:

1. Get frequent trims.

Although this may look counterintuitive, the fact is that if you want healthy and long hair for your hair, you need to trim your hair regularly. Even though trimming won’t make your hair grow faster and longer, it is essential to help eliminate the split ends that will break your hair.

Eliminating the breakage in the hair helps to allow your hair to grow longer. Even in some cases, the cause of having short hair may be because you are not trimming them.

2. Eat the right diet.

Eating the right diet is another way to grow your natural hair longer. Hair products are not the only thing that will make your hair grow long; what you eat also helps more than you think. At this point, ensure you are not just eating any food; you need to eat the right diet. Eat high protein food such as fish, nuts, beans, and grains.

If you are someone who doesn’t love meat or some other protein, you need to start loving them because you need them to have hair growth. Failure to take the right diet will lead to hair breakage and hair shedding. Aside from taking proteinous food, eat a balanced diet because that is what will contribute to long and healthy hair.

3.   Add a hair-healthy vitamin to your morning routine.

If you are not getting enough diet from food, using a supplement will also lead to the growth of your hair. Look out for supplements that are multivitamins and labeled for hair and skin. If you get a vitamin-like Vitamin B, Vitamin C, or biotin, it won’t only help make your hair grow faster but also make your skin and nails beautiful.

4.   Shampoo less and hydrate more.

It would be best if you didn’t shampoo your hair health often because it will affect your hair length but because it can affect the health of your hair. It is best to shampoo your hair only once or twice a week to allow the oil in it to penetrate into your hair.

However, ensure you hydrate more often. For long and thicker hair, hydrate often and choose a thickening shampoo.


Now that you know that the length of your hair impacts the method of dread you can use, it is best to allow your hair to grow to an appropriate length. Aside from all the methods for increasing your hair length, a dreadlock extension is also a great option.

Dreads are beautiful for both women and men but knowing the length of your hair and a suitable dreadlock style will save you from trouble.


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