How To Do Dreads On Short Hair?

People all over the world wear dreadlocks not just for style but to honor their cultures. You will find people young and old, men and women proudly wearing dreadlocks anywhere, at home, in school, at the office, and in public events. If you’re considering wearing dreads but a bit skeptical because you have short hair, don’t worry. Stylists recommend starting dreads while hair is still short because this makes it easier to wear full locks later.   

What You Need To Do Dreads On Short Hair

We’ll show you how to do dreadlocks on short hair and some tips on how to care for your dreads as you grow your hair. As with all tutorials, here are some things you’ll need.

  • Soft Bristled Brush – you need this type of brush to prepare your hair for brushing or when performing the sponge method.
  • Special Dread Sponge – this is a sponge that’s specially made for making dreads on very coarse hair. Experts recommend using a good quality dread sponge for short hair. Sometimes a sponge brush works better than a bristle brush when working with short hair.
  • HairCream For Dreadlocks – this is a unique hair cream that locks sin dreads. Like gels and hair creams, this can hold dreaded hair together and keep your locks well-knotted.
  • Dreadlock Shampoo – this is a particular type of shampoo that will clean dreadlocks and will never leave any residue. Dreadlock shampoos will also promote new hair growth while keeping dreads tight.
  • Rat-Tail Comb – this type of comb has a useful handle that will help pull and twist dread hair. It also helps part hair evenly during the first steps of the dreading process. Choose a durable rat-tail comb with a metal handle because this is stronger and more efficient than plastic combs.
  • Elastic Bands Or Hair Clips – this is used to hold the dreadlocks down. Make sure to have more than a dozen of these.
  • Hairdryer – used to dry and set the dreadlocks.

Steps To Do Dreads On Short Hair

Dreadlocks can work with short hair, but before the dreading process, you need to prepare short hair first. Here are the steps:

Wash Your Short Hair

Before you start making dreadlocks, wash your hair with your regular shampoo. Don’t forget to moisturize hair as well. Rinse your shampoo and moisturizer altogether to avoid residue build-up.

Form Hairballs With The Brush Or Sponge

Now that your hair is ready, use a brush with soft bristles to move in a clockwise motion over hair. Make small hair balls which are very easy to make with short hair. Use the rat-tail comb to quickly part hair. Once you have made a ball, move to the other section of the hair to make more.

Note that a brush is perfect for coarse-type hair that is about an inch to 2.5 inches long. You may also make balls using a sponge brush. This is another useful tool to make dreads on very short hair.

Apply Dreadlock Wax Or Cream

Apply a generous amount of dreadlock cream or wax to all the hair balls. This will moisturize hair and will also keep hair in place (so the balls won’t unravel). Use your hands to apply the cream

Secure With Clips Or Elastic

The dreadlock cream will keep hair in place, but you can’t be too sure, so you must secure the hair with an elastic band. After making a ball, place the elastic under it, near the hair root. Avoid very tight elastic bands because this can be very uncomfortable for the wearer.

But if you’re styling medium or coarse hair, you can skip this step because coarse hair will naturally keep in place and will never unravel even if the wearer moves.

Dry Using A Hairdryer

Use a hairdryer to dry the dreadlocks thoroughly. Check if these are dry, touch them, and feel if the wax or cream is still wet. After drying, you may now remove clips or rubber bands. Aside from a handheld hair dryer, you may also use a hooded dryer for thorough drying.

Let The Hair Set

Avoid touching, playing, or sleeping with wet hair. Let it dry and set. It can take a few hours to do so. After this, you’re ready to flaunt your new short hair dreads.

Twist The Dreadlocks

You can twist the dreadlocks to create an interesting and stylish pattern. Separate hair using a rat-tail comb into small portions. Remove knots in hair by combing it. Continue making 1×1 inch squares all over the head. Each square will be a dreadlock.

Comb And Apply Dreadlock Cream

Apply dreadlock cream in every section. Make sure to saturate the locks of hair. Use clips or elastic bands to tie up hair.

Create Dreads

When all the sections are tied up, use the rat-tail comb to twist hair. Insert the handle at the root of the tied-up hair. Hold the comb and twist and pull hair. Move through the ends of the hair as you keep the hair on the teeth of the comb. When you’re done, the hair will be transformed into a dread.

You can place rubber bands, but if you used cream, then this won’t be needed. Continue twisting hair to make dreads until you have finished the entire head.

Dry Dreads For Three Hours

Use a hairdryer to dry the dreads. You may also use a hooded hair dryer if you have access to one. You can only sleep or lie down once your dreads are dry.

Maintain your dreadlocks by checking on each one to see if it has unraveled or if you need to apply more dreadlock wax or cream. Wash your dreadlocks with dreadlock shampoo at least once a week to keep your hair and scalp clean.


Properly dreaded hair will look awesome, emphasizing style and cultural heritage. Take care of your dreadlocks regularly and avoid very tight dreads, which can be very uncomfortable to wear. Use only quality tools and products to make dreadlocks. 

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