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What is the Best Length for Starting the Dreads?

  • 8 min read

Best Length for Starting the Dreads

Starting the dreads is a tough decision that requires good research followed by the loctician visits. First, one must know the best length to start the dreads as it can be helpful to give you a good idea if you should grow your hair length or not. Dreadlock is a protective hairstyle that can be styled in various ways. Additionally, there are different dreadlocks, from micro locs to sisterlocks, from which you can decide your look.

Various methods are now introduced to help you get the perfect dreadlock look according to your style. Will this blog thoroughly guide you about the required length for starting the dreads with short-haired females? How long does it take to grow shoulder-length dreadsHow long does it take to get dreadlocks done at a salon? What investment cost must you keep in mind while starting this process? Continue reading to learn more about the dreadlock journey. 

From hair length to the final cost, there are different things that one must know before jumping on the bandwagon. From hair length to the total investment required to get your dreamy perfect look, there are many additional factors that one must know. On average, to start this process, ideally, the length of 15 cm is preferable to start the locks. But as said earlier, many things affect individuals. So here are some things that you must check before starting your locs.

Factors that Affect the Starting Length

Different individuals have different types of hair. One of the factors that affect the overall loc journey. For instance, some people have a crazy high growth rate, so their dreads take less time to grow. Likewise, some people who have breakage issues will have to go through various issues to get their desired look. Some factors affect the starting length of the locs, described below:

Hair Type for Starting the Dreads:

Different hair types have different hair starting lengths for starting the dreads. It depends upon the natural texture of the hair. From baldness to longer length, it is possible to flaunt your look using the best method of getting the dreads. For instance:

Straight hair:

For straight, thin, and oily hair, a hair length of 10 centimeters to 20 centimeters is considered good. However, once the dreads are started with this length, they get shortened with the period. Hence, the length is super cool for a hair transformation look.

Loose Curly Hair:

This is one of the best hair types that holds the dread shape very well. People with loose natural curls require low-maintenance for dreads as there are no serious unraveling issues. To start the dreads in loose curly hair, the length of a minimum of 7 centimeters to 15 centimeters is good.

Coarse and Kinky hair:

Kinky and coarse hair is the best when it comes to forming dreads. The dreadlocks originated from the people with kinky hair because they were easy to form with smaller lengths. The minimum hair length for starting the dreads is 1-4 inches for coarse hair.

One of the thumb rules for starting the dreads is to keep a few centimeters' additional lengths. First, as the process of forming dreads has up and down motion, it is good to have some additional hair length to get a fuller look. Secondly, the dreads get shortened with time. So, an additional centimeter in the hair length will give you the perfect desired look.

Method Type:

One of the essential factors for starting the dreads is the method you choose. There are a variety of methods that use various tools to create professional dreads. Just avoid use of hair setting gels and hair setting products to start the locs. Here are some standard methods that use different hair lengths for starting:

1: Freeform

As the name shows, free-form is the method that doesn’t require any proper length of hair to start the dreads. In this method, you get the freedom to start your locs at any length. Make sure you start with clean and dried hair. Use a good shampoo to get your hair cleaned. Don’t forget to comb them well. Otherwise, it can lead to more giant knots in the dreads.

2: Crochet

According to the dread length chart for different methods, the ideal length of hair for starting the dreads is 15 centimeters in the crochet method. A perfect method that creates stiff dreadlocks. The stiff dreadlocks look professional and last longer than any other method. So if you are getting the locs from a professional, get the crochet method for your favorite type of dreads.

3: Backcombing

Backcombing is a method that forms loose and firm dreads depending upon the hair type. If you want to get the dreads with short hair, a minimum length of 10 centimeters is required. But, in the case of backcombing, the unraveling risk is higher, so a length of 15 centimeters is preferable to reduce the chances of a flawed look with dreads.

4: Twist and Rip

If you are looking for a perfect method to start locs at a shorter length, this is the perfect method that allows you to start dreads at 13 centimeters.

Look, you Decide:

 The starting length of dreads also depends on another significant factor: the look you decide. If you want to get started with the short dreads, they may not look great in the beginning but will take time to mature into your desired look. Hence, it is good to observe your hair condition and length before starting the dreads.

How Much Time Does It Take for Dreads to Get Long?

Many people have this misconception that the dreadlocks take years to grow. It depends upon your hair length and hair condition. If your hair has a fast growth rate, you may get your desired look in only 6 to 8 months. But, on average, the locticians recommend being patient with your dreads for at least 12 to 24 months to get the desired mature locs. Here are some hair conditions that may affect the time frame for dreads to get long.

1: You’re bald

One case is that you are bald and want to start the dreads. In this case, you must be patient with your scalp and hair type. Some people also choose intentionally to shave their heads before starting the dreads. The sole purpose of this act is to start the dreads with fresh and healthy hair, which is a good idea. However, to start dreads with zero hair on the head, you must start growing some hair in considerable length for starting the locs.

One of the most common question is, can you start dreads with 1 inch of hair? So, the answer is NO. To start the dreads, you must have hair with a length of 7 centimeters to 10 centimeters. Keep your fresh hair residue-free with a good shampoo. Once you start the locs, use a residue-free shampoo to get clean locs. Also, don’t forget to use essential hair oils for fast hair growth and moisturisation.

2: Short hair (Up to 10 cm)

If you have short hair and you’re concerned about how to start dreads with short hair? Don’t worry because you can start the locs at 7 centimeters in length. It is the minimum length required for starting the locs. Once you start the locs, keep your hair clean and well-maintained with a few tips and tricks.

In the beginning, when the locs are small, you may experience frizziness and shrinkage, which is quite common. Further, you may feel that your hair is stuck in phase “interim,” in which neither the hair grows nor shrink. But remember that this is a small phase of the loc journey that passes with time. Be patient with your locs and keep them well moisturized with essential hair oils in this phase.

The dreads with 6 inches of hair are also possible, but they may not go with your personality. They look minimal and tiny and take time to grow. Until or unless the hair grows to 5 centimeters in length, locs don’t look to have some shape. Hence, it is essential to look at your hair length before starting the locs.

3: Medium-length hair (Between 10 cm to 35 cm)

If you have medium-length hair, it is good as mostly the locticians recommend getting the locs at 10 centimeters. Managing the locs with medium hair length is relatively easy as it doesn’t reveal the hair shrinkage. Plus, the locs look great in some mature shape and length with this hair length.

But, with this hair length comes more responsibility for taking care of your locs. It gets tough to keep them clean and lint-free all the time. In addition, they require extra attention while sleeping and washing the dreads. But, regardless of the increased burden of dread washing and cleaning, the looks look perfect for styling. Hence, this size is perfect for starting and hitching the transformed dreadlocks look.

4: Long hair (Over 35 cm)

If you are going to start the loc journey with long hair, you will need to be extra patient with the growth. The hair lock growth journey for longer dreadlocks is a meticulous process with short hair. To observe a significant increase in your dreadlocks, be patient for at least two years. Moreover, you must be ready to face more shrinkage for your longer dreads. Hence, the overall journey of dreadlocks with longer hair will be a roller coaster ride with shrinkage of long hair and then again the long dreadlocks.

If you have set butt-length dreads in your mind, note that you would be able to achieve them in less time, like three years and a maximum of 6 years.

Dreads and Hair Shortening

The Dreadlock maturation process has significant side effects, such as hair shrinkage. No matter the length of your dreads, they are prone to get shrinkage and frizziness. The locs maturation process takes months to years, depending on the type of locs and hair texture.

If you have coarse curly or kinky hair, they have a faster growth rate and hold the dreadlocks for longer, But if you have straight, oily hair, you may have to be extra patient with the dreadlocks maturation. During your hair loc maturation journey, expect hair loss to a significant amount. Further, the type of methods for starting the locs may help you. For instance, the crochet method may give less hair shrinkage than other types, but still, it is just an approximation.

In this time frame, use essential hair oils to keep them growing. Don’t give up on your dreads when they are in the maturation phase because once they pass this phase, they will come out stronger, thicker, and lengthier than ever with a new hair look.

Cost of Starting the Dreads

The cost of the locs depends on a variety of factors. If you have a deep interest in this subject, you can learn the locking technique at home and start your locks with the required accessories. The price of starting the locs vary depending upon the hair length, the type of method you choose, and the style you want. To get a better idea of the prices, you must visit a loctician near you for a price quote according to your hair type.

Starting the dreads is recommended at any hair length if you’re passionate enough to rock this look. The hair type and hair texture matter a lot, but it becomes easy to manage the locs in all hair types once you get started. So, complete your part of the research and maintain a standard length of 10 centimeters before starting the locks.

If you want to slay the locs but have no time to grow them naturally, human hair loc extensions are a great alternative. With proper processing of loc extensions, you would get the desired natural-looking dreadlocks in no time.

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