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How Long Does it Take to Grow Dreads?

If you’re wondering how long it takes to grow dreads, you’re in the right spot. We’ll teach you all you need to know about how long your hair needs to be and how long it will take to grow mature dreadlocks.

How Long Does It Take to Grow Dreads?

For a piece titled How Long Does It Take to Grow Dreads, a guy with locs smiling without a shirt

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Depending on your hair length and how tight your dreadlocks are, it takes approximately 10 to 24 months to grow mature dreadlocks. The individual dreads need to be formed initially, then cared for over a while, and eventually, they’ll turn into neat, mature dreads.

Do dreads grow faster than braids?

Even though some people might feel like they do, dreads do not grow faster than braids. Hair growth is not dependent upon the style of hair. When you first form dreads, it will take even longer to grow your hair out as the new growth will go into knotting your hair.

How do you make your dreads grow faster?

Eating a balanced diet that includes vitamins and minerals can help stimulate hair growth, which will make your dreads grow faster. You can also massage your scalp, use hair oils, and try to remain stress-free to achieve the fastest hair growth.

Do dreads damage hair?

Dreads can cause some damage to hair, as they can pull on your scalp and be heavy, but they can also protect your hair. After forming, the dreads group together and protect the hair, preventing some breakage and split ends.

Can dreadlocks be undone?

Technically, yes, dreadlocks can be undone by combing them out. But, for most people, especially those with thick, curly hair, combing them out could be a painful procedure full of damaged hair, and it is preferable to cut them off.

Now that we’ve answered some of the most common dreadlock questions, we’ll how you just how to do it.

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Growing Dreads Quickly: A Summary

The process for growing dreads is simple. These three steps will help you grow dreads:

  1. Set Your Hair Length Goal
  2. Grow Your Hair
  3. Form and Maintain Your Dreads

For most people, this entire process takes approximately 10 to 24 months. Let’s go through each step in detail so you can get a better idea of how long it takes to grow dreads.

How to Grow Dreadlocks Quickly in 3 Easy Steps

Listed below are the steps you can take to grow dreads, including the time it will take for each step.

1. Set Hair Length Goal

This is perhaps the easiest part of growing dreads. Before forming your hair into dreadlocks, you need to identify how long you want your hair to be before starting the dreadlocking process and set a clear goal

This is up to your taste and desires, so think carefully about what you want rather than asking others. Some hair can be formed into dreads when it’s short. For people with curly, thick hair that mats easily, you don’t need much hair length to begin dreads.

All you need is approximately two to four inches. But, if you have straight hair that is more difficult to form into knots, you probably don’t want to attempt to create dreadlocks until your hair is a bit longer.

You can start it at six inches if you want to push it, but eight to 10 inches is a better goal for people with straight hair. One thing to consider is that it will take some time for your hair to form mature dreadlocks.

The next two steps are long, intermediate stages that can make it seem like your hair isn’t growing out much at all. While you might be able to form two-inch dreads, that could be an annoying length to keep for the long period it takes for your dreads to form.

That’s why it’s crucial to be patient. You should wait until your hair is a good length before attempting to put it into dreads.

Many people prefer to postpone forming dreadlocks until they can bunch their hair into a ponytail or bun. That way, they can keep the messy hair out of their way and out of their eyes during the long dreading process.

2. Grow Your Hair

This part may seem so obvious that it’s silly to list it. But this is, in fact, one of the most essential steps to growing dreads. You have to be patient and let your hair grow out first.

Most people’s hair grows approximately six inches per year. If you start with a shaved head or particularly short hair, it might take a year or more before you reach your desired hair length, which might be over six inches long.

It’s also important to remember that the ends of your hair will likely get damaged throughout the growing-out period. Getting small trims can help avoid frizzy, unruly hair, but it will also make the answer to the question “How long does it take to grow dreads?” even longer than you had planned.

That is a good reason to take excellent care of your hair as it’s growing out. If you can avoid split ends and overall damage, you will take advantage of every bit of growth and the time will be shorter.

Eating a balanced diet can help grow your hair faster, as you need many vitamins and minerals to stimulate and allow for hair growth. You can also massage your scalp to stimulate growth.

Set aside the time to grow out your hair. Dreads are a hairstyle that you must commit to for a long time. After you do so, you will be rewarded with the look you’ve been going for. You can’t rush it.

3. Form the Dreads

Finally, after you’ve decided on a good length for your dreads and allowed your hair to grow until it reaches that length, you can start to form the dreads. This isn’t an overnight process.

Unlike many other hairstyles, you can’t wake up without dreadlocks, make some quick changes, and expect to have finished, mature dreadlocks before sunset. Instead, you will start to form your dreads once your hair is the proper length.

Then, you will continue to tame them over many months until they separate into neat dreads that can be easily maintained. There are many different ways to form dreadlocks.

Here are some of the top techniques:

  • Bunch your hair into coils around your fingers or by rolling between your palms
  • Braid or crochet individual dreadlocks
  • Use a wool rubbing or backward brushing technique

Select your favorite technique or visit a hairstylist experienced with dreadlocks to help you decide. A variety of products can help keep your dreads in place after you initially form them.

After that, it’s a waiting game. Generally speaking, there are five different stages of dreads that you’ll go through once you start the process.

These stages are:

  • Starter: The pattern is just beginning to form
  • Budding: Some sections hold together, but new growth puffs out
  • Teen: An unruly period where you might not be sure much progress is happening
  • Mature: Dreadlocks are neatly separated, often lying flat or hanging down comfortably
  • Rooted: As hair lengthens, the dreadlocks hang heavier and gravitate toward a more slender shape

For most people, this entire five-step process takes another 10 to 24 months before the dreadlocks are defined and mature. Many months will likely go by before the ends of the dreads start to grow.

That’s because the new growth will knot up and add to the dreads instead of the overall length. After your dreads are well-formed, they will grow out just like your hair used to.

The new growth will add to the dreads, and unless you want to extend the length, you might have to get them cut. The rooted stage is not easy to get to. It will take a long time for the hair to grow before you start to make dreads.

Then, it could take many months – sometimes, up to two years – before they are fully formed. They will be rooted and become part of your routine after that, but it can take multiple years before your dreads reach this final stage.

If this discourages you, remember that it is a growing process. To most people, it looks like you have dreads shortly after you start to form them.

It will require a lot of effort to continue the process so that you can create stylish and neat dreadlocks. If you neglect the process, you’re going to waste a lot of time and come out with nothing to show for it.

How Long Does It Take to Grow Dreads?

The time it takes to grow dreads depends on how long you want your hair to be, how long it takes to grow it out, and how long it takes for your dreads to fully mature. However, for most people, the process to grow dreads takes anywhere from 10 to 24 months.

While they’re certainly not easy to grow, dreads are a great protective hairstyle for anyone with a little Rasta in them. Locs are more of a lifestyle than anything, so if you’re itching to look like Marley, we’re all for it!