When you think about dreads, there’s an image that comes to mind right away. Long locks down the middle of their back; beaded and tossed into a style that is both sleek and relaxed. This image that conjures in the minds of most people when they think of dreads is why some people with short hair think getting dreads is impossible for them.

Oh, how they are wrong.

While people with short hair can (and should!) get dreads, there are some additional factors you might need to think through before going and dreading your hair the same way a person with longer hair might.

The Scalp is the Secret

Your scalp is the secret to how your dreadlocks will look when they are finished. With short hair, how you map out the dreads on your scalp is going to be one of the most critical parts in planning to get dreadlocks in the first place.

Practice with a friend, preferably someone with experience, and separate your hair into the sections you might consider dreading. Using some zig-zag patterns, some straight lights, and equal sections of hair will give you the best idea on how your dreads will look. If you don’t take the time to plan these sections, your hair will be lopsided, and with short hair, this is very easy to see.

Plan the Number of Dreads

Similarly to planning the dreadlock sections, you want to plan how many dreads you want.

There is no right or wrong number when it comes to dreadlocks, but people with longer hair can usually get away with fewer dreads since they are long. With short hair, you will need to maintain some volume. Otherwise, the short dreads will show a lot of your scalp and might make things look patchy. Doing the same routine as above, plan how many, or roughly how many, dreads you’d like to have in your hair before you get them. This will give you an idea of how it will look and how many dreads you’ll need to maintain the future.

Get a Good Washing Routine

Speaking of maintenance, with short hair, some of the rules change. Short hair, in general, takes a lot less of everything. Less shampoo, conditioner, styling time, etc. And while this is mostly correct with dreadlocks in short hair too, there are some other key factors too.

When it comes to washing, most of the same rules apply. Wash only a few times per week, dry them thoroughly before sleeping, etc. However, with short dreads, oil and dryness will show that much more. Use the first month with your dreads to make a maintenance routine that works for you and your hair. It can be challenging to find out when and how often to wash your dreads, but paying close attention to your dreads and your scalp will help you make a good plan for a bright future with growing dreadlocks.

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