Dreads have been around for thousands of years and are worn by cultures all over the world. The earliest depictions of dreads were seen on the deity Shiva in what is now India’s Vedic scriptures, but today, we often associate dreads with Rastafarians in Jamaica who wear them as a symbol of unity and spirituality. 

By wearing dreads, you can celebrate your multicultural identity. We’ll give you ideas for both dreads and faux dreads hairstyles so you can get creative and experiment with a style that best suits you.  

1. Double Buns with Yarn Dreads

woman with double buns with yarn dreads

Dread styles come in many variations, and unique textures and colors can add a creative touch to your look. Yarn dreads are faux dreads that don’t require long hair to install. Choose your color of yarn and braid it into your hair at the scalp, then wrap the yarn down and around itself to create the dread formation.

2. Dreads with Highlights

person with dread highlights

Adding highlights to your dreads hairstyle can give your hair dimension and a subtle pop of color. An experienced hairstylist will work carefully to highlight an assortment of dreads evenly throughout your hair so they look balanced and blend well with your natural hair color. 

3. Dreads with Metal Cuffs

person with dreads and metal cuffs

Photo source: Amia Mykale, a dreadlocks Pro in Severn, MD

Accessorizing your dreads can be a great way to add a personal touch to your look. Incorporate metal cuffs or clips in your dreads hairstyle by finding jewels slightly smaller than your dreads and sliding them onto a handful of strands. The texture of your dreads will keep the accessories in place. You can also tie rubber bands under each jewel for extra security. 

4. Messy Bun

You don’t have to conjure up an intricate hairstyle every time you leave the house with your dreads. Because dreads are already stylish, you can wear them in a messy bun and they’ll look great. A messy bun takes under a minute to create. Simply gather your dreads and twist them up with a hair tie. 

5. Dreads with Colored Thread

woman with dreads and colored thread

Photo source: Sabrina Swann, a dreadlocks Pro in Missouri City, TX

Colored thread is a great way to add a pop of color to your dreads without chemically dying your hair. For a stripe effect, change thread colors in the middle of your dreads. You can easily remove threads from your hair and switch to a different color when you’re in the mood for something new. 

6. Side-Swept Dreads

woman with side swept dreads

Side-swept dreads give your hair a pinned-up look while still allowing your dreads to cascade to one side. To achieve the side-swept look, braid your hair on one side before installing your dreads. You can also use pins to keep your dreads pushed over. For a casual side-swept look, throw your dreads to one side and let them fall naturally.

7. Braided Dreads

person with braided dreads

Braided dreads are small dreads braided together to create a unique texture and feel. These dreads resemble microbraids and may require an experienced stylist to install. Braided dreads are great since they usually stay intact through regular washing. You can also create various hairstyles with them.

8. Palm Tree Dreads 

woman with palm tree dreads

The palm tree hairstyle is a popular way to wear dreads for both men and women. The look involves spreading your dreads out on top of your head in the shape of a palm tree. You can easily create the palm tree style with a large claw clip or with a hair tie. 

9. Dreads with Curly Ends

dreads with curly ends

Photo source: Imani Wright, a dreadlocks Pro in Chicago, IL

Thanks to faux dreads, you have a lot of freedom to decide what you want your dreads to look like. You can install faux dreads with curly ends if you want a unique look for your dreads. Having curly ends also makes updos interesting when you want to throw your dreads up. 

10. Dreads with Undercut

man with dreads and undercut

An undercut involves shaving the underside of your head while leaving the top part of your hair long. Installing dreads in the hair you keep creates a bold style that makes your dreads stand out. To keep your dreads out of your face, throw them in a top-knot for another stylish look. 

11. Faux Hawk

man with faux hawk dreads

When you have dreads in your hair, you can style them in the shape of a mohawk by using a hair tie and pulling them forward. A faux hawk is easier to create if you already have an undercut or short hair on the sides of your head. With long dreads, you can braid or pin your dreads on the sides to create this look. 

12. Dreads with Headscarf 

woman with dreads and headscarf

A headscarf is one of the best accessories to wear with lots of dread styles. You can wear a headscarf in many ways to keep your dreads back and upgrade your look. Tie the headscarf in a knot and wear it as a headband or gather your dreads and wrap them up in the headscarf. You can also try wrapping a headscarf around your ponytail to accessorize your dread updo. 

13. Freeform Dreads

man with freeform dreads

Freeform dreads are a low maintenance hairstyle option that allows you to embrace your natural hair texture. You won’t need fancy products or styling tips to create freeform dreads. In fact, you can roll right out of bed with this hairstyle and your dreads should look just fine. You can begin freeform dreads with twists or braids. Then, your hair will then grow naturally and form its own path. 

14. Low Ponytail

man with low ponytail dreads

When you’ve made the effort to grow out long dreads, the low ponytail is a great dread style that can keep your hair tied back while showing off your length. Use a hair tie to hold your low ponytail in place. If you don’t have one on hand, use one of your dreads and wrap it around the rest of your hair to create a hair tie. 

15. Goddess Dreads

woman with goddess dreads

Photo source: Styles By Elke, a dreadlocks Pro in Los Angeles, CA

Goddess dreads are a faux dread style that have a boho feel to them. These dreads include loose, wavy curls that make the hair voluminous and silky. With the mix of textures between curls and dreads, you’ll have an eye-catching look that you can throw into a ponytail or bun whenever you want. 

16. Long Dreads

woman with long dreads

The length of your dreads will depend on how fast your hair grows and how well you maintain your dreads. You can continue to loc your hair as it grows if you want to achieve long dreads that fall down your back. Long dreads are beautiful, but take time and effort to achieve. Try faux dreads to see how you like the length of long dreads.

17. Cornrows and Dreads

man with cornrows and dreads

Photo source: Olenda Styles, a dreadlocks Pro in Bellflower, CA

Use cornrows to braid your hair before transitioning your braids into dreads. This gives you a tighter style on your scalp while also showing off your dreads. Cornrows will tighten your hair and pull it back near your nape.

18. Half-Up, Half-Down Dreads

woman with half up half down dreads

Photo source: Mixture of Love, a dreadlocks Pro in Missouri City, Texas

The half-up, half-down look is popular with many hairstyles. If you have dreads, throwing half of them up can give your look more variety without making permanent changes. Half-up, half-down dreads will pull your hair away from your face while letting the hair near your neck hang free. 

19. Boldly Colored Dreads

woman with boldly colored locs

Photo source: Loc N Kei, a dreadlocks Pro in Arlington, TX

Adding bold color to your dreads allows you to customize your look and incorporate your personality. Is red your favorite color? Try dying the tips of your dreads red while leaving the rest of your hair natural. If you prefer a few colors, you can highlight your dreads in various hues for something different. You can maintain this hair color for a while if you wash your hair less and regularly see your colorist.

20. Fishtail Braid

person with fishtail braided dreads

Photo source: Styles By Chris, a dreadlocks Pro in Charlotte, NC

The fishtail braid is an interesting dread style that can keep long dreads protected as they grow. This braid involves wrapping the hair using a technique that resembles a fish skeleton. When the braid is complete, you’ll have a look you can sleep on and wear for many occasions. 

21. Rolled Updo

woman with rolled updo

Photo source: Malia Stokes, a dreadlocks Pro in Broomall, PA

With dreads in your hair, you can create many updo hairstyles like braids or twists. For this rolled updo, you’ll start with small dreads. Then, you’ll twist the hair near the scalp and roll the dreads around one another to create barrel rolls. Once rolled, you can braid them together.

22. Long Bubble Braid

woman with long bubble braid

Photo source: Elle, a dreadlocks Pro in Charlotte, NC

A bubble braid is a braid divided into sections to create a bubble effect. The bubble braid is a funky and modern hairstyle that works with long dreads or when your hair is freefrom dreads. To make your bubble braid bolder, try dying your dreads a bright color. 

23. Long Dreads with Tendrils

woman with long dreads and tendrils

With long dreads, you can get creative with ways to style your hair. Instead of wearing it down all the time, try using hair ties or pins to create a half-up, half-down style. You can also add beads or cuffs to the front tendrils of your hair and let them hang near your face. This brings attention to your eyes and gives you a sultry look. 

24. Beehive Dreads Updo

woman with beehive bun dreads

The beehive updo is popular when you have long and voluminous dreads. Gathering your dreads and wrapping them into a large bun on top of your head will give you a beautiful and royal looking hairstyle. To make the beehive updo interesting, leave a few tendrils hanging down from your bun. 

25. Twisted Braid

person with twisted braid locs

When you want a change from the classic braid, you can gather your dreads in two sections and twist them together down your back. Dreads are thick when gathered, so you have the freedom to experiment with many hairstyles. 

Dreads hold cultural significance for communities all over the world but particularly for those who feel connected to the Rastafarian culture in Jamaica. There are many ways to wear dreads and express your individuality through hair. When you need help installing dreads, you can find experienced locticians through our stylist community.