How to grow dreads with a white man's hair

Dreadlocks on white men has always been a subject of debate, as their hair does not naturally take dreads as well as that of black people. Careful creation and maintenance of dreadlocks is the key to a white man's hair looking separated and defined as opposed to merely matted and dirty.

Divide the hair into four to six sections. Secure all sections of hair—except for one—with some strips of rag or coated hair ties. Ensure all sections are even. Take the loose section of hair and tie it at the top with a rubber band.

Spin and back comb the loose section of hair until it has that rat's-nest look. Use beeswax (designed for dreads maintenance) to lightly grease the dreaded hair. Try rolling it between your palms for optimal results.

Repeat the steps with other sections of hair, making sure hair is parted in equal sections. Replace rubber bands every two weeks to avoid wax build-up, and wax dreads weekly. Hair takes one to three months to fully dread, after which it should be wrapped in wool or thread to maintain the look. Rubber bands are no longer necessary at this point.


Wash dreads twice a week to avoid accumulated dead hair and scalp cells. Seawater helps to tighten dreads and will bleach the ends of hair. Wear a rag or bandanna over dreads when sleeping to keep dreads from mashing into one another. You can separate hair into more than four or six sections, as long as the sections are even. Comb coils are a common method of dread creation for shorter hair, according to the I Love India website section on dread locking hair. Palm rolls are standard for longer hair; see the Resources section for more information.


Always keep dreads separated to avoid a large mat of hair.

Things You'll Need

  • Comb
  • Rubber bands
  • Beeswax hair product
  • Hair rags
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About the Author

Kent Page McGroarty has worked as a writer since 2006, contributing numerous articles to various websites. She is a frequent contributor to the health and fitness sections of the online magazine EDGE Publications and holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Saint Joseph's University.