How to Get Your Dreads Into Curls Like Shirley Temple

Written by jalisa summerville
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How to Get Your Dreads Into Curls Like Shirley Temple
Using smaller perm rods creates tighter curls in your free-flowing dreadlocks. (Jack Hollingsworth/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Dreadlocks, also known as "dreads" or "locs," are a distinctive hairstyle in which the hair mattes naturally -- or with manipulation tools -- to form cylindrical, rope-like patterns. You can style dreadlocks into updos, buns or a single ponytail. If you'd like to change your hairstyle, you can use perm rods to curl your dreads.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Ponytail holders or rubber bands
  • Non-flaking gel
  • Spray bottle filled with water
  • Hooded dryer
  • Perm rods

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  1. 1

    Use your fingers to make a part down the middle of your head. Separate your dreads into four equal sections, two in the front and two in the back.

  2. 2

    Gather the dreads in each of the four sections and loosely secure with a ponytail holder or rubber band. You should have four ponytails.

  3. 3

    Remove the ponytail holder or rubber band from the upper left section. Lightly mist your dreads with the spray bottle. Dip your fingers into the gel and scoop out about 1 teaspoon. Rub your hands together and smooth the gel through the section of dreads, from roots to tips.

  4. 4

    Unlatch the perm rod's clasp. Gather about two or three dreads along the hairline and pull them down. Start at the tips and roll the dreads around the perm rod until you reach the roots. Close the clasp on the perm rod. Repeat this process until you've completed this section.

  5. 5

    Repeat steps 3-4 for the remaining sections.

  6. 6

    Sit under a hooded dryer for 45 minutes to one hour to dry your dreads. To check for dryness, rub your fingers across the perm rod and on your scalp. If your dreads feel wet or damp, increase the drying time. The time under the dryer will depend on hair length. Shorter dreads usually require less drying time.

  7. 7

    Unlatch each perm rod, from roots to tips, on each section of your head. Finger-style as you desire.

Tips and warnings

  • This style can last up to four weeks if you cover your hair with a satin or silk scarf when you sleep.
  • Depending on the length of your dreads, it can take up to four hours to complete this hairstyle.
  • To maintain this style, don't spray your hair with water or allow it to get wet because this will cause the style to lose its curly pattern.
  • Be sure to dry your hair thoroughly before you go to sleep. The combination of wet hair and a warm scalp creates the perfect environment for your dreads to smell like mildew when you wake up.

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