How to Make Jamaican Dreadlock Hairstyles

Written by audrey pannell
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How to Make Jamaican Dreadlock Hairstyles
Jamaican dreadlocks are characterised by long, natural dreads often topped with a colourful hat. (Jamaican guy image by Jerome Dancette from

The dreadlocks style originated in Africa and made its way around the world. According to the Jamaicans website, dreadlocks first appeared in Jamaica during post-emancipation. Some wore the style for religious reasons and still do, and they are known as Rastafarians. Rastafarians grow the dreadlocks extremely long, and also grow facial hair. They often wear "tams" or colourful wove hats to hold the hair while it grows. This is a common style in Jamaica now, so it is difficult to determine who is a true Rastafarian and who is not. Once Jamaican dreadlocks have been created, whether for the style or religious reasons, you can style them any way you like. They are often worn down or in a ponytail.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Hair comb
  • Hair pins
  • Rubber bands
  • Hair wax

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    Jamaican Dreadlocks

  1. 1

    Wash, condition and dry the hair. Determine where you want your hair to be parted and create a part.

  2. 2

    Divide the hair on either side of the part into 1- to 2-inch squares. Secure each section with a hair pin to keep it separated from the rest of the hair.

  3. 3

    Remove the pin from one of the sectioned areas of the hair and coat it in a hair wax. Begin twisting the hair around itself, applying more wax as needed to hold the twist. Secure the end of the twist with a rubber band.

  4. 4

    Continue applying hair wax and twisting the hair until every section has been twisted and secured with a rubber band.

  5. 5

    Wear the rubber bands in the hair for a week or two or until the locks have formed and are stable. Re-twist the locks daily and add more wax (if needed) until they hold their shape.

  6. 6

    Remove the rubber bands once the dreadlocks are stable. Wear the locks down, pulled into a ponytail or in twisted up-dos. To wash the hair, the Total Health Care website suggests using a residue-free soap or shampoo.

  7. 7

    Continue to care for the dreadlocks as they grow. Jamaican dreadlocks are worn very long and straight or pulled back into a ponytail. Top the style off with a colourful, knit tam hat if desired or use it to hold the dreadlocks inside while the hair grows. These hats are made to stretch for the purpose of holding the dreadlocks as they grow.

  8. 8

    Add decorative beads or clips to the dreadlocks. Jamaican dreadlocks are often characterised by these for added decoration.

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