How to Get the Look of Dreads Without Locking

by Lisa Finn ; Updated September 28, 2017

Styling gel and hairspray keeps fake dreads locked into place.

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Dreadlocks, narrow strands of hair that are twisted or matted, are a very distinct hairstyle that is done on hair ranging from short to long hair. While true dreadlocking can take up to a year to achieve, temporary dreadlocks are completed in a matter of hours, in the comfort of your own bathroom. Creating temporary dreadlocks allows you to get a fashionable hairstyle without the commitment.

Place the comb at the top of your dry head and make a 1-inch section. Twist the hair with your fingers, roll it up and apply the clip. Continue creating 1-inch sections around your head until all of your hair is clipped up. Take down the first section at the front of your head.

Scoop a quarter-size amount of hair wax onto your fingers. Twist the 1-inch hair piece tightly using your thumb and forefinger. Begin twisting at the roots and move down the hair shaft until you reach the bottom. Add more hair wax and continue twisting, depending on the length of your hair.

Roll the dreadlock between both palms. Start at the root and move down the hair shaft to the end.

Tease the dreadlock. Place the comb at the bottom and gently grip the rolled hair upward until the root is reached.

Continue sectioning the hair, adding gel, twisting and teasing around the entire head. Add the hair bands at the bottom of each dreadlock when completed.

Spray the entire head with hairspray. Wait 20 minutes. Remove the hair bands.


  • Saturate your hair with conditioner before washing. Sleeping on your new dreadlocks will help "tease" them. Place the bands around the twists before going to bed and remove in the morning.

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About the Author

Based in Los Angeles, Lisa Finn has been writing professionally for 20 years. Her print and online articles appear in magazines and websites such as "Spa Magazine," "L.A. Parent," "Business," the Famous Footwear blog and many others. She also ghostwrites for mompreneurs and business owners who appear regularly on shows such as Ricki Lake, HGTV, Carson Daly and The Today Show.