The question “can short hair be dreaded” as you can imagine, comes up a lot!¬† Dreads can be started on short hair depending on the hair texture and/or length.¬† It will take some time to grow in and lock but it can be done, with lots of patience.

There are different textures of hair and they will fall in straight, wavy, curly and super curly.    In order to do dreads on any of the textures, the hair has to be a certain length.   Please note that race or color has no bearing on what texture of hair you have.   Many people believe, for example, that being of African descent  your hair will be super curly or frizzy.  This is not so.  There are people of African descent with varying degrees of straight, wavy and super curly hair.  All this depends on genetics and as I pointed out in my blog:  What is Bi-racial Hair?, this integration makes it almost impossible to place anyone in a single  hair category.


Best Length by Texture

Super Curly /Frizzy Hair

The hair should be about 3-4 inches to hold a twist. The twists need to be redone after a 3-week period when the hair has a regrowth.  At this stage the hair is still in it normal state so any hold is temporary.  As the twist is short, you might need to see your stylist before the 3 weeks.

Straight/Wavy Hair

In order for the hair to hold, the hair needs to be at least 6 inches long.  Some stylists are able to to get temporary hold using the interlocking method but I prefer 6 inches as it is just enough to crochet.

Can short hair be dreaded if the hair is less than the recommended lengths you might be wondering.  Possibly, if you add extensions but even this is not guaranteed to hold them for very long.  By the first or second shampoo they will loosen so you will be making frequent visits to the salon.

By Paula Barker,

Buy my e-book:¬† Dreadlocks:¬† A Hairstylist’s Manifest (


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