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Starting Dreadlocks Using Braids

Braids are one of the easiest low maintenance ways of starting your dreadlocks. It really is as simple as braiding or getting your hair braided. Dreadlocks started with braids can be a wide range of sizes from the size of your finger to the size of a piece of yarn and every diameter in between.

Washing Them

You can wash locks started with braids as soon as they are put in. If your hair is wavy and has a tendency to come unbraided easily you’ll just need to put rubber bands on the ends of each braid if your braids are large. If they are small just braid them in bunches and rubber band the ends. In any case braids don’t come undone as easily as coils, palm rolls, or twists.


You can maintain your locks by either twisting or palm rolling the new growth or intertwining it with a tool. A good rule of thumb is:

If your braids are bigger than a pencil you can do either, roll or intertwine.

If your braids are started smaller than a pencil your best bet is to intertwine the new growth with a tool. Otherwise you run the risk of your locks being to fragile and breaking because of the twisting.


You can easily start braid in your own hair at home.

If you want help, most natural hair salons will start your braids for you. Many offer twisting and palm rolling lock maintenance.

If you get your locks started in a salon it is usually inexpensive to have them braid your own hair. It all depends on your hair’s length.

You can wash your hair immediately

If you tighten with a tool, the base of your braids will stay neat through washing. You will usually only have to retighten your hair with a tool every four to six weeks.


Braids do look fuzzy quicker than other methods and the section that was braided may retain the braided look. Over time it may become less noticeable. As your locks grow you can always trim away of the braided sections for a uniform look.

If you want a uniform look to your lock you may have to cut the braided part off.

If you decide to twist your new growth and get hand-in-your-head-itis (always twisting your locks) you can weaken your bases and cause your locks to thin. It is very tempting to always have your hand in your head.

Not all natural salons offer tool retightening.

How To Start Locks with Braids

You will need:

  • Comb
  • Clips for sectioning hair

1. Start out with clean freshly washed hair.

2. Start in the back of your head.

3. Section off a piece of hair of hair.

4. Divide the piece in three parts braid to end.

6. Repeat over entire head.

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