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How Long Does It Take To Get Dreads? 5 Stages Of Growing Locs

If you intend to make up your hair with those beautiful locks, you should prepare yourself so much knowledge about this special hairstyle.

Getting or removing dreadlocks have never been easy tasks, and they took a long time. Therefore, you should always be patient when having dreadlocks.

In this article, you will know what stages your dreadlocks will go through and how long the dreadlocks process averagely takes. Let’s check it out!

What are the stages of locs?

Basically, your locks will go through five phases, which might take up to two years in total. Now, let’s take a deeper look at each stage of dreadlocks:


This is when you’ve just had your baby new locs, and can last somewhere around 3 to 6 months depending on many factors.

The starter locs are usually small and neat in this stage. Because your hair is not completely coiled now, you should be careful in treating your new dreads.

Avoid products that leave residue on your hair, and don’t try to detangle or wash it in at least 2 first weeks.

Check out: 9 Simple Steps To Retwist Starter Locs At Home


When your locks start to be more obvious, it’s the budding phase. They are likely to be a little frizzy and swell, that’s a good news anyway.

In this stage, you should thoroughly shampoo your dreads once a week to make sure there will be no dirt or any buildups on your hair.


You can see the magic on your hair in the teen phase. This is when your hair starts to lock, and regular shampoo might not beat it.

However, some people find this stage annoying because your dreads seem to be double compared to the original size, and they might go in different directions that make you want to tie them up.

Don’t forget to keep your locs clean and moist during the teenage phase.


Maturity or adult phase is when your dreads are firm, dense, and completely locked. They also develop their length instead of just the width size in the previous stage.


The last stage is when your locks get heavier and slender. It usually happens after having dreadlocks for two years.

In this case, you might think about removing your locks and try other hairstyles, or giving them more care to get rid of old and weak locks.

See also: 3 Ways To Remove Dreadlock Extensions

How long does it take to start locs?

The time for your dreads to start locking up can vary from person to person. The reason is it will depend on your natural hair’s texture or the growth time.

On average, it will take from six months to a year for your hair to lock. 

The coarser your hair is, the faster it can get locked, around three months. If your hair is straight and soft, be patient because this process will take longer.

How many hours does it take to dread hair?

There will also be no exact answer for this question because it relies on how thick and long your hair is. Normally, it can take about four to seven hours to install dreadlocks.

It is recommended to not wash or brush your locs in the first few weeks to let your locs establish and keep developing.

See also: How To Grow Dreadlocks From Short Hair?

How do you get dreads fast?

As already mentioned, coarse and curly hair will get dreads faster than a straight and soft counterpart. 

In general, dreads need a definite period of time to completely lock no matter what type of hair you have.

However, there are some tips to shorten this process a little if you cannot patiently wait for it.

Sea salt spray

This method will resemble the impact of beach water to your hair. Because the salt in the water will dry out your locks and make them coarser, it can help speed up your locking process.

However, don’t overuse this method with a high concentration because it might put your hair in danger.

Leave it frizzy

You might feel annoyed with the frizzy hair when going through different stages of the dreadlocks process.

However, frizzy hair is good news that says that your hair starts budding and locks soon.

Therefore, don’t trim or palm roll your frizzy hair. Just leave them there to allow your locks to grow naturally.


It sounds contrary to the first method, which aims to dry out your dreads with saltwater.

However, your scalp and hair still require occasional conditioning and moisturizing treatments. This will help nourish your scalp and dreads with essential nutrients, which facilitate the dreadlocks process.

Let’s pick up some oils for dreadlocks to apply on your locs.

Check out some ways to dreadlock your hair:

The bottom line

Generally speaking, besides proper treatment and maintenance, you better be patient to possess beautiful and healthy locks. The entire process might take you up to two years for the best mature locs.

However, there are also some tricks to urge your dreads to grow and lock faster, like using sea salt water, moisturizing, and leaving the frizzy hair.

Hope you will achieve the best locks of your life as soon as possible.

See also: How Often Should You Retwist Your Dreadlocks?



I’m Aida and this is my blog where I write mostly about beauty & make up related stuff, but I like to spice it up a bit with lifestyle and photography posts. Or with whatever that comes to my mind. Hope you will enjoy the reading enough that we will ‘see’ each other more often!

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