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Dreads vs Locs: Unraveling the Differences and Choosing the Perfect Style

Last updated Sep 27, 2023

In the world of hairstyles, both dreadlocks and locs have become iconic symbols of cultural heritage, self-expression, and individuality. However, these terms are often used interchangeably, leading to confusion about their true meanings and characteristics.

In this blog, we will delve into the world of dreads and locs, exploring their definitions, benefits, and the various styles they encompass. Additionally, we will uncover the different techniques used to create these captivating hairdos, providing you with a comprehensive guide to understanding and embracing the beauty of dreads and locs. Let's celebrate the diversity of these styles and unlock a world of possibilities!

What Are Dreadlocks?

What Are Dreadlocks

Dreadlocks, or simply "dreads," are formed when hair is intentionally matted and tangled together to create rope-like strands. This style can be achieved through various techniques such as backcombing, twisting, or the neglect method.

Dreads have a unique and textured appearance, with the hair forming cylindrical or rope-like shapes. They often symbolize a connection to one's cultural heritage, spirituality, or personal expression. Dreads can be worn in different lengths and sizes, allowing for a range of styling options.

Benefits of Dreadlocks

● Low Maintenance: Dreads require less frequent washing and styling, making them a convenient and time-saving option.

● Versatility: Dreads can be styled in various ways, including updos, braids, and even adding extensions or accessories.

● Cultural Significance: Dreads often hold cultural and spiritual significance, representing a connection to heritage and personal identity.

● Texture and Volume: Dreads enhance the natural texture and volume of the hair, adding depth and character to the overall look.

What Are Locs?

What Are Locs

Locs, also known as "dreadlocks" in some regions, are another form of intentionally matted hair. Unlike dreads, locs are created through a more structured and deliberate process. Hair is sectioned and twisted or interlocked to encourage the formation of cylindrical or rope-like strands.

Locs tend to have a more uniform and maintained appearance compared to dreads. They offer a versatile canvas for styling, allowing for intricate updos, braids, or twists. Locs can be seen as a statement of cultural pride, spirituality, or a personal journey.

Benefits of Locs 

● Neat and Polished Appearance: Locs offer a more uniform and precise look due to the intentional manipulation and maintenance involved.

● Longevity: Locs have a longer lifespan compared to dreads and tend to hold their shape and structure for an extended period.

● Styling Versatility: Locs can be styled into intricate updos, buns, or twists, allowing for versatility and creativity.

● Hair Protection: The locing process helps protect the hair from external elements and damage, such as heat or excessive styling.

Dreads vs. Locs: What's the Difference?

While dreadlocks and locs share some similarities, they are distinct in their formation and appearance. The main differences lie in the process and level of maintenance.

Formation: Dreadlocks can form naturally through the neglect method or through intentional techniques like backcombing and twisting. On the other hand, locs are created through intentional manipulation and maintenance, including sectioning, twisting, and interlocking.

Appearance: Dreads often have a more organic and spontaneous look, with varying sizes and shapes. Locs, in contrast, tend to have a more uniform and neat appearance due to the deliberate twisting or interlocking methods used.

Maintenance: Dreadlocks require less maintenance compared to locs. Dreads can be left to mature on their own with minimal interference, while locs often require regular maintenance and grooming to maintain their shape and structure.

The Different Styles of Dreadlocks and Locs 

The Different Styles of Dreadlocks and Locs

Both dreadlocks and locs offer a wide array of styles to cater to individual preferences and hair textures:

Dreadlock Styles:

1. Freeform Dreads: Formed naturally without intentional manipulation, resulting in a spontaneous and organic appearance.

2. Sisterlocks: Smaller, uniform-sized dreads created using a precise interlocking technique.

3. Interlocked Dreads: Dreads created and maintained using a crochet hook or interlocking tool for uniformity.

Loc Styles:

1. Traditional Locs: Larger cylindrical strands formed through twisting and/or palm rolling techniques.

2. Braidlocs: A combination of braiding and twisting, resulting in an intricate and textured look.

3. Faux Locs: Temporary loc extensions that allow individuals to try out the loc style without long-term commitment.

Styles and Techniques for Creating Dreadlocks and Locs 

Styles and Techniques for Creating Dreadlocks and Locs

Creating dreadlocks and locs involves specific techniques based on individual hair texture and desired style:

Dreadlock Techniques:

1. Backcombing: Teasing the hair towards the roots with a comb or dread comb to create knots and tangles that eventually form into dreads.

2. Twist and Rip: Combining twisting sections of hair and gently pulling them apart to encourage the hair to lock.

3. Neglect Method: Allowing dreads to form naturally over time without specific maintenance or manipulation.

Loc Techniques:

1. Two-Strand Twist: Dividing the hair into sections and twisting each section in a two-strand pattern to encourage the hair to intertwine and create locs.

2. Palm Rolling: Rolling the hair between the palms to encourage the hair strands to intertwine and form cylindrical locs.

3. Interlocking: Using a tool or crochet hook to create knots at the base of each section, helping to form and maintain locs.


Dreads and locs represent distinctive styles that celebrate the beauty of natural hair and self-expression. Understanding the differences, benefits, and various styling techniques allows individuals to embrace their unique journey. Whichever path you choose—dreads or locs—let it be a celebration of diversity, culture, and your personal style. Unleash the beauty of your hair and let it tell your story!

Read More:

Butterfly Locs-Tutorials And Guides

4 Steps To Make Perfect Butterfly Locs With Color

Microlocs:Here’s Your Complete Guide

An In-Depth Look At Goddess Faux Locs To Unleash Your Inner Goddess

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