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Dreadlocks are not confined to just a hairstyle or fashion statement; they have become a lifestyle expressing individuality, identity, and culture. Dreadlocks can help you set yourself apart from the rest. But you should remember that every head of hair is completely different from each other, and dreadlocks are not appropriate for all hair types. You should never rush to get dreadlocks in your head. Try to imagine how you want your hair to look like first.
If you’ve finally decided to start your dreadlock journey, this question might arise in your mind: “How many dreads should I have?” Well, this does not have any straightforward answer since it depends on various factors like your hair type, density, the thickness of the dreads, the aesthetic you want, etc. In this article, we will explore the considerations that will help you to understand how many dreads you should have for starting your exceptional hair journey.
How Many Dreads Should I Have?
How many dreads you should have completely depends on how you want to present or express yourself. It is just like doing a haircut or a hairstyle, completely based on your preference, though the number of dreads you have on your head can completely change your appearance. As you already know, it does not have a straightforward answer of how many dreads should you have, but there are many factors that you can consider before coming to a decision. For instance, you can evaluate your hair type, the size of the dreadlocks you want, how much coverage you want, cost, dreadlock styles, etc. for deciding how many dreads you should have. The average count of having dreadlocks of medium-thick hair will be between 40 to 80 locks. and for the thin dreads, the number of locs can be more than 100.
5 Factors To Consider Before Having Dreads
Here is a guide for you to have a clearer idea of the factors determining how many dreads you should have.
1. Hair Type
If you want to install dreadlocks in your hair, the first factor that you should consider is your hair type. If your hair texture is very dense and coarse, you can go with either very thick dreads or thin ones. You can have dreads up to 450 locks if you want finer and thinner-looking locks. But if you want thicker locks, the number of dreads will be decreased. However, you should never go with tiny locks if you have thin hair. It will make your hair look thinner than it actually is.
2. Dreadlock Size
The size of your dreads is another factor that determines the number of dreads in your hair. But which size dreads you want to go with completely depends on your personal preference or desired aesthetics. If you want fewer dreads in your hair, the size will become thick and full. On the other hand, if you want to have more dreads on your hair, the size will be thin and refined.
3. Styling And Maintenance
If you are also one of those, who does not love to have the same hairstyle for years, you should go with thinner locks in your head. The number of locks will increase in this case, but they are much easier to style, like braids, buns, etc. You can even dye them if you want. But, if you do not mind the same hairstyle, but care more about maintenance, then you should opt for the larger and fewer locks. Retightening 40 dreads will be a lot easier than redoing 400 dreads. Thicker or larger locks are easier to maintain, as there are very few of them. However, washing and drying them out completely will take more time than the thinner dreadlocks.
4. Coverage Of the Scalp
Before having dreads, you should also consider the fact of how covered you want your scalp to be. If you want to have a more natural look and do not mind showing your scalps a bit, you can go with thinner and finer locks. You already know that thinner locks will have more locks in your head than thicker ones. It will expose your scalp more by having more sections giving it an airy appearance. But, if you do not want your scalp to show more, go for thicker dreads. They will cover the scalp more and give it a solid look.
5. Average Costing
Costing is another major factor that you should consider for deciding how many locks you should have. Traditional locks like palm rolling, braiding, coils, twists, interlocks, etc., normally do not cost that high. The costs range between $100-$300. These locks are not that time-consuming and easier to install. But if you want thinner dreads, the price will increase. Mostly, if you want sisterlocks, the price can be anywhere between $500-$2000, as these require hours to do hundreds of thin dreads in your hair. The retightening or growth maintenance is also higher in thinner locks as there require hundreds of dreads in your head.
Considering Numbers for Different Dreadlock Styles
Although how many dreadlocks you want to have depends on your preference, I have put together some common dreadlock styles with the ideal numbers of dreads for your consideration:
- Traditional Dreadlocks: Traditional dreadlocks are usually created by palm rolling, twisting, coiling, or matting in a consistent pattern covering up the whole head. The number of traditional locks depends on your hair thickness and your desired lock size. If you have medium to thick hair, you can have 20-60 dreads with traditional dreadlocks.
- Half-Head Dreadlocks: When you have a half undercut, a mohawk, or just have some of your hair dreaded and some undreaded, then they are called half undercut. For half-head dreadlocks, you will just need 20-30 dreadlocks, as most of the hair strands will either be cut in sides or loosely separated from other locs. You can do this dreadlock style with both thicker or thinner hair textures and choose any size of dreads you want.
- Microlocks: Microlocks are done just like traditional dreadlocks, but the sizes will be very tiny compared to them. With microlocks, you can have more than 150 dreadlocks in your head. Microlocks are low maintenance, and you can do different styles with them for their thinner size.
- Sisterlocs: Sisterlocks are the thinnest size dreads you can ever find. It even needs a special locking tool to lock it because the size will be so tiny that your fingers will not be able to do the job themselves. You can have up to 450 sisterlocks in your head.
- Dreadlock Extensions: Dreadlock extensions or faux dreadlocks are added to your natural hair if you have a thin hair texture. Thin hair can lead to fewer locks, so dreadlock extensions can help you to add volume to your dreads. As the extension will be added to your natural dreads, you will have the same number of dreads attached to that. But for the tiniest hair locs like sisterlocks, the dreadlock extension is not practical at all.
Number Of Dreadlocks an Average Person Can Have
If you have come this far, you already know that different factors affect the number of dreadlocks you can have on your head. However, here I have noted down some common numbers of dreads to give you a better insight into how your locs can look like afterward:
1. 10 To 20 Dreads
If you want less than 20 dreads in your hair, you need to be more careful to take care of them because the size of these dreads will be pretty large. The approximate size will be 1.5 Inches (around 4CM) or the size of a highlighter pen. Since the size is very thick, residue can build up while using hair care products. Also, the braids will take much longer to dry out. If your hair is wet for a longer time, it will build up mold in your dreads and damage the hair.
2. 30 To 60 Dreads
With these sizes, you can have the perfect medium-thick dreads. The dread sizes will be 1 inch to 1.25 inches (around 3 CM) which is a thickness of a Sharpie marker. If you have thin hair, the numbers will decrease if you want to maintain the size. The hair will be much more manageable and much easier to dry out. This number of dreads can give a good volume to your hair. It can look a little bit messy around the root of your hair, but your scalp will be completely covered with dreads.
3. 60 To 80 Dreads
If you have medium dense or hair more on the thicker side, you can go with 80-100 dreadlocks. The locks with ¾ (three-quarter) inches will have the size of a pencil. With this size, you can have 60 to 80 dreads in your hair. The volume will also be pretty good in this type. The maintenance will not make you overwhelmed. These dreads will be much easier to manage and dry out.
4. 100+ Dreads
If you want thinner locks, then around 100 locs will be the perfect size for you. The size of these locks will be 0.8 inches (around 2 CM). The sizes of the dreads will be more like a chopstick. You can do these 100+ dreads with microlocks. You can do it with both thin or thick types of hair. with this number of dreads, you can have more laidback dreadlocks in your head.
5. 200+ Dreads
Not every dreadlock offers to give you 200+ dreadlocks. If you want to have the tiniest and thinnest size dreadlocks, sisterlocks would be the only option. The width of this size will be around 0.2 CM. This size of dreadlocks will look more like yarn or wool. These locks are easier to wash, dry, and style however you want for their tiny sizes. But you have to have thick and dense textured hair for this number of locks. Otherwise, your hair will look much thinner than its actual size.
Whichever sizes you want to go for completely depends on your personal preference and the aesthetics you want to go with. Consult with an expert to consider your hair type and decide which style is the most suited to you.
Aftercare Of Having Dreads
So now, if you have decided on how many dreadlocks you should have for your head, you should also know that you must have proper aftercare for maintaining healthy locks for a longer period.
- Regular Retightening: For maintaining your gorgeous locks for a longer period, you need to retighten them after every 6 to 8 weeks. You can take some more time, but your hair will grow longer and create a mess at the root. Half your hair will be locked and the roots will create flyaways. So, if you want your hair to have a formed and solid lock that looks beautiful and healthy, you should regularly retighten them.
- Be Careful of Dread Merging: You should check the back of your head at least once a week to ensure that your dreads are not merging. For the curly texture, natural hair always tries to create bonds or merge themselves. If you regularly separate your dreads for some time, your dreads will stop merging after a certain period.
- Wash And Dry Properly: You should be very careful while washing your hair. The less dread you have, the thicker the hair will be. So, it will take much longer to wash the dreads properly. Thinner dreads will be easier to clean, but if you Overwash them, your hair will become rough and more prone to damage. You can wash your hair once every 7 to 10 days. Also, you should use clarifying and sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner for avoiding buildup formation and reduce breakage. Thicker dreads also take much time to dry out, and if they are not dried out properly, they can create mold inside. For drying out any kind of dread, do not use direct heat. Instead, use a bonnet cap with your blow drier and keep it in the lowest setting. It will help your hair dry faster with concentrated airflow without damaging it.
- Protect Your Dreadlocks: Protect your dreadlock from dust, debris, sun, or any other kind of environmental damage. The dirt and debris will cause buildup inside of your locks and it will be much harder for you to clean. They will also make your scalp oily or greasy faster, making you wash your hair more often. Regular wash can your dreads very fragile. Also, since natural hair is already more delicate than other types of hair, the heat of the sun can make your hair damaged and can dehydrate your hair making it vulnerable. You can always wear a satin or silk headband or headscarf to cover up your locks when you are going out to keep them safe and secured.
- Moisturize Your Hair: After you are done with the dreadlocks, you need to moisturize your hair regularly. To hydrate your hair, try to use a moisturizer that will be completely soaked by your hair and will not create any buildup. You can oil them more often to lock the moisture of your hair and make them strong. But do not let your hair dry out. Otherwise, if you have thinner dreads then they will easily break out, and if you have thicker dreads, they will be hard and stiff.
4 Common Mistakes to Avoid for Dreads and Locs
With taking care of your dreads properly, there are some common mistakes that you should not do at any cost after having dreads for healthy growing locs.
- Do Not Retwist Your Dry Locs: If you want to retwist your hair, never do it with dry hair. Due to extreme dryness, your dreadlocks can even become crunchy. It can make your locks tear off completely. Whether your hair is dried out or not, you should always twist or retwist your hair after spraying water on your hair. regular oil massage on the scalp also helps the locs to remain softer and more flexible.
- Never Style Too Tightly: Dreads are so versatile that you can do many hairstyles with them, such as braids, ponytails, buns, etc. to keep your dreads up and secured. The more dreads you have on your head, the more styling you can do with them. But while doing so, never try to have a too-tight grip. Tight styling will eventually weaken the roots and make your hair fall out.
- Avoid Over-Maintenance: If you want your hair to grow healthily, give them some time to breathe. Try not to continuously process them with an overwhelming number of products. Also, if you try to retwist your dreads after a few days, the hair will not have the time to fully regrow to complete the task. You need to wait for at least 1-inch growth before redoing your dreads. Retwisting too often can even make your hair thin out.
- Do Not Use Wax: After getting your dreadlocks done, you might want to use wax to keep your dreads in place. But, you should never do it cause wax creates a lot of buildups which will be hard to remove. Also, wax attracts dust and can smell over time. Try to use a little amount of gel while doing retwisting or palm rolling to keep your dreads in place for a longer time.
1. How many dreads are ideal?
There is nothing like the ideal number of dreadlocks. If you want your head to look full with natural dreadlocks, you can go for 40-80 dreadlocks. If you want to have half-head dreadlocks or mohawks, you can go up to 20-40 dreads. It all depends on the hairstyle of your preference.
2. Do dreadlocks change in numbers?
Yes! Dreadlocks can change in numbers over time while growing and being mature. Your baby hairs will get attached to the mature locs. Sometimes the locs can split into two, and other times the 2 locs can merge into one. It is normal, but you can manipulate them.
3. Will large dreads mature faster?
The maturity of your dreads mostly depends on your hair growth, density, and texture. Both large and thin locs will mature and thicken over time after you started them. You just need to be patient to take care of them and let them form.
4. Do thinner locs lock faster?
NO! Thinner locs do not lock faster than the thicker locs. Natural hair texture is curly and they tend to coil with each other automatically. That’s why, thicker locs become more tightly coiled and lock even faster than the thinner ones.
5. Do dreadlocks work for any type of hair?
Dreadlocks can work for every type of hair out there. The only differences will be the size and number of dreadlocks because of the different hair textures, density, and type.
Dreadlocks will not be just a hairstyle if you decide finally do it. It is a lifelong commitment and you need a lot of patience to maintain it. It will become a part of you within no time. So before installing, you surely need to consider the number of dreads you should have on your head. It will shape an entirely new personality of yours. That’s why you should evaluate your hair type and your preferences. If you are not sure of it yet, consult with a hairstylist to know more about what size, and style will be more suited to you for having the perfect dreads.
- How many dreads you want depends on your preference for personal aesthetics.
- Your hair type, texture, density, etc. also determines how many locks you can have for your desired look.
- If you want less thick locs, you can go for 40-80 locs, and for more thinner locs, go for 100+ locs.
- Different dread styles will also provide a distinctive number of locks.