How To: Make Dreadlocks

Posted by kenchill. Categories How-to, Lifestyle

What you need
A solid comb (a thin plastic comb will break)
A crochet hook (more explanation below)
At least 5 hours
Music, television or some friends

First, a more detailed explanation on the required items before we delve right in on how to actually make a dreadlock. Or you can just watch the video.


The reason you need a solid and strong comb is because you are going to use it to back comb the hair. The pressure and force exerted on the comb might cause the comb teeth to break off, thus making it not as efficient when back combing. If possible, get a metal pet/flea comb which has a really narrow gap in between the teeth.

Crochet Hook

We need a metal crochet hook with a really, really small hook at the end. They usually come in just plain metal, no plastic handles at the end. The sizes differ depending on the region you are getting them and the brand. Just for reference, to make dreadlocks I use a Tulip crochet hook from Japan which has a size number of #10 and the actual size measurement of the hook is 0.75mm. For maintenance purposes, I usually use a #12 hook (also Tulip) which has a hook size of 0.60mm. If you are thinking of doing really fat and thick dreadlocks, you might want to get a #8 hook to speed things up.

Time and Entertainment

Time is your real enemy here. The longer the hair, the longer time it takes. Generally, neck length hair (on all sides) will take from 5 – 7 hours with one person working on the hair. Longer hair which reaches onto the back will probably take anywhere from 8 – 15 hours to make. Try making each session around 6 hours, then continue again the next day. You might have major muscle aches if you try to go on for longer hours.

Considering the long hours required, entertainment is a must. Talking with your friend while working on his/her hair is perfectly fine, but with more friends goofing around (maybe recording the process as it goes), it will be much more enjoyable. Music (preferably reggae) will help as well.

Step 1: Sectioning

There are a few strategies on how to section the hair. It also depends on the density of the hair and also how thick you want the dreadlock to be. Generally, a 1 inch by 1 inch SQUARE section (try to form square sections) will form a dreadlock slightly thicker than a pencil. You can either section the whole head at one go at use rubber bands (those small tiny black/white ones) to hold the sections or you can section on the go.

If you have no experience, I recommend sectioning the whole head first, that way, you won’t end up with tiny or weird section shapes later during the dreadlocking process. Start sectioning from the front of the head (above your forehead) and branch out from there, covering the top, going down both sides and then ending at the back. The guy who did my dreadlocks sectioned my hair on the go, picking the next section after completing a dread.

By the way, try not to have a long straight section line going from the front of the head to the back, it will look weird after that. No center parting. A brick-like formation works and looks the best. But by all means go ahead if you are looking for the center parting look.

Step 2: Backcombing

Now it’s time to start making dreadlocks! If you have sectioned the whole head, you can start out with any section. If you are planning to section on-the-go, then I suggest starting from the front of the head, up the top, down both sides, then finishing with the back (as I have mentioned before).


Hold the comb in whichever hand feels comfortable and use the other hand to hold the hair. You would want to grab the hair around 4 inches from the scalp and hold in firmly, perpendicular from the scalp. While holding the hair firmly (not too tight), insert the comb into the hair, just slightly above the hand holding it. Now, push the comb straight towards the scalp. There you go. What you will get is some mashed up hair near the scalp (slowly forming a root). Your objective now is to mash up more hair until the mess won’t undo by itself. Depending on the thickness and the density of the hair, you might have to backcomb anywhere from 10 to 25 times. After you get about 1 inch long of mashed up hair which looks like a bird’s nest, it’s time for step 3!

Backcombed hair

Step 3: Crocheting

I’m sure some of you might have watched the KnottyBoy video on How To Make Dreadlocks where they perform backcombing on the hair to mash it up and then use wax to tighten the backcombed hair up. This, in effect, will create nice rounded dreadlocks which are tight and held up by the wax.

The technique I’m explaining here has the same objective, tightening up the backcombed hair and to have nice round dreadlocks without any loose, frizzy hair flying around the dread. The only difference is that we use a crocheting hook to bring in and tidy up all those loose frizzy hair into the dread instead of using wax. I personally think that the crochet hook method works much better in making dreadlocks. The downside is that it takes longer time than using wax. Nobody will really notice the difference after your hair tightens up (might take around 4 months). I’m not trying to advocate that using wax is the wrong way, just do whatever feels better for you. But a crochet hook costs much cheaper than a jar of wax (maybe you need 2 jars?).

Crocheting the hair

Ok, back to crocheting. The basic idea is to poke the hook into the backcombed hair and right into the other side of the dread, grabbing some loose hair with the hook, and pull it back all the way into the dread (or maybe to the other side). You alternate between poking all 4 sides every once in a while to get a more consistent, tight dread. It’s kinda hard to explain it in words, you should really watch the video on how I crochet the hair. Once you get the hang of it, you can achieve a 4 to 6 stabs per second speed, but be careful not to jab your finger in the process!

Crochet all sides of the backcombed hair until it is tight and round, and then continue backcombing another one inch of hair, and crocheting it, and repeat, and repeat and repeat, until you are left with a thin amount of hair left around one inch long, where you will have to perform Step 4.

Dreaded section

Step 4: Cleaning Up The Tip

You can either have a loose tip or a rounded tip. I really recommend a rounded tip so that the dread won’t undo itself from the tip while you are sleeping or washing it. Hold the tiny amount of leftover hair and instead of using a comb to backcomb, use your fingers to perform a mini backcomb. After a few pushes, fold the hair right back onto the dreadlock. This will make the tip of the dread nice and round.

Poke the crochet hook from the opposite side of the folder back hair right through the dread. Wrap the hair around the hook a few times and pull the crochet hook back out. Then, poke it into the thread from the other side, just slightly higher (so that we can ‘weave’ the leftover hair nicely back into the dread). Wrap the hair around the hook, pull out, and repeat the poke/wrap/pull process until all the hair is inside the dread.

Step 5: Finished Dreadlock

Once you have done the tip of the dread, look for some spiky and loose hair coming out from the dread and use the crochet hook to pull them into the dread. After all that has been done, perform a nice palm roll on the dread, and time to move on to the next dread!

Completed dreadlock

How to perform a palm roll? Well, position your hands in a clapping position, put the dread in between your palms, starting from the root of the dread. Now, put your hands together, and roll the dread with your palms, moving back and forth. While rolling the dread, move your hands slowly towards the tip of the dread.

That’s about it. Your dreads might stay upright for a few days to weeks, depending on how tight the roots are, the length of the dreads and the hair growth speed. I will try to come up with an article on how to maintain your dreads when I have the time! In the meantime, good luck!


63 Responses to “How To: Make Dreadlocks”

  1. supaa_dry - May 26, 2008 / 12:45 am

    I think there’s something wrong with your model’s face.. Maybe she didn’t wash her face or something, nampak macam tak bersih hahahah

  2. brynn! - June 3, 2008 / 7:12 am

    hi i crochet hooked my hair like u were explaining, but im havin major trouble tryna get the strands of hair to stay in, they keep coming out! have u come across this before? cos its like im spendin all my time re-hooking my hair just for it to come out again. if u have any advice please, pleeease help me out!!!

  3. kenchill - June 5, 2008 / 2:01 am

    Palm rolling the dread will tame the spiky loose hairs! I was experiencing that when I started my dreads, but after a few months of palm rolling, it’s all good now!

  4. supaa_dry - June 7, 2008 / 2:33 pm

    master kenchill will also fix your dreads for rm5/dread haha :P

  5. Tony - June 26, 2008 / 10:12 pm

    Where is the video? can you send the link to my email?

  6. monk - July 17, 2008 / 8:22 am

    look I can really understand the crochet hook part how you do it

  7. kenchill - July 18, 2008 / 2:36 am

    Well I guess I will post another article on how to work with the crochet hook eh?

  8. jamie jamison - July 20, 2008 / 9:06 pm

    hey man can you make another video but more close, i dont understand anything =[

  9. d0gma - July 21, 2008 / 5:36 pm

    atlas i saw a dread tutorial!
    i’m gonna try makin’ myself my own dreads.
    i have 11 dreads right now at the back of my head. thanks

  10. Christin - August 16, 2008 / 6:31 am

    Hey, I would Really love a detailed instruction on how to crochet the dread, possibly with a better video that is really up close. I’m going to use this method because it looks Really nice and I don’t wanna use wax so PLEASE help me make sure I’m doing this right!! THANKS

  11. kenchill - August 17, 2008 / 11:55 pm

    New How To video coming soon!!

  12. Kara - November 13, 2008 / 10:03 am

    Hi Kenchill, I’ve had dreadies for 3 years, it was maintained by a lovely Kenyan lady but she has gone back to England. I’ve tried various ways to maintain it myself and am at my wits end. Will you please email me? I’m popping down to Malaysia soon to search for a loctician.

  13. kenchill - November 13, 2008 / 7:35 pm

    Yeap, I can maintain/fix/repair your dreadlocks! Do come down to KL someday!!

  14. ezekiel - November 27, 2008 / 8:11 pm

    how 2 make the dreadlocks of my friend will extend in my hair???

  15. justin - December 4, 2008 / 2:09 am

    hey man seen your video on youtube..that is you doing the dreadlocks right? i am planning to get my hair dreadlocked soon. add me up in msn at yea. thanks

  16. justin - December 8, 2008 / 10:48 pm

    hey kenchii pls contact me soon at my email. want to get dreads.

  17. knaughty_guy - December 19, 2008 / 11:49 pm

    yeh i have had dreads for about 8 months now and mine are kind of wild right now but nothing i cant fix just some loose roots, and the crocheting is something you have to practice cause i couldn’t find anyone to do mine so i had to get used to doing it myself.but the point is dreads take time my advise is to try to keep them separated until they lock and they will lock it just takes time and backcombing… and some practice with the crochet hook. outty 5 napstas

  18. laser - February 16, 2009 / 10:36 am

    hey thanks for sure my hubby will definitely love this video..thanks for sharing..

  19. jimixxxx - April 17, 2009 / 4:45 pm

    Boss, I need to repair my dreads.. its all over the place..please email me your address and i will come see you.. my email is
    Thank you. looking forward to meeting you

  20. kosh - June 5, 2009 / 11:49 am

    Bro, I need to dread extension. Do you provide such services? If you do, please mail me at

  21. kenchill - June 7, 2009 / 11:59 pm

    Sorry bro, I don’t do extensions as of now.

  22. jinn - June 8, 2009 / 3:08 am

    can you do undothem back to your regular hair once you have made them with the crochet

  23. kenchill - June 10, 2009 / 12:00 am

    You can undo them… but it be quite hard after the dread matures over time.

  24. cody - June 10, 2009 / 8:27 am

    when crocheting do you stick the whole hooked area through the enrite dread? like does the crochet hook go in one side and come out the opposite side then come back into the the dread and out the original side?

  25. Kim - August 14, 2009 / 9:29 pm

    Wow thanks for this video! I’m african-american, with a very soft texture of hair. I’ve always wanted locs and this such a good way to do them. Thanks for sharing!!!1

  26. Dreadcalm - September 9, 2009 / 8:18 pm

    Wow really really good man , pro 1 good job i gonna try this thx alot ^^

  27. oskar - September 16, 2009 / 3:27 pm


  28. joshuah - October 4, 2009 / 4:13 am

    dude thanks a million this really helped alot

  29. kemo - October 24, 2009 / 7:27 pm

    cheers there guys, :) i see you doing something nice, i have rastas my own, and i do that as a pro for some years now , will be happy to exchange some ideas:)

  30. fedelia - November 13, 2009 / 6:11 pm

    Hello, I need to repair my dreadlock as it is all over the place.
    If you do provide this service, i’d appreciate to hear frm u.
    my email is
    I live in KL!
    Thanks a bunch!

  31. Naza - November 21, 2009 / 12:15 am

    Hey Kenchill, if i wanted to get dreads done in my hair by you what do I do?

  32. lil stu - November 27, 2009 / 8:58 am

    hey there i juss got mine last week and i’d like to learn how to crochet it but ur video was a lil fast, wuss wonderin if you had another video, if not please reply back

  33. MusiCa - December 15, 2009 / 5:56 pm

    God Shit!!! is’nt it so easy to understand!!!

    what ya’ll need is a dreaded brain!!!



  34. syuqrie - December 27, 2009 / 5:36 am

    hello.. can i ask something.. hehe.. can u dreads my hair for me?? coz it is soo hard doing it myself.. im from sarawak.. n i want to know how long is your hair is suitable to make dreads.. tq.. :)

  35. kenchill - December 30, 2009 / 11:06 pm

    If you come down to KL, I can do it for you!

    Best length to do is at least shoulder length hair, front and back, as the dread length will be half you original hair length.

  36. MizzEizzy - January 19, 2010 / 1:48 am

    Hey there!
    i just need wax, i brought some from my country but its finished! know anywhere i can get affordable wax for my dreadlocks?

  37. kenchill - January 19, 2010 / 10:57 pm

    Hmm, wax is kinda bad for your locks. Try to go without wax, use a good natural soap to wash your hair. That should do fine.

  38. kosh - February 28, 2010 / 5:48 pm

    Hello bro,

    I have a 5+ inches of hair right now and I will be having dreadlocks for SURE. If you provide dreadlocks services still, mind sending me the quotation to my email ?

  39. Mark - March 8, 2010 / 1:09 pm

    Hi bro,

    Would love to do the dread… can i have your contact please?
    Im currently in KL…

  40. tima - April 5, 2010 / 2:51 pm

    Do u do dread lock extensions?

  41. 69game - April 6, 2010 / 4:20 pm

    how do i contact u bro? plannin to get dreads too….

  42. MEIA - April 8, 2010 / 3:38 am


  44. are yem - April 28, 2010 / 11:12 am

    i want to look like jason castro!!!!!

  45. cmone - May 24, 2010 / 7:41 pm

    is their any professional place i can get this done at

  46. zen - July 12, 2010 / 7:12 am

    hi. I am a new student in Sunway. I have dreads and i was using Doc broners soap to wash my hair and it is now over. I need a residue free shampoo or soap. Do you know what can i use that’s good for dreads and where should i buy it…
    Thank You
    Spread ini love : )

  47. kenchill - July 13, 2010 / 10:34 pm

    Heya zen! You can visit Loccitane and buy a natural soap from there! It works wonders! Else get someone from Melbourne to buy a hemp-seed oil soap from Victoria Market (i’m using that at the moment).

  48. zen - July 14, 2010 / 1:09 pm

    Thank You : ) .. ill visit Loccitane and see what’s good there.

  49. Taka - October 7, 2010 / 2:02 pm

    hey kenchill do u know anyone who can help me maintain my crochet locks im struggling to find someone in KL and im desperate my hair is a mess!!!

  50. boha - November 22, 2010 / 6:28 pm

    hi kenchill,
    i’m thinking of getting dreadlocks….
    can u pls e-mail me how to contact you and the price details…
    i’m from penang but i frequently visit kl….

  51. zevan chain - January 11, 2011 / 8:37 pm

    -dude i wod like to do dreadlock man
    -im in kl now in ampang ..and this is ma no 0146267081
    -plz give call i wod like to learn about the dreadlock

  52. AMOOR - February 19, 2011 / 3:38 pm


  53. teekenli - July 3, 2011 / 9:31 pm

    i want to get those locks too… i’m going back malaysia soon… are you doing it kenchill? how much does it costs? i need to extensions too… email me as soon as possible aite?

  54. teekenli - July 3, 2011 / 9:34 pm

    sorry for the typo, i mean some* extensions…

  55. yo - August 1, 2011 / 2:09 am

    where can i get the crochet hook ?

  56. kenchill - August 12, 2011 / 1:05 pm

    At a yarn/knitting shop!

  57. To-shi-O - February 4, 2012 / 3:34 am

    hi im Toshio , i want to do a dreadlock hair ?


  58. Vyacheslav - April 22, 2012 / 12:03 am

    Hey. Is there any place in KL (or Subang) where I can make dreadlocks? Write me back if you know any dreadlocks master.


  59. Justin - July 29, 2012 / 3:29 am

    Thanks so much for posting your tips. I have been researching how to do my own dreads for a year now and this is a valuable resource for me. I come back to it over and over. Oh! And the dreads are coming along perfectly! Thanks again!

  60. Jess - February 14, 2013 / 12:22 pm

    Hi Kenchill, are you still doing dreadlock maintenance in KL. If so, please drop me an email… Thanks.

  61. Talyssa - June 13, 2013 / 9:07 pm

    Heya, just wondering if there were any places in KL which do these professionally or if anyone could do them for me. Thanks

  62. D.B - February 2, 2014 / 1:45 am

    I have 2 simple questions. 1st:How many inches of hair do you need to start dreads? Because “backcombing” technics shorten the locks. I’m at 6/7″ of hair but don’t want to end up with tiny little dreads of a 12yo kids. 2nd: Can we bleach or dye dreads? I’m natural brown almost black and would like to get blonde (I said blonde not orange copper-lol) dreads.Thanks!
    Please email me///

  63. Sun4 - May 5, 2014 / 2:28 pm

    hi kenchill,
    i stay in KL..
    wanna repair my dread.
    pls help me!!


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