Black man with dreadlocks, how to properly wash dreadlocks in a bun

How To Actually Make Dreadlocks Lock Faster in 2020

Dreadlock Tips and Tricks, Dreadlock Maintenance
Spread the love

What Is The Fastest Way To Lock Dreadlocks?

When I first began my freeform dreadlock journey, one of the first questions I asked myself was “How can I make my dreadlocks lock faster?” It’s easy to overthink the process when there’s tons of information on the internet. Fortunately, there is a very simple answer to this question and this method works for anyone.

If you want to make your dreadlocks lock faster, the fastest way to do this is to keep them clean. Contrary to popular belief, you should wash your hair regularly. Having clean, dry hair allows the hair strands to tangle much more easily thus making the locking process faster.

When beginning the locking process, if your hair is full of grease, wax, and oils, this prohibits your hair from tangling quicker because it’s constantly fighting with slippery products and residues.

Why Is My Hair Not Locking?

There are many factors that lead to hair not locking faster. Some of these factors include genetics, hair type, products used, and locking method. People with straighter hair tend to lock much slower than people with curly or coily textured hair. Hair that is really soft and/or thin will take much longer to dread than hair that is thick and course.

If you lock your hair using the freeform method rather than the backcomb method, your hair will take longer to dread because you are not forcefully locking your hair but allowing it to naturally form which takes time. If you tend to use many products on your hair, the residue from these products will slow down the natural locking cycle.

Why Does Straight Hair Take Longer To Dread Than Curly Hair?

how to actually make dreadlocks lock faster in 2020

Think of it this way, you have two telephone cords. One of them is coily and the other is straight. If you threw them in a box and tossed them around, which one would end up tangled first? The coily one of course!

Coily hair acts as a natural velcro system within itself. Each coil or curl naturally latches around other strands of hair creating a tangle that sticks around unless you brush or comb it out. Over time, these strands latch more and more to surrounding hair follicles creating what we know as dreadlocks.

Straight hair, on the other hand, takes much longer to lock because it does not contain the many curls or coils needed to naturally latch on to other strands of hair. This is why it’s important to not brush or comb straight hair when attempting to lock it because the hair will eventually create kinks or bends which help it to latch more easily.

Can I Lock Dreads Faster With Sea Salt?

Sea salt for dreadlocks

Many people claim that using sea salt on dreads locks them faster. You may hear people mentioning that they went for a swim in the ocean and didn’t wash their hair because it will lock them faster. The idea behind this method is that sea salt, or any kind of salt for that matter, will dry out your hair making it easier for your hair to tangle.

The truth is that while sea salt will make your hair lock faster, it can lead to brittle dry hair which will eventually break off in the long run. Having too much salt sit on your hair for extended periods of time can throw off the ph balance. The overall idea behind this method is that sea salt relieves your hair of any oils, grease, or wax which allows it to lock much faster and keeps it dry.

So instead of using sea salt, I recommend the tried and true method of simply keeping your hair clean!

How Often Should I Wash My Hair To Make It Lock?

People seem to think that because they are starting a dreadlock journey, they must change everything they use to do as a routine for their hair. News flash: Your hair did not morph into a magical mystical unicorn. It is still, in fact, the same hair you had before.

With this in mind, it is hard to determine how often one should wash their hair since everyone’s hair and lifestyle is completely different. I personally started with washing my hair as often as I did when I had loose hair which was once a week. Washing my hair once a week works for me because I have very coily hair. If I wash my hair more than once a week, then my coils do not have enough time to retain the moisture I add to them to prevent them from drying out and becoming brittle.

This content was originally posted on If it appears anywhere else, it is a violation of the copyright owned by

So the rule of thumb is to wash your hair as often as you would if you still had loose hair, then adjust if necessary. DO NOT and I repeat, DO NOT stop washing your hair regularly! There is a common misconception that you must not wash your hair for weeks or months in order to achieve dreadlocks. This is not true! In fact, it prohibits your hair from locking faster and you add to the stigma that all dreadlocks are nasty. Dirty dreads are not cool or cute so keep them clean!

How To Make Dreads Lock Faster Without Wax?

Think back to a time when there were no special dreadlock products to purchase at convenient stores. What did our ancestors do to get those gorgeous flowing locks? That’s right, nothing. This is because hair naturally locks on its own without the use of products by simply not combing or brushing it.

This is generally known as freeform dreadlocks or the “neglect” method. Unfortunately, the word “neglect” has a negative connotation behind it as many people believe this means to not comb, brush, wash, or separate your locks. However, this is no longer the case.

So how can you make dreads lock faster without wax? Say it with me now, “Keep your hair clean!” That’s right folks, back to point number one. There is no magic method for getting your hair to lock faster. It’s all about patience and clean, healthy hair.

How To Lock Dreads With Beeswax?

Locking dreads with beeswax

I’ve met many people who swear by using wax on their dreadlocks. I will say if you feel it works for you, then do it. However, using wax only acts as a crutch for the real locking process. By applying wax to your dreads, you’re basically gluing them together, giving them the appearance of locking faster. Appearing to lock faster and actually locking are two different things. If you want your hair to actually make progress while locking, then I highly suggest omitting the wax.

Wax also leaves behind a ton of residue and many people find that over time, their locks become stiff and smell bad. This is because it’s difficult to clean beeswax out of your hair with normal shampoo. One of the main reasons people decide to cut off their dreadlocks is because of this buildup that has occurred from the use of beeswax.

How To Know If Dreads Are Locking?

You know those moments when you go to comb or brush your hair and you get a little resistance when trying to pass the comb/brush through? That is the sign that your hair is beginning to lock up.

When your hair starts to tangle, it is essentially wrapping itself around and through other strands of hair creating the beginnings of a dreadlock. You’ll start to notice clumps of hair forming together in sections. These sections are your baby dreadlocks. They may not look like much in the beginning but over time, they will grow and mature into healthy, happy locks.

When those separate clumps begin to join other clumps of hair at the base of your head or your roots, this is a sign of dreadlocks joining together to create a bigger dreadlock. These forms of locks are generally known as dragon heads because the end of the dreadlock will still show where the two original dreadlocks began but as you move down the lock, it will join into one larger lock.


In order for your hair to lock-up faster, you need to keep it clean and be patient. Plain and simple. There is no magic method or product that will lock your hair any faster than letting nature do its thing. Check out my blog post “How To Properly Wash Dreadlocks” to learn tips on how to get buildup out of your locs.

Straight, soft, thin hair will take much longer to lock up than curly, coily, thick hair because it does not create a natural velcro effect when you stop combing and brushing. Anyone can achieve dreadlocks without the use of beeswax and it is a much better practice to go without it. Sea salt will also not lock your hair any faster and can cause damage if used for long periods of time because of its drying effects.

You’ll know when your hair is beginning to lock because it will be tangled and difficult to comb or brush through which you want to avoid doing anyway! Clumps of hair will begin to form together and over time these fluffy clumps will mature into long beautiful dreadlocks. So be patient and enjoy the journey!

Wondering what shampoo to use on your freeform or manicured dreadlocks? Check out this post “6 Best Shampoos for Dreadlocks in 2020”