Are Dreads Bad For Your Hair? (How To Avoid Hair Loss!)

Some of them hate them and some of them really love them and I am not talking about the boyband One Direction! Although I must confess that a couple of years ago my bedroom was filled with posters of these guys cause man I loved them!

But… I’m talking about dreadlocks! I know people that hate this hairstyle and I have some people in my close circle who love them. As I was writing this article I Whatapped them both to ask why they love them or why they hated them.

The person that loves them told me that they found it a beautiful stylish hairstyle. She found it attractive on guys.

The person who does not so much like the dreadlocks told me the exact opposite. She says that she does not think it is a beautiful hairstyle and she doesn’t find it attractive at all. She also said that dreads would be bad for your hair…

Now since I wasn’t sure about whether dreads are bad or good for your hair, (or how long your hair should be for dreads) I thought I would do a little digging and see what I could come up with! So, below you’ll find the answers to many questions people with and without dreadlocks have! Do you miss a question? Please send me an email so I can update the article :).

So, are dreads bad for your hair?

No, dreads are not bad for your hair. If all, the opposite of that is true. The biggest benefit of having dreadlocks is that it preserves natural moisture so your hair doesn’t dry out. But, not all is sunshine because they can be damaging and you need to know how to take care of the dreadlocks so they are as healthy as they can!

Are dreads bad for your hair?

No, dreads are not bad for your hair. If anything they help protect the hair by keeping in moisturized. But don’t get too excited because as I said earlier, there are some things about dreadlocks that can be very damaging to the hair.

So, are they then good for your hair?

Yes, dreads can be good for your hair and that is because there are fewer chemicals involved that can do damage. What I mean by that is the following: Day in and day out we are taking a shower and soaking our hair in products that promise to make our hair silky soft, shiny, curly, and all the other options you have out there.

But, if you do some digging you might find that these products not always help (Even though they advertise as being good for hydration, growth, and stuff like that). There are arguments that your hair isn’t built for all that product. Of course, these products can have some beautiful effects but to overwhelm your hair with products maybe isn’t the best thing you can do. 

Dreads can be good for your hair because all those chemicals we just talked about aren’t playing a huge role anymore. No more fried here because of overly usage of hair dye, and no more split ends because of a straightening iron!

Instead, having dreadlocks focuses on keeping the moisture in your hair and this can be more helpful to your hair. Because truth be told, your hair can become dry and dull if you use too many products.

Do dreadlocks cause hair loss?

You heard me say it a couple of times now. Dreadlocks are not bad for your hair and also not particularly a cause for hair loss. This is only when we talk about healthy dreadlocks and taking good care of them.

Because there are several problems that can occur with dreadlocks that may contribute to hair loss and bald spots. Below you’ll find a shortlist of the possible causes with an explanation as to why hair loss can happen in that circumstance.

Over maintaining you dreads

Just as I talked about all the beautiful hair products there are, and how they sometimes can harm your hair, over maintaining your dreads is a thing.

When we talk about over maintaining your dreads we don’t talk about using too much product or whatsoever… No, we talk about the constant touching the roots of your dreads. If you just start your journey it is normal to tame all the frizzies and stuff that you see just so everything looks as sharp as possible. But in doing this (twisting, rubbing, and fiddling in your hair) can contribute to hair thinning. You can also damage the root if you are not careful.

The easy way to fix this is to know that not everything has to be as neat as possible all the time. Try to stop yourself when you notice doing it or let someone else point it out for you. It all comes down to habits. If you made it a habit to constantly fiddle with your hair, you need to take some action to “un-learn” it. If you stop the constant fiddling with your hair you give it the chance to grow out nicely from the root!

Roots pulled too tight

Pulling your roots too tight can be a real thing for hair loss. By pulling the hair back in the buns (or ponytails) you pull the hair back at the root. If this tension is too much it can lead to hair loss. Now if you do this for a short amount of time there is no problem and the hair should grow out normally again, but you have to look out for doing this over a longer period of time. 

Luckily this is easy to prevent. One of the best ways to loosen up the roots is to just wear your hair looser than you would normally do. This is especially important the first days after you’ve maintained your hair. 

The chemical processes used on the dreads

As you might know from other articles that you read on this website, you know that dyeing your hair is something that causes damage to your hair. You see, dyeing your hair is a chemical process that gives your hair a nice color, but it also damages the hair a bit. If you do not let it rest and recover, the hair can be not as strong as you thought it would be.

Now some people have dyed hair and dreadlocks almost always regret dreading their hair. Your hair isn’t as moist as it needs to be and it is lacking natural oils. This can cause hair loss because your hair is already weaker from the hair coloring treatment. It is easier to break hair and therefore it contributes to hair loss.

The easiest way to prevent this is to just not dye your hair. Stay away from the chemical process of hair coloring and go for a good hair care routine so that your dreads are as healthy and strong as possible.

Dreads to heavy and itching!

Not only people with dreads but also people who don’t have it sometimes… suffering from an itchy scalp. If you can, you need to minimize this as soon as possible because doing this excessively can lead to balding on the places that you itch mostly.

Hydrating your body well is something that goes a long way in countering the itchy scalp. Applying pure aloe vera and apple cider vinegar to your scalp will also work wonders.

How about too heavy locs? If they are too heavy, the pull on hair can become so big that your hair can break or fall out. This can lead to a receding hairline and that is not something you want! 

You need to reduce the weight by cutting off a few inches. If you don’t want to do that you can also brush some of them out or let a professional salon wash out some of the build-up. The things mentioned above should work wonders for stopping hair loss!

Do dreads pull your hairline back?

Not necessarily. As I explained in the section above, a receding hairline is something that can happen, but will not if you take proper care of your hair. Know that if your dreads are too long, you need to do something about it otherwise, it can pull back your hairline.

Now, if you take proper care of your dreads (and you can if you apply and avoid the things I mentioned above), you should not have to worry about your hairline being pulled back.

How do I go about dreading my hair?

Now that you’ve read all this, I can only imagine how psyched you are to try dreadlocks for yourself! But how do you go about this? The following step by step mini-guide will help you with this! So, without further ado… Here’s the mini-guide:

First: Make sure that you wash your hair with a residue-free clarifying shampoo. The natural oils in your hair that build up to make your hair slippery so it is better to start with hair that is freshly washed! Now after you are done you can brush out the hair. Don’t put anything in your hair after it! Make your hair totally dry and set aside a lot of time (4 to 8 hours).

Second: Now the next thing you need to do is to section your hair into squares. It is best to use a wide-toothed comb to part it all into squares. Keep the bottom left squares apart from each other. This you can do with small rubber bands. Each square will become a nice looking dreadlock. So, how big or small your dreadlocks become is up to you. You can do 2.5 by 2.5 cm squares to make them standard. If you want to go for a medium-sized you should go for a bit bigger squares than 2.5 by 2.5 cm. Since you have set aside time to do this, make sure that every dread you are making is the same size. 

Third: Comb your hair back or wrap your hair around your finger so that you can put it in sections. Hold a section of straight hair up from your scalp and tease it down with a metal fine-toothed comb. You need to repeat this step until the hair becomes puff and packs up the roots. Do this until you reach the bottom of the hair.

Fourth: Secure the dreads you just made with small rubber bands or elastic hair bands. You should place a rubber band around each dread that secures the end of the dread. Place another rubber band right next to the scalp. Now you have securely set up a dread!

Do this for all until you’re done!

What not to do if you have dreads!

Now that you know that dreads are not bad for your hair, can be healthy and you know how to set them up and maintain them, it is time to tell you what not to do with dreads! I tell you this so that you can have the most healthy and beautiful dreads out there!

One: You should avoid build-up at all cost. As I said earlier, the build-up can cause hair loss. You get build-up by using conditioners and shampoos that are not right for your hair and/or for your locs. This will leave unwanted residue in your hair and it can build- up in your hair. You can often see people who have “build-up” because build-up can discolor your dreads. If you see someone walking with dreads that look a bit off color-wise, they have built-up in their hair from all the products they use on it.

Two: Do not wax your dreadlocks! I know it is tempting because you can keep them in place this way because this also can lead to build-up. Also, it is not easy to get out of your hair and it attracts dirt.

Three: You should not retwist dry locks. By now you know that having dry hair can lead to breakage and damage. Therefore you should never try to retwist a dry lock. You can damage it this way. Make sure you spray your locks with water and that you oil your scalp.

Final thoughts

Although some people hate them and some love them, we can all agree that they can be a handful of work! Not a problem for sure if you like them! I hope that by now you know that dreads are not bad for your hair and that you also know how to maintain them. You have learned how to set the dreadlocks and how to take proper care of them! Have fun trying it for yourself! And if you find it difficult, or want to ask questions about it, there are all kinds of Facebook groups and stuff like that where people come together to talk about dreads! 

Joy-Lee Founder and writer of


Hi, my name is Joy-Lee and I'm the owner of As you might've noticed, I'm a true beauty lover, and made it my passion, my work and my hobby. I love sharing my thoughts and feelings on a variety of beauty aspects and want to thank you for reading!