How Dreadlocks Change Over Time – What To Expect

Hey guys, so I recently gave my girlfriend some dreadlocks, about six months ago now, and she’s noticed that they’ve changed a lot as time has passed. The way they look, feel and their size. So, I thought I’d write a post on what you should expect from your dreadlocks over time.  If you’re wondering, I’ve had my dreads for a few years now and they’re still changing and getting ever so tighter.

Of course, everyone’s hair is different and therefore not everyone’s hair will act in the same way, at the same time but it will be along the same lines. So, make sure you take that into account when reading this.

The First Month…

Not a lot happens in the first week of your hair being dreaded or maybe even the second, but you’ll notice that after a month or so (depending on how well they were done) your hair will start to loosen up and the dread will feel like it’s coming apart. This is nothing to worry about, yeah the hair is loosening so its important to keep palm rolling it and even crocheting it if necessary.

Top tip – Make sure you keep separating your dreads so that they don’t join.

Two to Five Months…

Now that your dreads have had a couple of months to settle, you will notice they are starting to get tighter but they may have developed some lumps going through them. This is just the hair tightening at different rates, therefore leaving the lumps. Don’t worry these will disappear in time. The dreads may have also become fluffy, with lots of lose hair, once again keep palm rolling and that should keep them under control.

Top Tip – I also find palm rolling using a natural salt spray helps to hone this fluffy hair.

Six Months to a Year…

Around this time your hair will still have lumps through it but they should have become less obvious by now, especially coming up to a year old. The hair may also be fluffy but manageable. Unfortunately, around six months you will notice your dreads are starting to get shorter (my girlfriend is not very happy about this). Don’t worry they will soon start to grow again. You may also be due for a root tightening, whether you do this yourself or find someone else to.

Top Tip – I find it helps to wash your hair the day before you get your roots tightened. One, because cleaner hair is easier to dread and two, it means you can afford to wait longer before you wash them, giving your roots a chance to tighten.

One to Two Years…

Okay over this next year period you will notice your dreads are starting to mature, they will start to feel much denser to the touch. They should also start to hang straight down (rather than sticking out randomly), Especially towards the end of this period. You will also find that the dreads will have gained some weight behind them, they should feel heavier and thicker. My suggestion, at this stage, is to keep palm rolling and tightening your roots when needed but I wouldn’t advise putting any products other than salt spray (and shampoo of course) on them. The dreads may still be a little fluffy at this point but that is fine, it will go in time. You should also start to see some growth in your dreads, after about a year they should have stopped shrinking.

Top Tip – Try to avoid any products, let them form naturally.

Two years and over

So, your dreads should be looking pretty sweet by this point, they won’t be fully matured but they will get there. I found that at this stage, I didn’t need to do anything to the dreads but wash them and keep the roots under control. The fluffiness had calmed down and they seemed to have lost their lumps. I also found that they had nearly doubled in length by this point, they started at my shoulders and by two years they were half way down my back.

Top tip – I still salt spray on occasion, usually after I have tightened my roots. I find this keeps them looking tidier for longer.


Overall you will find, that only time will give you the mature looking dreads that you desire, yeah you may need to give them a slight push along the way, so keep that in mind when you’re on your dreadlock journey.

My biggest tips would be to palm roll, palm roll, palm roll. This is the most effective method, especially in the first year, it will help give the dreadlocks an even shape, avoid lumps and fluffiness. I would also encourage you to avoid products, let them form naturally, if you’re struggling with fluffiness then try salt spray and palm rolling, that did the trick for me.

So, good luck guys, remember good things come to those who wait, let me know how your dreadlock journeys went. Peace.

2 thoughts on “How Dreadlocks Change Over Time – What To Expect

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