Dread locks/Sister Locks on Children

Dread head kid
Some people disagree with children getting a permanent style such as dreads or sister locks. The only two ways to change the style is to comb them out, which can take a long time and cause a whole lot of damage or to cut them all off. How old is old enough to make that choice and will they change their mind next week? I think it’s for the parents to decide. Is your child still going to want them after a few months of maintenance? Will they get made fun of by other children? These are things to consider when deciding to start dread locks or sister locks on your child.

Dread locks originated in Africa, Jamaica and India. Those that wore the hairstyle were feared or “dreaded”. This is where the name comes from. They were part of the religion of Rastafarians, Hindu yogis and holy men. For the Rastafarians, their dreads were considered to be powerful and holy. The hairstyle became more popular because of the spotlight on Jamaican singer Bob Marley. Dread locks and sister locks are a natural, relatively low maintenance (long term) hairstyle for many people and have become more and more accepted in society.

Locking the hair is a chemical free process. One way to start dreadlocks is by back combing. This process is simply combing the hair toward the root and twisting or rolling it. This takes a lot of time, depending on the length and thickness. Another way is by creating two strand twists and keeping them in until they eventually lock. Both require a lot of maintenance and go through an “ugly” phase in the beginning. This may be why some people don’t agree with letting children get dreads. The process, maintenance and patience may be hard for them. They might see a picture of dreads and want that look right away, not understanding that it’s a long process. Sister locks are a smaller version of dread locks and require more time to install and re-twist. Stylists use a special tool to start them and charge more.

As their parent, you know your child more than anyone else. If they show interest in locks, make sure they are fully aware of the process and how much time and maintenance it requires in the beginning. Show them pictures and explain it very well. They have to know that they will not achieve that look right away. Give them time to decide. If you are the one that wants them to have dreads, make sure they want it too. If you have to talk them into it, it might not be a good idea yet. You don’t want your child to regret getting them or only do it to please you. Keep in mind the area you live in also. If no one else in your child’s school has them, they may make fun of the child and bully them. This can be somewhat traumatizing and not worth it, in my opinion.

We all want what’s best for our children. I think dreads can look nice. You can style them in many ways, just as you would non dreaded hair. Do a lot of research and watch a lot of tutorials before you start the process, especially if you’re starting them yourself. Some hair types take to dreads better than others. Looser curl patterns are probably going to be harder to lock and maintain than kinky types. Knowledge is power, so research! Thank you for reading and feel free to comment.

-Sherry Ulvick

Dread process

Please click on the product images to purchase.
Dread shampoo

Spray for dreads

Twist and loc gel for dreads