33 Dreadlock Styles For Women; Short & Long Dread Ideas

Dreadlock Styles For Black Women; Short & Long Dread Ideas

Dreads are a hairstyle that are definitely growing in popularity among women; they’re even moving to the forefront of pop culture.

From celebrities like Lisa Bonet to Rihanna, we’ve seen dreadlocks featured with looks of high fashion.

And while many stick to one style, there are many different options.

From waves and curls to bright colors, here are 33 ideas for your next hairstyle.

Down And Simple

There are some growing pains associated with dreads, but they can be easy to manage once they grow past a certain length.
Photo from @jshanelle Instagram

If you have dreads, you know that there’s that rough growing period after your dreads are no longer babies anymore.

You usually have to wait until you’re past the phase where they’re sticking out.

One of the best things that happen is when they finally grow long enough for them to fall straight.

While there isn’t much that goes into this style, it is simple and requires absolutely no effort to bring the style to life.

Long And Luscious

Long dreads often take years to grow, and they require tons of patience and maintenance.
Photo from @loclivesmatter Instagram

While the first style on this list won’t take you that long, this style will definitely take you years and years of growing out your hair.

Truth be told, most don’t reach this level of growth with their dreads, but it’s possible.

Similar to the “Down and Simple,” this style requires almost no prior preparation.

All one really needs to do is focus on their roots and make sure they’re tight and snatched.

Twisted Space Buns

Requiring a bit of effort, this space bun looks comes to life with the added effect of twisting dreadlocks together.
Photo from @itslocgoals Instagram

We used to associate the space buns hairstyle with the ‘90s, but like many trends of the decade, they’re back and better than ever.

While it is common to see them on natural or relaxed hair, they’re equally as possible on dreads.

Some might choose to recreate the hairstyle by simply manipulating their hair into space buns, but this style takes it to a different level.

Instead, you’ll see that two dreads were twisted together before being placed into the buns.

While this might take some work if you’re not great at twisting, the final product definitely seems to be worth it.

The Messy Bun

While it might take some time, dreads can also be manipulated into the popular hairstyle - the messy bun.
Photo from @aboutalaysia Instagram

Tons of us are always trying to perfect the messy bun.

I mean, personally, I’ve probably spent over 10 minutes twisting and untwisting my hair to make it look cute but unbothered.

Well, instead of the beehive, another style you’ll see later on this list, we have the messy bun.

The effort alone to pile all the hair on top of the head isn’t for the weak at arms, but the exposed ends of the dreads in this bun make it messy, cute, and perfect for an effortless look.

Wavy Dreads

Instead of straight dreads, adding a wavy pattern to the hair is possible for some styles.
Photo from @hairlocsjourney Instagram

When most of us think of dreads, you’re probably only thinking that they come in one style – straight.

I used to think that as well, but they come in a variety of sizes and styles.

Another option for dreads might be to keep them cute and wavy.

While you might need to make a special appointment for a hair stylist to bring this look to life, there’s no denying that this hairstyle might be what you need to spice up your look.

Short And Red

Short pineapple hairstyle are great for showing off dreads that have color at their ends.
Photo from @curlytop.nia Instagram

Nothing spices up a hairstyle more than the color red.

If you’re looking to dabble in some color, feel free to throw in some black to red ombre.

Ideal for showing off the color on short dreads, you can easily throw the hair up into a similar styled pineapple to showcase the color.

Plus, this shade of red is perfect for both hotter and colder months.

Three Toned Ombre

Bleached and recolored locks can often lead to styles with multiple colors.
Photo from @uhohoreoo Instagram

A lot of women are scared about adding color to their hair, but girls just want to have fun!

A great way to liven up dreads is with color.

While the three toned ombre in this hairstyle probably wasn’t intentional, it’s working anyway.

Chances are, the locks were bleached to add either the blue or lavender shade, but eventually washed out or faded away.

Regardless, we’re loving the multiple shades in this hairstyle.

Up in a high ponytail, it helps emphasize the three different colors coming to life in this style.

One Long Dread

Women with dreads can allow one to surpass the others while keeping the rest of them uniformly at one length.
Photo from @sherylstmichel Instagram

While I can’t be sure that there’s an actual term for this, I’ve heard some dreadless heads call their one dread a “luck dread.”

Regardless, this style featured one long dread while the others rest at a medium length along the shoulders.

You might not see it in this particular style, but this hairdo can be enhanced by adding hair accessories as well.

Wrapped Bun

Headwraps a great way to enhance a normal and common dreadlock hairstyle.
Photo from @sweater_mrc Instagram

When it comes to hairstyles, you’ll always find that we often turn to headwraps.

In this style, we have a bun style that has been enhanced, and probably supported, with a headwrap.

To specialize this look even more, it features a few dreads left out from the bun and adorned with gold hair beads.

The Twisted Fishtail Braid

Dreadlocks are more versatile than most people think, having the ability to be styled into different style braids.
Photo from @marijoelle_b Instagram

If you look at the intricacies of this hairstyle, you can tell it’s not for the faint of heart.

One, it probably isn’t simple enough to do yourself, and you might find yourself sitting for a while as your hairstylist figures it out. 

Regardless, the regalness of this style is definitely meant for queens.

While the twisted dreads begin at the front of the head, they travel down the and twist into what looks like a fishtail braid.

Plus, the added gold accessories help polish off this look of royalty.

The Messy Pineapple

The messy pineapple is a more haphazard styling of the bun.
Photo from @rk.luxe Instagram

An alternative to the messy bun, the messy pineapple is essentially an even messier version of the same style.

With less structure, the pineapple is meant to branch out from different sides, essentially creating the illusion of pineapple leaves.

This particular style features a soft ombre that goes from a dark brown to a lighter auburn color.

The Tall Bun

Dreadlock bun styles are very similar, often differing in how the ends are tucked into the style.
Photo from @stylewithstray Instagram

When it comes to dreadlock hairstyles that come in the form of a bun, there are a ton of different ways to get a different style.

While we’ve shown the messy bun and the messy pineapple, the tall bun is still adjacent to these looks.

In this particular style, the dreads are still styled into a bun, but rather than keep the ends “messy” and untucked, they are wrapped within the style.

Plus, this style is clearly designed to give the hairstyle some height to contrast with the shaved sides.

Thicc Dreads

Thick dreads are seemingly not as popular as their thinner alternatives.
Photo from @ryanalexandra.petit Instagram

Now these dreads aren’t just thick, they’re “thicc.”

While most people tend to go for smaller and thinner dreads, this style is less common but just as beautiful.

Although one might not get as many hairstyles out of these thick dreads as they might with smaller ones, it’s still possible to create styles that are going to gain some double takes.

Half Up/Half Down Bantu Knots

Whether with natural hair or dreads, bantu knots are a popular hairstyle in the Black community.
Photo from @tayybann Instagram

Bantu knots are an extremely popular style in the Black hair community.

Without doing bantu knots on the entire head, this style diversifies itself in a half up/half down hairdo.

With the highlights scattered throughout these dreadlocks, the bantu knots definitely help emphasize the color story of this fun hairstyle.

Space Buns On 100

While harder to manipulate, space buns are still a possible hairstyle on longer dreadlocks.
Photo from @iam.melanin.marie Instagram

Now, when most see space buns, they’re usually small and petite.

With this style, we’re bringing it from 10 to 100.

While it might be harder manipulating longer dreads into hairstyles, the end result is usually always worth it.

These space buns will definitely get noticed with their height and width.

You just have to make sure that you own the hairstyle and don’t let it own you.

Beehive Flipover

This hairstyle combines the popular beehive bun style with a flip over look to allow some hair at the front of the face.
Photo from @nateishaf Instagram

This particular hairstyle is a fusion of two.

The beehive is a popular and common style that many choose to create with styles like dreadlocks and braids.

Another popular style that many women do is the “flip over” method.

This style is seen on dreads and braids in addition to straight and curly hair.

It’s when most of the hair is out of the phase but part of it has been “flipped over” to fall along one side of the face.If you’re someone with dreads who likes having just a bit of hair to frame your face, this is a style to try.

Short And Curly

When growing dreads, some women may choose to have some curly pieces help enhance the look.
Photo from @mia_adaliz Instagram

What can you do with your dreads while they’re still small?

In a style like this, you can see that some of the pieces are still too short for them to fall straight down.

At this point of dread growth, you can choose to form some curly pieces.

Not only does this help enhance the look, but it’ll help calm down the look if you’re not feeling the dreads sticking out all over your head.

Half Up/Half Down Flower Child

An easy way to make a half up/half down hairstyle look different is by added different accessories like flowers.
Photo from @iloveyoufun Instagram

Hair accessories are extremely popular especially for women with dreads.

While most only add gold accessories, like this style includes, it takes it further with the addition of flowers.

A variety of the half up/half down hairstyle, this has the bun resting on a bed of flowers that truly make this flower child come to life.

Bantu Knots

Bantu knots are a popular Black hairstyle that can still be achieve with dreadlocks.
Photo from @prettywomanwithlocks Instagram

As previously mentioned, bantu knots are an extremely popular hairstyle in Black communities.

If you have thinner, shorter dreadlocks, it’s definitely possible to recreate this style.

While this look only features four, you can definitely cater your final product based on your hair specifics.

Short And Blonde

Blonde is another color that seems to pop in dreadlocks.
Photo from @westindieray Instagram

Similar to “Short and Red,” if you’re waiting for your hair to reach your desired length, feel free to play with some color.

These short, blonde locks are giving us life especially in the sun.

While you won’t see uniform locks here, the almost messy texture to the locks make them look fun and effortless.

Faux Bangs

One can achieve bangs with dreadlocks by putting their hair into a bun and adjusting the length with the size of the bun.
Photo from @tekeiratkins Instagram

So bangs aren’t really possible when you have dreadlocks, but that doesn’t mean you can’t fake them.

When you let your hair grow long enough, not only can you do a half up/half down style, but you can also fake bangs as well.

In order to create the look, one would just flip the bun so that the ends of the dreads are at the front of the face.

Then, you can adjust the length of the dreads by making the bun bigger or smaller.

Long Ombre Ponytail

Ponytails are an easy enough dreadlocks style that can be enhanced by leaving a few face framing pieces.
Photo from @aieshatae Instagram

Now this look doesn’t require much.

For the most part, all you need to do is pile your dreads into a low ponytail.

While some might go without it, leaving two dreads out at the front of your head can help frame the face and give the look a little something special.

And while the ombre is something that would have had to happen a while ago, a little color can always help enhance a look.

Green Queen

While many tend to stick to basic colors, some choose bold colors like green for their dreadlocks.
Photo from @crownedneptune Instagram

There’s nothing wrong with a little color.

There’s nothing wrong with a lot of color.

While you’ll often see colors like brown, blonde, and red in dreadlocks, we have to give this green look its deserved props.

It’s bold, eye catching, and definitely a look that’s going to be remembered.

Micro Curls

Curls can come to life in dreadlocks if they're thin enough.
Photo from @imanitaylorgood Instagram

An earlier hairstyle showed wavy dreads, but it’s also possible to bring curls to life, especially in the form of micro dreads.

Most people choose the size of their dreads.

Some want them to be thin while others want them to be thick.

With thinner dreads, it’s easier for curled styles to come to life.

Plus, the highlights throughout this look and the glow from the sun are really making this hairstyle pop.

Bantu Knots Redux

Bantu knots are a style that is often created by twisting multiple sections of hair around the head into small balls.
Photo from @nattyy.gal Instagram

A previous style showed four bantu knots, but we’re reviving the look to show what it would look like in the more “classic” sense of the meaning.

Bantu knots are a popular hairstyle for women with natural hair, and the style is often completed in multiple knots around the head.

If your dreadlocks are formed into an average sized number, you can create the knots around your head in a fashion similar to this.

Pineapple Bangs

The pineapple hairstyle differs from the bun in that the edges aren't tucked in neatly and are left out to add volume and height to the hairstyle.
Photo from @crimsoncoatedcaramel Instagram

The pineapple hairstyle differs from the bun in predominantly one way.

While the bun usually has all the edges tucked in neatly, the pineapple is meant to have the edges exposed to bring height and volume to the style.

This style calls on the pineapple but adds the bangs in there as well.

With the longer pieces of the up do, she is able to create the look by allowing them to fall over her forehead to appear as bangs.

The Classic High Bun

The classic high bun is a popular dreadlock hairstyle that requires a lot of precision and patience.
Photo from @mstrinitysimone Instagram

We’ve gone through tons of hairstyles before we got to one of the simplest – the classic high bun.

Unlike the messy bun, you can see the neatness of the locks as they sit at the top of the head.

One way to spot just how much precision was needed to create the classic bun, you can see how the dreads spin out from each other in a uniform way.

Half Up/Half Down Space Buns

Space buns are a hairstyle that is easier to achieve on shorter dreadlocks.
Photo from @tylerbriannah Instagram

Similar to the Half Up/Half Down Bantu Knots, this style calls on an earlier one on this list – the space buns.

As previously mentioned, space buns are an easier style for those with short dreads, and the style can be taken to the next level by leaving most of the hair down.

Not to mention, this fire red color and hair accessories are definitely making this a lewk.

The Bubble Bun

The bubble bun is an alternative of the classic bun in which the ends are fanned out.
Photo from @likenootherglover Instagram

Most might think that there’s only one way to achieve a bun, but they’d be thinking of the classic way.

This look would more aptly be called the “bubble bun.”

Instead of making a regular bun, you want to fan out the edges so they almost make a sort of half circle.

Plus, the exposed ends of this style make it a bit more effortless and on-the-go

Curled Curls

While dreads can be made curly, micro dreads can also be styled into uniform curls.
Photo from @ivyessence Instagram

There are a few things that are unique about this look.

One, these dreads are micro dreads.

Just looking at them, one might think that they’re literally a single strand of hair.

Another thing that makes this look special is that the dreads aren’t curly, like in the micro curls look, but they are styled into curls.

Looking at this hairstyle, one can see that they are specifically styled into ringlets.

I’m sure a lot of effort went into this look and it paid off.

The Pigtails

Pigtails are an easy hairstyle to accomplish for those with shorter dreadlocks.
Photo from @soniilashes Instagram

Is there a single woman out there who didn’t once have pigtails?

Not any woman that I know.

While you might associate the style with being a child, it’s definitely a cute look you can achieve with dreads, especially if they’re shorter.

Because of the length of the dreads, it adds volume to this look with the staggered ends.

Plus, the green ombre is making this look perfect for fall.

The Headwrapped Pineapple

Headwraps are a way to add style to a hairdo, but they also help protect or hide the roots.
Photo from @lilium.brownii Instagram

This look is combining two other styles you’ve already seen on this list.

One, headwraps are a great way to enhance a look.

Plus, they’re great when your roots are a little out of control.

Second, the pineapple, instead of sticking up, has some weight to it which allows it to help frame the face and maximize the look.

Halo Braided Ponytail

Halo braids are a popular style that creates a regal look.
Photo from @dwinning_1 Instagram

Many of us love length but would love to keep the hair out of our faces.

If you have long dreads, this is one style you can master.

The base of this hairstyle stars at a halo braid that travels around the crown of the head..

As it moves to the back, it is then tied off and left so that the rest of the hair can move freely whether you want to wear it down the back or on the shoulder.

Dreadlock Styles for Women Conclusion

33 Dreadlock Styles For Women; Short & Long Dread Ideas

While many of us simply look at having dreads from a hairstyle point of view, there is definitely a long and strong history behind dreadlocks.

If you look into dreadlocks, you’ll find that many people have false misconceptions about them.

They’ve been viewed as dirty.

Others think they’re a sign of damaged hair.

That’s all false.

Dreadlocks have a strong history and while they once had a bad reputation, the narrative is changing.

With that said, there are definitely some growing pains when going through the five stages of dreads, but it’s worth it when you can create tons of amazing styles whether you have short or long hair.

For those who have been thinking about growing dreads, this is the push you needed.

Don’t let the misconceptions fool you.

Any one of the styles on this list prove that dreads are truly beautiful.

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