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The Best 5 Hairstyles for Starter Locs | Lion Locs

Patience is the key to growing dreadlocks.

It takes about eight months and two years before your dreadlocks fully develop. 

And a complaint of many is that there aren't many style options to choose from while wearing starter locs.

The only limitation to style when rocking starter locs is in the imagination.

Here are five hairstyles for starter locs and a little advice on expectations before you try them out.

Lion Locs dreadlock care products are vegan, organic, all-natural, and never contain toxic ingredients.

Related: The Best Loc Styles For Ladies

Grow Out Your Hair for Starter Locs

We want to hook you with the best hairstyles for starter dreadlocks. You can start growing your dreadlocks and style them, but that can be a long wait.

You can also style your dreadlocks as they grow. You will be married to that hairstyle while your dreadlocks develop, but the style will make it worth it.

We recommend growing your hair to at least a length of about three to six inches before you start growing dreadlocks. You need some hair length for the hair follicles to begin fusing and locking together.

We call this concept the internal dreadlock matrix. The outside of a dreadlock strand resembles a hairy and fuzzy rope or vine. But the interior of the dreadlock is a spiral coil of fused and locked hair follicles that stretch from the scalp down to the tip of the dreadlock.

As your dreadlock strands grow, the follicles at the tip will become irrevocably fused. The dreadlock strand at mid-length and at the scalp line is twisted and coiled hair follicles that are not permanently fused yet.

The point is that your starter locs have a long journey to go before they become fully developed dreadlocks with length. The style of dreadlocks that you choose to rock in the starting months of development will determine their shape, width, and aesthetic appearance.

So be patient and choose wisely.

And the best way to give the style you choose a chance is to have some length of hair to work with. The average hair follicle grows at a rate of about a third of an inch to an inch per month, depending on your race, ethnicity, and hereditary genetics.


Freeform dreadlocks are the styling method of ceasing to comb or brush your hair and letting them coil and fuse on their own. 

The freeform dreadlock style is optimal for black hair or people with naturally curly and kinky hair that will coil naturally and on its own without manipulation.

You could twist and coil your hair for a few days to get the coils to form, but after that, you should just let them grow on their own with no hairstyling interference. 

Freeform dreadlocks are naturally stylish, but you will have to deal with a lot of frizziness as they grow.


You could braid your hair into thick or thin plaits and then just leave them alone. They will naturally develop into dreadlocks over several months.

If you are starting out with traditional dreadlocks, you could start braiding your loc strands as well.

Braids are a protective hairstyle that protects your hair from dust, airborne particulates, and excessive hairstyling. Protective hairstyles are convenient, easy to style, and can be worn for weeks or months on end.

And protective hairstyles also allow your locs to grow naturally without too much manipulation or contamination by toxic hair products.

Braid your locs into cornrow braids directed to the back of your head. Or braid your locs into a spiral design on your scalp that culminates into a dreadlock ponytail on the top of your head.

Whatever style of braid you choose is a great way to protect your starter dreadlocks as they grow out.

Two-Strand Twist Dreadlocks

A young male model with two-strand dreadlocks.

To start this hairstyle, you must partition your scalp into box-shaped sections. The larger the box-shaped section on your scalp, then the larger the resulting dreadlock will be.

Divide each box-shaped section into two equal widths of strands. Then, twist each strand of hair and under the other strand. You want to create an aesthetic hairstyle that looks like a puffy spiral or rope-like dreadlock strand.

It could take months and maybe even a year for your starter dreadlocks to develop with this hairstyle. Two-strand twists are notorious for unraveling. You may spend a lot of time retwisting the strands and tying them off at the ends with hair clips.

Two-strand twist dreadlocks puff out in volume and become much thicker in width than traditional dreadlocks. Additionally, you will also contend with a lot of frizziness as they grow.

But if you stick with this hairstyle, your two-strand dreadlocks will develop naturally into these thick, eye-catching, spiral rope-like dreadlock strands.

Comb Coils

View of coiled starter locs on a model's head.

When you start your dreadlocks with comb coils, your dreadlocks will resemble hollow, large drinking-straw-like tubes of hair.

Some people style their hair this way to achieve the faux locs looks, an aesthetic style equivalent to dreadlocks that don't require the time sacrifices to achieve them.

So, you can enjoy the style of coiled hair follicles as your locs grow and develop.

Bantu Knots

Bantu knots are an ancient hairstyle that was developed by a class of Zulu ethnicities known as the Abantu, who were renamed the Bantu by European colonialists.

The Bantu are a class of almost 1,000 African ethnicities who speak hundreds of languages and dialects throughout central and southern Africa. The Bantu ethnicities are probably over 3,000 years old.

The word "Bantu" means "people." However, the term is considered a derogatory insult inside Africa coined by colonialists to take away the proud heritage of the local peoples. 

The Bantu knot was created by the Bantu people long ago but is currently one of the most popular hairstyles in the modern world.

The Bantu knot is a short, coiled wrap of hair that aesthetically resembles a tree stump.

In Europe and the United States, it's a hot hairstyle that everyone wears, but we want you to understand the gravity of the history of the term.

Bantu knots are a protective hairstyle that is easy to style, wear, and undo when necessary. And they are great for protecting starter locs as they grow.

Section strands of dreadlocks on your scalp into square or triangle shapes. Twist and wrap the strands into a coil in the center.

And then coil the strands around the original coils until you fashion a pyramid or tube-like stump shape.

Tuck the ends of the dreadlock strands under the Bantu loc knot wrap to keep the knot in place.

Get Lion Locs today. We off the best all-natural and organic dreadlock grooming products in the industry.

Related: The Best 2 Strand Twist Styles for Locs

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