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a man with thick dreadlocks facing backwards

Do Dreads Get Thicker Over Time?

Dreadlocks make for a great hairstyle, no matter how thick or thin. In addition, your dreads are particular to you — the best thing to do is ensure your dreads and hair are healthy instead of worrying about their shape and thickness.

However, when dreads mature throughout the stages, they will get thinner and thicker at different points. In addition, the length and thickness will fluctuate during the first couple of years as your hair becomes matted.

Healthy dreadlocks are typically a little thicker when they mature than when you started them. How thick they will get depends mostly on your hair density, texture, and size of your parts.

Related: How to Keep Your Locs Fresh

Will My Dreads Get Thinner or Thicker With Time?

Dreadlocks undergo constant transformation — as your hair starts to tangle and knot, each dread adjusts to those changes by becoming loose and thin in some spots and tight and thick in others.

During this time, you’ll notice loops start to appear, and some of your hair will likely untangle — don’t worry, many of us go through this when starting our dreads. Each dread will also go through a shrinking and tightening process, making some shorter or longer than others.

We often worry during the early stages while our dreads are maturing because we think they need to be perfect immediately. However, depending on your maintenance and hair type, it can take years to fully mature — wait out the process with patience.

These changes your hair undergoes are necessary to mature dreads in the future; healthy dreadlocks are all about patience and time. They’ll be worth the wait.

In addition, the way you start your dreads doesn’t affect their overall thickness. So next, let’s talk about how to tell how thick (or thin) you can expect your dreads to get.

Want thicker, healthier dreads? That’s what our products are all about!

The Size of Your Sections

Whether a professional is doing your dreads or you’re allowing your hair to dread naturally, it’s best to part your hair evenly. If you have lots of uneven parts, your dreads will end up uneven, too. Of course, dreads are personal — if you don’t care about them being even, you can let them do their thing.

However, if you want your dreads to be the same thickness all over, you’ll need a loctician or friend to help separate the hair at your scalp. Eventually, this thickness will be slightly smaller than the size of each section.

Your Hair Density

a man in a black jacket with dreads

More hair means thicker dreads. On average, people have over 1,000 hairs per sq. inchif you have more, your dreads will be thicker, and if you have less, your dreads will be thinner.

We lose 50-100 hairs on average each day, which stays knotted in our dreadlocks, contributing to each dread’s thickness.

How your hair density affects your dread thickness also correlates with your hair texture.

Related: How to Maintain Frizzy Dreads

Your Hair Texture

The natural thickness of your hair plays a significant part in how thick your dreads will get in the future — it’s crucial to keep this in mind when sectioning your scalp.

For example, someone with thin, straight hair will have difficulty growing extra thin dreads because any tension at their scalp can cause hair loss. If more hairs are in the same loc, then the tension is distributed more evenly, resulting in dreads that are stronger at the root.

On the other hand, people with coarse hair can usually maintain thin dreads better, but thick locs can weigh their hair down, causing tension. They can still have thick locs, but they’ll also need to put their dreads up in a loose bun occasionally to relieve the tension on their roots.

What Can Cause Dreads to Thin?

A number of factors can result in thinning dreads, including:

  • Excessive maintenance: Constant maintenance of your dreads can create a lot of tension in your scalp, causing the hair loss discussed above (your scalp should not be sore after maintenance). In addition, twisting your dreads too often can also thin them out because they don’t have time to move around and tighten.
  • Too much buildup: Any products, whether natural or not, you use on your dreadlocks can cause buildup. And too much of this buildup can disrupt the locking process, creating weak points along your dreads. You can prevent this by performing a deep cleanse every few months.

Are your dreads thinning because of the products you use? Make the switch to Lion Locs, and watch your locs get thicker, healthier, and fuller.

How Can I Thicken My Dreads?

A smiling man rocking his locs

Luckily, even if your dreads are experiencing thinning or weak spots, you can help by:

  • Hydrating your hair: If your dreads feel crunchy, they’re too dry. You should use a moisturizer on your dreadlocks often. We recommend this moisturizing gel for dreads — it leaves no buildup or residue that can cause your dreads to thin.
  • Stimulating your scalp: You want to strengthen your hair follicles at the root to improve your future hair health. You can do this by using a loc oil — like this loc growth oil made from organic ingredients to help fight irritation, dandruff, and itchiness — on your scalp before bed.
  • Wrapping your dreads: Silk or satin head covers protect your dreads from friction while you sleep. You can wear a scarf or a silk pillowcase. Wrapping your dreads also prevents lint from sticking to them overnight.
  • Eating right: If your body is healthy, your dreads will be healthier. Drink water frequently and eat nutritious foods each day. And if you have any nutritional imbalances or deficiencies, consider using supplements to get your body the vitamins and minerals it needs.

Dreadlocks can thicken or thin over time, depending on where they are in maturity, your maintenance routine, and other factors we discussed.

Taking care of yourself and your dreads is the key to healthy locs in the future. And don’t forget — if you’re doing everything right and aren’t seeing the results you want, be patient and keep on track; your dreads will get there in no time.

Related: How to Retwist Your Locs

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