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Rasta: How To Grow Dreadlocks with Backcombing

Updated on February 25, 2012

We can all agree Bob Marley was one the most charismatic man alive.What made him so popular? Even 30 years after his death, his name and music is heard every week. His posters of singing and smoking up on almost every college dorm...He is the icon of reggae with his music and philosophy.

We get all of that.. But I think it's his gorgous dreads that make him so iconic. Bob Marley had the most amazing looking dreads in history. That's right! I said, I meant it and I'm here to represent it! In this hub, I am going to teach you guys how to make dreadlocks.

I've recently gotten dreadlocks with a friends' help. The process is not hard, however long and tiring. If you decide to begin this journey, you must be ready to commit because no one gets those fantastic lookin' Jamaican dreads in a day, not in a month either... Dreadlocks take time to mature. After the backcombing method, the hair needs several months to lock up completely and get that mature dread form. Now it's those months that require all the patience and commitment you can ever give. I've watched enough YouTube videos to say everybodys' (including mine) dreads in the beginning looks like crap. Especially first several weeks, you are going to have to wear bandenas, hats, beanies or anything that covers your hair. This process requires lots patience and tolerance to reactions you will get from your friends. Something you should always keep in mind, dreadlocks will look like shit before they mature and turn out looking gorgous.

Now relax, that last paragraph might have discouraged you, but you must be prepared for the worst before you get get spectacular results. My dreads are only a month old but they are already starting to look like something. Let me tell you the attention you will receive from the opposite sex might amaze you, but that's just a small advantage you will gain with your dreads. I cannot tell you in these past weeks how many girls have started touching my hair to find out why and how my hair looks so different. I love different!, being different separates you from the herd.

Here are some strange things that has happened to me since my transformation:

-I have been asked if I have "weed connections"

-I have been asked if I have pipe. And I'm not talking about the pipe detectives smoke.

-I have been asked if I "grow some" on my backyard.

-Now let me get this straight. I'm from Turkey, but I look just as any white European with colored eyes. I have been asked if I was Jamaican!

There has been many more awkward questions and moments that I have endured but cannot recall. Don't get me wrong, these moemnts were hillarious for me. I get a huge stupid smile on my face rest of the day when I attract lots of new friends just from my hair. You're gonna love it!

Lets get to the point. Earlier in this hub I mention I used the backcombing method. This is the simplest and most practical method. Equipments are very small and sipmple, they can be purchased online for no more than 10-15$ The tricky part is to convince a friend/family member to do the magic. Luckily, I had a friend who already had dreadlocks to do this process. But you may need to teach your partner what I'm about to teach you.


- Hook crechet

- Dread comb (Metal comb)

- At least 4 inches of hair

The hook crochet needs to be 0.7mm. You may get a ticker one but this size is the best as it is not too big to catch too much hair, and not too small to be ineffective. This ebay user sells the exact one I have. Order size 11 - 0.7mm. This is the kind of comb I'm talking about, I have same equipment and they worked perfect.


1) Section hair into square sections.(Longer sections mean thicker dreads. I did a little over 30 sections which made them avaragely thick as a marker.) Use little plastic bands to keep them sperated.

2) Begin backcombing. Be ready for pain, this part is gonna hurt! (Having some alcohol in your bloodstream and a TV in front might help you get distracted from pain ;)

3) After backcombing, your hair will look like puffy sticks. That's completely natural. Watch the video and crochet the "puffy sticks".

Be Aware! Reading the method takes 1 minute, but appying it takes much longer. If this is you and your partner's first time in this "business" expect at least 10-15 minutes for each dread to be completed. For me, the whole process took 3 days. 5-6 hours each day This was only with 1 friend's assistance, convincing 2 friends will double the speed. I wouldn't recommend more than 2, as increasing parnters, so does the pain. 2 is ideal.

My Case

Now, my journey on starting locks were quite different from most people. I had 4 inches of hair when I decided to go the Rasta way. But I knew it would make my new and immature dreads look very short. So I decided to add hair extensions. I got into some local barbors and bargained on real hair extensions with closest color to my hair. This little trick can help many other males as we have to wait for months to even begin dreadlocks... If you want to do this too, make sure to buy real hair, not synthetic! Same method applies to this trick, but backcombing and croche-ing the hair before you attach it your head will be much easier.

Last Notes...

I have given you guys all my knowledge and wisdom about locks and backcombing. The rest is up to you. First step is the hardest, deciding to finally grow them will be challenging. Take a look photos of Bob and other people to get yourself pumped up.. It will give you an idea how you will look like in several months. I am here to answer and help with any questions or problems you guys have, feel free to ask ANYTHING!

~ Peace


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    • profile image

      nathaniel 20 months ago

      soon to be a dread head thanks

    • profile image

      Britt 4 years ago

      Hey! I have been searching everywhere trying to find someone who has used human hair to dread I to their own hair. I want my dreads back but can't be patient enough to let it grow. If you ever see this is would love to talk to you and gets some tips. :)

    • profile image

      kliff 5 years ago

      i doubt bob used any of those tools to dread his hair ...

    • profile image

      ras tafari 5 years ago

      Alcohol and Tv while setting dreads man,...

      Lost sheep.