Dreadlocks vs Twists: Prons & Cons & Difference

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Dreadlocks vs Twists? When you are in a salon for getting a hairstyle, have you ever hesitated to choose either dreadlocks or twists?

Knowing the differences between them leads you to get the desired look. Without further ado, let’s dive deeper into an understanding of each style.

What are Dreadlocks?

As a type of hairstyle, dreadlocks are created by getting loose hair knotted naturally as time goes by. The stylist will mat and twist the hair to form long strands. After that, just let the hair grow naturally without combing or brushing. Then, the strands will form knots and tangles.

Dreadlocks originated in the early 20th century in Jamaica. At that time, Rastafarians launched a religious movement. They used dreadlocks as a symbol of their spirits. The style quickly became a symbol of Jamaica. Then it got popularized by Jamaican musicians and has survived to this day.

Pros of Dreadlocks

Healthy-friendly: Dreadlock is a health-friendly hairstyle with minor wear and tear. You need to mat your hair tightly to form dreadlocks. So, your hair will be much less vulnerable to breakage and damage. This will help your hair to naturally grow healthy.

Without Combing often: If you don’t want to comb and tug your hair often, dreadlocks can give you peace. Dreadlocks are simple to manipulate. You can create the desired styling with your natural hair locs.

Fashion: Dreadlocks offer great fashion symbolism. They give you a chance to express your personality and style. People wearing dreadlocks are considered to be brave in staying true. Big confidence will emerge when you try to embrace dreadlocks with pride.

Save Time: Wearing dreadlocks can save your time every morning. You don’t need to think hard and long about your hairstyle. You just wake up and tidy up a bit. Then you can utilize the left time to do more important things.

Cons of Dreadlocks

Long-term Commitment: It takes a long time to grow mature locs. This is not a piece of good news for impatient people. That will be hard for impatient people to keep dreadlocks and wait for hairstyle formation.

Long Time to Dry Up: You have to spend up to 3 to 6 hours drying dreadlocks up. This is a crazy number for busy people. Leaving your dreadlocks damp will produce build-ups on your head. So, drying them is an essential step in your maintenance routine.

Costly: Growing your dreadlocks in the early initial stages will cost you a lot. It requires using hair products and meticulous maintenance. If some dreadlocks styles are created by professional stylists, they could be expensive.

Make You Feel Hot: If you are a person with poor resistance against heat, then you will feel uncomfortable with dreadlocks. Because dreadlocks will keep the heat and moisture on your head. This will make you feel hot and sweaty on warm or even summer days.

Dreadlocks vs Twists: What-are-Dreadlocks

What are Twists?

Twists are a type of popular hairstyle for people with natural hair. It is achieved by dividing sections of hair and then twisting them around each other. You need to twist two strands of hair together to create a spiral pattern. Handle the hair like this until the entire length of the hair is twisted. There are various sizes for twists from small twists to larger ones.

Twist has its origin in West Africa. It was brought to the Americas and the Caribbean along with the transatlantic slave trade. It became associated with Black identity at that time. During the civil rights movement, it represented the spirit of resistance against white oppression. This hairstyle has been passed down since then.

Pros of Twists

Less to Damage: The hair strands are interlocked and fixed together when you lock your hair. This can protect your hair from damage or breaking easily.

Versatility: If you have short, medium, or long hair, then twists will look great on your head. If you want a more creative hairstyle, you also can combine twists with other styles, such as braids.

Lock Moisture: Twists can help lock in moisture and make your hair become a beautiful protective style.

Low-tension: Since twists are lightweight, they cause little tension on your scalp. This will protect your scalp health. Also, this will reduce the chance of hair loss.

Cons of Twists

Easy Tangled: Since twists can keep the shed hair and dirt stay on your head, your hair will easily get tangled at the ends. This may make it difficult to clean your hair.

Long Time to Install: It takes a long time to install twists. If you have a lot of hair, the completion time may be even longer. This will be a problem for people who are short on time.

Easy Unravel: If you twist your hair not properly, then twists will easily unravel.


Major Differences Between Dreads and Twists

Though dreads and twists are similar to some extent, they have some differences in some aspects.  

Formation Process

For dreadlocks, you need at least 3 inches of length of your hair to start the dreadlock process. Before you start, get your hair cleaned and dry it out entirely. Then, divide your hair into multiple squares and make each section medium-sized.

Dreadlocks begin with braided sections. Then the ends are twisted into sections. Your hair is left to mat together naturally over time.

For twists, there are generally two-strand twists and three-strand twists. The preparation is as same as that of dreadlocks. Get your hair washed and detangled. Decide the size you want for your twists. Then, divide them into sections.

The difference is you need to twist each piece over the other. Then repeat this process along the way toward the end of your hair strands.

Unraveling Process

Because twists can easily be unraveled with a simple tug. They are much easier to undo than dreadlocks. Use the leave-in conditioner to protect your hair from a lot of breakage. Then divide the hair into good-size sections. Unravel the twists from the top and slowly pull the two sides apart.

However, dreadlocks need specialized care and tools to prevent them from matting together. When you unravel dreadlocks, you need to separate the knotted or matted hair into a single strand. Next, wash your hair thoroughly to make your hair as soft as possible.

Because conditioner gives hair lubrication and makes unraveling much easier. Get each strand of hair rubbed with conditioner. You can add natural oils for additional protection if you like.

Use a metal comb to separate dreadlocks from the ends of dreadlocks. During this process, put your strands of hair into the water to keep your hair damp. Then use the comb to comb the split parts of the dreadlocks. Repeat this step on other dreadlocks until all of the dreadlocks are split.


Twists are generally achieved by getting two or more strands of hair twisted. Compared to dreadlocks, twists are looser in width and more defined in shape. Since dreadlocks are often achieved by getting the hair matted together naturally. Dreadlocks are more irregular.

Dreadlocks offer a more effortless look, while twists provide a finer hairstyle.


Cultural significance

Dreadlocks not only speak to an individual’s personality. But they also have deep cultural significance in some places of the world. There is for centuries the history of various groups in Africa wearing dreadlocks.

Wearing dreadlocks can be seen as a symbol of strength and boldness. Not only this, but it also represents the spirit of resisting colonization. It shows the determination of African people to safeguard their cultural heritage.

The symbolization of twists is more like a sign of West African cultural traditions. People are willing to express themselves by highlighting their West African heritage. They celebrate and connect with their cultural roots by wearing twists.


Since dreadlocks are achieved by letting hair mat and lock together naturally. You don’t need to use heat or chemicals to form dreadlocks. For those with dreadlocks, they prefer a more natural lifestyle. This means they make themselves live in a more inartificial way.

On the other hand, people who choose twists prefer a focus on self-expression. Today’s twist serves as a trendy hairstyle. It has become the favorite hairstyle by fashion icons. People show their individualities and styles by making creative twists on their heads.



If you want to maintain dreadlocks well, you have to keep your hair clean. It’s better to wash your hair every two or three days. If you think this is too frequent, then try your best to wash at least once a week.

Dreadlocks are left to grow naturally, so it is very necessary to re-twist your hair to keep the look neat. You should get the process of re-twisting done at least every four to six weeks.

As with dreadlocks, you can wash your twist once a week. In order to keep your twists smooth and protect your hair from breakage. It is recommended to use a leave-in conditioner on your hair.

When you wash your hair, it is best to braid your twists together in several fat braids. In this way, you can prevent your twists from unraveling.

To Try Dreadlocks vs Twists

These two types of hairstyles provide a good look for people. At the same time they offer great cultural significance.It’s nice to try a new hairstyle and choose the one that suits you best. If you have any ideas about other hairstyles, just feel free to leave your comment below!

Author: Charity Nasike


Charity Nasike is a passionate wig wearer and basically has diverse knowledge related to wigs' care and maintenance. When she's not writing, she's either in the kitchen trying out new recipes or on social media advising fellow ladies tricks to apply on their wigs.

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