Can Braids Turn into Dreads – Step by Step Guide for Beginners

Dreads are beautiful and enable you to give your style a strong statement. If you have braids already, then you might be looking for the answer “can braids turn into dreads?”

Well, it is possible if you follow the right technique and proper maintenance. If you don’t maintain your braid when turning into dreads, it will look pretty crappy. Also, it will take a long time to turn into dread.

Continue reading to learn more.

Can Braids Turn into Dreads

Can Braids Turn into Dreads

Yes, you can turn your braids into dreads. But the dread will be much thinner because your hair will grow side by side. However, don’t think that thin braids are not beautiful. Thin braids can also add gorgeousness to your look.

How Long Do Dreads Have to be Braid

Dreads and braids are 2 different hairstyles. In terms of dreads, you don’t require much hair. If you can grip and twist your hairs, you are good to go with dreads.

On the other hand, you can go for braids when your dreads are a couple of inches. Remember, the more dreads you have, braiding will be much easier.

  • The minimum length of dreads to be braided is approximately 2”.
  • Dreads of 3” – 4” long is much easier to work
  • The ideal dread length is 5” long to be braided

How to Turn Braids into Dreads?

Dreads are not for everyone, but it offers distinctive benefits. At the same time, dreads perform well in specific situations. Natural hair is the best type of hair to lock. However, you can also create lock-in chemical enhancement hairs, but the processing time is high in this case.

Find the step-by-step process of turning braids into dreads.

Step 01: Prepare Your Braids

First, wash your hair thoroughly and use the best-suited conditioner. Avoid over-conditioning and ensure that the braids are too soft. This way, your braids will be able to hold hairs tightly. Preparing your braids may take a long time. So, sit on a chair, watch your favorite show on Television, and eat something.

Step 02: Determine Your Braids Fall

Determine how you want to let your braids fall. You can braid your hair the way you wear it for long hair. While, for short hairs, direct your hairs to the back. Remember, this step is crucial because your braid will fall according to your determination once you complete it.

Step 03: Determine Lock Size

Now, decide on your lock size. The block size depends on the braid size. Smaller locks mean smaller braids. However, a little expansion of your hair will happen once they are completely dried.

Step 04: Begin Braiding

Next, start braiding. Make sure you create the braids you want to keep. These braids will turn into dreads. If applying oil is necessary, do it with care and slowly.

Maintaining Your Braids to Turn Dreads

You will need to give enough time to your braids to turn dreads. Also, proper maintenance is necessary to get nice and beautiful dreads. Generally, you will not have consistent locks within a year.

  • Maintain your locks by twisting them. You can use a latch hook as well if required. Whatever method you choose, don’t over-twist. This way, the health of your hair will hamper. 
  • Daily maintenance is also vital. Use hair products as much less as you can. If you use frequent hair products, the locking process will slow down. However, washing your hair is good but not daily. You can spray water using a spray bottle, apply oil to keep the hair wet.

Patience is mandatory when you decide to turn your braids into dreads. Overnight dreadlock will not happen. Give your hair enough time and enjoy the dreadlocks.

Can yarn Braids Turn into Dreads?

Yes, you can turn yarn braids into dreads. But it is unsuitable for every person. Also, it doesn’t always look great. The process is – hair braiding, growing the braid, constant twisting until the yarn braids lock up. Remember, locking may happen in the braid over time, and you will also notice the shape. In this case, it is recommended to cut the end of the braids. It would be best to start dreadlocks in shorter hair. On the other hand, you can create faux dreadlocks with the help of yarn, and they may look gorgeous.

Do Box Braids Turn into Dreads?

Unfortunately, you can’ turn your box braids into dreads.

Dreadlocks need to be tangled and wrapped around themselves to form. It can’t have happened with box braids, and thus, you will not have dreads.

How Long Do Braids Last?

Braids will last between 2 – 8 weeks with proper care and maintenance. However, different braids last long for different weeks. Find the below chart for your better understanding.

Braid TypesHow Long Do they Last
Box Braids6 – 8 week
Faux Locs4 – 6 week
Cornrows6 week
Ghana Braids2 week
Twists± 2 months
Micro Braids3 months
Yarn Braids5 – 8 week
French Braids6 week
Tree Braids4 – 6 week

Keep in mind; this lifespan depends on the below factors.

Hair Preparation Before Braiding

Preparation of the hair is significantly important when your hair is being braided. Prepare your hair for weeks following a protective style. Remember, you will be unable to wash your hair the way you always do until the braid is taken out.

So, use the right hair product to wash and condition your hair.

Dry hairs are prone to dandruff, and if you have. Take extra precautions to remove dandruff from your hair if you have dry hair.

On the other hand, detangling is necessary if you have curly hair. Use a detangling moisturizer in this case.

Decide to go with the Right Braids

The longevity of the braids depends a lot on the braid type. If you decide to go for single braids or box braids, we highly recommend choosing knotless braids. This braiding method doesn’t have a knot at the braid’s beginning when it is connected to the natural hair.

Knotless braids will help you avoid unnecessary tugging and tension in your hairline. Thus, you will sleep better with braids. Moreover, styling and movement with the knotless braids are much more convenient.

Keep Your Scalp Moisturized

It is always crucial to keep your scalp moisturized, especially when braided. Now you might be wondering what to use for having a moisturized scalp.

Use hair oils at least twice a week. This recommendation is mostly for dry hair. Oils lock moisture in your hairs and enhance growth. Simultaneously, it improves the elasticity of your hair that prevents tugging.

Leave-in conditioners are another good solution to keep your scalp moisturized. This option will nourish your hair as well as prevent breakage.

Which is Better: Dreads or Braids?

A few people think that dreads and braids are quite similar. But they have several differences and their distinctive pros and cons.

Let’s read the comparison between dreads and braids from below.

Required Hair Length

When you are planning to get dreads, a lot of hair is unnecessary. Even if you have less hair and can grip and twist them perfectly, dreadlock is possible.

Owning braids is quite different from having dreadlocks. 3 – 4 inches of hair is necessary if you plan to get braids. Having braids will be much easier if you have more hair.


Versatility is the biggest advantage of dreadlocks. You can wear it with several styles, including ponytail, even braids, buns, and straight down. If you have enough hair, there will be no styles that can be achieved with dreadlocks.

On the other hand, braids are limited to versatility. You have to keep the initial style, and achieving other hairstyles becomes difficult with braids.


Maintaining dreadlocks is extremely easy and better than regular hair. Periodic maintenance of dreads entirely depends on you. Whether you would like to maintain your dreads 2 times in a month or never, the decision is up to you. However, it would be best to wash dreads once or twice a week. This will help you prevent the buildup of dirt.

Braids are also easy to maintain. You can wear braids until they start looking dirty or bad.

To sum up, the decision is all yours and relies on your personal preference. Whether you wear dreads or braids, the most important thing is to wear them confidently.

Last Words

Without hassle, you can turn your braids into dreadlocks. Also yes, it will work, but you should expect a few thing and learn about the process before choosing this.

Hopefully, through this guide, we can help you get the answer that braids can turn into dreads. Give your hair enough time and have the patience to get dreads. After achieving the dreads, don’t forget to sleep in a bonnet each night. This will ensure healthy dreads.

About Angelia

Angelia is a celebrity magazine writer who writes a lot in blogs and magazines on fashion news, trends, and celebrity lifestyle. She has reliable sources to find out all the data. Her writings will definitely satisfy your thirst for knowing trending fashion.

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