Starter Locs for Short Hair: Grow Natural Hair FAST! - (2024)

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If you have ever wanted to start locs with short 4B or 4C hair types, but don’t know where to begin, this article is for you.

You may be wondering “How do I start my own dreadlocks?” Well, there are many ways to get natural twist dreads and some of them include using a sponge or soft-bristled brush.

If you want to learn how these methods work and why they might be better than the traditional way of starting locs on short hair then keep reading!

Beginner dreadlocks have become increasingly popular hairstyle in the past decade and for good reason! They’re easy to maintain, versatile, and they look great in combination with most haircut types.

In this article, I’ll cover how to start your own DIY starter loc coils, and how to maintain them. You too can enjoy the benefits of short coarse hair locs and be on your way to a smooth loc journey.

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What is the starter Locs?

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Beginner locs is the process of dreading your short hair in order to lengthen dreadlocks over time. There are several starter locs hairstyles to choose from to start off, like dread braids, two-strand twists, comb coils, and palm rolls. Once tight coiled hair are routinely maintained it will mature into longer locs.

Often, locked hair progress is tracked in loc stages by month. Note, the time to final loc maturity depends on hair texture, care regimen and individual genetics. Your dreadloc progression may be short or long-term and you may experience hurdles throughout the stages of your journey.

In the initial stage, locs in short hair are also known as little locs, baby locs, or dread starters. Starter locs can last anywhere from three to six months and is the first stage in the locking process.

For those with short hair, dreads starter techniques like curl sponging work well because it trains your hair to the natural coiled conditions of dreads. The tightly coiled hair will form knots over time and will create a more matted appearance. This is ideal for beginner locs styles to form correctly!

Whether your goal is to achieve sisterlocks, traditional locs, or freeform locs all loc journeys begin from short protective styles.

Is it better to start locs with short hair?

In general, the rule of thumb is to start dreadlocks when your hair has grown about 2 inches or longer. Though you can start with shorter hair (1.5 in length), however, your starter locs styles will be limited.

Often the short natural hair relies on equipment like a dread sponge or a rat tail comb to achieve the desired hair twists coils. You will also need dread wax or super hold retwist gel for proper maintenance of coarse hair dreads.

These hair locking tools essentially create instant hair locs with minimal work. Don’t worry loc-sters… I’ll go into further detail of what you’ll need for perfect starter loc coils further in the article. Let’s get back on track!

Though your dread styles will be limited, it’s a good idea to start dreadlocks while your hair is short. The process of styling will be easier when startins with shorter hair, and the initial locs will grow quicker.

If you are transitioning from an afro hairstyle or ditching relaxers, it might make sense to consult with a stylist that specializes in locs. They’ll be able to assess your entire hair and provide you more information loc journey!

From there you would wait until your natural hair has grown out an inch before starting locs with short hair. This way your completed loc styles will look more uniform over time in both length and thickness.

Another downfall note mentioning is that hair under an inch length is that it can be challenging to maintain locs. Your hair may need more time to grow out before it will lock up permanently. Most loc styles will just unravel within minutes if your hair is short.

Do dreadlocks damage your hair?

Beginner locks do not cause your hair to fall out, but they can be damaging if you use improper methods or bad habits.

Risky dread methods such as interlocking dreads restrict air flow and cause loc breaks if not done properly. This is absolutely divesting in your dreadlock journey.

Another issue you may encounter with locs is if you’re in the early stages of balding. Genetic hair loss within the hairline and crown of the head could be accelerated from loc tension.

Pulling on the hair too tightly and using chemical dyes can lead to damage of the dreads and loss of hair.

In this case, I would not recommend starter locs men who have hair that is fragile hair follicles. A better option would be sponge locs instead of traditional methods of hair locking. The dreadlock sponge hair technique offers a similar appearance without the hair stress and commitment.

Tips for safe starter dread practice

Locs should be maintained with proper care and not worn in heavy hairstyles such as a ponytail for an extended period of time. If you do decide to wear your natural locs tied, consider wearing the base tie on top instead of the back of the head.

Loc care routine

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Part of good locs hygiene is routinely washing your hair… Doing so will clean your scalp and remove any build up, excess oil, lint, in your locs. Locs should be washed regularly with shampoo, conditioner like Knotty Boy Dreadlock Shampoo on amazon.

Keep in mind other products designed for dreadlocks such as Jamaican black castor oil are a great way to keep your dreads healthy and growing.

Avoid dreadlock tension

Note, you should avoid styling with a really tight rubber band that could damage your hair. Rubber Bands that are too tight can cause hair breakage which is unhealthy for your locs.

Loc extensions that are improperly installed could create dreads issues in the long run. Not only can the dread extensions weaken your real hair but it can cause bald spots. If you decide to go this route, seek a professional and avoid keeping loc extensions for a long period of time.

Keep in mind, the process can be tricky. To make it easier, practice good hair care and use products that will help keep your hair healthy and a smooth loc journey.

Speed up your starter locs growth with Natural Supplements

One of the best ways to keep your locs healthy long term is to use natural supplements. Not only do they help your hair and scalp, but they also promote healthy regeneration at the cellular level, which is essential for long beautiful dreads.

Folifort is the best natural supplement for healthy hair growth. It contains a blend of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that support healthy hair growth. Folifort also helps to improve blood circulation, which is essential for fast short dread growth.

If you’re looking for a safe, natural, and effective way to speed up your short locs growth, then look no further than Folifort. Visit their site to see the benefits of Folifort and how it can help you grow strong, long, and fast.

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What are good beginner locs?

One of the things you’ll have to figure out during your beginner loc journey is what’s good for your hair. As well as how to get it to grow properly.

Hair locks styles like starter locs twist, comb coils, and sponge locs are good options for newbies.

Starting locs styles like braids or plaits may be the go-to starter loc style longer than two inches. Note, these protective loc styles are perfect for people with looser curl hair texture. The loc braids and plaits prevent unraveling in the beginning loc stages for men with straight and mixed hair texture.

Remember that braid locs will not have the same circular shape as rolled or twisted locs because the braid is flat and your locs will be the same.

Let’s look at some more styles that’ll continue creating dreads progress in your shorter hair!

Best Starter Locs with Designs, Methods & Styles

There are many different short dread styles to consider when starting your journey… Most people wonder how easy it is to do with their hair types and or whether their hair is long enough.

Understanding the best styles for newbie’s hair locs is key. Knowing what type of hair you have, how long it is, and deciding on a style that suits your needs with this in mind will make all the difference!

The most important thing when caring for any kind of locks? Figuring out which type of dreadlock hairstyle you want can help keep them healthy, looking good, and determine maintenance ease!

When you’re thinking about starting dreadlocks as a newbie, ask yourself the following questions:

Can you style starter locs?

Yes, your short starter loc can be styled, it just takes a little more patience in the beginning because of its smaller size. Loc styles such as dread braids, loc frohawks, or twists will work beautifully with short dreads.

However, the dread styles require specific locs method to ensure that the dreads will not unravel.

The key is to use moisturizing loc cream products while using the comb coils technique. This is so your hair doesn’t dry out and unlock as quickly during the beginning stages.

Note, the comb coils twist method locks completely once the hair is dried. So before you go under the dryer make sure to style the way you want while all hair is still wet.

Styling starter locs are intended to be more of a protective style. This means that you will need to do little maintenance within your hair care routine.

Here are a few lock styles that will keep you looking your best and limit unraveling in your small hair locks.

Curl Sponge Method

For those with short hair, the waiting process for locs doesn’t have to be as long. You can get a nice-looking short style with a hair sponge for curly locks… The short locks with a curl sponge are an easy option to consider.

This twisting technique involves rubbing your hair in circular motions with a hair sponge or sponge brush. The circular motions will encourage your hair to form tiny dread coils, perfect for starting your locs.

This method of locking the hair takes a different approach than the comb coils and finger coils. With the sponge technique, there is a short time frame for the hair to form coils. Virtually instant sponge dread curls with just a few hand motions!

You can expect short locks to fully form in just two weeks or three weeks with daily uses of the brushing method. Note, this will only happen if you don’t comb the sponge locs otherwise, you’d be starting the process all over.

How long do sponge curls dreads last?

Sponge on natural hair locks usually lasts for about a day without routinely using the sponge coil bush. However, it could last for six weeks or three months when the hair sponge is used consistently. Note, you will need to avoid using a bristle brush in order to keep the sponge locs intact.

The sponge brushing method is perfect for men with shorter hair because it trains the hair to a natural coil and can easily be returned to its original hairstyle.

Starter strand twist

Your loc journey will be a series of twists and turns… So, let’s start with the strand twists loc style. This is a very popular style of starter locs for short hair because it’s easy to do and creates an even look overall.

It will take one hour or less, depending on how many strands you’re working with at once. There are two ways to go about this: You can twist with one hand and then take the strands down with the other, or you can twist both hands around each strand at once.

Each strand twist style is great for different situations- it’s more about what feels most comfortable to you.

What I recommend: Try twisting your locs in small groups of three or four strands together; this way if twist portions come undone you’ll only have to worry about that one set.

Short Palm Rolling style

The “palm rolling” style is a good choice for styling dreadlocks and starting them. With the Palm Rolling style you can easily re-shape and separate dreadlocks for an enhanced appearance without damaging them.

This hairstyle can be done either as the finished look or as a way to maintain your locs. This is because palm rolling doesn’t give you the same tightness in your hair that twisting and pressing does.

Decide how large you want your sections to be before beginning to palm roll, and make sure they are as uniform as possible.

Remember, in shorter 2-inch hair, it’s best to palm roll in the same direction as your natural hair flow. You may need small hair clips to secure the hair up and separate.

Start by palm rolling a small section of hair (about the size of a pencil) at the nape, or back of the head, and work it into one dreadlock if you’re starting with loose coils. Continue until all sections are rolled to form locs. Here’s a great beginner palm roll video demonstration I found on YouTube.

Two strand twists

Another great style for short locs is two strand twists. This short protective style is achieved by splitting a section of hair into two and then wrapping each section around the other one.

Protective, looser twists promote healthy hair, allowing for more hair growth. If you applied enough loc cream, you won’t need to secure the dreads with rubber bands.

The 2 strand twists hairstyle can be done on 2 inches length of hair, and is great for those who want to maintain a natural appearance.

Two strand twists are also very easy to take out as the loose hairstyle can be removed with just water or your fingers.

The best part is, the two-strand twist style is a perfect way to create locs without having them constantly. This is a perfect starter loc men should try if they’re short on time and want to look stylish.

Items you’ll need to turn your natural hair into locs?

For the best result, you’ll need a few items to complete your loc styles! You can expect your short hair locs will take about two hours or longer to complete… Here is the complete dreadlock starter Kit you will need to begin:

Hair comb

Some short styles for locs require that you use a hair comb to perform them. With a comb, you’ll be able to easily style the hair coils into tightly twisted locs.

The comb should be able to handle the thickness of your hair. Remember, it is important not to tug or pull when you are doing loc styles on short hair for natural locks.

You can choose from a wide variety of combs available online, but you should try to pick one made with natural materials like wood.

Another good option when creating comb coils is to use a rattail comb while locking your hair.

Hair clips

In order to assure your small dread hair stays in place, it’s important to use hair clips. Your dreads will come undone and fall on your face without them.

The best kind of clip is one that has a metal hook and opens wide enough for you to put your loc through. You can find them on Amazon or at a local beauty supply store.

Remember, the small hair clip should open enough for you to put your loc through.

Alternatively, use twisty ties or hair bands that are made of fabric and not plastic.

Hair dryer

You will need some form of hair heating device to secure your short locs once you’ve completed the styling process. There are three types of hair dryers you can use… A handheld, bonnet dryer and a hooded one. All three types of dryer for your hair could be found on Amazon for reasonable prices.

Hand held hair dryer –

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The handheld dryer is the most portable and perfect for short locs because it is lightweight. It also makes it easy for you to style your short locs while sitting down.

The handheld dryer allows you to dry sections of your head in small circular motions to evaporate any leftover moisture.

Keep in mind the hand salon dryer is ideal for comb coils and finger coil locs. This drying method allows you to get as close as possible to your short locs.

Though handheld dryers are portable they’re the least practical out of the other drying methods. You can expect to dry your hair for at least three hours with a handheld salon dryer. Visit Amazon for more information about handheld dreadlock dryers.

Hooded dryer –

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The hooded hair dryers have an opening in front with two openings on the side. It provides an all-around 360 degrees of drying experience.

This is perfect for longer wet hair, but even better for men with short locs because it can dry their hair from the bottom up.

Note, the hood dryer is on the heavy side and not too portable. You will also need to keep your head horizontally while you dry your beginner locks. Check out amazon for salon quality hooded dryers for your locs.

Soft Bonnet dryer

The bonnet dryer is a more convenient and portable version of the hooded dryer. This hair drying tool is just as efficient and gentle as the other, but it’s easier to remove.

People with short locs often use a bonnet hair dryer because of its flexibility.

The downside of bonnet drying is that it doesn’t dry hair from the bottom up.

Hair dries vertically with bonnet hair dryer, so if you want to reach your roots, use a handheld hairdryer for that last touch-up.

Elastic bands

The best way of maintaining your newly styled short dreads is to use elastic bands… They do a great job of keeping your hair in place which is beneficial for reducing the friction that may lead to loc breakage.

These simple rubber bands are easy and inexpensive, and they’ll help your hair stay neat and nice for up to three weeks!

Loc creams or dread wax

Maintaining very short hair locks is easy with the right tools. One way to keep the short locks neat is by using dread wax, which is a hair styling product that is used to give short locs an added amount of hold.

Depending on your hair texture, you may also need to style your beginner dreads with loc creams for both short and longer hair! Loc cream will not only provide hold but also seal in moisture giving your hair a healthy shine. Be sure to apply enough of it to your hair.

When fully moisturized and the locking techniques are applied, the hair starts to develop short dreads. This method of hair locking will work on starter locks between one or two inches long.

You can find a wide range of dread wax, gels and holds for your locs in this amazon category listing!

How much does starter locs cost?

One of the things many people wonder while on their loc journey is how much will it cost to get their hair twisted into locks at a hair salon. Natural starter locs in short hair typically cost anywhere from $85 to $300 dollars.

The price for your new hair will depend on the texture, thickness, length of your hair as well as the size of your head. There may be an additional cost if you have to use hair extensions. So, be mindful of that cost as well.

Most beauticians who specialize in hair locks should be able to do finger coils, comb coils as well as traditional loc methods like palm rolls and two strand twists.

I suggest doing some research by calling round, reading yelp reviews, and comparing the prices of your local hairdresser. This will help you select the right hair technician that fits your needs at a good price.

How can you find more information starter Locs?

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If you are looking for more information comb coils, beginner’s hair locs or natural dread styles, there are plenty of resources available. The best way to get the best dreads starter tips is to look online.

Here are some ways you can find more information about starter locs that requires very little effort:


One of my favorite strategies for finding more information comb coils or any hair care tips is to read trusted blog sites! Sites like and others can be a game-changer and extremely helpful in your journey.

Visiting blog sites that focus on afro texture hair care and natural hair care will give you a wide variety of information to choose from.

Searching YouTube

Another way of finding more information starter locs is by… Yup, you guessed it, YoueTube. By searching key hair locking phrases on both YouTube and Google, you’ll come across a wealth of information.

You’ll find hair care tips and tricks, how-to guides to help style your hair, and great product suggestions that’ll help keep your hair looking great.

YouTube channels dedicated to deadlocks, shorter hair, and natural hair care are a great resource for finding short locs for beginners.

Ask a beautician

One effective way to get information about starter locs is by asking a beautician. They are more than likely to have some good tips and tricks that would be worth your time checking out.

They have first -hand knowledge and have likely seen all types of loc styles and lengths. The interaction with a good hairdresser will not only give you an opportunity to strategize but also give them a chance to analyze your hair first-hand.


Bignnner locs for short hair are a fun and trendy way to rock your natural hair. If you’re looking for an easy starter loc, try dread braids, two-strand twists, comb coils, or palm rolls!

Once tight coiled hair has been left alone long enough to achieve mature locs it will be noticeably longer than other short hairstyles. A beginner loc is the process of dreading your short hair in order to lengthen dreadlocks over time… So, if that’s what you want then get started now with one of the starter styles I’ve suggested!

Remember, I provided many great articles regarding male hair care and trendy hair styles! Visit the blog section of for more information loc journeys.

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Starter Locs for Short Hair: Grow Natural Hair FAST! - (2024)


Does your hair grow faster with starter locs? ›

It's worth noting that hair in dreadlocks grows just as fast as undreaded hair, it's only the speed that the dreadlocks gain length that changes compared to the speed that undreaded natural hair gains length. In other words, when your hair is in dreadlocks, it grows at the same speed, it just has further to go!

How can I make my short locs grow faster? ›

5 Healthy Tips to Help Your Dreadlocks Grow Faster
  1. Keep your dreads healthy and dry. ...
  2. Get more blood flowing to your luscious locks. ...
  3. Stay happy and stress free. ...
  4. Use natural oils to boost and strengthen your hair. ...
  5. Give your hair some physical protection. ...
  6. Don't rush it!
Jan 1, 2021

How long does it take to see growth in starter locs? ›

The Budding Stage (also known as the Sprouting Stage), occurs roughly six to twelve months into your locs journey. This is when you'll start to notice that your hair isn't unravelling when you wash it and notice your new growth, which will look a bit fuzzy and fluffy.

Does short hair loc faster? ›

If your hair is between 6-12 inches, it's the perfect time to see a loctician or start forming your locs at home. You'll form locs faster, and they'll be less likely to unravel if you start with this length, whether you use the freeform, backcombing, or any other method.

What stage do locs grow the most? ›

The Mature or Maturation Stage is what we all look forward to. Not only do your locs retain length, but they also experience less frizz. If you started with two-strand twists or braids, the pattern is likely gone by this time. Your locs will become firmer, and you will start to see more length gradually.

What locs your hair faster? ›

"It is not scientifically possible to speed up the loc'n process," she says. "When a product promises to speed up the process, the product is instead meshing hair together to give the illusion that the hair is matting. These claims are from products that are sticky in texture and will help cling together.

Do locs get shorter as they grow? ›

As locs mature and tighten, they may naturally shrink in length. This is because the hair tightens and compresses as it locks, causing the overall length to decrease. The amount of shrinkage can vary depending on factors like hair type, maintenance, and how the locs were initially formed.

Can I start locs with 2 inches of hair? ›

Comb Coils - To start locs with comb coils, you only need about 2-3 inches of hair of any texture.

How many months is considered starter locs? ›

The starter (aka "baby") stage of the loc process can last anywhere from three to six months, depending on your hair type and how fast it grows.

How do I know my locs are growing? ›

As you can imagine, the budding phase is called the budding phase, because yes, you will notice small 'buds' forming within each section of your soon-to-be locs. In all likelihood, the new growth will look frizzy or puffy, but don't panic, because it's a great sign.

How short is too short for starter locs? ›

You should start your locs once your hair is at least three inches long. You may want to wait until your hair is five or six inches long, as you can twist them better. People grow their hair at different rates, so it may take a couple of months before your follicles are long enough for you to twist them.

Why are starter locs so short? ›

The majority of the time when your hair is locd it will be half or less than half its original length. Because the hair is wrapped around itself in some way it causes the length to shorten. You can not expect to have the same length before and after your hair is locd.

Is it good to instant loc your hair? ›

♦️Perfect for the active person on the go ♦️Shorter time to achieve mature Locs ♦️Ideal for scalps who suffer from irritations and are unable to go long periods without washing Keep in mind, initially your instant locs will probably be very stiff.

Do locs grow slower? ›

The hair itself doesn't grow any faster than undreaded hair and at first even appears to shrink (this is just the process of hair knotting and forming the locs), but once that's over with and they do start to grow they will get longer faster than normal hair simply because the hair is protected and most likely not ...

What are the benefits of styling starter locs? ›

Styling: Offers options for shaping and training locs, helps maintain neatness longer. Requires extra product and manipulation.


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