Here’s The Real Difference Between Twists And Dreads

Both twists and dreadlocks are gorgeous hairstyle alternatives, but they’re actually more different than you might think. As per Dreadlocks, many people are actually given twists instead of dreadlocks when they first head to the salon, mainly because dreadlocks take more time. Known as the infamous “salon-dread scam,” being aware of the differences between dreadlocks and twists can save you from paying for the wrong hair service, or having false expectations.

Many times, a dreadlock service at the salon might actually result in twists. The difference? According to Byrdie, twists are also referred to as two-strand twists, and are simply created by “twisting two sections of hair around one another” all the way to the ends. Whether going for thicker twists using bigger sections of hair, or going for thinner all-over twists, this hairstyle is a highly-protective alternative, and works best on fully-natural hair. Whether you go to a salon to ask for twists or try a D.I.Y. version, this style will hold up without the need for locking in place with hair bands.

Like Dreadlocks explains, twists are achieved by “merely twisting the hair,” and even if you request dreadlocks at the salon, “most of the time you will never end up with dreads.” So how exactly can you achieve beautiful Lauryn Hill-esque dreadlocks?

All about dreadlocks versus twists

Much different than bound-together twists, dreadlocks are “ropes of well-maintained matted hair” akin to Bob Marley (via Dreadlocks). Also known as locs, this hairstyle has its origins in Egypt, Greece, and India, and maintaining it “takes time, dedication, and dollars” (via Refinery29). In short, it’s not something you can achieve in a day, or in one salon visit like with twists.

One of the most popular ways of starting your locs journey is by starting with two-strand twists and working your way into dreadlocks over time, while others start with braids, comb coils, or go for freeform locs by not detangling (via Unruly). Unlike twists or cornrows, dreadlocks or locs will take patience, and can result in either larger-size traditional locs, thinner pattern-style sister locs, or the thinnest micro locs. If you don’t want to wait too long, you can even go for faux locs created by simply braiding the hair.

As per Dreadlocks, maintaining locs takes more effort than twists, and will benefit from a “good quality all-natural dreadlock wax” that feels like a soft putty. Steer clear of anything too creamy, since it won’t hold dreads properly, and remember to backcomb, wax, and re-twist often for the first 3-6 weeks after first getting locs. This will get you the best possible locs, whether you retwist by palm-rolling or interlocking, which involves sewing dreads with a crochet hook. Whatever you go for, patience will guarantee you gorgeous locs or twists.

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