Natural Hair Must Try: Barrel Curls for Dreadlocks

Natural hair can sometimes become tricky when your hair is in the "in-between" length stage. It’s too long for a lot of styles and too short for most of the intricate ones. I am currently in the in-between length stage, but it's helping me become creative. My favorite go-to hairstyle is curling my dreadlocks. They are absolutely beautiful like this (if I do say so myself!) and you can dress them up or simply rock them as a chic everyday style.

Normally, I would curl my locs using plastic curling rods and setting lotion. Now that my hair has outgrown that, I use a new method called barrel curls. Barrel curls are a little time-consuming but well worth it. If you want the look, here's how:

Supplies: spray bottle, setting lotion, locking gel, hair oil/spray

Step 1: Make sure your hair has been thoroughly washed. After washing, place your hair in a nice high ponytail.

Step 2: Take one loc, apply locking gel (of your choice; products work differently for different hair textures) to the root of your hair and begin to retwist the new growth. Once your hair is retwisted, apply setting lotion (no more than the tip of your finger) to the entire loc.

Step 3: Next, fold the loc in half with the bottom facing upwards while holding your hair at the fold.

Step 4: Begin to wrap the bottom half of the loc facing upwards around, starting at the fold. Keep wrapping the loc all the way around until you’re back at the root of your hair. Once you’re at the root, tuck the remainder of your hair into the root of the barrel.

Congratulations! You have created your first barrel. I suggest working from the back to the front. Use the spray bottle to keep locs moist in case they start to dry.

Please repeat steps one to four for the rest of your locks. Once you’re done, sit under the dryer for 20-30+ minutes, depending how long it takes your hair to completely dry. You could also allow the barrels to air dry if you plan on wearing the barrels as a hairstyle for a few days.

Now it’s time to take the barrels down. Gently untuck the top of your hair at the root and slowly unravel them. Be sure not to tug or pull your hair too hard, as it will damage the hair. Your hair should be curly into tight, full curls. After taking down all barrels, place some hair oil on your hands and run it through your scalp to add moisture and shine. 

Perfect!

LaParis Hawkins is a freelance beauty writer from St. Louis currently residing in Brooklyn, New York. She is also the creator of the blog Tailored Silhouette.