How to Do a Dreadlock Ponytail

Wear your dreadlocks in a high or low pony for a chic, quick hair makeover.
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If you want to step up the impact of your dreaded locks, or you're just tired of them hanging down around your shoulders and falling into your face at pivotal moments, a ponytail is an easy way to pick up your locks and energize your look. The drama of dreadlocks is complimented and amplified using just a couple of basic styling tools -- and a ponytail is one of the quickest ways to restyle hair on a budget.

Separate all of your dreadlocks with your fingers so there are no tangles. Sweep all of the dreadlocks behind your shoulders and make sure they are hanging down smoothly.

Place your left hand at on the left side of your head, just beside your temple. Place your right hand in the same position on the right side of your head.

Pass your hands over your hair, working from the front of your head to the back, and gently collecting your dreadlocks as you work your way to the nape of your neck.

Gather all of your dreadlocks into a low ponytail once you reach the back of your head. If you want a high ponytail, lean forward and flip your hair over your head before you begin the combing and ponytail gathering process. Gather the strands into place in the same way as would for a low ponytail, except gather the strands nearer to the crown of your head. Stand up straight once you've gathered the ponytail together.

Hold the ponytail firmly with one hand. Use your other hand to reposition any dreadlocks that are sticking out or bumpy to create a smooth finish.

Wrap a thick, sturdy hair elastic around the base of the ponytail two to three times until the elastic is snug and secure.

Pull back any loose pieces of hair or shorter dreadlocks that weren't captured in the ponytail so that they sit smoothly along the sides of your head. Insert a couple of bobby pins that match your hair color to keep those loose pieces out of the way, if you really want a smooth look.

  • Avoid pulling the dreadlocks back into an excessively tight ponytail so as not to stress your hair follicles or cause breakage.
  • Take this style one step further and wrap the length of the dreadlocks around the base of the ponytail and pin in place for an elegant bun style.

Sarah Vrba has been a writer and editor since 2006. She has contributed to "Seed," "AND Magazine," Care2 Causes and "202 Magazine," among other outlets, focusing on fashion, pop culture, style and identity. Vrba holds an M.A. in history with an emphasis on gender and fashion in the 19th century.