Dreads vs. Braids

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

Get the right fix if you are suffering from any of these?

Although they are comparable hairstyles, dreads and braids are not exactly the same. For one, dreads need time to form, while braids can simply and quickly be done.

Due to their preservation and composition, dreads are expected to last much longer than braids. Dreads are also incorrectly associated with numerous negative stereotypes, while several people think braids to be appropriate for almost anyone. Additionally, dreads are somewhat of a changeless hairstyle, while braids can simply be taken out.

Dreads and braids also have different maintenance methods. Braids are frequently left in for less than a day; therefore, demand little or no maintenance. Meanwhile, those with dreadlocks often apply waxes and residue-free shampoos to maintain their hair’s proper look and hygiene.

Dreads and braids possess diversified lasting impacts. Braids can be unwoven with little to no damage. Dreads, on the other hand, are teased and matted, finishing in a plethora of knots that are tough to untangle. Several people who’ve carried dreads for years simply choose to cut their hair near the roots and start anew. 

However, both require segmenting the hair before you begin.

When forming dreads, one of the most well-liked methods is to grasp each section of hair, backcomb it, and constantly twist it into the traditional dread shape. The dreads proceed to naturally form as hair meshes together during growth. Braids, on the other hand,are formed by taking three or more strands of hair and forming them in an overlapping zigzag shape.

Moreover, neither dreads nor locks are dirty or unhygienic.

What You Need to Know

There are numerous pieces of misinformation out there on the dispute about dreadlocks versus braids. Though there are some obvious similarities between the two, there are also some important differences.


Let’s go to the nitty-gritty here. Braids are basically done by parting your hair into three strands and interweaving them together. It takes all of about 30 seconds to create an adequate braid.

Dreads can be formed using several techniques, with some methods being way more practical than others. While dreads can be produced by first braiding the hair and then allowing the hair closest to the scalp to eventually loc over time, dreadlocks can also be made by full-on neglect, backcombing, interlocking, or the crochet hook technique.

Time and Placement

When it gets to time, braids don’t need nearly as long as dreadlocks to form.

Asking a few friends to help braid your hair lets you achieve the style for 30 minutes to a couple of hours. On the other hand, you might need a team to help you have dreadlocks. And despite that, dreading your entire head may take a couple of days.

In addition, dreads are usually thicker. So, it’s important that they are spread out and spaced properly to avoid large, unnatural spaces. But it gets to braids, they will be shorter and fuller and will rely less on the spacing. That’s because they are less likely to show spaces on the scalp.


At first glimpse, braids and dreads can look somewhat similar. However, braids are smoother and smaller. It also looks much more stable and shapely.

On the other hand, dreadlocks are normally thicker and less uniform. They naturally have an unkempt and frizzy appearance.


When it gets to permanence, braids and dreadlocks demand a long time to fix them in and even longer to take them out. However, braids are faster to set in and easier to take out than dreadlocks

Upkeep and Maintenance

One of the several things that braids and dreadlocks have in common is the work and upkeep. Both are low maintenance but stylish. Washing and drying methods are nearly the same in that they should be done infrequently and be totally dry before sleeping for the best results.

In the same process, both of these styles flourish when products are applied minimally. Overwashing or combining too much product can get these styles dull, flat-looking, or overly frizzy.

While dreadlocks demand more elbow grease (i.e. time investment and energy) to get them started, maintenance doesn’t need a ton of time once they’re mature. Braids, on the other hand, are temporary. They can be your hairstyle of the day, to several days, or maybe even months if you get a weave.

Which One is Better?

It’s very easy to assume that dreadlocks and braids are the same, particularly when dreadlocks are braided. However, dreadlocks and braids are totally different and come with their pros and cons.

Length of Hair Required

Since we’re analyzing two different hairstyles, the first field we’ll cover affects how long your hair needs to be to get that hairstyle. The longer hair you require, the longer time you may have to wait.


When making dreadlocks for the first time, you don’t require a lot of hair. As long as your head produces enough hair to grip and twist, you’re good to go.


Making braids is much more complex than starting dreadlocks. To make your hair braided, you’re going to require a couple of inches of hair. The more hair you possess, the easier it is to braid.

Winner: Dreadlocks

Cost of Hairstyle

Not everyone has the time to manage their hair Since costs will vary depending on your area, we won’t give out specific numbers. But we’ll consider which hairstyle will be more expensive based on the amount of work required.


Making dreadlocks should be more costly than the majority of braid hairstyles. The reason they should be extra expensive is due to the amount of time and work needed compared to braids. You will be required to have your hair washed, individual sections parted, hair twisted, and then have to sit under a dryer. More work means higher cost.


Getting braids should be more affordable than getting dreadlocks. Most braid hairstyles are somewhat simple and can be done by yourself or with a stylist. Braiding can get even faster depending on the length of your hair and the braid style you prefer. Faster and less work normally means a cheaper price.

Winner: Braids

Versatility of Hairstyle

Everyone enjoys a versatile hairstyle. It’s like settling for one hairstyle and getting manifold.

In this part, we’ll compare how versatile dreadlocks are compared to braids.


One of the biggest benefits of dreadlocks is their versatility. It can be worn in several different styles such as straight down, ponytail, buns, and even braids. As long as you have adequate hair length, you can produce almost any hairstyle your heart desires.


Braids are restricted in their versatility. Whatever design or style of braids you make initially, you have to keep. The only means to alter your braided hairstyle is to take them down and start over. This can be a bother for anyone who goes to the salon.

Winner: Dreadlocks

Hairstyle Maintenance

Maintenance of a hairstyle can be a crucial factor. The more upkeep required to maintain the hairstyle, the less appealing it is.


Maintenance and upkeep on dreadlocks are arguably better than normal hair. You can decide the amount of maintenance you’d prefer to do. You can work on them every 4 weeks (via a retwist) or never. It’s all based on the appearance you’re going for.

And while it’s a popular myth that dreadlocks are unhygienic, dreadlocks only require washing once every week at most.


Braids have the same benefit as dreadlocks for being arguably better to manage and upkeep than regular hair. Unlike dreadlocks, though, you don’t have the choice of maintaining them as frequently as you like.

Since braids are normally worn without frequent washing, you typically wear them until your hair and scalp become too nasty.

Winner: Dreadlocks

Final Thoughts

When it comes to lifestyle associations, those who prefer to sport dreads or braids have different lives.

Contrary to general belief, braids are not solely for black hair, nor dread particularly for hippies. At the end of the day, you decide to pick between dreadlocks or braids. All we’ve done is presented some knowledge as to the pros and cons of both.

But regardless of any option, you prefer, wear it with confidence.