Few hairstyles are as expressive as dreadlocks. Cool casual, rugged streetwise, or formal and professional: dreadlocks really can do it all.
And contrary to what you might expect, it’s not that hard to get started. All it takes is a little patience and a willingness to listen to your hair and the ability to treat it right.
What are the Best Loc Styles for Short Hair?
Locs, or dreadlocks, is an artistic hairstyle involving braiding hair together to create thick or thin strands of hair. This hairstyle is especially prominent among African Americans and is most commonly associated with African or Rastafarian culture.
Locs are versatile hairdos that work well even for people with short hair. If you’re looking for the best loc styles for short hair so you can change your look and dress to impress, you’ve come to the right place. Here are some of the best-looking, most accessible loc styles for short hair for men that you can get today.
Short Dreadlocks with Fade
Fades are clean, clear cuts that can both be used as a standalone hairstyle on their own. When used together with dreadlocks, fade cuts create a unique, distinct, and powerful look. Dreadlocks with fades are one of the easiest yet best-looking loc styles for short hair.
By combining impressive dreadlocks with a fade, you’ll not only have hair that’s relatively easy to maintain but also a palette with which you can accentuate your locs.
While locs with a fade are one of the simplest-looking loc styles for short hair, this dreads with fade loc style requires careful technical execution. If going to the barber isn’t an option, be sure to have clippers with different lengths, scissors, and, most importantly, headbands to enforce fade length transitions.
Blonde Tipped Locs for Men
A small splash of color can make a huge difference when it comes to loc styles for short hair.
Loc tips are pretty easy to dye: just follow the instructions on your dye package. Of course, preparation pays off: you’ll want to not only have prepared and washed your hair beforehand (while making sure it’s free of any heavy products) but also have extra supplies on hand – gloves, a towel, and a way to separate or section your hair.
To dye your locs, it’s best to first section your hair. Afterward, work on one loc at a time by massaging the dye in gently with your fingers. Follow the instructions that come with your hair dye, and let the dye rest for as long as your product requests. Once you’re satisfied with your new blonde-tipped locs, rinse with hot or warm water and squeeze thoroughly to dry it out. When that’s done, be sure to finish off by applying your favorite moisturizer and conditioner.
While this is one of the easiest yet most striking loc styles for short hair, dyeing your hair can be daunting – especially for the inexperienced. If you’d like professional assistance, stylists and barbers can help you create your ideal hairdo.
Comb Coils Loc Styles for Short Hair
Comb coils are a traditional form of locs and are one of the easiest and most basic loc styles for short hair; so easy, in fact, that it’s frequently touted as the first step of any person’s loc styling. This hairstyle also goes by many other aliases, such as comb twists, baby locs, starter locs, or single-strand twists.
To make comb coils, all you really need is a comb. Partition your hair as you would with other loc styles for short hair, then comb through it. While the comb is in your hair, twirl the comb gently in a downward motion (beginning from the roots) until you get to the very end. Repeat this with every section of hair. When you’re satisfied with the results, you can use a hair product such as an oil or a balm to seal in the results.
Ponytailed Locs with Undercut
“Undercut” is a very broad term for a variety of hairstyles. The only thing all undercuts have in common is that the hair on the sides and back of your head is shaved off, leaving only the top untouched. While this may evoke a feeling of sameness for people with undercuts, that sentiment couldn’t be further from the truth.
Loc styles for short hair sometimes operate on the idea of less is more. For undercuts, this is very true – not only does less hair below your locs mean you’ll accentuate your dreads, but it also means you’ll be running less maintenance on the rest of your hair. This loc style for short hair also leaves your head feeling lighter and allows you to focus your efforts on styling your locs.
Giving yourself an undercut is similar to giving yourself a fade – just use clippers, although this time, try to use a uniform length guard. If you’re not confident in shaving your own hair, you can also seek the help of a barber or stylist.
Short Twisted Dread Locs
If you’d like to give your locs a fuller, more defined appearance, why not try twisting them?
While twist dreads may look like one of the more basic loc styles for short hair, there’s no denying their potency. This hairstyle is a quick and easy way to create thicker and more visually impressive locs. This is especially good when combined with the natural thickness and bounciness of African-American hair.
Twisted dreads help reduce the exposed scalp look that some other locs give. Twisting your dreads is also a great maintenance method that will make your locs a lot easier to work with. But while this neck-length loc style for short hair can give a lot more oomph to your hairstyle, be wary that they still do need maintenance. More importantly, you’ll need to use moderation as too much twisting can strain and eventually damage your hair.
Two Strand Twist Loc Style for Short Hair
The two-strand twist is one of the best starter loc styles for short hair.
One shortcoming that comb coils have is that they’re essentially tailor-made for coarse, kinky hair. For people with smoother, straighter hair, comb coils are virtually out of the question. The good news is that they can still get a loc style for short hair via two strand twist.
Two strand twists can be done with hair that’s as short as 4 inches. This loc style for short hair sets a solid foundation for further loc styling and is really easy to do – all you need to do is section off two segments of hair and twist them together. Take these sections in your hands, and twist them together until satisfied. And voila, that’s all there is to it!
While the two-strand twist is possibly even easier than comb coils for starter locs and provides a lot of leeway via the amount of hair per twist segment, it does have its own drawbacks. First off, your twisting technique will help determine the longevity of your two-strand twist. Secondly, the lines of a two-strand twist can take several months or even a year to disappear to give the appearance of solid locs.
Colored Loc Styles for Short Hair
Colored locs are one of the best ways to further expound on loc styles for short hair via a variety of colors, tones, and hues. By dyeing your hair, you open up a whole new dimension for expressing yourself and making a visual impact on those around you. While locs by themselves are a distinct and standout hairstyle, you can breathe even more life into your hair by dyeing it.
Dyed hair isn’t just for show. Dyed hair is notably more full-bodied and healthier-looking than regular hair, which may be of interest to people with thin hair. The colors in dye also give your hair greater shine and vibrance than ever before and can help nourish and strengthen your hair – especially if your hair dye can be mixed with supplements such as conditioner.
The only limit to this loc style for short hair is your own creativity and boldness with colors. However, for those with hair that’s sensitive to bleaching, you can opt for “safer” colors such as dark brown hues, mahogany, auburn, burgundy, or even the warmer purples.
Thin and Short Dreadlocks
“Thick or thin?” is one of the most commonly asked questions when it comes to loc styles for short hair.
The answer to this conundrum? It depends. There’s no clear-cut winner as both of these loc styles for short hair come with their own use cases.
The biggest factor in deciding whether to go for thin or thick locs is your own hair. The more thick hair you include in each section, the thicker your locs.
Thicker locs are also a lot easier to twist and re-twist due to the amount of hair each loc eats up. On the other hand, thick locs expose the scalp, are less versatile when it comes to styling, and take longer to dry.
So why thin locs? Thin locs and microlocs are very easy to style and maintain while keeping up a neat, natural look. This neatness also helps with your professional appearance, as thin locs are a lot easier to keep clean and are thus less likely to raise eyes than bulging, thick locs. However, thin locs are fragile, dry out easily, and take a lot more time to re-twist.
Short Locs with Headband or Accessories
If you’re not a fan of dyeing your locs, how about accessorizing? Loc styles for short hair are powerful by themselves, but when they are combined with hair jewelry or accessories such as rings, shells, beads, or wraps, you can greatly improve or alter their visual appeal for a whole new look.
While some accessories are purely visual, others have a distinct purpose when it comes to locs. Beads, in particular, can help mature locs maintain their shape by helping hold them down.
Short Wick Dreads
If the first thing you thought about when you saw wick dreads was “candlewick,” you’re right on the money. Among loc styles for short hair, wick dreads are among the thickest and most unique due to their novel appearance. There are no hard and fast rules about wick dreads either: twist your hair however you please, and see how many wicks you can end up with. Some people even have drooping wicks, thanks to the length of their hair!
Unlike other loc styles for short hair on this list, you will need specialized equipment for creating wick dreads – namely, a crochet needle, and ideally one each of a single, double, and a triple crochet hook .
To start, you should first section your locs into wicks. Then, use your crochet needle to stitch hairs near the roots. With time and effort, your hair will begin to come together in tubes. If you need more guidance or would rather use other implements, such as rubber bands, there’s a wealth of learning resources available online.
FAQs about Loc Styles for Short Hair
How do I maintain loc styles for short hair?
The most basic maintenance for loc styles for short hair is a moisturizer, a conditioner, and the best shampoo for locs. Locs can put a lot of strain on your hair, especially if they’re tight, so be sure to give your hair the care it needs.
How often should I re-twist my starter locs?
Starter locs should ideally be re-twisted once every 4-6 weeks.
How often should I wash my starter locs?
Like re-twisting, starter locs should be washed once every 4-6 weeks.
How often should I oil my starter locs?
Starter locs should be oiled once or twice a week.
How do I protect my locs when sleeping?
You can use a bonnet, scarf, or durag to protect your locs from contaminants while you sleep.
Hairdo What You Want to Do
There’s no single best style for short hair – ultimately, it all comes down to what both looks and feels good for you. But if you’re going with one of the best loc styles for short hair, remember always to maintain your hair – and be kind to it!
Frank is a barber from San Francisco. He has 10 years of experience providing the best straight-razor shaves, haircuts, and barber facial services for men. With all of his training, he is the go-to for any advice on beard and men’s hairstyles. When Frank’s not working, he spends his free time fishing or spending quality time with his wife and son.