It’s very easy to think that dreadlocks and braids are the same, especially when dreadlocks are braided. However, dreadlocks and braids are completely different and come with their own pros and cons.
So without further ado, let’s start the battle of dreadlocks vs. braids.
Length of Hair Needed
Since we’re comparing two different hairstyles, the first area we’ll cover involves how long your hair needs to be in order to get that hairstyle. The more hair you need, the longer you may have to wait.
When getting dreadlocks for the first time, you don’t need a lot of hair. As long as you have enough hair to grip and twist, you’re good to go.
Getting braids is much different than starting dreadlocks. In order to get your hair braided, you’re going to need a couple of inches of hair. The more hair you have, the easier your hair will be to braid (usually).
If we had to choose between dreadlocks and braids and had a short length of hair, we’d go with dreadlocks. Braids would require us to wait weeks or months longer (depending on the length of your hair).
Price of Hairstyle
Not everyone has the time or knows how to do their own hair. Because of the next comparison will involve the price of getting dreadlocks or braids. Since prices will vary depending on your area, we won’t give out exact numbers. We’ll estimate which hairstyle will be more expensive based on the amount of work needed.
Getting dreadlocks should be more expensive than the majority of braid hairstyles. The reason they should be more expensive is due to the amount of time and work required compared to braids. You will need your hair washed, individual sections parted, hair twisted, and then have to sit under a dryer. More work usually equals a more expensive price.
Getting braids should be cheaper than getting dreadlocks. Most braid hairstyles are fairly simple and can be done much quicker than starter dreadlocks. Braiding can get even quicker depending on the length of your hair and the braid style you choose. Quicker and less work usually means a cheaper price.
If we had to choose between dreadlocks and braids and didn’t have much money, we’d go with braids. Braids require less upfront work and can be done much quicker than starter locs (which typically means less expensive)
Versatility of Hairstyle
Everyone loves a hairstyle that’s versatile and can be worn in many different ways. It’s like paying for one hairstyle and getting several. In this section, we’ll compare how versatile dreadlocks are compared to braids and which one is the best.
One of the biggest advantages of dreadlocks is its versatility. It can be worn in many different styles such as straight down, ponytail, buns, and even braids. As long as you have enough hair length, you can do almost any hairstyle your heart desires.
Braids are limited in their versatility. Whatever pattern or style of braids you get initially, you have to keep. The only way to change your braided hairstyle is to take them down and start over. This can be an inconvenience for anyone who goes to the salon. You may want to take your braids down but, without the skills to do your own hair, you’ll be left with your hair “all over the place”.
As far as versatility goes, dreadlocks are far superior. So, if being able to switch up your hairstyles on your own without having to go to a salon or spend a lot of time is beneficial to you, dreadlocks are the way to go.
Maintenance of a hairstyle can be a deciding factor for a hairstyle. The more upkeep necessary to keep the hairstyle clean and looking good, the less appealing it is. In this section, we’re going to primarily talk about cleanliness.
Maintenance and upkeep on dreadlocks are arguably better than regular hair. You can choose the amount of maintenance you’d like to do. You can maintain them every 4 weeks (via a retwist) or never. It’s all based on the look you’re going for. And while it’s a common myth that dreadlocks are dirty, you should be washing your dreadlocks every 1-2 weeks – possibly more if you have a scalp condition. This will help prevent build-up in your dreadlocks.
Braids have the same advantage as dreadlocks of being arguably better to maintain and upkeep than regular hair. Unlike dreadlocks, you don’t have the option of maintaining them as often as you like. Since braids are typically worn without frequent washing, you typically wear them until your hair and scalp become too dirty.
As far as maintenance and upkeep, dreadlocks are the winner. They allow you to continue to clean your scalp and let you decide how much maintenance you’d like to perform (based on the look you’re going for). With braids, you can only wear them for so long until they start to look bad or dirty.
At the end of the day, it’s your decision to choose between dreadlocks or braids. All we’ve done is provided some information as to the pros and cons of both. Seeing as we’re a dreadlock website, we recommend going with dreadlocks! But regardless of what option you choose, wear it with confidence.