How to Use Honey for Dreadlocks

Honey can be used to hold dreadlocks in place, but there are drawbacks.

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Dreadlocks have a rich history that stems from their popularity as a hair style in the Caribbean islands. The process of forming dreads is as diverse as the people that wear them. If you are a "dreadhead," you may have heard that honey can be used to hold your locks together. While this is true, there are some drawbacks, and so-called "dread wax" can be more effective.

Forming Dreadlocks

To make dreadlocks, you must backcomb a section of hair from root to tip and twist the hair into tight knots. The more you backcomb, the knottier the section gets. You then apply honey, or another tightening agent, to lock the dread in place, preventing it from unwinding and undoing all your hard work.

Applying the Honey

Although unaltered honey can be used to make dreadlocks, thinning it out a bit makes it easier to handle and a little less sticky. A mixture of three parts honey and one part lemon juice should do the trick. Work the honey mixture into your hair before forming the dreadlocks, or apply the honey to your fingers when twisting. If you have dreadlocks in your hair already and are just doing some retwisting, dip your fingers in the honey before you execute each new twist.


Honey gives your dreads a sweet smell, but the smell may also attract bugs. Honey is also very, very sticky, which may cause dirt, dust and other types of debris to stick to your dreads. Also, honey is subject to spoilage just like any other organic matter. If honey turns moldy when it’s in your hair, that sweet smell can quickly turn rancid.


So-called "dread wax" holds your dreads in place and keeps them from falling apart as they mature. With this product, issues of bug and mold are of no concern. As long as you wash your dreadlocks regularly, odor should not be a problem either. If you can’t get your hand on dread wax, gel is the next best thing.

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