The Difference Between Dreads and Braids

Difference Between Dreads and Braids

Difference Between Dreads and Braids. There are various hairstyles out there that are commonly mixed up, or that people can’t really understand the difference between. Take French plaits and Dutch plaits as an example. While some people may not be able to tell the difference, they are significantly different styles that require different techniques to come into existence. Another common mix up tends to be braids and dreads. Part of this confusion tends to come from the fact that dreads are technically braids – so all dreads are braids but not all braids are dreads! So, let’s take a moment to clear the air and determine the difference between these two significantly different hairstyles!

How the Styles Look

Braids allow you to style your hair very neatly. They can contain frizz and will look smooth when well maintained. They will have a tidy zigzag appearance due to the way the hair is weaved together. Dreadlocks, on the other hand, consist of locked and matted hair that has a more felt-like texture. Both styles are extremely versatile, and can generally be worn down or tied up.


A major difference between braids and dreads is their permanence. When you braid your hair, you can generally remove the braids easily yourself or with the help of someone else. It shouldn’t take you all too long to even unbraid a multitude of small braids. Dreads, on the other hand, tend to be pretty permanent. The longer you have dreadlocks for, the harder it becomes to untangle them, and many people will literally shave them off rather than try. While it is possible to unlock dreads, you will have to spend a lot of time and effort in doing so. If you happen to have the patience of a saint, you can learn how to unlock dreads here.


Generally speaking, braids should be left in for a maximum of twelve weeks. However, the regularity with which you have to have them redone will be largely determined by how well they were put in in the first place and how well you maintain them. Dreads, on the other hand, can be left in for a lifetime if you look after them and so please!


If you want either dreads or braids, you are generally best off going to a stylist who will be able to do them on your behalf. It’s extremely difficult to carry out either of these styles on yourself, as you cannot easily see every angle of your head, even with a mirror, and (if you have particularly long hair) your arms may not be long enough to reach back and pull braids together tightly at the end or matt dreadlocks together efficiently. Conduct a little research and find a local stylist with good reviews.

As you can see, dreads and braids are vastly different hairstyles. They structure and weave the hair in a different way and consequently have different results! Hopefully, the above information has helped you to differentiate between the two!

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