Young Man with High Top Dreads

Wearing high-top dreads is all the rage now.

All the cool guys have them and we have to admit that they make them look awesome.

Going for high-top dreads is certainly a good choice to make nowadays.

But, the thing is – this style is not so easy to create.

There are many variants that can make you a bit puzzled about which one to try.

Also, there are a lot of variables that go into creating this hairstyle. 

We’ve created an article that aims to provide thorough guidance on high-top dreads and become your only go-to resource on this look.

We’ve included some of the most famous contemporary high-top dread styles for men and broke them down for you.

You’ll have no problem choosing the most suitable one.

Here is our scoop on the matter.

20 Most Popular High Top Dreads Hairstyles

Short High Top Dreadlocks

Short high top locs

Short dreadlocks are ideal if you want a hairstyle that looks fashionable in a sublet way. Unlike long dreads, short dreadlocks have a cleaner look, so your hair always looks clean.

On top of that, such dreadlocks are easier to maintain, which is a big plus for men who don’t like spending too much time styling their hair.
While most men desire long dreadlocks, short dreadlocks are more classy, versatile and perfect for everyday wear. Because of that, they are more popular than long dreadlocks.

They are also ideal if you don’t have the patience to grow your dreadlocks long. Let’s face it, growing dreadlocks is a long and tiresome process, and if you don’t want that, you would instead stick to shorter dreadlocks.

When it comes to styling short dreadlocks, your barber will know best. The barber starts with a taper fade or an undercut on the sides. A short cut makes the dreads easy to style and maintain.

You can leave your short locks spiked or messy. Keeping the dreads tight makes them appear refined and more polished, while leaving them loose gives you an effortless look.

Long High Top Dreads

Long high top dreadlocks

Long dreadlocks have evolved over the years. In the past, men used to wear long, flowing full head dreadlocks.

However, that has changed today, and long dreads with a fade on the sides are more common. There are so many benefits of wearing long dreads.

One, they allow for flexibility when styling. Depending on the length of your locks, you can let them flow freely, tie them into a bun or wear them with a high top.

The only downside is that long dreadlocks take years to grow, and as it is, not a lot of people have the patience to wait for that and therefore opt for shorter or medium dreads.

If you leave them to grow out to a reasonable length, there is so much you can do with them. Long dreads coupled with a beard create a bold, sleek and sexy look that will have heads turning.

High Top With Fade

hightop brown dreads

Photo @negoreyart

Locks with a fade are one of those matches made in heaven, and there are so many types of hair fades that you can choose from.

A high-top fade on the sides will draw attention whether your dreads are long or short. Opting for a high top with a fade also comes at an advantage because it cuts down on maintenance, a perk often overlooked.

A tape fade provides many options, including the type of fade and length of locks to opt for. A high fade on the sides makes for an edgy and modern look.

On the other hand, a low fade leaves your dreadlocks looking cleaner and professional. A mid or temp fade creates the perfect balance between classy and bold.

You might want to consider a drop or bald fade for a unique finish. Faded dreadlocks offer a lot of styling options. You can pair short or long dreads with a fade.

For a more masculine look, consider growing a beard and get a sharp line along the hairline for a crisp look.

Highlighted High Top Dreads

Yellow Highlighted high top dreadlocks

Adding highlights to high-top dreads makes you look sophisticated, refined and modern. The good thing about dyeing your dreads is choosing from many color trends.

Generally, dreadlocks look stylish with blond, red, white or a mixture of other dyes. Some men like their dreads with their natural color, while others like experimenting with different colors.

If you fall in the former category, ensure that you protect your scalp and take measures to protect your strands.

One of the best measures is ensuring that you don’t use hair dyes too often on your dreadlocks, as this can weaken the strands in the long run.

High Top Fade Twists

High Top Fade Twists

The high-top fade twists are one of the most stylish ways of styling dreadlocks.

Ask your hairstylist to shave the sides, edges, and back of your head, leaving only dreads on your top half.

The final process involves twisting the dreadlocks, usually two strands at a time, for a unique finish.

High Top Locks With Undercut

Locks With Undercut

If you want to accentuate your hairstyle, you might want to pair locks with an undercut.

The undercut involves trimming the hairs on the side and back of the head to a uniform length. Undercut dreadlocks are stylish and one of the modern styling options for dreadlocked men.

Pairing shirt dreads with an undercut creates a fashionable and chill look, especially n black hair, because of the unique texture on the back and sides.

Thick High Top Dreads

Man with Thick Dreadlocks

Installing dreads takes a lot of time, and it’s expensive. Go for thick dreads if you don’t want to sit for hours.

Thick dreads look very appealing when paired with a fade or an undercut. The best thing about thick dreadlocks is that they usually don’t require much styling time.

High Top Dread Ponytail

Dread Ponytail

When you grow your dreadlocks past the short dreadlock stage, you may get tired of them always being on your face.

Because of that, most men opt to tie the strands up into a ponytail. With shaved sides and back, your high-top dreads will look incredibly sexy when tied into a ponytail.

Pair your dread ponytail with a well-trimmed, thick, and full beard.

High Top Pigtails

High Top Dread Pigtails

A simple ponytail or man burn will not do the trick to stand out. Instead, go for pigtails.

Here is the thing, though, pigtails aren’t for the fainthearted. It takes a man confident in his masculinity to pull off dreadlock ponytails.

Beaded High Top Dreads

High Beaded Dreads

Photo @chef_barber_jay

You can accessorize your high-top dreads by installing beads for an authentic look. There are many options, from plain, colorful glass to plastic beads.

You can also try other accessories for high-top lock styles like cuffs and rings. Accessories add character to your dreads and make you stand out.

Thin Locks With High Top Dreads

Thin Locks With High Top Dreads

If you don’t like thick locks and have a lot of time on your hands, you can go for thin locks with a high or low fade.

The thickness of the dreads will depend on your preference and how much time you have.

Messy High Top Dreads Hairstyle

Messy High Top Dreads

Dreadlocks with a high fade look neat, but you can give them a slightly messy finish.

A disheveled dreadlock style creates the illusion of a relaxed and effortless feel that is perfect for the modern gentleman.

Taper Fade With High Top Dreads

Taper Fade With Dreads

A taper fade is a type of fade that begins high and looks sharp with any hairstyle, including dreadlocks.

With a taper fade, you can keep your dreadlocks long, short, thin, or thick.

Mid Fade High Top Dread

Mid Fade

Photo @negoreyart

Try the mid fade if you don’t like a very high fade. The fade looks great on long, short or medium-length locks.

The barber fades the hair on the sides and back of the head only so that the fade is much lower.

Shaggy Style Dreadlock with orange tops

Two Color Dreads

Mid Dreadlock Top

Fade And Dreads

African Hippie Style

Dreadlock Slick

High Top Dreadlocks Ponytail

Photo @jayblendedit

What Are High Top Dreads

If you are looking for a stylish and sleek way to wear your dreads, you can try the high-top dreads haircut.

The high-top dread hairstyle involves wearing beautiful locks on top of your head with faded sides and back.

High-top dreads are a modern way of wearing full-head dreadlocks. They are stylish, cleaner looking and much easier to maintain.

High-top dreads are versatile, and there is a styling option for everyone. Styling options differ in length, complexity, thickness and accompaniments.

They are a favorite for men with short hair or a high fade haircut. A high-top fade, for instance, is sleek and clean looking where the individual strands sit loose and messy on top of the head.

Read on to learn more about high-top dreads and how to get and maintain them.

Getting High Top Dreadlocks 

Confused Afro Man with Dreadlocks

High-top dreadlocks are stylish, modern and easy to maintain. If you are thinking about getting high-top dreads, here is a step-by-step guide on how to go about it.

Clean the hair

When installing dreadlocks, it’s a good idea to ensure that your hair is clean. Use shampoo and premium conditioner that locks in moisture to clean your hair.

Brush and divide it into equal sections

Dry the hair and then brush it to remove any tangles and knots. After that, divide it into equal sections and fasten them with elastic bands.

Start locking your hair

There are a few ways of going about this. You can twist your natural hair or use dreadlock wax.

The first stage of growing dreadlocks is very messy as the hair locks. During that period, you may need to twist your strands more often to aid in the locking process.

If you don’t want to go through all that, a quicker process is installing artificial dreadlocks. While you can distinguish between natural and synthetic dreadlocks at a glance, they still look good and can be styled just like natural dreads.

For neat-looking dreads, use a dread hook to crochet all the hairs that stick out from the main strand and then wait for your dreads to begin locking naturally.

Once your dreadlocks have locked to a length you are comfortable with, you can then proceed to fade the sides and back.

Fade the sides and back

For high-top dreads, fade the sides and back of the head. Most people do this before locking the hair, so you don’t have to cut fully locked dreadlocks.

If you are unsure about getting a fade, you can grow a full head of dreadlocks and get the fade later if you are sure about it.

How to Maintain High Top Dreads


It’s essential to keep your dreadlocks and scalp clean. 

Cleaning your dreadlocks help remove buildup, excess oil and lint. Because of that, avoid using shampoos and conditioners that leave residue on the hair. Instead, opt for a sulfate-free shampoo.

So how often should you wash your locks? This will depend on your preference and lifestyle. For instance, if you hit the gym weekly, you might want to clean your locks frequently.


How you dry your dreadlocks matters. Locks are heavy and become even heavier after washing. To dry them, wring out as much water, take a manageable handful, and gently squeeze out as much water as possible.

Afterward, wrap your locks in a microfiber towel and squeeze as much moisture as possible. Microfiber towels absorb water better than cotton towels and don’t leave lint in your dreads.

Ensure that you dry out all moisture because you don’t want mildew or mold buildup in your locks, especially if you have a lot of locks.

Moisturize regularly

Going forth, keep your locks always moisturized. Generally, when hair is dry, it is susceptible to brittleness and breakage.

If you leave your locks too dry, they tend to snap, and you don’t want that. Therefore, use moisturizing spray and hair oil to prevent dryness, and there are so many product options you can use.

For instance, coconut oil has many benefits like moisturizing and strengthening dreadlocks and is worth trying.

Night routine

Sleeping in a silk or satin head wrap or sleeping on a silk pillow is advisable when you have dreadlocks.

As you know, locks can become brittle and susceptible to snapping when they get dry. Cotton absorbs moisture and oils, leaving your locks dry.

So, switch your cotton pillow to a satin or silk pillow and wrap your dreads every night when you go to bed.

Styling options

When you are styling your high-top locks, always consider the edges. As locks grow longer, they tense the hair edges, making them delicate.

If you style your locks, ensure that they are not styled too tightly as this can lead to gradual loss of hair on the edges resulting in a receding hairline.

Quick Styling Tips For High-Top Dreadlocks

Growing dreadlocks past the baby lock stage are exciting; for most people, the styling stage couldn’t come any sooner. But before you experiment with all the styles at your disposal, here are things you need to remember when styling high-top dreads.

Laughing Afro Man with High Top Dreadlocks

Trim the sides and back regularly. If you have a fade or undercut, maintain the clean look by trimming the sides and back of the head.

Reduce your washing frequency. Cleaning your dreads often can smooth the hair and won’t attain that fuzzy dreadlock look you want.

Experiment with different styles. You’ve already done the hard job of being patient, so your dreads can lock properly. Now, you are free to experiment with styling options.

Use natural products on your dreadlocks to keep your locks healthy.

High Top Dreads Do’s and Don’ts 


  • Do consider wearing a satin or silk scarf or covering when sleeping to prevent your locks from drying up.
  • Use light oils like oil-free moisturizers and lotions to reduce the chance of buildup. Don’t style your locks too tightly, especially when they are too long, as this can weaken the edges leading to snapping and hair loss.
  • Protect the roots of starter locks by separating them occasionally so that the locks have the right direction to grow.


  • Don’t wash your locks too frequently, as this interferes with the locking process. If you must wash your locks, ensure you twist them with natural dreadlock wax every time.
  • Don’t retwist your high-top dreads too often. Instead, wait at least a month until your next re-twist.
  • Don’t let your dreadlocks go for too long without moisturizing. If you have soft, curly hair, try a pomade for curly hair when styling your high-top dreads.


How to start high-top dreads?

Start your high-top dreads by twisting the hair into equal strands according to the number of dreadlocks you want. The starting period involves weeks of ugly hair, but you can always use a cap or hat as your dreads lock.

Are high-top dreads better?

High-top dreads are better than traditional full-head dreadlocks because they look cleaner and neater thanks to the faded or tapered back and sides. They are also easier to maintain because they are fewer.

How long does it take to get high-top dreads?

There is no established time for how long it will take to get your high dreads. How long it will take will depend on factors like the thickness of your hair and the speed of your hairstylist. Typically, installing fewer or thicker dreads can take anywhere between 8 to 12 hours. For very thin dreads, it can take up to a whole day.

Is there a difference between dreads and locks?

Most people use the terms dreads and locks interchangeably to refer to the same thing, but the two are very different.

Dreads still hold a painful history of the slave trade and are considered unkempt, while locks imply cultural identity as the grooming technique of African and Nubian people.

In terms of the physical differences, locks are usually well kept and look tidy, while dreadlocks have a more natural appearance. Locks also have more defined roots than dreadlocks.

How many dreads should I have?

A good number is between 80 and 100, depending on your hair and desired thickness. Ideally, the number of dreadlocks required for an adult head is between 40 to 110.


High-top dreadlock styles are modern, trendy, versatile, and one of the most iconic hairstyles for black men. High-top dreadlocks work with long and short plus thin and thick locks. Unlike a traditional full head of dreads, high-top dreadlocks feature tapered or faded sides and back, resulting in a cleaner look.

Anthony Giannotti

About the author: Anthony Giannotti

Anthony Giannotti is a senior writer and editor for Beardoholic and a licensed barber for more than 13 years. He owns 3 barbershops and has his own hair care product line that is sold in barbershops worldwide. Known for his impeccable technique and skills, Anthony is an expert in hair and beard care and he knows the best products and tools to get rid of all beard problems and have an amazing beard.

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