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How to Section Your Hair for Braids and Dreadlocks

Sectioning for Dreadlocks:

Learn how to create bricklay, fan and triangle partings for dreadlock sectioning.

The Amazing Items Used for this Tutorial

16 thoughts on “How to Section Your Hair for Braids and Dreadlocks”

  • Michelle
    January 17, 2015 at 3:10 am

    Love all of your videos, very informative!

    I am planning on getting crochet dreadlocks that are double ended. I have slick, straight thin hair and want to know which way of sectioning would be best, or if I should forget trying the synthetic braid in dreads..

    {When I say thin hair, I mean there's not a lot of volume or high strand count. My ponytail is about the size of a hotdog.}

    Let me know if you can help!

    • Britni Sundburg
      January 26, 2015 at 1:40 am

      Thanks so much for the compliment!
      You should be absolutely fine to do braid in dreads with thin hair. The main concern would be adding too much weight - so just watch it for the first few days to make sure that it's not too tight and that you don't have breakage from the weight. If you do, you'll need to adjust your sections to be a bit larger and any issues should stop. I like the natural fan part best for most styles.

  • Nicky
    April 21, 2015 at 4:54 am

    Hi! I've had synthetic dreads before and I have the 22" double ended ones from your site :) but my major issue is the sectioning. My hair is very thin and my ends are kinda damaged. I also have an issue with my hair getting super oily when I don't wash it for a couple of days. I was just wondering what tips you would have for me to keep my hair from getting so oily and for the sections to hold better. :) thanks!!

    • Britni Sundburg
      May 5, 2015 at 3:37 am

      If your sections aren't holding the hair well, its probably your braiding technique. The natural hair that wraps around the dread (that creates the braid) needs to go more across than down when braiding. I have a video on that. It's the number one cause of slippage. As for the oils, use stridex or witch hazel on your scalp between washings. Also, Amika dry shampoo is the shiznit!

  • Owl
    January 5, 2016 at 1:42 am

    If you section them up like that you'll have one in the middle at the top... I have seen this and it looks odd. I always think centre parting looks the best

    • Nirvana Drew
      January 6, 2016 at 2:28 am

      That is going to be highly dependent on your client. I like having one in the center top that is directed to one side (not sticking up like a unicorn).
      Personally, I really really dislike the center part. I think it looks best when the center is offset and parted to the side. Everyone has their own tastes. It's best to look through images before deciding on placement.

  • Bri
    April 25, 2016 at 5:46 am

    Is this the same video we would use for sectioning your head for dreads and not using synthetics? Which looks best for a side part and keeping bangs out? I'm wanting to redo my dreads! Probably going to have to add extensions to my ends though because my hair is short but thick. Also, I know its another video.. But coloring dreads, do you use the same technique as the video yall have up that's coloring the synthetics? Thanks for your help!

    • Nirvana Drew
      April 26, 2016 at 12:31 pm

      Yep, you can use these techniques for synthetics. :) They all look great with a side part, but my favorite is usually the fan part. I think it looks the most natural. As for coloring, it really depends on if they are human or synthetic. If they are synthetic, then use the synthetic coloring video. :)

  • Alyssa
    May 10, 2016 at 12:21 am

    I have a short hairstyle that is just long enough to install the dreads. What would be the best sectioning method for short hair. I know head shape has a lot to do with it but is there something specific I need to do? I have thick, fine hair. Thank you!

    • Nirvana Drew
      May 11, 2016 at 3:06 am

      The shorter the hair, the smaller the size of the section needs to be - otherwise strands may not reach to make enough turns of the braid. You can really use any style of partings and be successful. I like the fan partings best.

  • D'Andra Taylor
    April 20, 2017 at 3:48 am

    Are the sections supposed to stay the same throughout the duration of having dreads? My sections were started large so I would have thick locs, which I do, but I am noticing that my sections are half the size they initially were and my dreads are starting to grow in thinner than the rest.

    • Doc
      April 21, 2017 at 2:43 am

      Dread sections usually take up the same amount of real estate on the scalp fairly consistently. When you say your sections are getting smaller - do you mean you are losing hair to strays around the edges or that your locks themselves are getting thinner at the bases? If they were overbackcombed when you first did them, they will grow out thinner at the base - this is common. You can either leave them as is or use filler to bulk them up as they grow out.

  • Ramsey
    January 15, 2019 at 7:08 pm


    I have type 3b curly hair and this will be the first time I am installing Kanekalon dreads. I have a few questions before i start:
    Would it be recommended that i flat iron (straighten) my curls before install?
    What would be the best part recommend for my hair type? and once installed, can i still use a small amount of coconut oil on my roots to help with the lack of natural oils between weekly shampoo's?

    Thank you

    • Doc
      January 17, 2019 at 3:30 am

      You won't need to flat iron, but make sure you condition it well so it won't be as cranky when you do your take down. The dreads will give your hair a styling break - you just want to make sure you keep the moisture. Do flat iron as you do your take down. You will have a much easier time combing out the shed at the base.

      Oil at the roots should do great. As for partings, I'd probably do fan paintings - anything without sections that span too much width or projected corners - basically, you don't want your base to have to "travel" too far to the dread. :)

  • Rissa
    August 29, 2019 at 12:36 pm

    How can I fix the parts on my mature locs. I was thinking about combining them but the parts are so off :/

    • Doc
      September 3, 2019 at 9:10 am

      You can still combine and/or separate them. Combining is pretty simple - just start doing the maintenance with them together. To separate, let the hair grow out without maintaining for a bit, then create your new section - pulling away as much of the hair as you can from the old section to combine with the new. If your hair locs to quickly to do this, carve off smaller sections over time, but continue adding the new growth to the new section.

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