What Happens to Your Hair When You Get Dreads

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Miley Cyrus debuted these rainbow dreads on August 17, just one in a slew of rainbow colored hairdos that she's been posting on the 'Gram recently.

Serving Rastaaaaaa Realness!!!! ❤️💚💛

A photo posted by Miley Cyrus (@mileycyrus) on

It got us thinking...what actually happens to hair when it's dreadlocked?

In its most technical sense, a dreadlock is a tangled mass of knotted hair. The mass needs to be prompted to grow in a tangled coil or spiral shape. If you get super close, the hairs in a dreadlock basically look like steel wool.

Once a dreadlock has formed, new hair will grow in the tangled pattern, winding around the knots to create a spiral. As it grows, the hair continuously weaves itself together until the dread is permanent. Curlier hair naturally creates a tangled pattern more easily than straight hair. It takes two or more years for dreads to fully form.

Fun fact: Temporary dreadlocks can also be made by knotting the hair with a crochet hook.

Since Miley's new locks are so long and her hair is cropped short, as we know from her Instagram, we're going to assume that hers are probably made from extensions. But dreadlocks have been a hot topic as of late - and we're a bit surprised that Miley hasn't gotten any flak yet for taking on the look. Says Taryn Finley of the Huffington Post:

When this Jenner sister [Kylie] wore faux dreadlocks for a 'desert rebel' cover story in Teen Vogue, she was described as edgy, raw and beautiful. Zendaya wore the same hairstyle this year -- but was bashed for it. Fashion Police host Giuliana Rancic said she looked like she 'smells like patchouli oil or weed.' Zendaya clapped back, writing a powerful response on Instagram defending black people and their dreadlocks.

Well, Miley's never been one to shy away from provocative fashion choices.


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