Can tapered hairline ease tension receding dreads?

Dreads with fade in front

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For years I used to wonder why there are some men who have dreads with fade in the front tapered their hairlines. Was it because of fashion or is there a deeper reason for the current hair trend?

Well, it’s no secret that long dreadlock put a lot of tension on the head especially in the hairline. Can dreads with fade in front save your hairline?

Seriously, some of the coolest locs hairstyle requires putting your hair in a ponytail or braided tight. The tension from tightly pulled hair and the weight of dreads can cause your hair to fall out. This article directly tackles the question if can dreads with fade in the front reduce stress on the hairline?

Yes, dreads with fade in front reduce pulling tension in the hairline. When the dreads are in a ponytail or braided it causes a ton of tension on the head. When the hairline is faded, it is no longer attached to the hair that is being pulled or weighted by heavy dreadlocks. Tapering the front hairline, can slow down receding hairline in men with dreads.

Here are more benefits of having dreads with fade in the front, is its trendiness as well as give your locs a neatly groomed appearance. The tapered hairline has become quite popular among black men under 35 years old and younger. In this article, I will go into more in-depth of the benefits of dreads with fade in the front.

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What is a tapered hairline?

A tapered hairline is when a person’s hair gradually changes the hair level from long to short in the frontal hairline. Keep in mind a taper can also appear in two areas – sideburns and neckline. The front taper (or frontal taper) is the same thing as the front transition of the hairline. A taper can vary from more or less aggressive, a few millimeters to centimeters it just depends on what the person wants. A good taper will also fade into your skin and keep your hairline looking natural.

You may notice tapered hairlines are popular in beginners short hair locs styles. This is because tapers are simple, they look great when done by a professional, and give beginners confidence that they can achieve frontal edge up much easier.

What are dreadlocks?

A lot of people are misinformed as to what dreadlocks really are… Through my research, I’ve encountered a vas combination of wrong definitions or just plain old lazy descriptions.

Dreadlocks are tangled strands of hair that form naturally when unkempt and hasn’t been cut for a long period of time. There is a misconception that if unkempt dreadlocks are dirty, which is untrue, dreadlocks can be washed while still maintaining their natural look.

However, dreadlock is purposely manipulated through various methods that allow you to dictate their shape and make them more appealing. The ability to manipulate the dreadlocks hairstyle has increased its popularity over the years.

Dreadlocks are also known as locs or dreads, many times the terms are used interchangeably to describe people with naturally matted ropes of hair.

What is a receding hairline?

The common misconception is that receding hairline only affects old people, contrary to popular belief pattern baldness affects young people as well.

It should be noted that receding dreads occur in both men and women, but it is usually more common in men. You should also know that one of the first signs of male pattern baldness is caused by a multitude of reasons.

A couple of paragraphs earlier I mention baldness affects young men as well. Usually, men start to see signs of hair loss in their hairline by mid-30s, in some cases even younger.

Other early signs of hair loss occur in the hairline near the temples. Usually from there, the hairline noticeably starts to move back across the top of the head.

Usually, the hair will start thinning in front of the head and leaves a C shape hairline at the top of the scalp.

DHT Buildup

The main culprit of hair loss is Hormones. Usually, there is a hormonal change that occurs, and it may trigger hair loss in both men and women. The hormonal culprit is called DHT. DHT has been linked to male pattern baldness. The follicles begin to shrink to the point that the hair no longer can grow in them.

Traction Alopecia

I am sure you are wondering what is traction alopecia? Traction Alopecia is essentially a type of hair loss that’s caused by tension applied to the roots of the hair.

The constant tension then weakens hair over time, which leads to breakage, split end, or be pulled out. Signs of damage usually appear in the hair around the temples or behind the ears. However, it should be noted that dreads can damage the top and sides of the head as well.

Worst case scenario, traction alopecia can cause irreversible damage to hair follicles, and scare will result in permanent bald patches.

Guys, please understand that thinning hair and dreads are never a good combination! You’re only causing more harm than good. You’ll likely end up with weakened follicles or patches as a result of adding stress to already fragile hair.

Do dreadlocks cause receding hairline?

Receding dreads

To simply answer, yes, dreadlocks can cause a receding hairline. Though, there are other factors that play a part as well. As I mentioned earlier genetic, diet and stress may be the main reason you start to notice your hairline is receding.


Make no mistake that there are other factors to hair loss, however, locs definitely speed up the process. Over time, the constant tension rips the hair from the roots which causes the hairline to recede. There are various reasons as to why you may be experiencing increased tension within the hairline.

Below are the top reasons for increased tension in the hairline. Please feel free to leave a comment or two on anything you would like to add, I want to hear from you all!

Locs styles that cause tension in hair.

  • Low hanging Ponytail – Most people don’t think about the amount of stress on their hairline when their locs are in a low ponytail. You may notice men with receding dreads often have their hair in a low ponytail.

If you must put your locs in a ponytail, consider moving the ponytail to the top of the head. Doing so will relieve tension on the hairline.

  • Constant Retwisting – Of course, you should keep dreadlocks maintained, and re-twisting is one of the ways of keeping hair looking good. You need to be careful not to twist your dreadlocks too often, or you risk pulling your hair from its root. Frequent twisting increases the risk of hair thinning and breakage of your hair.

For example, retwist your locs every four weeks instead of retwisting every weekend.

  • Thick freeform dreads – When you think of fat dreadlocks you think of Jamaican Rastafarians and Miami dreads such as hip-hop artist GunPlay. Thick freeform dreadlocks are often bulky and heavy, which then pulls the hairline.

In this case, the options of relieving tension on the hairline are limited, there are a couple of things you can do.

  • Avoid placing your thick freeform locs in a ponytail, instead use a dreadlock stocking cap to hold the hair in place.
  • Consider tapering the front of your dreads in order to relieve stress on your hairline.

The actions and dreadlock hairstyles above apply a great amount of stress to the hairline. I want to be clear, I am not saying to abandon them, just use wise judgment. If possible, make adjustments and try alternative styles to ease tension on the hairline.

What are dreads with fade in front?

I am sure you’ve noticed the dreads with fade in front has become pretty popular in recent year. The dreads with a taper in front are when the hairline is trimmed lower than the rest of the hair. The trimmed hairline is disconnected from the dreads.

The tapped hairline is usually half an inch to an inch between the hairline and the start of the dreadlocks. In some dread hairstyles, the distance between the hairline and the dreads is more than an inch.

Whether you go to a barbershop or you cut your own hair, be careful not to cut the hairline too low. Cutting the dread hairline too low will make your hair look unnatural and appear to have a receding hairline. Make sure to use a 0 guard or a 1 guard, as both will assure that you do not cut your hair too low.

The dreads with fade are not limited to the front of the hairline, the sides and back is tapered as well.

Two reasons dreads with fade in front is beneficial

I’m sure you’ve noticed more black men with dreads have their hairline tapered. When I first noticed the hairstyle, I was confused by it, I didn’t understand the point of it. Prior to researching dreads with fade in front, I thought it was a fad and it would pass. Fast forward a few years later it is now a trend.

So, what are the benefits of fading dreads in the front?

  • Clean look
  • Cost-effective
  • Relieve hairline of tension from dreads

Well, let’s start with the fact that tapered locs look a bit neater than non-tapered dreads. When the locs go through the phase of new growth, the locs appear unmaintained. In cases of black men with dreads who do not twist, often their locs look undesirable.

Even if the locs haven’t been twisted in some time, when the dreads fade in the front and lined up it creates the appearance of a new haircut. Trust me, it works!

Bonus fact alert: If you have locs I am pretty sure you know how expensive locs retwist at a salon can be. The average cost for retwisting dreads is $270 to $400 and $65 after 4 hours depending on where you’re located.

The cost of tapering dreads with an edge up is minimal in comparison. Usually, the cost for a shape-up and a taper is about $15 to $25. I don’t know about you, but I’d prefer to pay $25 over $270 any day!

Last but definitely not least, dreads with fade in front apply less stress on the hairline than fully twisted dreads.

Will Dreads with fade in front stop receding dreads?

During my research of dreads with fade in front, I interview a Trichologist and Dermatologist. I figured both doctors would be a better source than my local barber. I mean at the very least they’ve spent 12 years of schooling to achieve their credentials.

I’ll skip their long technical exploitation that I beefily covered in sections earlier, they were both in agreeance. “No, dreads with fade in the front will not stop receding hairline. However, instead, there will be a notable decrease in receding dreads pace.” Not such a bad trade-off if you ask me.

Total nerd moment, I felt like a reporter from CNN asking a million and one questions. The length I am willing to go to get accurate information for you guys. I couldn’t ask for a better gig! Alright, went off-topic, let’s get back on track.

The Dermatologist and Trichologist confirmed that because dreads with taper in front disconnect the hairline from the heavy locs it relieves strain the hair follicles. I want to make it clear that tapered dreads will not stop receding hairline, it will slow down hair loss in the hairline.

Reasons why dreads with taper hairline in front may not work for you

Though faded dreads help preserve the hairline it is not for everyone. There are numerous reasons why these preventive measures may not work for some people.

  • Religious reasoning
  • Social unacceptance
  • Hairline Receding beyond repair

Some religious beliefs prevent males from cutting their locs. Specifically, the Rastafarian religious belief.  Rastas hair is traditionally worn in dreadlocks, or coils of hair purposely created and grown.

Within the Rastafarian religion, dreadlocks have numerous levels of meanings tied to faith. Like Judaism, Rastas view their hair as a source of power, and cutting the hair is prohibited by the bible. They feel their locs represent the lion’s mane also it symbolizes Africa and the Lion of Judah.

Because of the Rastafarian religious belief dreads with fade in front would not be a viable option. With the haircut limitations, the only realistic option is to wrap the dreadlocks high on top of the head.

Besides religious reasoning, there are other reasons why you wouldn’t taper hairline if you have dreads. It may be due to fear of being socially unaccepted. Some social circles different from your peers may frown on the trending hairstyle. Personally, I don’t feel anyone should allow others to dictate their decision especially if it’s beneficial in the long run.

Another reason why you may not want to trim your hairline locs is if you already have thinning and receding hairline. Tapering receding dreading will only make your hairline look worst than it already does. Dreads with fade in front work better for men who still have a hairline and are attempting to preserve it. It sounds harsh but it’s true!


Besides being restricted by religious reasons, dreads with fade in front will be just what you need to slow your receding hairline. Tapering the front of heavy locs will remove tension off of vulnerable hairlines. Though receding dreads is not irreversible you are able to slow down the loss of hair in the hairline.

The trendy tapered dreads have exploded within men of color who have locs over the years. Customers will notice the cost-effective price as well as keeps your dreadlocks looking neat.

How did you like this article, is there something more you would have like added? I would love some feedback from you guys.

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