While washing and getting regular trims are necessary to maintain the presentability of any hairdo, readjusting the routine is necessary when you’re dealing with protective hairdos, options that are typically recognized for the way in which they shield natural hair.
As of 2023, various hairdos shape the world of protective hairdos. And while traditional dreadlocks are often sought-after for their uniqueness and low maintenance nature, one of their subordinates, otherwise known as high top dreadlocks, is a look that emerges when the visuals are prioritized just as much as bringing more light to one’s spiritual nature.
In contrast to most of their competitors, high top dreads are still quite new to the scene. Many believe that the hairdo has the potential to become one of the best options out there, preferably due to the flexibility it provides.
To learn all about how high top dreads are brought into existence, and the ways in which one can pull off the hairdo without any repercussions, be sure to place your trust in this guide.
Table of Contents
- 39 Fresh and Innovative Options Of High Top Dreads That Define Greatness
- Short Knotted Top Dreads For Beginners
- Frosted Faux Hawk With Mid Fade
- Scattered High Top Dreads With Skin Fade
- Matte-based Dreads With Thin Curtains
- High Top Dreads With Swoop
- Cropped Thick Twist Locs With Edge-up
- Short Length Congo Dreads
- Polished High Top Dreads
- Subtle High Top Dreads Tied In a Bun
- Box Braided Criss Cross Man Bun
- Split High Top Dreads With High Blends
- Elevated Man Bun With Disconnected Skin Fade
- High Top Dreads For Gingers
- Twist Out Curly Top With Designed Fade
- Two-strand Twists With Zero Fade
- High Top Dreads With Textured Spikes
- Crisscross Cosmic Buns With Subtle Shape-up
- High Top Dreads With Thin-pieced Locs
- Spiral Jumbo Locs
- Two Twist Mohawk With Blends
- Stitched Box Braids With Curly Tresses
- Twist Out Medium Length Locs
- Stitched Textured Slick Back
- Duotone Top Knot With Disconnected Fade
- Finger Coil Low Bun With Temp Fade
- Face Framing High Top Dreads With Bleached Tips
- Elongated High Top Dreads With Shadow Fade
- Crinkle Cut Freeform Dreads With High Blends
- Swerved High Top Dreads In A Ponytail
- Jumbo 6-Piece High Top Dreads
- Deep Chin Length Side-part With Frosted Tips
- Voluminous Top Knot With Shape-up
- High Top Dreads With Framing Side-part
- Two Twist Tritone Curtain Locs
- Frizzy Dread Bun With Temp Fade
- Two Tone Barrel Locs With Fade
- Box Braided Dread Bun With Mid Fade
- Jumbo Twist Locs With High Blends
- Outgrown High Top Dreads With Star Shape Fade
- Managing High Top Dreads At Home: A 4-Step Hair Care Routine!
- Frequently Asked Question
- Final Verdict
39 Fresh and Innovative Options Of High Top Dreads That Define Greatness
High top dreads involve the likes of a fade or taper around the sides, typically to grow the dreads out without any difficulty whatsoever. The hairdo is not only perfect if you’re big on experimenting with hair, but can also be a great design to create at home if you often find yourself working around a hectic schedule.
From short variants to outgrown pieces, high top dreads seem to know no bounds. And if you’re seeking a hair transformation that will leave everyone in awe, one of the 39 options on the upcoming list can definitely satisfy your cravings!
Short Knotted Top Dreads For Beginners
Starting off this list are these short knotted dreads, comprising size, a firm hold, and tons of flair. The pieces are usually knotted into multiple units, which often rewards the wearer with a look full of endurance.
These dreads are quite favorable due to how full they are, despite lacking length. The hairdo can also be paired with a solid pattern underneath. Do wear it carefully, though, as the units lack anything but size, causing tons of friction on the scalp.
Frosted Faux Hawk With Mid Fade
In addition to using a tail comb, you may also use an afro pick to style your short dreads. Furthermore, if you’re seeking an option with tons of height near the frontal region, try picking the hair to form a frosted fauxhawk with your high top dreads.
Apart from being easy to handle, this frosted fauxhawk is rather favorable due to the way in which it stays resilient. If your pieces lack hydration near the tips, try lathering it up with hydrating cream.
Scattered High Top Dreads With Skin Fade
Since reducing stress is one of the most important elements to ensure when growing dreads, cropping the size can be a relatively easy way to wear high top dreads without facing any repercussions. While giving the locs enough freedom to grow on their own can be a good thing, add a skin fade with the upper half to reduce the disheveled nature of the look.
Making subtle changes can be optimal when wearing this look, which can be found by adding highlights or frosted tips. You may also add shades like platinum for a jarring effect.
Matte-based Dreads With Thin Curtains
Having thin hair can be a blessing and a curse when wearing dreads, but we’ll focus on the positive side for now. Sure, wearing jumbo units of braids can be difficult when your natural hair isn’t packed with density, but you can always resort to these matte-based dreads to enjoy the journey.
The best part about this look is how well it adapts to a change in structure, which can be showcased in various ways. Many do side with wearing thin curtains, however, as combing down the middle of the hair usually relieves the scalp from stress.
High Top Dreads With Swoop
Swooping the dreads can also be another exceptional way to showcase your high top dreads, especially if you’re seeking something that is basic and adapts well to any occasion. In addition to being extremely simple to maintain, a swoop can effectively cover signs of a bad hairline.
Wearing a swoop is a fan favorite in the eyes of many, since no gel or styling product is required. The hairdo is usually showcased with a skin fade, which can create a solid separation between the beard and hair.
Cropped Thick Twist Locs With Edge-up
Using a two twist method can be beneficial on a large scale, as doing so can bring these twist locs to life. The look is absolutely made for those that desire resilience, and density in their hair, comprising an edge-up that brings more light to the thickness of the look.
This hairdo is another look that caters to enthusiasts beginning their dreadlock journey, and is relatively lenient in terms of upkeep. The look can also be a good way to boast about the facial features and beard, due to the disconnection of the fade.
Short Length Congo Dreads
Not making contact with the dreads can lead to success in the long-run, as the units can eventually turn into congo dreads, one of the best options in the eyes of fanatics of freeform dreads. Although a majority of the wearers prefer growing the sides out, one can also introduce a supporting haircut to make it a part of high top dreads.
While a high and tight skin fade should suffice, you can also install blends to create a subtle contrast and disconnection.
Polished High Top Dreads
Under the guidance of a crochet needle, you can also sharpen the structure of your dreads, typically by reducing the bulk that they usually carry. By polishing them up with wax, you can also successfully replicate the visuals of these high top dreads.
A disconnected cut can be ideal with the top, especially if you want the units to look healthier and feel free. You may also leave it be if you’d like to wear framing dreads around your cheeks.
Subtle High Top Dreads Tied In a Bun
With enough assistance, you can even wear dreads on straight hair. Sure, taking help from the visuals of a French braid can help, but resorting to designs that can be created in a jiffy, such as a man bun, can turn out to be even better.
The advantages run high when this hairdo is in the mix. However, if you’d like to go through a couple of braided looks that you can experiment with, try reading our guide on white men’s braids.
Box Braided Criss Cross Man Bun
Adopting ties when generating a man bun can be another compelling way of showing off the pattern of your high top dreads. You may also arrange box braids underneath, especially if you’re all about wearing aesthetically favorable options.
Using wires can feel strange, but could pay off if your hair often goes out of place. Be sure to use sizable hair ties, though, since compact ones might pull on the braids and lead to traction alopecia.
Split High Top Dreads With High Blends
Sectioning the dreads at the center can eliminate the chances of hair loss from the crown, which can prove to be a lifesaver in the future. Additionally, wearing split high top dreads is one of the beginner-friendly entries to execute, mainly with the help of high blends.
The visuals of this hairdo might not be the best, but remains useful when working past the first phase of growing locs. Getting a haircut once a month isn’t mandatory, but could be helpful to maintain the prominent disparity that lies on the temple.
Elevated Man Bun With Disconnected Skin Fade
During the formative phase, styling high top dreads can be a breeze. Similarly, if you’re about to run errands, consider wearing a comfortable outfit, alongside a laid back hairdo, like this elevated man bun.
The bun is quite narrow but contains tons of fullness and elevation underneath. The skin fade can make your cheekbones more prominent, and can even work in your favor if you have a 3-day stubble.
High Top Dreads For Gingers
Although high top dreads mostly cater to those with afro-textured hair, it can also cater to biracial people, especially gingers! In fact, there’s even a separate entry that can cater to redheads, involving a disheveled head of high top dreads.
The look is paired with a skin fade that covers every inch of the sides and the back, which creates a compelling contrast and adds saturation to the hair color. Since the strands run small in size, the design can be worn for a long time without needing touch ups.
Twist Out Curly Top With Designed Fade
If you’ve already kickstarted your journey to growing dreadlocks, but are currently struggling to stay composed, go back to square one. Take notes from this twist out curly top, which appears to be bedazzled with a designed fade.
Although adding the design is optional, it could be compulsory if you’d like your hairdo to look indifferent. Before giving it a go, however, skim through a series of line designs through the help of this material.
Two-strand Twists With Zero Fade
An underrated combo involves two strand twists with a bald fade, otherwise known as a zero fade. The separation it adds to the haircut is quite admirable, so much so that it can also change the impact of one’s appearance.
While many often add a pattern near the base, the rest believe in using bleach towards the tips, which is less risky than the former notion.
High Top Dreads With Textured Spikes
By twisting the hair in an upwards motion, you can also showcase what many people call textured spikes, a structure that looks rather elegant with the characteristics of high top dreads.
The hairdo is often either crocheted to existence or curated using a blowout, which is also the easier way to go about things. Be sure to avoid the second method if your hair is dry, since styling tools often absorb moisture from the hair.
Crisscross Cosmic Buns With Subtle Shape-up
It often takes two to tango when it comes to wearing high top dreads. Similarly, if you’re more into wearing pigtails, try following a crisscross pattern around the base to mimic what most people refer to as high top dreads with cosmic buns.
The look is often regarded as a good option for those with excessively coarse hair, as splitting the hair into two buns makes things more manageable. To give the roots a boost, wearing a shape-up is advised.
High Top Dreads With Thin-pieced Locs
Thinning out the locs can be ideal if you don’t want to deal with the wear and tear that dreadlocks go through, and if your scalp is rather sensitive. The look can also be curated using box braids for an easier time, which can simultaneously improve the appearance of the design.
While using hair custard can be a great option to style the hair, try replacing the sides with a taper to trim some weight from the hairdo.
Spiral Jumbo Locs
Sizable jumbo locs can also be a good way to protect multiple pieces of dreadlocks at once. When pieced in a spiral formation, the pieces can also stand out without looking too overwhelming for spectators to glare at.
The issue with spiral jumbo locs is the pressure they apply to the scalp, which can be painful, to say the least. However, if you’d like to give yourself the green signal anyway, re-do the units once a month.
Two Twist Mohawk With Blends
The beauty of wearing high top dreads is the way it serves every hair length, even if the strands are as short as they come. In fact, if you happen to be working around awkward pieces, accumulate the units of hair together to form a two twist mohawk, which only acquires the silhouettes and the visuals.
An advantage of this look is the fact that it is lightweight, which can save the scalp from hair loss and damage. The hairdo also stays put for a long time, that too without requiring any hair product.
Stitched Box Braids With Curly Tresses
Stitched box braids are one of the best options to resort to when growing dreadlocks, as the protection they tend to provide is indestructible as it is immovable. The hairdo also has an impressive shelf life, lasting for over a month or so if installed properly.
Box braids are known for being compatible with a series of designs, even if the supporting component is considered to be a polar opposite. By using a curling iron, one can enhance the tresses by introducing wavy silhouettes.
Twist Out Medium Length Locs
Twisting out the hair isn’t just therapeutic, but can also be a wonderful way of giving your natural hair the fresh start it needs. Additionally, when undone correctly, the visuals can also be ideal enough to be worn as a hairstyle, also known as twist out locs.
This hairdo often looks optimal when the strands are of medium length, as the hair can detangle rather easily without looking out of place. Pairing well with blends and fades, this hairdo is great for those that refer to themselves as adventurers.
Stitched Textured Slick Back
Believe it or not, you can also form a slick back with your high top dreads. All you have to do is undo the stitching system and retwist them with a base that resembles the structure of the sophisticated look.
Since slick backs cause tons of tugging and pulling, wearing it with lightweight products is mandatory. To further decrease the weight of the hairdo, getting a bald fade is advised.
Duotone Top Knot With Disconnected Fade
Once you tie your dreads in a top knot, there’s a low chance that you’d want to go back to replicating complex hairdos. However, after a while, you might find the look rather repetitive and boring to showcase on a day to day basis.
By making simple adjustments, you can easily rejuvenate the visuals of your existing top knot, and increase the appeal behind the look in a drastic manner. While using new colours can be compelling, adding a disconnected fade can be equally powerful.
Finger Coil Low Bun With Temp Fade
Using finger coil dreadlocks to display the potential of high top dreads can be rewarding nonetheless, especially if you’re trying to save some cost by replicating the structure at home. Finger coil dreads are also easy for the scalp to deal with and often surpass a timeframe of 4 weeks, both of which can be great for enthusiasts with an inconvenient schedule.
The upper half of this look can be slayed in many ways, from blends to skin fades. However, to play it safe, try adding a bald temp fade, which will give the pieces more security.
Face Framing High Top Dreads With Bleached Tips
Having a receding hairline with natural hair is definitely not something many are fond of, as the pairing can easily hamper one’s self esteem. And although a hair transplant can turn out to be effective during that time, saving that sum for an alternative that is cheaper can be a neutral decision to contemplate, such as these face framing dreads with bleached tips.
While the framing dreads will cover the positioning of the hairline, the bleached tips will reduce signs of damage from the tresses and add to the fullness of the follicles.
Elongated High Top Dreads With Shadow Fade
Elongating the dreads using the pineapple method can also be a cunning way to unlock a completely trendy and unique look using high top dreads, and can suit you exceptionally well if you’re often referred to as a laid back person.
For curating the look, gather the hair from the rear to the frontal region, and secure the pieces into a top knot. Instead of using a hair tie, use a scrunchie to give the hair more volume and more freedom to breathe.
Crinkle Cut Freeform Dreads With High Blends
Most hairdos require continuous care, specific genres of dreads, especially freeform dreads, bloom gracefully when left alone. Similarly, if you’re seeking a look that requires zero guidance and invigilation, these crinkle cut dreads can be the perfect option for you and your lifestyle.
Crinkle cut dreads often come into place once the strands reach a height of 7 inches. To increase the density and elevation of the dreads, try teaming it up with high blends.
Swerved High Top Dreads In A Ponytail
Creating some separation can be another distinct way of showcasing the flair that high top dreads are naturally born with. Swerving the sides with a tail comb and some wax can be a good idea, especially if you’d like to reduce the amount of friction that this protective look often causes.
To manage the pieces under unfavorable weather conditions, tie the pieces together into a ponytail. Not only will you have a look that is easy to manage, but also have an option that you can wear during casual occasions.
Jumbo 6-Piece High Top Dreads
If your main aim is to wear jumbo dreads anyway, try going all out by reducing the amount of units, and maximizing the volume. And if you’re not quite sure of what we’re trying to suggest, get a glimpse of these six-piece high top dreads, which are spread evenly across the scalp.
Though wearing this look can be a unique way to showcase high top dreads, undo the look within four weeks. Failing to do so might result in damage, since each piece tends to carry tons of weight.
Deep Chin Length Side-part With Frosted Tips
Just like an A-line bob, a chin length side-part can be compelling, mainly if you’re hoping to give your face a slimming effect. While wearing an angular side-part with a deep base can also reward your hair with more volume, wearing frosted tips is also advised to give the visuals more personality.
A deep side-part can easily be worn with high top dreads by using a tail comb. For more security, lather the dreads up with some hydrating cream.
Voluminous Top Knot With Shape-up
Accumulating the pieces together to form a healthy bun can be a great temporary look to wear with your high top dreads, especially when hitting the gym or going for a run. If your strands lack density, following this routine can also tackle that issue in a huge manner.
This top knot is often paired with a shape-up, which gives the roots more elevation. Once formed, the structure can be maintained at home using a 1 guard clipper.
High Top Dreads With Framing Side-part
To give your dreads some freedom and a lightweight structure, consider bringing all the pieces to one side. Doing so won’t just give them more space to hang freely, but also bring more attention to the better side of your face.
High top dreads have been morphed into framing side-parts for years. It is a rather masculine option on this list, and feels somewhat unnatural without supporting pieces like a bald fade or a mid-fade in most instances.
Two Twist Tritone Curtain Locs
Jazzing it up with colours is always a good way to break free from a period of stagnation, especially when experimenting with high top dreads. Subtle streaks containing the likes of blue pink and green can be safe bets to make if you’re new, while jarring shades might feel more appropriate if you reek of confidence already.
By using a crochet needle, consider adding some separation to the hair. Add curtains if you’d like to give your face a slimming effect.
Frizzy Dread Bun With Temp Fade
If your locs are feeling frizzier than usual, changing the structure up by a tad bit can be a good way to snap out of that issue. Even though using hydrating masks can be equally important at the time, try to find a look that relieves pressure and tensions from your hair, like this loosely-stitched dread bun.
The dread bun is often worn with a temp fade, which relieves tons of weight from the scalp, and adds to the texture of the hair.
Two Tone Barrel Locs With Fade
Forming barrels can be a waiting game, but tends to pay off if you’re seeking a drastic transformation from your previous upgrade. The locs might feel a bit too heavy to carry, but can be mitigated with the help of hydrating oils.
Adding highlights is a great way to add more to the visuals of this look, while wearing beads can be a minimal upgrade. Resorting to vibrant colours is key, since they effectively hide signs of thinning and shedding.
Box Braided Dread Bun With Mid Fade
When working around a tightly packed schedule, reduce outputs of stress as much as possible. Similarly, if you have insufficient time to fix your hair, install box braids under the base for longevity, and a dread bun on top to discover a new option that will serve you for a long time.
The strong suit of this look is its endurance, which can serve for a couple of weeks without any hiccups. By redoing the box braids, the time frame can be extended significantly.
Jumbo Twist Locs With High Blends
If your locs have packed some pounds, try embracing them instead of trimming the size down. Experiment with jumbo twist locs, one of the better options on this list of ours.
Jumbo twist locs are often sectioned and divided into multiple units, each of which contains the same size and texture. The pieces are often tied together using plastic ties, but can also be secured with spiral hair ties for more stability.
Outgrown High Top Dreads With Star Shape Fade
Managing the weight of dreadlocks can be a nightmare after some time for the scalp, as the tension caused can easily lead to breakage and irreversible hair loss.
Chopping off some length can be a viable option during that time, but you can even give your hair a break by spicing things up with a fade.
To make things less basic, pick your brain to generate a design. And if your brain hits a wall, try mimicking this star shaped fade.
Managing High Top Dreads At Home: A 4-Step Hair Care Routine!
While exploring your styling preferences is easy when your companion involves the services of high top dreads, managing the length and visuals on a daily basis can be difficult at first, especially if you’ve just started growing your locs. Worry not, however, since the following routine won’t just wipe away your doubts, but is also quite easy to comprehend.
Eliminate residue through proper washing
Like most protective hairdos, high top dreads don’t come with a demanding washing routine. And even though you can give yourself a pass for not shampooing once, don’t get too comfortable, since doing so might lead to hair damage.
Since dreads collect tons of buildup overtime, shampooing once or twice a week using clarifying shampoo is mandatory if you’d like to grow your locs without damaging the tips.
Hydrate the strands to prevent damage
High top dreads can easily be managed through regular trims, but can become difficult to look after if your hair lacks moisture. To avoid being in that scenario, invest in hydrating oils, masks, and a solid leave-in conditioner. You may also invest in a nourishing conditioner that is free of parabens to keep the cuticles healthy and stress-free.
Don’t force the connection
While high top dreads are quite malleable, you shouldn’t force the connection with the protective hairdo if you desire natural and successful results. In other words, make sure every single move you make is calculated, from the look to the maintenance routine. Additionally, if a design doesn’t align with your interests, cast the fishing rod once again to find an option that suits you.
Retwist the locs when necessary
High top dreads are quite lenient in terms of hold, but wearing them for too long can result in life-altering repercussions, such as hair loss and excessive shedding. To keep the negatives away, however, consider getting your locs redone once every four to six weeks.
Frequently Asked Question
Now that you’ve learned more about how enjoyable experimenting with high top dreads can be, the decision making process is the only phase you have to tackle and solve. However, if you’re still suffering from feelings of doubt, try learning more about the fundamentals of high top dreads with the following questionnaire.
Q: How are high top dreads different from freeform dreads?
Ans: Although high top dreadlocks are considered to be subordinates of traditional dreadlocks, the look often provides more creative freedom as opposed to an average head of dreadlocks. They not only make space for colours, but are also flexible enough to be worn with braids.
Q: Are high top dreads good for your hair?
Ans: High top dreads are great if you’re currently seeking a way to embrace the natural formation of your hair, and a great look if you’ve just started your loc journey. The hairdo comes in various forms, and even makes space for those suffering from aggressive hair loss.
Q: What are the positives of wearing high top dreads?
Ans: Many support the potential of high top dreads due to the rope each option provides when it comes to styling. The layout is often rather basic and straightforward to maintain, requiring daily trims to stay sane. Perhaps the selling point is the fact that high top dreads are compatible with other protective hairdos, which involve the likes of box braids, twist locs, and finger coil dreads.
Protective hairdos are always a win-win scenario, typically when they’re paired with natural hair. One of the trending looks is often perceived as high top dreads, an option that comes in various forms, each of which offers various benefits.
In addition to being easy to manage and feeling as light as a feather, high top dreads are quite free-flowing by nature, being compatible with a range of hairstyles, from braided looks to jumbo top knots. They can also be bedazzled with vibrant hair dyes without facing a reduction in quality and accessorized without looking too obnoxious.
Catering to every hairdo is a perk that makes high-top dreads the frontrunners in the fashion scene, as they even make space for thinning hair. However, before you replicate one of the options, be sure to take into account the characteristics of your preferred pick and the length that is required to replicate the visuals.