J Cole is one of the biggest Hip Hop artists in the world, and his hair has evolved as much as his style and music.
What makes his hair so notable, though? Well, back in 2007, J Cole released his first mixtape.
During this time, he was sporting a low fade, almost cut to a buzz cut. However, when you look at J Cole in recent years, he has completely changed his look and style.
J Cole now sports dreads that pass his shoulders, with the intention to communicate freedom from oppression and loving himself.
In this article, we are going to be looking at J Cole’s dreads and their evolution over the years.
When Did J Cole Get Dreads?
So as we know, J Cole had short hair in 2007, but as of 2019, he had long dreads.
It was in around 2015 that his dreads started getting thick, but when did he first get dreads? It is estimated from images and his dread journey, that he has had dreads since 2014, which is where the journey began.
From around 2014, J Cole had a thick but medium-length Afro, and you can see that this formed the basis for his dreads. J Cole manipulated his Afro to start growing semi-freeform dreads
What Are Semi-Freeform Dreads?
Semi-freeform dreads is a style of dreadlocks that means that the hair grows naturally with minimal manipulation.
The hair is washed normally, and oil may be added to the roots. There is essentially no maintenance or styling, and the dreads are free to grow free, apart from at the start, where they may need to be manipulated slightly.
The Evolution Of J Cole’s Threads
So, we know that J Cole has got pretty long and thick dreads that were grown out from an Afro, but we are going to look at the specific evolution of his dreads.
J Cole has some of the most revolutionary dreads in the industry, and this is even more impressive considering he had a shaved head.
In 2014, J Cole grew his hair out into a small Afro. It did not resemble an Afro at the start, as it was tight on top of his head.
To do this, he stopped combing and picking out the hair, resulting in it growing tight and curlier than ever.
When we look at late 2014, J Cole’s Afro got a few inches taller, and you could see how his dread buds are starting to mature and lock up, making them the perfect base for his dreadlocks.
They became the base of which his hair came together naturally, instead of separating and being combed.
In early 2015, he had what a lot of people may refer to as a cross between an Afro, and dreads.
This is achieved by not separating the hair at all, and just letting it do its thing. At this point, the hair was around 5 inches long on all sides of his head.
Because it has not been separated or combed, it was in between the process of being an Afro and forming dreadlocks.
In late 2015, his dreadlocks started to become defined, being seen around his entire head.
The dreads were maturing, clumping together to establish thick and thin dreads.
In 2016, this was the starting point of where his dreads became defined. It took two years for his dreads to get to this point, as free forming your dreadlocks is difficult and a lengthy process.
Free forming his dreads meant that the dreadlocks formed in all shapes and sizes, with a great amount of length, too.
At this point, his dreads started to combine and create finger dreadlocks. Five strands will come together, forming what you would call finger dreads, and they combine.
His dreads started getting longer, with the appearance of an Afro at the base of his roots, creating more texture and volume. It separates the natural parting from the dreads.
After this, J Cole has been growing his dreads out even more. They are now shoulder length, and very thick.
This may have happened through manipulation, but they were semi free-forming before, and the dreads may have bound together.
How To Recreate J Cole’s Dreads
If you are wanting to recreate J Cole’s dreads at home, you should speak with a loctician to get a consultation about growing dreads and maintaining them.
When you start off with your dreads, start out by growing an Afro, and begin twisting your hair. Once you have done this, you have a solid foundation for which the dreadlocks will be able to grow.
Some strands will twist easier than others, and this is okay. You might have to check that your parting system and dreads do not fuse together whilst they are free-forming, and to do this, you should pop your locs once a week.
This is defined by separating the dreadlocks that may have fused together. You need to do this very carefully, because you do not want to ruin the new formation.
You should use your fingers to gently pry any locks away from other dreads, so they separate.
When growing out dreadlocks, it is super important to be patient. As you can see from J Cole’s dreads, it took years to get them to where they are now, and it will for you, too. No dreadlocks are the same, and yours may require different care to others.
How Long Does It Take To Grow Dreads?
As we mentioned, it can take years to grow dreads. However, after a couple of years you should see some short locks forming, and this could even happen in just over a year.
J Cole’s dreads are some of the most notable in Hip Hop culture, and they have been growing strong for upwards of eight years.
We hope you liked our run through of J Cole’s hair evolution, and how to grow dreads.