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10 Stylish Short Rasta Hairstyles for African Hair

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Locking natural hair to form rope-like strands produces rasta, dreadlocks, or locs. This hairstyle has one of the richest history and symbolic meanings among Africans, African Americans, and all people of African heritage. And now we have short rasta hairstyles.

Among the Rastafarians, who made the hairstyle popular in the 20th century, locs symbolize spirituality and their devotion to God. On the other hand, Africans used dreadlocks as a symbol of defiance. To express their non-conformity to Westernisation, like the standard of beauty, where locs were considered unkempt.

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Today, people rock dreadlocks for a myriad of reasons. It could be a fashion statement, an expression of your African heritage, spirituality, art, resistance, or a protective hairstyle. Whatever your reasons, often, they start short. 

When short, locs may not be aesthetically pleasing to everyone. But you can stand out in style with short rasta hairstyles and look very presentable if not fashionable. These deadlocks hairstyles include:

1. Loc Extensions

If you don’t fancy short locs but would still want to get your short hair locked, you can use extensions. The extensions should be from quality afro kinky hair.

This dreadlocks hairstyle is achieved by clipping the extensions on the edge of your natural dreads. As your hair grows, it’s interlocked into your dreads. You can cut off or keep the extensions once you reach your desired length of dreadlocks.

Get yours from Amazon for as little as $16.

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2. Sisterlocks

Top of our list is the currently trendy sisterlocks. They are a thinner version of traditional locks. And are a product of strands twisting small sections and interlocking the strands using special tools.

The results are uniform locs mostly fancied by women going for a sophisticated appearance. The locks will appear few at the start, but as they grow, they also increase in volume. The best part about this short rasta hairstyle is that you can rock it for formal and informal setups.

3. Two-Strand Twists

Two-strand twists are one of the most beginner-friendly dreadlocks hairstyles. You can DIY by twisting two sections of hair around one another. The twists hold your hair together, and the locs begin to form gradually depending on the texture of your hair.

This is an excellent protective style since it requires less manipulation. Two-strand twists are known to help your African hair retain moisture. It’s also a good choice if you like washing your hair often.

4. Bantu Knots

If you want bantu knots, your hair stylist will twist small sections of hair and stock them on to form a spiral knot. 

You can also DIY Bantu Knots. However, if your hair is too short, you may benefit from the skills of a technician. Be careful not to wrap the knots too tight to avoid hair breakage. 

5. Comb Coils

With about 2-3 inches of hair, you can try this short rasta hairstyle. Use a comb to partition your hair and create uniform pencil-thin strands of coils. Alternatively, you can visit a loctician for the entire process.

Wear the coils until the hair follicles start fusing to form locs. Please avoid leaving your hair wet since the coils can come undone.

6. Backcombed Dreadlocks

Backcombed dreadlocks may be the solution if you struggle with hair tips that don’t coil. 

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As the name suggests, this short rasta hairstyle is achieved by combing your hair backwards. Partition your hair in strands and comb it from the end of the hair towards your scalp, then palm rolls the strand. This creates an immediate loose loc. It’s the quickest way for your hair to lock.

7. Free-Form Dreadlocks

Alternatively, you can go for the free-form dreads. All you have to do is allow your short hair to grow and twist for a few months. You don’t have to retwist new growth for this dreadlocks hairstyle.

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8. Mohawk 

You can create short rasta hairstyles like mohawk in different forms. The most common one is pulling your locs from the side towards the middle part of the head to form a twist. The twist is then braided at the back of the head to keep the hair together. This style fits formal and casual events. 

Another way you can wear mohawk dread is by shaving or trimming the sides of your hair and leaving the middle part with locs. This is a bold hairstyle to wear if you want to make a statement.

9. Colored Dreadlocks

One way to spice up your dreadlocks’ hairstyles is by dying. You can play with a range of colors, from subtle natural looking colors to more pop colors.

Other than that, there are styles to dye your dreadlocks. For example, you can go for the popular two-tone color usually done for black and brown color or blonde. This mixture works for a professional look. You can also decide to color the entire locks. 

10. Faux Locs

If you still can’t decide if short rasta hairstyles will look good on you, consider installing faux locs. These temporary locs are a product of woven yarn or synthetic hair on strands of your braided hair. You can wear them short or long, depending on your preference. They are also suitable for both casual and formal setups. 

You can get faux locs on Amazon for $28.

Consider your personality, liking, and lifestyle when settling for a hairstyle. And with these top 10 short rasta hairstyles, you don’t have to fear the short dreadlock phase. 

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Beatrice Maina
Beatrice Maina
Beatrice Maina is a proficient writer and content manager who crafts high-quality, optimized articles that are helpful to readers. She listens to your brand voice and incorporates it into her writing. With a rich background in SEO writing and keyword research, she understands the need to write content that search engines and readers will love. Thus, she emphasizes the need for articles to meet readers' needs and are Google-friendly.


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