Twist & Rip (A.K.A. “Rip & Twist”, “Twist & Pull”)

The Twist & Rip method of creating dreadlocks allows great control over the quantity and size of the dreads-to-be. It involves first sectioning the hair according to the size and quantity of dreadlocks you want. Then each section is twisted (in whatever way the twist-er is comfortable or familiar). The ‘twist’er separates the section in two and pulls them in opposite directions, pushing the hair up towards the roots creating knots. This process is repeated down the length of the section until a dread is created. It does not have the same “migrating-knots” effect as backcombed dreadlocks do since every ‘rip’ locks the previously created knots in place.

After the entire head is dreaded up in this fashion, the level of maintenance is decided by the dread head in question. Although, from what we’ve seen, those who choose ‘twist & rip’ tend to be those that want to air on the ‘natural’ side and opt for minimal maintenance. However, that’s far from ALWAYS the case and they may utilize the full gamut of maintenance tools, techniques, and products.

Of course, just like every other method of dreading, using a residue-free shampoo (or homemade version) is a MUST to facilitate the locking process and prevent dread rot! For an explanation of the criteria for SAFE dreadlock shampoo(s) check out the page about shampoo & soaps and for general advice on washing dreadlocks check out the Washing page!

We have yet to create a video on how to execute this technique. However, here is a small collection of YouTube videos that we think you may find helpful instead:


  • More control over size and quantity than the natural method.
  • Some sources suggest RnT causes less stress and breakage to the hair than backcombing.
  • Often less painful than backcombing
  • Gives the neatest appearance throughout the locking process.
  • Tend to lie flatter initially than backcombed hair.


  • Often have a distinctive, braid-like appearance than some dislike (at first).
  • Can be difficult to use on large dreads.
  • Technique can be challenging to master and use effectively.