J Cole Dreads Evolution (Detailed Look)

Written By Bakes

Avid writer on Men's Hair, Grooming, and Lifestyle!

What makes the J Cole Dreads evolution interesting to witness is being able to watch his hair growth in real time. The Hip Hop community was first introduced to J Cole back in 2007 with the release of his 1st mixtape the come up which saw the young MC sporting a fade and low cut hairstyle.

Today however J Cole has changed his look and style. His Dreads now passing his shoulders in an attempt to communicate freedom from oppression and self-love.

Our editorial piece will take a deep look at J Cole’s Hair throughout the years, discuss his starting formation and how you can achieve a similar look.

1st Dreads in Rap History belongs too?

Before we were praising J Cole dreads it all started with these locs right here! Have a watch to find out who inspired all rappers

How and when did J Cole start his Dreads?

J Cole Hair

When: We have been fortunate to document his hair journey and by that we can see J Cole Dreads were started back in late 2014/early 2015.

During this time period Cole began his journey with a thick afro twisting sections of hair to create the foundation for his dreads. From the images we can see during this period we can identify the manipulation of his afro setting the foundation for his dreads.

How: People often ask Are J Coles dreads freeform? Yes J Cole’s dreads are semi freeform.

Semi freeform dreads are a particular dread style that allows your hair to grow organically without any manipulation, combing or styling. Hair is washed as per normal with the application of oil to scalp. There is no maintenance technique, size or detailed parting system.

Achieve the Same Look

For those of you taking inspirations from J Cole’s Dreads and wanting to style your hair in semi freeform Locs we advise the following

Talk to a loctician and get a Consultation

Most people start their semi freeform Locs without the help of anyone which is totally fine. While there is no manipulating taking place we still advise you see a loctician who can closely wash and monitor your hair as time progresses

Separate your Roots

As we identified in our Detail section J Cole dreads were started out by growing an afro and then twisting hair. This would then become the foundation for how his locs would grow. Some twists thicker than the others To quote Digitallloctician.com You have to ensure that you maintain your parting system and that your locs do not fuse together while semi-freeforming and you do that by “popping your locs” at least once a week.”

Be Patient

One thing you must remember is locs require time and patience. In addition to that no 2 locs are the same. 2 individuals may have the same loctician, request the same style and care for their hair but the results will always differ. The best example here are label mates Jay z and J Cole, though both are freeform Jay-z dreads look different in comparison to J Cole’s.

J Cole’s Hair Gallery throughout the Years 


2007 – 2012

As a freshman J Cole was introduced to the world through mixtapes and visual freestyles which saw the artist in the traditional fade, short back and sides.

short back and sides


2014 – 2015

During this period we began to see J Cole experiment with his hair. At the time it could have been mistaken for Cole just growing an afro. His intentions became recognised as his hair began to loc.

Twisted afro into locs


2016 – 2019

For the majority of 2016 it was apparent Cole’s hair was no longer a loose afro but twists forming into locs. His hair growth journey was captured on album covers, interviews and music videos.

Approaching 2017 onwards his hair had matured into semi freeform locs. Thick in density and short in length. 

J cole dreads evolution

2019 – Present

Today Coles hair is thick, long and healthy. While music is his number 1 passion he recently joined the Rwanda Patriots Basketball Club, part of the newly formed Basketball Africa League. During games he ties his hair back for minimal interference during a game. 

mature semi freeform locs

j cole hairstyles

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