Can You Have Dreads In Prison? – [Correct Answer]
Can You Have Dreads In Prison? – [Correct Answer]

Can You Have Dreads In Prison? – [Correct Answer]

In the prison system, there are numerous rules and regulations that govern inmates’ appearances and personal grooming. One common question that arises is whether or not inmates can have dreadlocks, also known as “dreads.” In this article, we will explore the topic of having dreads in prison and provide you with a comprehensive guide on the subject. So, can you have dreads in prison? Let’s find out!

Can You Have Dreads In Prison?

Dreads are a popular hairstyle characterized by matted or “locked” hair. They are created by intentionally allowing the hair to knot and tangle over time. While dreads are a personal choice for many individuals, the regulations within the prison system can restrict certain hairstyles.

Understanding Prison Regulations on Hairstyles

Prisons often have strict guidelines on personal grooming, including rules on hairstyles. These rules are implemented for various reasons, such as safety, security, and uniformity. In the case of dreads, the regulations regarding this hairstyle can vary from one prison facility to another.

Common Rules and Restrictions on Dreads in Prison

  1. Length Restrictions: Some prisons may have specific length restrictions on hair, including dreads. Inmates may be required to keep their hair above a certain length to maintain a neat appearance.
  2. Hygiene and Maintenance: Prisons prioritize hygiene and cleanliness, and hair maintenance is no exception. Inmates with dreads may be required to keep their hair clean and well-maintained to prevent hygiene issues.
  3. Safety Concerns: Dreads can potentially be used to conceal contraband items. Therefore, some prisons may have restrictions on the size and thickness of dreads to ensure thorough searches can be conducted if necessary.
  4. Uniformity and Identification: In certain prison systems, uniformity is essential for security and identification purposes. Inmates may be required to have similar hairstyles, such as closely cropped hair, to maintain a standardized appearance.

How to Obtain Permission for Dreads in Prison

If you are an inmate interested in having dreads while serving your sentence, it is crucial to familiarize yourself with the specific regulations of the prison facility where you are incarcerated. Here are steps you can take to obtain permission for dreads:

  1. Consult the Inmate Handbook: The inmate handbook contains detailed information about the rules and regulations within the prison facility. Check if there are specific guidelines regarding hairstyles, including dreads.
  2. Speak with Prison Staff: If the handbook does not provide clear information, you can approach prison staff, such as correctional officers or counselors, to inquire about the possibility of having dreads. They can guide you on the specific steps you need to take.
  3. Submit a Formal Request: In some cases, prisons may require inmates to submit a formal request to the administration for approval. This request should outline your reasons for wanting dreads and address any potential concerns raised by the prison administration.

FAQs about Having Dreads in Prison

Q: Can dreads be a security risk in prison?

A: While dreads can potentially be used to conceal contraband items, proper regulations and inspections can mitigate this risk.

Q: Are dreads considered unprofessional in prison?

A: The perception of professionalism can vary among prison administrations. Some may consider dreads unprofessional, while others may allow them within certain guidelines.

Q: Can inmates maintain and care for their dreads effectively in prison?

A: Inmates can maintain and care for their dreads with the necessary resources and guidance provided by the prison administration.

Q: Are there any alternative hairstyles allowed in prison?

A: Yes, there are often alternative hairstyles allowed in prison, such as closely cropped hair or braids, depending on the facility’s regulations.

Q: Can inmates change their hairstyle while serving their sentence?

A: In some cases, inmates may be allowed to change their hairstyle, including transitioning to dreads, as long as they follow the proper procedures and obtain approval.

Q: Do dreads affect an inmate’s chances of early release or parole?

A: The impact of dreads on an inmate’s chances of early release or parole can vary depending on the specific prison system and the policies in place. It is advisable to consult with legal counsel or prison authorities for accurate information.


In conclusion, whether or not inmates can have dreads in prison depends on the regulations of the specific correctional facility. While some prisons may permit dreads within certain guidelines, others may have restrictions due to safety, hygiene, or uniformity concerns. It is essential for inmates to familiarize themselves with the prison’s rules and regulations, follow the proper procedures, and obtain permission if they wish to have dreads. Ultimately, the decision lies in the hands of the prison administration, balancing security measures with individual expression.

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