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Extending Natural Dreads

ATTENTION!! Please note that this section is not about how to create dreads or how to maintain them; it is only about how to extend natural dreads or how to add extensions in with natural dreads. Want info on making your own natural dreads? See these many conversations here about dread formation and maintenance and this page for tutorials.

The very basic idea: Extending the length of natural dreads or adding extensions into natural dreads.

Extending Dread Length: New or old dreads can be extended with synthetic or human hair. Make a single ended dread per usual, then cut off the loop. Or, dread human hair on a weft, then cut the binding off. Use a crochet hook to attach the loose extended hair with the real dread; a felting needle can be used, but it could damage the natural hair. Tada! Quicky way to get long real dreads. Human hair is recommended for longevity, but if they are temporary synth is okay. These can be removed later by cutting off the extension hair. This tutorial shows how to crochet natural dreads, but the idea is the same when joining the two together.

Wool to add Length: Although hotly debated, wool roving can be used to add length to natural dreads as well by felting the wool directly into the end of the natural dreads. See this conversation to learn more.

Adding SEs for length/volume/color: By looping SEs through the root of your natural dread, length/volume/color can be added. Here's a conversation with several ways to add SEs into natural dreads.

Adding DEs for length/volume/color: I cannot find a tutorial for this, but I will explain the methods I have heard of. The first way is simple; slip the DE through the root of the natural dread--that's it! Very temporary but FAST. The second way is to slip the DE through the root of the natural dread, then secure it by rubberbanding the two sides of the DE together. Still fast, but a bit more semi-permanent.

Adding Yarn for length/volume/color: Using any kind of yarn (wool or synthetic or a blend) simply knot yarn strands onto the roots of the natural dreads. If using wool yarn, be sure it does not felt into the roots by checking every few days.

Thickening Dreads with Extension Hair: Really, this isn't suggested because as soon as your roots form into new dread length, they will still be skinny. I'm sure there are tuts out there about how to do this, but I think it's probably a mistake and could ruin your natural dreads and it'd be a maintenance nightmare.