Basic Definitions

Synthetic Dreadlocks

Wool Roving Dreadlocks

Loose Hair and Braids

Plastic, Foam, Cyberlox




Natural Dreads

Other Materials

All About Installs

Yarn Extensions

The very basic idea: Attach yarns to the head.

Yarn extensions are a great place to start for DIY alternative hair extension enthusiasts. The materials are relatively cheap and accessible, and the methods for making them are the least complicated. The end result extensions are also lighter than the other extension materials. Very beautiful, textured, and colorful styles can be created with the enormous selection of yarns available.

What kind of yarn do I buy?

This is totally up to you. Most people will have access to a store that sells yarn, and I suggest simply browsing all the selections. Any kind of yarn can be used--ANY kind. Usually a combination of different textures looks best rather than one flat type. One type of thick and thin yarn is particularly desired by alternative hair extension enthusiasts--Colinette Point 5 (pictures here). Pencil roving is also a great addition to yarn styles. Really, the sky is the limit. Below some of the methods may require certain types of yarn, and that will be mentioned with the explanation.

What can I do with it?

Yarn Dreads = Cheap acrylic yarn is wrapped tightly around itself then sealed with hair straighteners to complete the look. Very interesting! Tutorial here.

Crotched Yarn Dreads = Using a round crotche stitch, dread locks are created from yarn; medium to thick yarn of any fiber suggested. Tutorial here.

Yarn Wraps = Wrapping yarn around a core over and over, then securing at the end with a knot. A smooth, small diameter yarn is best for this. The tutorial here shows this technique being done with embroidery floss, but the method is the same with yarn just larger. Also, the core around which the yarn is wrapped could be natural braided hair on the head as an install.

Yarn Braids = Braiding with any technique to create thick, dread-like braids. This method can be done on natural hair on the head as an install, or off the head with just yarn.

Yarn Twists = With several strings of yarn together, the strands are twisted counterclockwise then twisted back together to create one large twist. Tutorial here.

Loose Yarn Falls = Any kind of yarn you like! The more textures the better. There are several ways to accomplish this. Mounted on hair ties method 1 or method 2. The most secure and flexible method is to actually knot yarn to a length of elastic. The elastic will not fail as fast as hair ties and more yarn can be added plus layers can be accomplished. However, I can't seem to find a tutorial for this. I'll keep looking!

Full Coverage with Yarn = Using one or two yarn falls plus side combs and a fringe, a full covereage of yarn is achieved. Any kind of yarn can be used. Tutorial here.

Felted Wool Yarn Braids = Wool yarn is braided together with any type of braid, then put into a cloth bag, secured at one end, and washed in a warm, gentle cycle in the washing machine. Only 100% wool, non-superwash yarn can be used for this method. Again, no tutorial could be found :(

How do I wear them?

Most of the above techniques can be made off the head creating double ended yarn extensions. These extensions can be attached to falls or installed.

Dread Falls: This is attaching your yarn to a piece of elastic or lace or ribbon or hair tie, then tying them around buns of your natural hair. The following tutorials are about wearing dread falls, but the process is just the same with yarn falls. Here is a tutorial about how to wear dread falls on elastic/lace/ribbon. Here is a video about how to wear dread falls attached to elastic/lace/ribbon. Here is a video about how to wear dread falls with short hair. Here is a tutorial about how to wear falls with nubs. Patience, practice, and finding your own technique are very important to wearing falls. And also, always remember to get dressed BEFORE putting on your dread falls.

Installation: This is attaching the yarn to your head by separating your hair into small sections, then braiding the yarn in with your natural hair. Example with Colinette Point 5 installed. This page has all sorts of advice about installs for any kind of alt hair.

Jaw Clips: This is attaching the yarn to a piece of mesh which is then attached to a jaw clip and attached to your natural hair. This tutorial here is about making a cyber fall on a jaw clip, but just imagine sewing or knotting yarn to the mesh rather than tying plastic, foam, and tubing to it.

Clip In Dreads: This is just a few yarn bits sewn onto a wig or weave or snap clip. It's easy; just use a needle and thread to sew on some strands.