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add ons and accessories

By Knotty Boy
dread beads

How to Decorate & Accessorize Dreadlocks

Empty out your jewelry box, rummage at the thrift store, and keep your eyes open at the beach. Dreads are super simple to accessorize with just about anything you can find!

Need a little inspiration? Try browsing through the array of unique dread beads available in our Store or check out the list below for more than a few things that you can find around the house and nearby, plus a few tips about things you definitely won't want to stick in your locks. Happy hunting!

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Our first tip is to be creative. Go through drawers, tickle trunks or paw through your siblings' stuff. Your mission is to find lots of different things that could potentially work to make those locks really shine. You can literally put anything in your hair (as long as it's not sticky in any way, ie. food, glue, etc.), if it's done tastefully!

Here are some things to look for:

Bits & Bobs {Start Collecting}

  • elastics and stretchy things like brightly coloured nylon stockings
  • strips of fabric or ribbon to wrap around your head or individual locks
  • dreadbands
  • sashes from dresses, scarves, thin belts
  • necklaces, strings of shells, pearls etc.
  • pendants, charms, dread beads and coils
  • sea shells
  • feathers
  • flowers, grasses and twigs
  • barrettes
  • plastic-coated wire
  • yarn
  • pipe cleaners
  • Rexlace and tubular crin (okay, so maybe not everybody has this at their house...)

Now that you've finished your little scavenger hunt, start decorating! Bear in mind, though, that even if you've gathered up a ton of stuff with which to adorn your dreads - less is more. You don't want to look like you're hosting a garage sale up there. Now go crazy!

Girl with Beads and Sleeves in her Dreadlocks
Girl with Beads and Sleeves in her Dreadlocks

Not All That Glitters {Should Go in Your Locks}

There are no hard and fast rules about what you can and can't use in your locks, but there ARE a few gentle guidelines. Here's a few things we don't recommend:

  • Glitter or sparkles - you run the risk of leaving a trail of fairy dust everywhere you go... forever.
  • Spray-in colour - it may not be as temporary as the bottle says, since your hair is always shifting around in your locks. The next time you palm roll you could get a surprise!
  • Fake blood - we love a good zombie costume, we really do - but this stuff tends to be sticky and really densely pigmented. It might stain your locks, especially light coloured ones!
Girl with Beads and Sleeves in her Dreadlocks

Synth Dreads & Loose Extensions {Add Colour, Length & Density}

Commitment-free, outrageous colour that never EVER fades?! Synthetic dreads or loose extensions are a dream come true for anyone who likes to change their locks as often as they change their socks. Synth dreads and extensions are available in a range of colours from absolutely natural to completely out-there artificial, and can be custom hand-blended to match any hair or vision.

If you're looking to add density to sparse locks or bulk up your lion's mane, synth dreads are awesome for filling in the gaps or just giving you more to play with! With just one, or a whole head's worth, these custom created add-ins can be installed and removed with no damage to your own precious dreads.

Check out a few of our favorite places to order or get synthetic dreads and loose extensions:

Girl with Beads and Sleeves in her Dreadlocks

Embroidery Wraps & Felting {More Ways to Add Colour}

If you've got some patience (and a handy friend or two) embroidery floss is about to become your new best friend. It's dirt cheap and easy to find, and comes in every colour imaginable.

Just start at the top and wrap the strands tightly around your lock, moving to the tips. Build up as many layers as you like, creating patterns and designs to suit your fanciest fancy.

Felting is when wool roving is needle felted into your locks creating a soft, textured colour. Another awesome way to avoid chemicals! Choose solid colors, stripes, or even animal print.
Check out our Felting Dreadlocks Tutorial to learn how!

Girl with Beads and Sleeves in her Dreadlocks
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