Fads and trends in the dread world

I remember, way back in the early 2000s, when extra smooth totally flawless dreads were the hot item. We’d actually wrap dreads in extra KK hair and smooth it all out with straighteners. Then it seemed to move away from that wrapped look to super smooth regular backcombed, steamed dreads. The trick was a damp towel over the dread with a straightener to get that smoother look. Also, candy cane swirls were all the rage with printed (especially leopard) dreads right behind that. Colors weren’t as available then, with Plastik Haar being THE place for unusual colors. I even bought some neon cone orange for loose extensions (which did not go very well). There was a hot moment where barely sealed naturals were popular. Then came the almighty crochet hook, which has kept its powers over the dread world for quite awhile now. Question is, what will be next, after the crochet hook?

Also, color ways come and go. I cannot remember anything specific from the early 2000s, but it can be easily said wild Rainbows have always been popular. Lately, I see a lot of Lisa Frank inspired color ways, usually in an extremely blended kind of way. Then there’s the Galaxy theme (which I love) that can be attributed in my mind to one photo of dreads in the snow. Mermaid seems to be popular as well and runs the gamut from blue and green to purples and teals. Along with the demand for more naturally textured dreads, there seems to be a general but quiet upswing in demand for more natural colors as well. Autumn sets are now popular year round as they lend themselves to more subdued colors, and there never seems to be enough brown to blonde tipped dreads for everyone.

I wonder, will the dread world swing back in the other direction? More towards the wild and unnatural, or will this drive toward ever more natural appearing dread extensions continue?

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Dread woolie making—easy concept, difficult application.

Hey, wool dreads, that’s easy! Rip, split, roll, done. I can do that!

Oh, grasshopper, it’s not so easy. Yes, those are the basic steps, but that “roll” bit can be a bitter bitch to get through if you’re doing it right. Remember there’s hot hot, soapy water involved that will inevitably get everywhere as you move the sopping wet wool from the pot to the rolling surface. Then the rolling surface will get sopping wet as well and the water will fling everywhere as you roll if you’re pushing hard enough. Keeping your hands in soapy, hot water that long leads to major skin dehydration as well. And of course, the sore hands! Pushing and pushing and pushing while rolling again and again can cause some serious pain in the fingers, palms, and arms, even shoulders. And if you’re only doing this basic technique with solid colors, you’ll wind up with basic solid color stick dreads—want neat effects like wraps and sparkle and swirls and transitions? Even more hard work must be put into each dread.

So yeah, it may sound easier than synth dreads, but it’s still not easy. The best part about wool dread making is no specialty tools. Just wool, hot water, soap, and your hands. Keep rolling y’all!