How to make felted yarn dreadlocks for your 'locks!

I've been wanting some color in my dreadlocks for awhile now, but aside from lightening them (you know, with *ahem* permanent hair dye *ahem* take away my hippie license now!) I haven't wanted to dye them with crazy colors because I'm concerned about the dye staining all my clothes/ pillowcases/ skin. Not to mention the counters and bathtub... I haven't dyed my hair purple in awhile, and that's one reason why.

Anyway, I finally figured out a simple way to attach non-permanent, temporary color to my hair! I'm not sure why it took me so long, since I have had, made and installed yarn falls before. Um, whatever.


I give you: felted wool dreadlocks.

Here's a closeup of the installation. They're just a long length of wool yarn, felted and slipped through the root of an individual dreadlock. People with straight hair can clip them in, or use a barrette or hair tie.


You need: wool yarn (or roving, that's what I'll use next time, to make fatter locks). A microwaveable container (I used my Pyrex measuring cup, I mostly use it for dying and tea, before i got my new teapot!) Food coloring. Vinegar. Boiling water (or use tap and then heat longer in your microwave. I was also making tea. Tea is optional, for you, but not for me! It's winter!)

Add a few drops of food coloring to your yarn. I wanted turquoise and added @5 drops of blue. I'm good at guessing the amount I need because I do a lot of dying. I guess. Or I'm just naturally talented!
Add the vinegar (a big splash) and the boiling water. Stir. You can use your regular silverware, it's food coloring! (You can also use Kool Aid -- which has citric acid, so no need for vinegar -- or Wilton's icing color. I have lots of icing color for colors I can't get with the primary food color drops, but food coloring is cheaper.)


Now microwave your yarn. I took some pictures of my yarn being microwaved, but my microwave is so dirty, I'm gonna skip them. You're welcome!

I microwaved this batch for a total of two minutes. After the first minute I took it out and looked at the water, not quite clear. It was done after the second minute, but the water also exploded all over my microwave. Which kinda cleaned it a little? I can dream...

Next pour the yarn into your sink and rinse it so it's not so freaking hot! Don't burn yourself, mkay?

Then we're gonna get sudsy: take your dish soap (whatever you've got, this is not my normal crunchy brand, it looked good to my husband) and squirt some on your wool. Now the tricky part to photograph: work the sudsy yarn between your palms, rolling it like you roll out dough into snakes. It looks all sudsy and felty! That's it!

Rinse it out. Dry it off (I used a kitchen towel and a washcloth). Put it in your hair! Enjoy!
My dreadlocks are a little over four years old now. Yes, they're messy. I love them!
(As you can tell, I also made purple. Same process. But my purple comes from the wilton icing color.)

And now for my first ever blog give away!!! I made an extra set of felted wool dreadlock pieces in hot pink and purple! These will look fabulous in YOUR hair! (Locked or straight!) I think they'd look particularly great in darker hair! They're gorgeous.

All you need to do to enter the giveaway is comment! I'd sure love it if you'd subscribe and I'd you'd tweet/ FB link this tutorial, but no attachment! Show the love if you feel it, how you feel it.

I'll randomly select a winner from the comments on Monday, January 31, at noon EST. You have til that moment to enter!

Only one entry per household. My mother and other friends and family members are eligible (if they'd like). I promise not to rig this in anyway. I will use random.org. I will contact the winner by email for their address. I reserve the right to be freaked out by how much it costs to mail a letter to Australia. But you can still enter :-) Good luck!


(I'd also appreciate feedback on this tutorial, which is my first tut with photographs!)

The giveaway is now over, commenter #1 has won!


Thanks everyone!