Dreadlock beads are small beads with holes in the center designed to slide onto the ends of dreadlocks, which is a popular type of hairstyle made up of tiny braids. The beads come in all different colors and may be made from many different types of materials, including bone, plastic, and rubber. Some types of dreadlock beads are made of glass, and it is not uncommon for people to use small seashells for beads. The beads are generally there not only to enhance the appearance of dreadlocks, but also to cover up the small rubber bands that are frequently used to hold the ends of dreadlock braids together.
Sliding dreadlock beads onto dreadlocks is generally simple and may be done in much the same way as sliding a ring on a finger. The centers of various dreadlock beads usually vary in size, and a person may need to find beads with holes that will accommodate the size of her braids. It is often advisable to get beads that are slightly smaller than the dreadlocks they will be placed on so that the fit will be tighter and the chances of the beads sliding off will decrease. Dreadlock beads should normally be removed during showers and sporting events to prevent them from becoming damaged, particularly if they are made of a fragile material, such as glass.
Most dreadlock beads are easy to keep clean. Cleaning instructions usually involve using soap and warm water on the beads and then either patting them dry or allowing them to air dry. It may not be a good idea to slide the beads back on to the dreadlocks until the beads are completely dry because excess moisture can mess up dreadlocks. There may be slight differences in the cleaning instructions for different types of beads depending on the material they are made from, but soap and water is generally considered safe for the majority of the beads.
Dreadlock beads are widely available and typically inexpensive. Beads made from plastic and rubber are generally the cheapest, while wood and glass beads tend to cost more. It is normally possible to find the less expensive beads for sale at the majority of places selling decorative items for hair. Higher-quality beads are sometimes available at stores specializing in hair and beauty products, and hair stylists who are trained in putting in dreadlocks normally have them available for sale as well. The Internet may be a good resource for anyone who is looking to buy customized dreadlock beads.