What are the Different Types of Dreadlock Extensions?

Bridget Wright

Dreadlock extensions vary in style, size and length, depending on personal preferences. Extensions vary from short, such as 6-10 inches (15.2-25.4 cm), to extra long, such as 26-34 inches (about 66-86 cm), with a natural hair length of at least 3-4 inches (7.6-10.2 cm) being needed to be able to apply the dreadlock extensions to the hair. The different types of dreadlock extensions include dread falls, jumbo braided dreads and mini dreads, as well as base and accent extensions, blends extensions and swirls extensions.

Dreadlock hair extensions can attach to a person's own natural hair and can be easily removed without any damage.
Dreadlock hair extensions can attach to a person's own natural hair and can be easily removed without any damage.

For natural hair to form dreadlocks 3-5 inches (7.6-12.7 cm) long, the process can vary considerably between textures and hair growth patterns. The average amount of time that it takes for hair to dread and lock in the natural, freeform method is three to nine months. Some individuals prefer not to wait for the hair to form the natural dreads. They might decide instead to get dreadlock extensions that can be applied to the hair immediately to achieve their preferred style.

Dread falls are a type of hair extension that is attached to either lace or plastic. They contain 20-60 dreads per fall. The hair cannot be any shorter than 5 inches (12.7 cm) in order to properly support the dread.

Jumbo braided dreads are also recommended for hair no shorter than 5 inches (12.7 cm), because the extensions come with double ends. This makes the dread hang and swing freely. It also is fairly heavy, which is why the natural hair must be long enough to support the dread extension. Mini dreads come in either single or double ends and are about the size of a pencil. These types of dreaded extensions are commonly worn by members of the business community who want to look professional yet still wear the dreadlock look.

Base and accent extensions are indicated by the predominant color of the base, with the accents as highlights. Extensions that have a base color would contain more dread extensions than accents. Blends extensions have multiple colors that are used to create a new color. Matching two-color types together to form a deeper, darker or more dimensional looking color does this.

Swirls extensions have equal parts of various colors. The colors are twisted together in a candy-cane like pattern. These curled extension dreads are formed to create a spring-like shape.

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