Dread Locks and Hair Extensions

Girl with dread locks
Photo: Silvia Bukovac/Shutterstock
Q: I was wondering if you can add weave or extensions to dread locks and make them permanent.
A: It is a fairly common practice to add additional "hair-like" fibers or extension hair to one's own hair in order to create dreadlocks (or to elongate existing ones). The permanence of this technique depends, however, on your efforts in making sure the hair is maintained properly.
Dreadlocks are formed by twisting hair that is coarser and kinkier into gathered lengths and using the texture and wave pattern of the hair to keep the lengths "locked" into their formation. Some salons add wool-like or other kinky fibers (such as human hair) to give the "locks" thickness and add length. Others add ONLY human hair extensions and create longer hairstyles from shorter original hair.
Because dreadlocks cannot be groomed with traditional methods, there are specific products that are meant to meet the needs of hygiene, conditioning, and maintenance. Traditional shampooing and conditioning could easily shake dreadlocks loose, especially in the early stages, so cleaning dreadlocks generally uses a low-lather cleansing rinse to keep the scalp clean and healthy while keeping the dreadlocks fresh and intact.
Spray in fruit oils that are lightweight and less-likely to build-up and become greasy are used to keep the hair soft and pliant. Finally, a lightweight wax (like beeswax) is used to secure new hair growth into the "locking" configuration.
See also:
Hair extensions
How to create dreadlocks
What are the cheapest human hair extensions?