A small dread bead
can make a big difference

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A dread bead makes it easy to add even more spice to your already sexy dreadlocks. Aside from adding relish to your look, dreadlock beads can also work to secure your new locks or tame the shape of mature dreads.

Simply placing dreadlock beads on a lock can control hair growth on that dread. When worn for function rather than form, dread beads help lock wearers better maintain their hair style by restricting the movement of growing hairs. It's recommended that you regularly remove beads several times per week or rotate them onto other locs.

You can find hair beads in all sorts of places but it's best to look in craft stores first. Other alternatives include craft shows, your mom's jewelry box and - get this - earring tunnels or earlets!

If you're an online shopper then you'll find some great bead resources in the "Related Links" section at the bottom of this page.

Just bead it!

Typically, you can find a dread bead on its own (loose beads) or take it from a necklace. A dread bead will be made out of either natural or man-made material:

amber/coral metal plastic
clay shell/bone
glass stone
pearls wood

Bead accessories for your dreadlocks even come in different shapes. The most common being bugle, roundel, and fancy.

With the bugle shaped dread bead, you'll look for a tube shape that is either smooth all around or has six sides. A roundel dread bead looks like a doughnut and fancy dreadlock beads define any bead that doesn't fit one of the common shape categories.

You can also use small beads to create a great a dread accessory. For example, peyote stitches are made up of plastic seed beads woven into a tubular shape.

Keep your beady eyes open

If this is your first time buying dread beads then you'll want to look for loose beads. Buying hair beads one at a time allows you to sample different materials and shapes with little risk.

However, if you see bead strands, necklaces or chokers that have good potential dreadlock beads on them, all you have to do is make sure you get a good idea of the hole size before getting them.

Hole size (also called inside hole diameter) is very important to you since you're not going to be using your beads to string necklaces but actually stringing your dreadlocks.

Measure the lock that you want to put the dread bead on. Hole sizes are described in inches. If you don't see hole sizes listed, retailers are usually happy to inform you.

Bead drills and bead reamers are good, inexpensive tools to invest in if you think you'll be using dread beads often. You can use the bead drill to make hole sizes large enough to fit your locks.

Your ideal dread bead will have an unlined hole. Lined beads have a finish on the inside of the bead that's either metallic or color. These finishes often wear off over time...and you don't want this stuff on your locks. If you're set on having that bead and own a bead reamer, though, you can take the lining off yourself.

Dread bead wear and tear

To keep your beads as long as possible, you'll have to make sure that you take proper care of them.

It's a good rule of thumb to remove your dread beads if you're involved in sports or will be exposed to chemicals.

Don't laugh, we're exposed to harsh chemicals all the time! Hair spray and other hair products are considered chemicals and can damage your dreadlock beads.

If your hair beads do get dirty, the best way to clean them is to use a mild warm soapy water solution and a soft brush. Pat each individual dread bead dry with a soft cloth.

Amazing how a little thing can cause such a big difference. Dreadlock beads can be a great way to help promote the locking process but are best used as a way to show off your tresses!


Links (each opens a new window)

» Check out this bead site - ArtBeads, too
» Make Your Own Dread Beads

From this website

» Phat locks need even phatter hats and headgear

^ BACK TO TOP of dread beads

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