My Method of Making Dread Wigs

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elliss_seven
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My Method of Making Dread Wigs

Post by elliss_seven » Tue Sep 01, 2009 3:55 am

Since this is among the frequent questions I receive, I felt it would just be easier to write a tutorial about it.

//

Selecting a Base Wig

First and foremost, I recommend starting off with a regular wig.
I've never even tried making a dread wig with a plain wig cap, it just seems like more of a hassle than anything. So just cut out the bs & purchase yourself a regular loose hair wig.

If it's your very first wig, you can practice with a basic cheap party wig, though if you're going to be pouring all the time into making a dread wig I suggest opting for a better quality wig.
Especially if you're just looking to make dread wigs to sell.

A few eBay sellers I turn to for base wigs -
Cosplay Wig Glamour: http://stores.ebay.com/COSPLAY-WIG-GLAMOUR?_rdc=1
Wig Fashion: http://stores.ebay.com/Wig-Fashion?_rdc=1
Cog.Marc: http://stores.ebay.com/Cog-Marc/Wigs-/_ ... 34.c0.m322


Their wigs generally range from $20 to $30 & are made of top quality synthetic Japanese fiber which cannot be beat. Most of their wigs have skin tops which make the fringe look more realistic (a reason why it's better to opt for loose hair wigs other than plain wig caps).
The caps are also adjustable & made entirely out of lace. Not that nasty stiff netting that you'll find in party wigs.

Don't let the idea of these sellers being Hong Kong-based repeal you either, shipping only takes one to two weeks tops. Of course this varies if you're located in countries other than the States.

If you're within the US and really don't feel like waiting, I have tried out this website called http://www.epiccosplay.com. The prices are around $10-20+ more than Hong Kong-based seller wigs, but they are pretty nice (and arrive in only 2-3 days).


The length of a wig does not matter.
Don't bother wasting your money on a really long wig thinking it will give you a greater edge. Purchase a wig based on the style of the fringe & of course the color.
Short wigs are nice (with hair too short to put in rubber bands) because you can just leave the hair as it is & work over it. It's a good filler & the variation of loose hair within the dreads is nice (it's not like you'd really be able to see it through the dreads anyways).

Of course longer wigs have their advantage too. If the color kanekalon you are using doesn't come in an exact match of the base wig, the extra hair will help blend it together better.


Where to begin from there?

Seriously the best way to attach dreads to a wig is to make them as they're already attached to the wig cap.
It takes a long time as it is to construct all the dreads needed to fully cover a wig, why waste anymore by sewing each individual dread onto the cap.

Just loop the hair through the wefts of the wig & dread from there.

I've seen a tutorial* that suggests using plastic cable ties to attach dreads to wigs, & have tried this in the very beginning. Yes the dreads will be securely attached, but you don't want to risk seeing the ties through the dreads. .and I'm sure if you were to cable tie on all of the dreads, it would just be extra added weight you really don't need. I often times use a lot of dreads, so the less extra weight the better.

[Dread Wig Out of a Party Wig originally by Idiotic, reposted by ikickshins - viewtopic.php?f=67&t=386]

To loop the hair through the cap all you'll need is a crochet hook, or possibly a pair of tweezers. If you really want to go for the gusto purchase yourself a pair of medical hemostats (which can be found on eBay), which is what I use.

BUT be sure to only loop the hair through one weft at time.
It may seem like a good idea to grab more of the cap to save time but don't, it will only result in bunching which will drastically shrink the cap. Making the wig unwearable. [I've learned this the hard way!]

Before you start just randomly looping synthetic hair through the wig cap, I recommend starting from the top & then work your way to the bottom.
A good portion of the dreads will be towards the top & they'll become more scattered as you get towards the bottom. I may eventually draw diagrams to better explain this.


If your wig is of better quality, you can dread the actual hair of the wig first.
I like to rubber band-up the hair of the wig, backcomb, then add more kanekalon synthetic hair to each of the backcombed 'dreads' by looping it through the roots of the base underneath the rubberband. Then backcomb some more to blend it in with the hair of the wig.

You could also just add more hair like you'd make transitional dreads, just loop it through the backcombed clump of hair. But usually wigs don't provide adequate amount of hair which is why I choose to just loop it through the underneath the rubberband.


If you're making a longer dread wig, make the very top dreads the longest. This will provide better coverage.
While making a longer wig, be sure to pay attention to the weight of the wig. Make the dreads towards the bottom more shorter/medium-length to help cut down on it.

I also like to leave the last few bottom wefts of a wig loose & free of dreads, because I like the variety.
It's also nice for shorter or a-line style dread wigs because that little bit of hair will peak out underneath the dreads, it's just a neat little extra added touch.

If the top of your wig is heavily skin-topped, simply sew on the few top dreads instead of looping the hair through (which can damage the skin top).
This is also a good idea to make the very top of your wig look nice & neat, but that's pretty much the only time I ever hand sew any of the dreads on.


How many dreads are needed to provide excellent coverage?

Long Dread Wigs - Around 120/130 dreads should be enough, give or take depending on the thickness of your dreads.

Medium-Length/A-Line - 120 to 150 dreads

Short - I have yet to make a short dread wig, but my guess is that you'll need around 130 to 150 dreads.

THESE DREAD COUNTS AREN'T UP TO DATE! ..they're more so for thinner dreads. I will update this soon.

The shorter the dreads the more you'll need to fully cover a wig.
Use your best judgment, these dread counts are only my opinion, of course you wont need as many if you're making thicker dreads.

Always keep in mind about the weight. Even long wigs really shouldn't be that heavy, & if it is, it means its time to start choppin' off some of the dreads to lighten the load.
Opt for fluffier dreads if you want a really full, crazy long wig.

I prefer to make the dreads of the wig (as they're attached) in parts, that way it doesn't seem as stressful to think about.
I like to make/backcomb 30 or so dreads at a time, steam them once, then add a few more. The first initial steam will help you see what you're doing or else you'll just have backcombed fluff all over the place.
Once you've backcombed & steamed (once) a nice amount of dreads, go through & steam them again until they're to your liking.
Rubber band-up the fringe of the wig & tuck it underneath out of the way of the steam when you're sealing your dreads.

Also during the steaming process, but sure to trim all the rubber bands off the dreads because it looks nicer & rubber bands get funky over time.

.. .

I'm going to update this really soon!
Last edited by elliss_seven on Fri Oct 14, 2011 2:32 am, edited 7 times in total.
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rivetlicker_
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Re: My Method of Making Dread Wigs

Post by rivetlicker_ » Tue Sep 01, 2009 5:31 am

The original dread wig tut was just posted by IKS from the old board. Idiotic is the actual author.

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elliss_seven
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Re: My Method of Making Dread Wigs

Post by elliss_seven » Tue Sep 01, 2009 5:15 pm

rivetlicker_ wrote:The original dread wig tut was just posted by IKS from the old board. Idiotic is the actual author.
Yes, I know. I've just updated my post to include it. :D
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Zullala
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Re: My Method of Making Dread Wigs

Post by Zullala » Sat Apr 23, 2011 6:13 pm

Wow, this is fantastic, thank you! I'm so excited to make my first dread wig. I only have 30 dreads made for this wig so far... but whatever LOL. I can't believe I was only able to make 30 candy-cane dreads out of 2 bags of KK :i9: . I feel like all my hobbies are too expensive :i7:

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dread_addiction
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Re: My Method of Making Dread Wigs

Post by dread_addiction » Wed May 04, 2011 6:48 pm

Zullala wrote:Wow, this is fantastic, thank you! I'm so excited to make my first dread wig. I only have 30 dreads made for this wig so far... but whatever LOL. I can't believe I was only able to make 30 candy-cane dreads out of 2 bags of KK :i9: . I feel like all my hobbies are too expensive :i7:
i think 30 dreads out of 2 bags its great :D

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eeclipse
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Re: My Method of Making Dread Wigs

Post by eeclipse » Wed Jun 08, 2011 7:30 am

Thank you, thank you, thank you!
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KittyKassdreads
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Re: My Method of Making Dread Wigs

Post by KittyKassdreads » Wed Jul 13, 2011 12:48 am

hey guys, so i know how to make a dread wig, but i have one issue.
i like to back comb and do all my work while its on the manikin so i can see how it will come out.
How they hell do i prevent the wig from moving around/falling off!!??

im sooo frustrated with it. what do you guys do while working?
i dont want to hold it in my lap because either way its going to move around.
i taped my manikin head down but what do you suggest to keep the wig still?

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elliss_seven
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Re: My Method of Making Dread Wigs

Post by elliss_seven » Wed Jul 13, 2011 7:13 pm

KittyKassdreads wrote:hey guys, so i know how to make a dread wig, but i have one issue.
i like to back comb and do all my work while its on the manikin so i can see how it will come out.
How they hell do i prevent the wig from moving around/falling off!!??

im sooo frustrated with it. what do you guys do while working?
i dont want to hold it in my lap because either way its going to move around.
i taped my manikin head down but what do you suggest to keep the wig still?

As you backcomb the hair you should hold the wig kind of between your legs, it's too much of a pain to do it on the head its self. After I've done the backcombing/first initial steaming, I set it on the foam head to see how it looks.

I do add the hair as the wig's on the head though, because it's the best way to see where exactly it should go (pin it down before you do this, my foam head is kind of mess because of this but there's no other way to secure it). It's also easier to loop the hair through the back weft.
I start from the top & work my way down pinning up the loose hair as I go, then I take it off & backcomb/steam some more.
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KittyKassdreads
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Re: My Method of Making Dread Wigs

Post by KittyKassdreads » Wed Jul 13, 2011 7:57 pm

elliss_seven wrote:
KittyKassdreads wrote:hey guys, so i know how to make a dread wig, but i have one issue.
i like to back comb and do all my work while its on the manikin so i can see how it will come out.
How they hell do i prevent the wig from moving around/falling off!!??

im sooo frustrated with it. what do you guys do while working?
i dont want to hold it in my lap because either way its going to move around.
i taped my manikin head down but what do you suggest to keep the wig still?

As you backcomb the hair you should hold the wig kind of between your legs, it's too much of a pain to do it on the head its self. After I've done the backcombing/first initial steaming, I set it on the foam head to see how it looks.

I do add the hair as the wig's on the head though, because it's the best way to see where exactly it should go (pin it down before you do this, my foam head is kind of mess because of this but there's no other way to secure it). It's also easier to loop the hair through the back weft.
I start from the top & work my way down pinning up the loose hair as I go, then I take it off & backcomb/steam some more.

Ok, thanks L7! ive heard sometimes you can have issues with the wig base shrinking from the steam? are there measures you take to prevent that?

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elliss_seven
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Re: My Method of Making Dread Wigs

Post by elliss_seven » Fri Oct 14, 2011 2:35 am

KittyKassdreads wrote:Ok, thanks L7! ive heard sometimes you can have issues with the wig base shrinking from the steam? are there measures you take to prevent that?
I've actually never heard about that problem, so I can't really say what you can do to prevent it. Maybe stretch it out in between steaming? :$
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