How-To: Make a Dreadlock Wig for Halloween

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Let’s take a trip to way back in the day, October 2006. I had just begun experimenting with tutorials. I was making a Halloween costume for myself, and thought that I would just snap some quick pictures of the process and throw them up on Flickr. It was my first “self-published” project. The costume was a “Shadow Fairy” sort of thing. Meaning, dark green dreadlocks, a sparkly black dress, and some wings that I made out of coat hangers and black tights. I think most people thought I was a Rastafarian Tooth Fairy, but hey, I loved my outfit, and I took pride in knowing I made it all myself. For today’s project, I am going to share my ultra simple tutorial in all it’s blurry, old-school glory.
This post has triggered negative feelings in people, and I want to apologize. I created this dreadlock wig in 2006 as hair for a type of gothic, dark, forest fairy. I realize that by not sharing the costume in it’s entirety, I left it open for interpretation. And the way that it was interpreted was as an insensitive and racially charged project. I want it to be clear to everyone that I had no intention of mocking anyone, no intention of cruelty, and no intention of representing any group of people. It also very important for everyone to know that I do not condone using this project as a tool for perpetuating stereotypes.


4oz wool roving
Hot soapy water
Use dishwashing liquid for the suds.
Base for the wig
I used an old crocheted hat, but try any scarf that will tie to your head will work.
Needle and thread


Step 1: Lay out a towel to keep the floor dry. Section off the roving into long chunks, like on the left in the photo above. Then dip the chunks into the hot water. Roll them in between your hands as if you were making a snake out of clay. The roving will stick to itself, and form a dread. If you like, roll the snake on the towel to tighten it up.
Step 2: Wring out the water, and lay the dreads flat to dry.
Step 3: Choose a base for the wig, and starting at the crown, sew the ends of the dreads to the base. Try to make the “part” fairly even, as this seam will be the only truly visible one. After securing the first rows of dreads, sew the remaining dreads to the base working down as you go. The dreads will look straight and hang straight. To give mine a bit more of an authentic look, I scrunched them up and tied some back behind my head.

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