Wool dreadlocks are faux hairpieces made from felted wool. While real dreadlocks require a long-term commitment, wool dreads can be braided or attached in minutes and removed just as quickly. Generally oversized and brightly colored, wool dreadlocks can add a burst of color and volume to any hair style. Faux dreadlocks can be handmade or purchased from a fiber artist, and come in a variety of colors, lengths, and styles.
While real hair can be used to make dreadlocks, wool is often considered a more popular and economical choice. Wool is readily available at yarn stores, felts into dreads quickly, and comes in a large assortment of colors and thicknesses. Wool dreadlocks are lighter weight than dreads made from real hair and can be braided into hair or mounted on a detachable elastic band.
Wearing wool dreadlocks has many benefits, but a few drawbacks as well. While wool is light and fluffy when dry, it becomes heavily saturated with water when wet, and wet wool dreadlocks may be uncomfortable to wear. Some types of wool can felt when worn, so care should be taken not to wash wood dreadlocks that are braided directly into the hair. Wearers can avoid tangling by removing the wool dreads before washing to avoid accidental felting.
There are several different types of wool dreadlocks; they differ in the way the dreads are applied to the natural hair and the ease of removal. Individual dreadlock strands of wool are designed to be braided into the hair like traditional hair extensions. This type takes the longest amount of time to install and remove, but allows for the most styling flexibility. Individual locks are made from thick wool yarn or roving and may be purchased singly or in groups of coordinated colors.
Mounted wool dreadlocks are attached to a hair elastic, clip, or barrette and are worn just like a regular hair accessory. They are fast and easy to install and remove, and require the least amount of preparation and care. While these wool dreads are the easiest to use, they don't offer as much styling flexibility as individual braided stands of wool.
Hair can be wool wrapped to simulate the look of wool dreadlocks. Wool of any thickness or color can be used to wrap individual clusters of hair from the roots to the ends. This process can simulate the look of dreadlocks without the risk of felting; it also allows thinner wools to be used if roving is not available.