Dreadlocks are slightly rebellious and youthful, yet there is a misconception that they are easy to maintain. They actually require constant maintenance to keep clean and controlled, and when ready to transition to a new look, they have to either be cut or picked out which is extremely time consuming. Geneva Cowen, Artistic Director for Sam Villa, has an alternative way to create dreads with wool, making them less of a commitment and easier to maintain.
“I’ve been obsessed with fiber for the past year, and when working with different kinds of wool I realized how beautiful it looks when incorporated into human hair. The above dreads were created with wool batts produced on a drum carder. When the fiber comes off the drum, it creates a blanket or fabric esthetic which is traditionally used for spinning yarn. I’ve found many on Etsy.com by searching “art batts” or “wool batts.” You can also look for local fiber retailers that are open to custom batts to create your own color patterns….local weavers and spinners are also a great resource,” says Cowen.
Utilizing fiber batts for dreads allows for a quick process. Peel the fiber lengthwise for the desired length. Roll the fiber between hands to create a dread-like rope and then the pieces can be pinned into any shape to create texture and dimension.
“I’ve actually used wool dreadlocks to jump start dreads for guests that are committed to the journey.
Wool Dreadlock Intergraded Into Natural Hair-Step by Step
· Take a 1Ž4 to 1Ž2 inch section.
· Apply Redken powder grip 03 at the base of the section, back comb and twist the section for the first two rotations.
· Take a section of the wool and begin backcombing and twisting the section. Roll the sections between your palms as you go down the length to compress the fibers.
· Apply Redken powder grip 03 continually until the end of the dreadlock.
Keep in mind that wool repels all liquid products and shrinks with heat (think of a wool sweater in the dryer), so always advise on maintenance if your guest is only interested in wearing them temporarily or they will shrink with the first shower and be extremely difficult to remove. Wool dreadlocks can also be manipulated and affected by heat and reacts in similar ways like human hair, so it can be curled and molded too.
Get some wool and starting playing with it, the possibilities are endless!” adds Cowen.
Photography: Shalem Mathew
Hair: Geneva Cowen, Artistic Director for Sam Villa
Makeup: Lorina Alailefaleula