Dreadlock beads make a tremendously popular hair accessory for those who sport dreads. These beads offer a flamboyant air to the dreads, and on the other hand can make the dreads look more tamed too. You can find dreadlock beads in shops or can cannibalize them from your old necklaces.
Natural dreadlock beads are made from a variety of materials such as wood, shells, stones, etc, while artificial beads are made from glass, plastic or polymer clay.
Basically dreadlock beads are meant for adding stylish looks to the dreads. But they are also used for restricting the growth of hair, so that the wearer can manage the dread style better.
While buying dreadlock beads for the first time, you should consider the thickness of your dreads and buy beads with appropriate diameter of their holes. It is a good idea to buy loose dreadlock beads made of various materials and shapes so that you can know the types that best suit your dreadlocks. Some people also use earrings as dreadlock beads.
An important factor to remember while buying dreadlock beads is to check if they have unlined holes. Several dreadlock beads have a coating on the inside of their holes which wears off after a while and it can end up on the locks. To avoid this, you can either choose beads without the inside coating or make use of a bead reamer and remove it.
It is also good to make your own dreadlock beads as that can give you some real interesting pieces. You can make them easily using a little polymer clay, a wire frame and a stick.
Wire frames are meant to offer durability to the dreadlock beads and prevent their breakage. The stick is wrapped tightly with the wire and coated with the polymer clay. Using a toothpick or a sharp needle, you can make various designs and patterns on the beads. Then the beads are to be dried and fired for which you have to carefully follow the instructions of the clay manufacturer. You can also make layered beads by first making a base bead, let it cool down and then apply another clay layer. If you want a perfect round shape, you can use more wire or a small ball made of aluminum foil as the base.
If you are a great dreadlock bead enthusiast, you may prefer to have your own tools to avail more fun options of creating beads. The tools to increase the size of the beads’ holes or to remove their inner linings are quite inexpensive. Some of these tools are bead reamers and bead drills.