Tutorial: How to make dreadlocks on a wig

Tutorial: How to make dreadlocks on a wig

Materials and tools used :

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You will need :

  • A wig, with hair long enough to braid dreads (note that a dreadlock reduces the length of the hair by 1/4).
    I chose Tauriel wig, made by Arda Wigs, in Dark Brown (076) for my cosplay.
  • A wig head,
  • A fine-toothed comb,
  • Clips and hair bands to hold the hair,
  • A hair-straightener,
  • A bowl of water,
  • A small rag,
  • Your feet…

You may need:

  • A weft: I chose a long weft, in Dark Brown (076),
  • Sewing thread,
  • A needle,
  • Sewing pins,
Arda Wigs Tauriel Dark Brown 076
Wig – Tauriel Dark Brown from Arda Wigs
Arda Wigs Tauriel Dark Brown 076

1st step: preparing the wig

First, we need to mark out the dreads distinctly by braiding the hair. I pin the wig on the wig head using sewing pins, and begin to braid the hair around the face, because that’s where the dreads will be the most visible.

NB: With this braiding method, we also avoid the hair to tangle when we handle it.

Wig braids
Wig braids

2nd step: Shaping the dreadlock

  • I hold the wig between my toes and start with the bottom row (the least visible).
  • I undo the braid, and crimp the hair with a comb. I slightly roll the hair, and then crimp it again, and so on… until I get a thick tangled strand.
  • Finally, I roll this strand between my hands to make a thinner dread; I tighten it as much as possible and stick it by twisting the end of the dread around the big toe of my other foot.

3rd step: “Fixing” the dreadlock

  • Once the dread is shaped out and steadied between my two feet, I dip a rag in a bowl of water and squeeze it. I place the rag around the dread (starting from the root).
  • Then, I use a hair-straightener to iron the hair and fix the dread. I move the rag, iron the hair, move the rag again, and so on, making my way to the end of the hair. When the rag is dry, I dip it back into water.
  • You may need to repeat this several times until the dread stays fixed.
  • Repeat steps 2 and 3 for each dreadlock.
Wig dreadlocks

4th step: Filling the “holes”

Once you brought all the hair together to make your dreadlocks, some holes may appear at the base of the wig (I have one on each side of the head).

We’re going to add wefts to solve this problem.

  • Preparing the wefts: Arda wig’s wefts are strings of fibers sewn into thin strips. I cut 2 pieces, as I’ll have to make two extra dreadlocks.
  • I make the two new dreads following the instructions on step 2 and 3.
  • I lift the hair with clips to clear the holes.
  • I sew each dread on the wig base with a needle and a brown thread.
  • We remove the clips that keep the hair up… And that’s it!

5th step: Details


  • I chose to make my own hair cuffs by shaping Worbla pipes around a pen (the pipes need to be thinner than the dreadlocks, but not too much to be able to put them on easily).
  • I added decorations (borders, shapes, etc.), and painted them.

Colored threads

  • I chose embroidery threads (thicker than normal ones), in various shades of red/orange.

Installing the haircuffs and threads

  • PPut the cuffs on your dreads to the desired height.
  • Use a needle to pass the thread through your dreadlock, then turn around to shape it. Tie a knot at the end.

Final result:

And tadaaaaaa ! 😉

Wig dreadlocks
Wig dreadlocks
Cosplay Warsong Commander
Warsong Commander – photo par John Jiao
Cosplay Warsong Commander
Warsong Commander Cosplay
Warsong Commander
Warsong Commander – photo par York in a Box

Materials and tools used :

Amazon affiliate links
Marie Katzenmayer
Marie Katzenmayer

Marie Katzenmayer, 25 ans, est illustratrice freelance. Passionnée de game design, de musique métal et fan de Tim Burton, ses spécialités sont le Pepakura, la sculpture et la peinture.

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