In an idea world, glues, adhesives, and string should NEVER be used to install permanent dreadlock extensions. For optimum dreadlock health and longevity, the only thing that should ever be in dreadlocks is HAIR! As such, the extension installation method(s) that we use and recommend, use only a crochet hook. It goes without saying that if you aren’t exactly a whiz with the hook, you’ll probably have an extremely difficult time putting in your own extensions and actually getting them to stay put. Your best bet, if you haven’t mastered crochet, is probably to find a professional dreadlock artist to help you out.
Unlike hair extensions, dreadlock extensions are attached to the END of your dreadlocks. Under NO circumstances should extensions be put in “normally” at the root and then dreaded. All of these methods are intended for TEMPORARY wear and grow out with your hair. If you dread it and leave it in what ultimately becomes of it is a solid mat across the entire scalp which is usually too obscured by the “extensions” for it to be separated into individual dreadlocks. Trust us, it’s just a HUGE disaster. Check out this photo by the lovely folks at the Salt Lake City Dread Shop which shows someone who put in micro-fusion extensions, dreaded it, and then had their roots grow in matted underneath them:
Obviously you don’t want that!
Most dreadlock extensions are made with loose hair at one end (or sometimes both ends) so that these loose bits can be installed and woven into the loose hair at the end of your dreadlock(s). If you have rounded/locked ends and want to install extensions, you should plan to comb out at least a couple inches to attach your extensions to for the easiest install. (Doing this also makes the connection joint a much smooth transition diameter-wise. Otherwise you’ll end up with a big fat area where the two meet up!)
The ideal technique for installing extensions involves overlapping the frayed top of the extensions to the frayed ends of your existing dreadlocks using a crochet hook only. Of course, like we mentioned earlier, not everyone sitting at home at their computer looking into the DIY option is well-versed or skilled at crochet enough to necessarily get it to work well enough to get the extensions to stay put using a hook alone. In those situations, if visiting a professional dreadlock artists is not option. Some strategically placed string CAN be used. However, (although not mentioned in the video below), you should plan to use a very thin fishing line (best) or at the very least a synthetic thread fiber (polyester, etc.) to reduce the risk of mold growth that is associated with leaving string permanently in the dreadlocks.
If you’ve tried the above method and had no luck, here is another option for you (video by Lunar Dreadlocks):