First set of woollies + install

Critical observations about your technique for installations, wear or use.
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First set of woollies + install

Post by theodora » Mon Feb 20, 2012 4:55 pm

Hi everyone! I'm a newbie here, and although I've been lurking on here for a while (since october), this is my first post. I made a set of wool roving DEs using Saspie-doo's tutorial on here. I got my merino wool from Sara's Texture Crafts. I did mostly some solid coloured dreads and a few harlequins, but they weren't exactly successful and had some slight cracks around where I "looped" them together.
Here is a picture of some of the harlequins:

Now to the installing part. That was actually a complete nightmare. As my hair is fairly long (just touching my bra-strap in the back), there was quite a lot to plait, and I decided to go for blanket stitch braids using a youtube tutorial by doctored locks. The problem is I couldn't do them without seeing them, so my boyfriend had to do all of the back of my head. We decided to do the install over a few days so that my scalp wouldn't be shocked by the sudden weight. I have a fairly sensitive scalp - which is also why I only made 45 DEs as I was a bit worried by the weight. I would say that it took on average between 10 to 30 minutes by DE, I know that sounds like a lot but I often had to redo one about 4 times before being happy with it.
Here are the pictures of the install. From the back:
From the side:
In action:

Be honest and feel free to tell me what I did wrong, this is my first homemade set and install after all. Obviously the fact that I have dip dyed turquoise ends made the install fairly obviously, but it matched the turquoise accents, so hopefully it didn't look too awful.

Aside from a critique, I would really really appreciate some advice. Basically, I ended up having to remove the whole set after only having had it in for a day or 2 (although I had started installing 5-6 days before that so technically I had the dreads in for about a week, but only put the final 6 a couple of days before I broke down and decided to remove it all. My scalp was burning and scabby and even after putting tea tree oil diluted in water, I was just too in pain.

I'm not sure whether it had to do with the fact I was travelling in London as I have very sensitive skin that tends to get itchy when exposed to pollution/city grime, but I am now worried I will never be able to wear dreads. I was really excited and I was already thinking of making a set of natural synthetics (or buying one if it proves to hard to make one), but now I am afraid that dread extensions won't work for me.

The other big thing, aside from the scalp pain, is the difficulty of installing. My boyfriend will not help next time I'm afraid as he spent about 10 hours last time doing it, and I really find blanket stitch braids really hard to do, but with my length of hair, is there really any other option?

I apologise for the overly long message, and I thank you all for sharing your knowledge and experience with me. Without the information on this forum, I wouldn't even have been able to make a whole set nor install it.

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Re: First set of woollies + install

Post by MrsEss » Mon Feb 20, 2012 7:53 pm

Oooh, yay! I'm so glad my tutorials are helping people :D


Er, normal braid works with long dreads/hair too, you just install them a little differently. The best image showing it is from HellsBells:

She's braided her hair a little around the top in the dread & then braided her own hair on it's own. On regards the the weight, you braids may have been a bit tight, the pain does go away after a few days - plus the length could have had something to do with it. Longer dreads usually puts a strain on the scalp. Maybe try some shorter ones next time, or leave a litle more hair out at the front.

I've been wearing dreads for years & I still cannot get away with the weight of ones as long as the ones you made.
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Re: First set of woollies + install

Post by trippytroll » Mon Feb 20, 2012 9:28 pm

i thnk the dreads look lovely, i personally have an issue wearing wool dreads, its brngs my scalp out in horrendous irritations, which i dont get with synths, i think i may be allergic to it or perhaps maybe the detergent stuff used when felting them, so just a heads up for you, it could be something like that for you too.
but almost certainly if you are not used to wearring them , would cause some irritaton on your scalp, but like sarah says the pain does go away, its just going through that perod whilst your scalp adjusts, maybe try some shorter ones and see how you get on, if i wear really long dreads i cant have them in for to long cos of the weight, its a killer lol
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Re: First set of woollies + install

Post by theodora » Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:27 pm

Thanks a lot for the picture and explanation, I'd actually seen this picture before and wondered how this was done, so it's really nice having an actual explanation. And obviously I am super grateful for your tute without which I wouldn't have had dreads to put on my head to begin with! It was really easy and straight-forward, even for someone clumsy like me! And the fact that it didn't involve steaming hot soapy water helped (re. clumsiness).

The dreads were definitely too long, I had intended for them to be the same length as my actual hair but probably allowed for too much shrinkage, and didn't realise also that the length depended on where they were put on my head. I did do shorter ones for the bottom of my hairline at the back, but the proportion of really long one was definitely higher.

I am excited to give them another go with your advice, although they will have to wait as I am dying my hair red, so will have to wait until I get my ashy grey/slight lilac colour for them to match.

I will also have a go at synth when I get around to making a set and see if my scalp feels less irritated.

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Re: First set of woollies + install

Post by angelsandfaes » Thu Mar 01, 2012 8:45 am

I think they look great. Awesome job! :-)

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Re: First set of woollies + install

Post by ChaosFollows » Thu Mar 22, 2012 11:30 am

Excellent colour scheme you got there!

If you wanted to make this set shorter and try again I have a couple of ideas how you could do it.

You could just pop them through the wash again, sometimes that shrinks them up some more, depending how firm/poofy they feel now. If they're still quite squishy then they would probably shrink a little more.

Or you could cut/rip them shorter then put them through the wash again on a cold wash to smooth out the ends. If you cut your dreads though dont cut them straight across, cut them diagonally so you dont lose the taper.

Hope that makes sense.

This is all just ideas though, I have never personally shortened dreads. But I have made a few sets using the washing machine method so I kinda know how the wool behaves.

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Re: First set of woollies + install

Post by theodora » Sat Mar 31, 2012 3:49 pm

Yea I might shorten that's a good idea! Currently my hair is orange (fading from red) so it will probably take me a couple of months to get back to pastels to try and reinstall them, so I do have a bit of time to experiment and see if I could shorten them. I also have quite a bit of the merino left so I might do some more short ones. But I also kinda want to experiment with making synth dreads... So much to do!

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Re: First set of woollies + install

Post by synthetic-creature » Sat Apr 07, 2012 12:22 am

never wrked with wool but i love yours. no critiques here.
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Re: First set of woollies + install

Post by The-Halloween-Master » Sun Mar 03, 2013 10:29 pm

I think they look pretty awesome ^^

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