How to Add Hair to Thinning Dreads: Techniques for Reviving Your Dreadlocks

WrittenbyLuat Duong
Last updated

Dreadlocks, a hairstyle that has been embraced by many cultures around the world, are a unique and expressive way to wear one's hair. However, as dreadlocks mature, they can sometimes become thin or sparse, particularly in areas where the hair is thinning or shedding. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore effective methods for adding hair to thinning dreads, helping you maintain the healthy, full appearance of your locs.

How to Add Hair to Thinning Dreads

There are several techniques you can use to add hair to thinning dreads and restore the fullness and density of your locs. The choice of method will depend on your personal preferences, the extent of the thinning, and your desired outcome.


Interlocking is a popular technique for adding hair to thinning dreads. This process involves using a special interlocking needle or tool to weave new hair strands into the existing dreadlock, effectively thickening and filling in sparse or thinning areas.

Steps for Interlocking:

  1. Thoroughly clean and prepare the dreadlock area that needs thickening.
  2. Gather the desired amount of additional hair, either synthetic or human hair, in a color that closely matches your natural hair.
  3. Using an interlocking needle or tool, carefully weave the new hair strands into the existing dreadlock, creating a tight and secure bond.
  4. Repeat the interlocking process along the length of the dreadlock until the desired thickness is achieved.
  5. Finish by securing the added hair and trimming any excess.


Backcombing, also known as teasing, is another technique that can be used to add volume and thickness to thinning dreads. This method involves creating a "nest" of hair within the dreadlock, providing a foundation for additional hair growth.

Steps for Backcombing:

  1. Gently separate the dreadlock that needs thickening, creating a small section to work with.
  2. Using a fine-toothed comb or a backcombing brush, carefully backcomb the section of hair, starting from the ends and working upwards towards the scalp.
  3. Continue backcombing the section until a dense, textured "nest" of hair is created within the dreadlock.
  4. Secure the backcombed section and repeat the process along the length of the dreadlock as needed.

Dreadlock Extensions

For a more permanent solution to thinning dreads, you can consider dreadlock extensions. This method involves adding synthetic or human hair extensions to the existing dreadlocks, effectively increasing the length and thickness of your locs.

Steps for Dreadlock Extensions:

  1. Consult with a professional dreadlock artist or loctician to determine the best type of extensions for your hair and desired look.
  2. Prepare the dreadlock area that will receive the extensions by thoroughly cleaning and drying the hair.
  3. Carefully attach the dreadlock extensions to the existing dreadlocks using a secure method, such as interlocking or crocheting.
  4. Ensure the extensions are blended seamlessly with your natural hair, creating a cohesive and natural-looking hairstyle.
  5. Maintain the dreadlock extensions by regularly cleaning, moisturizing, and reattaching any loose or fallen extensions.

Dreadlock Maintenance and Care

Regardless of the method you choose to add hair to your thinning dreads, proper maintenance and care are crucial for the long-term health and appearance of your locs. Here are some tips to keep your dreadlocks looking their best:

Cleansing and Moisturizing

Regular cleansing with a gentle, sulfate-free shampoo and deep conditioning with a moisturizing hair mask or oil can help maintain the strength and elasticity of your dreadlocks, reducing the risk of further thinning or breakage.

Protecting and Styling

Protect your dreadlocks from excessive sun exposure, wind, and friction by covering them with a scarf or cap when necessary. Avoid styles that put tension on the scalp, such as tight buns or ponytails, which can contribute to thinning.

Trimming and Retightening

Regularly trimming any stray or unruly hairs and retightening your dreadlocks can help maintain their shape and prevent further thinning. Consult with a professional dreadlock artist or loctician for guidance on the best trimming and retightening techniques for your hair type and desired look.

Patience and Consistency

Achieving and maintaining healthy, full dreadlocks is a long-term commitment. Be patient and consistent with your hair care routine, as it can take time for your dreadlocks to regain their fullness and density, especially in areas that have experienced thinning.

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Thinning dreadlocks can be a frustrating issue, but with the right techniques and a dedicated hair care routine, you can effectively add hair to your locs and restore their full, healthy appearance. Whether you choose to interlock, backcomb, or use dreadlock extensions, it's important to consult with a professional and find the method that best suits your hair type, needs, and personal style.

By following the steps outlined in this guide and prioritizing the long-term care and maintenance of your dreadlocks, you can ensure that your locs remain strong, vibrant, and a true reflection of your unique sense of self. Embrace the journey of caring for your dreadlocks, and enjoy the confidence and self-expression that comes with having a hairstyle that is uniquely yours.

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Luat Duong

Luat Duong is a Copenhagen-based writer and content strategist specializing in hair loss and health. His work has been featured in MyHealthGuide, The Right Hairstyles, and Woman's Era. He is a graduate of Vaasa University. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.