Monday 17 February 2014

Single & Double ended Dreads - The Difference

I often get asked what the difference  is between single and double ended dreads is, so here is a post to explain it.

Single ended dreads, also known as SE dreads, is a single dread with a loop on one end.
When it comes to installing them into your hair, you take the small section of your own hair, pull it through the loop and braid down,using the dread and separating your hair section into 2 to make the 3 pieces for braiding.
SE dreads lay flatter to your head and give more of a natural dread look, especially if your synthetic dreads match your own natural hair colour.
You typically need 70-100 single ended dreads for a full head install, but this all depends on the thickness of the dread and your own hair.
Here is a video tutorial from Doctored locks on how to install them in your hair, click here.

Example of single ended dreads installed 

Double ended dreads, also know as DE dreads, are basically 2 dreads in one. It is one dread but with two ends. When installing them you fold the dread in half and braid your own hair down the one side of the dread.
DE dreads give good volume, and helps cover the braids of your natural hair on the dreads.
Again, depending on the thickness of the synthetic dreads and your own hair, you will need 40-55 DE dreads for a full install.
A slight variation on the DE dread, is the harlequin dread. This is how I make all of my double ended dreads. It basically means it is two single ended dreads looped through each other at the end to make a double ended dread. This allows the dread to lie flatter against your head when installed. Although this varies from dread maker to dread maker, most normal DE dreads can lay perfectly flat to your head also when installed.
Another great video from Doctored Locks on how to install DE dreads, click here.

Example of double ended dreads installed 

So, which is better? It all comes down to personal preference. I personally prefer DE dreads as I find them easier to install, especially as I install my synth dreads by myself.

Which do you prefer and why?


  1. DEs for life! I'm currently wearing my first SE install in a couple years... and thought I wish they were DE so they would be more comfortable for me, and have less sections, but the look suits well since the dreads are FAR from my natural color. But again it all comes down to personal preference, I even enjoy making DE better than SE!

    Also: I think the part where you said that most DE don't lie flat enough unless they are joined using the harlequin method will vary from maker to maker. The "fold" on my own DE are quite flat and lay nicely. Overall this is a great article and I think I shall link to it on my own website. Thanks for writing it! <3

    1. You are right about it varying with the maker, I shall add that in :)
      Thanks for reading! <3