Dreadlocks look amazing and done right they can elevate your style rating by several notches, but they are also a huge commitment in both the initial cost and time needed to create the look. They also require a lot of maintenance, hair which is long enough to create them, and they can damage your natural hair over time.
The great news is you don’t need to miss out just because your hair isn’t long enough, you cannot commit to the maintenance they need, or you prefer something more temporary. The solution is dreadlock extensions, fake hair which means you can enjoy all the benefits whenever you choose. These have really taken off in recent years, and although not everyone appreciates them they are very definitely around, in the mall, on beaches, in the workplace and even at award ceremonies and on the red carpet.
Why are fake dreadlocks so popular?
They are popular for many different reasons. Some people want to try the look out, so dreadlock extensions are the perfect way to do it, while others just want to give their recently dreadlocked natural hair a bit of a break without losing the look.
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Dreadlock extensions have lots of fabulous advantages, but there are several things you need to keep in mind when choosing yours, especially when it comes to getting the right dreadlocks to suit both your personal style and your existing hair.
Work with the shape of your face
The shape of your face should be the main guide to how long your fake dreadlocks are; there needs to be a good, balanced proportion between the two. So, if you have a smaller than average or thin face look at micro dreads, go medium-sized if your face is round or oval and thick dreadlocks if your face is square.
How natural do you want them to look?
The most natural looking result involves creating box braids in the hair before wrapping an extension (made from hair or yarn) around each braid. This is the best way to achieve great looking long length dreadlocks, but it does take more time to create. The alternative is to crochet the dreadlock extensions onto corn rows. This is faster as it bypasses the braiding process but it doesn’t look quite as realistic; having said that it is still stylish and a good alternative if it suits your circumstances.
Fake dreadlocks made from human hair are sometimes known as ‘goddess locks’, they are lighter in weight so create less stress on your natural hair and your scalp, and many people believe they create the most natural look. Synthetic braiding hair, usually Marley or Kanekalon hair, is a popular choice for fake dreadlocks. Marley hair tends to be kinkier, while dreadlock extensions made with Kanekalon hair are both smoother and shinier. It’s best to pick the type which looks and feels closes to your natural hair.
How much time do you want to spend on maintenance?
Doing things properly means that after the several hours spent in the hairdresser’s having the dreadlock extensions weaved into (or glued onto) your natural hair you need to commit to several return visits for checking and basic maintenance for the best results. For your hair’s sake it’s worth trying to avoid using the methods which depend on glues and chemicals that can damage your hair, as there are less damaging alternatives such as weaving and knotting. Once you have the dreadlock extensions in you need to think about how to care for them. Synthetic extensions don’t do well with heat treatments so there’ll be no curling or blow drying allowed. Washing the locks is fine, but not too often.
How much extra weight can you manage on your head?
The longer the fake dreadlocks are the more weight you will be carrying which can lead to problems like neck ache. Heavy locks also ramp up the tension on the natural hair they are attached to, which could cause both headaches and damage to your roots, and ultimately make the hair break off.
What’s your spending style?
If you like to flash your cash then the sky really is the limit – with all options open to you, including extensions made from human hair, while those who love a bargain can opt for synthetic fake dreadlocks. Yarn and synthetic locks are cheaper, but the type made with yarn can be a bit of a lint magnet. If your budget is extremely tight then you could go for synthetic dreadlock extensions which can be applied in your own home by a helpful friend, or even a clip on extension which you can do all by yourself. This type of extension is designed to be much more temporary than the regular type.
Choose a well reviewed expert to install your dreadlock extensions
This really important, as if they are installed badly the consequences range from back and neck pain to your own hair being damaged.
Care for your fake dreadlocks
You only need to wash your fake locks gently once a week, and then leave them to dry naturally, making them low maintenance. Otherwise, you need to use oil on your scalp to keep it moisturized, and sleep with your dreadlock extensions wrapped in a silk scarf to keep them looking good.
Some final tips
You’ve already thought about whether you want extensions made from natural or human hair, considered your face shape, the amount of time you have for maintenance and several other key points. Other things you may want to keep in mind include choosing a color, (especially relevant with synthetic extensions as these can be dyed to any shade you could imagine.) Whether you opt for something very close to your natural hair color, a slightly different shade which blends in, or something distinctive that makes a statement depends on your personal taste and style.