Let's face it - dreadlocks are super awesome! They used to be a fringe style that only certain groups of people saw the value in, but now it's squarely in the mainstream. Many people are enjoying the natural, free, Bohemian look and feel of locs. It doesn't matter the gender, race, or age of loc-wearers; they all look uniquely fantastic.
While many people feel an obligation to grow their locs from scratch, others can't or would rather not - hence, dreadlock extensions. Good quality extensions are authentic-looking and durable. If you're considering loc extensions, here is a complete guide with all the information you'll need.
Related: How Long Do Butterfly Locs Last?
What are Dreadlock Extensions
Growing your own locs can be a long and challenging experience. So, a viable option is to install dreadlocks extensions. They look and feel fabulous and can give you the jump start to the look you're after. Extensions can also be used to lengthen your existing locs or add volume or color to your hair.
Dreadlock extensions can be made of real hair, wool, or synthetic hair.
Real Hair Loc Extensions
The highest quality loc extensions are made of real hair. These are more expensive than the other types of extensions and are far more durable. They last as long as your own hair, so they will never need to be replaced. Like natural hair, you can even dye it and use heat to style it.
Wool Loc Extensions
Wool extensions are made from Nepalese wool. They're soft, easy to manipulate but have a slightly different look than real hair or the synthetic. Wool extensions are only available as double-ended and are installed like synthetic loc extensions.
Synthetic Loc Extensions
Synthetic loc extensions are the most popular and most cost-effective. Because they're inexpensive, they're a great choice to try out the extensions before you're sure they're the style for you. Synthetic hair is widely used because it can look genuine and is durable.
Synthetic dreadlocks are known to be flexible and easy to wear. But as durable as they are, they are still made of plastic. If you want permanent loc extensions, it's a better idea to use natural hair.
Also, synthetic hair cannot be dyed or heat-treated. And it's available in single-ended and double-ended locs.
Related: How to Take Down Soft Locs
Single-ended extensions have a loop at one end, which is used to pull your own hair through to braid them together.
Double Ended Extensions
Double-ended extensions are long and folded in the middle, creating two dreadlocks when they're put on. The two ends can be left open for a natural look, or they can be closed and rounded.
Are you looking for loc products made from high-quality ingredients? We're all about supporting the dreadlock lifestyle. Check out our products at Lions Locs.
The Pros and Cons of Dreadlock Extensions
Here's a balanced view of the good and bad of dreadlock extensions.
- You get the look you want without the wait.
- You decide the width, length, and style.
- They're available in a range of colors and styles.
- They can work with any hair type.
- They are fake (unacceptable to loc-purists).
- If not installed correctly, they can fall out.
- Their installation may be expensive.
- They could put stress on your hair.
Attaching Permanent Loc Extensions
- Using a crochet hook or by backcombing, create a dreadlock with your natural hair.
- Make sure that the extension and your natural loc are close in size.
- Take the extension and comb out the top until it is loose and wispy.
- Take the top of the loc extension and make it parallel to the middle of your own loc (or place it where the two are equal in width).
- Use the crochet tool to pull the hair from the extension into your own loc.
- Secure the ends and add rubber bands.
Prepping Your Hair for the Extensions
When you're ready to put in your extensions, here are a few things you can do to prepare your hair.
- Ensure that your hair is clean and well-conditioned.
- Detangle it.
- Make sure that your hair is completely dry before the installation occurs.
Attaching Single Ended Extensions
- Part your hair into sections.
- Secure each section with an elastic band.
- Pull your hair through the loop of the loc extension and move the extension to the base of your hair.
- Split your hair into two sections and braid, using the loc extension as the third section.
- Secure the braid with a rubber band.
- Continue braiding until you're out of your hair.
Attaching Double Ended Extensions
- Part your hair into sections.
- Split each section into two strands and put the loc extension between the two strands.
- Let the loc extension be the third strand and braid the three strands together.
- At the end of the braid, secure it with a rubber band.
- Do this to each parted section.
Maintaining Dreadlock Extensions
Now that you've got your extensions, here's how to maintain them.
Human Hair Maintenance
Human hair requires little to no maintenance. Just groom the new growth as it emerges.
Synthetic and Wool Hair Maintenance
You don't have to shampoo your synthetic or wool loc extensions, but make sure your scalp is clean. Rinse it weekly with a solution of shampoo and water and gently massage your scalp. Then rinse well. With loc extensions, just like with your natural locs, you should always use residue-free shampoo.
Dreadlock Extensions in a Nutshell
If you're interested in having locs but don't want to grow them, dreadlock extensions are the way to go. You can even extend your natural locs with them. They're available in a range of colors, lengths, and textures. You can easily find one that suits your hair and your life.Are you looking for vegan, organic, residue-free products for your locs? We specialize in quality products you’ll love. Check out Lion Locs!