Synthetic vs. Permanent

FOR MY DREAD INQUIRING MINDS…

Hello fellow dread enthusiasts!!

Or maybe you are just the curious sort and want to know what is up with this dreadlock ordeal…

To start with, the best information I can give the average joe about dreadlocks is: there are two major food groups… More specifically, there are SYNTHETIC dreadlocks and there are PERMANENT dreadlocks.

SYNTHETIC DREADLOCKS

Many people believe that a “synthetic dreadlock” is strictly speaking of the material used when creating a dreadlock style. This is only a half truth!

For me, the true meaning of a synthetic dreadlock is a removeable dreadlock that is attached to your existing hair. This creates the look of “real” dreadlocks but can be easily removed and your hair will go back to its original state.

Synthetic Dreadlocks MUST be maintained in the salon regularly to keep your natural hair from dreading, and to keep extensions tight and secured. Extension maintenace is dependant upon the method used and the client.

I do typically use a synthetic fiber for my “synthetic” methods, as a fiber takes less time to dry, is lighter weight and much cheaper than human hair, and there is no risk for color fading or bleeding.

PERMANENT DREADLOCKS

This is what it sounds like.. A permanent decision.

Your hair is sectioned off and purposefully locked and tangled until it stops unlocking and untangling…

Many people have combed out permanent dreadlock methods… I do not comb out dreads and I do not suggest relying on this way out. Best to cut them off as your hair will not be the same after undergoing such a brutal undoing.

A permanent dreadlock style, in my opinion, should not be done in one sitting. Dreading your natural hair can take a year or more to accomplish a mature dreadlock style.

Permanent dreadlocks CAN be extended once they are fully mature.

SYNTHETIC to PERMANENT METHOD

I call this the Steady Dready method.

Best suited for my impatient short haired friends.

We start with a Brazilian Knot in extension. The initial installation for this method is approx 5-8 hours. This method can be worn without any salon maintenance for up to 15 weeks. At this point, you HAVE A CHOICE! You can maintain these extensions as a synthetic dreadlock, keeping the option to go back to your normal hair… OR you can begin the dreading process! If you can go 15 weeks without removing the dreadlock extension, the base of your hair will begin to gently tangle. This is caused by natural hair shedding being trapped in the locked extension, and from twisting. This is nothing to worry about, as the base cannot dread too much in that time frame. IF YOU CHOOSE to take the next step to permanent locs, we would leave the tangled base and remove the extension; and then help the rest of the strand begin to lock up. The extensions are rotated through your dreads and overtime as the strands fully mature, your extension is permanently attached to your natural dreadlock. This method has many phases, some a little tougher than others.

Your dreads cannot mature without coming in for work in the salon, but you do have the option of coming in as little or as often as you would like, booking as many hours as you feel like. This process can be as fast or as slow as you would like, more time in the salon can result in faster locking, but this process is VERY dependant upon your hair’s ability to dread.  I believe I have created a way for short haired dreadie enthusiasts (like myself) to have long dreadlocks that look good MOST of the time. Below are some pictures of each phase so you can get an idea of what your dreadlocks will look like throughout their steady dready journey.

 

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Taken immediately after installation

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Taken one week after installation; you can see the the hair is beginning to dread up.

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Taken 12 weeks after install and one maintenance appointment.

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Taken 18 weeks after install and another maintenance appointment.

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Taken 10 months after initial install and another maintenance appointment.

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Hope that was helpful!!

-Tia

 

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