Installing synthetic extensions to short hair - 3 to 4 inch hair.

Post Reply
lulubelle
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:21 am
Location: Iowa, USA
Contact:

Installing synthetic extensions to short hair - 3 to 4 inch hair.

Post by lulubelle » Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:05 am

I apologize that this is on the long side but I have lots of questions!

I have 3-4" long hair (3 inches at the nape of the neck and 4 inches at the top of my head from a kind of boy cut that has grown out) and want to do dreads... I'm an almost complete newbie when it comes to this - I've only experienced having DE locs braided into my hair once and I kept them for a couple of months (until my new growth made them look bad and they were getting loose). I'm looking to make SE Kanekalon extensions and, essentially, attempt a permanent (or as permanent as possible) extension of my hair with them. I want to have dreadlocks anyway, but with hair so short, I'll have to do extensions.

The methods I've seen / looked into / read up on involve twist & rip and backcomb+crochet methods because I'm not big on the complete neglect method - I can't handle doing that. I plan on doing backcombing + crochet for my hair but I have questions on this.

[*] Using Kanekalon hair, I know I can steam, boil, or flat iron them to "seal" the loc but I was wondering if they would "naturally" flatten or smooth *at all* since they're synthetic, if I don't? I'm asking because my hair will naturally mature over time, but if I have immediately mature extensions, won't it look odd?

[*] I intend to backcomb my sections, overlay the fluffy end of my dread on most of my length, wrap the backcombed part of my hair around the synth. dreadlock and then crochet it in... It's the only way I can think of that will start the dreading process with that section of my hair AND provide me a very stable connection with the extension. :i7: My question here is: I've seen sewn in locs, too... would it behoove me to change up the process I have planned or to sew in ON TOP OF the other steps I'm already planning? What would be the best way to do this, do you suppose? And, at what point, do you consider it too many steps? I just *really don't* want to have any fall out... :i10:

[*] I've been told by a couple people I was conversing with on the net that you can "seal in" your kanekalon dreads to real hair by using a flat iron at their juncture point after you've dreaded them together with a strong crochet... That sounds damaging and like not such a great idea to me? Thoughts on this?

[*] Can I blow dry my hair with dreads? / Can I blow dry my hair with synthetic (spec. Kanekalon) dreads? I know the heat may tighten up the synthetic dreads, but will it pose a problem if I decide to do so? / How much damage could I do to my dreads if I do use a blow dryer? I don't usually blow dry my hair all the way on the rare occasion I do blow dry it... it's usually to get a good chunk of moisture out before going out while it's winter or before going to bed, but I wanted opinions on this.

[*] What's different in the washing care of synthetic dreadlocks vs natural hair extensions when kept for the long term? And what can you tell me about the drying time on synthetic vs natural hair? Do synthetic tend to be more likely to mildew than natural or take less time to dry or require special care during / after washing?

Thanks so much in advance. :i2:

User avatar
doclocks
Site Admin
Posts: 435
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:41 pm
Location: Spokane, WA
Contact:

Re: Installing synthetic extensions to short hair - 3 to 4 inch hair.

Post by doclocks » Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:24 pm

[*] Using Kanekalon hair, I know I can steam, boil, or flat iron them to "seal" the loc but I was wondering if they would "naturally" flatten or smooth *at all* since they're synthetic, if I don't? I'm asking because my hair will naturally mature over time, but if I have immediately mature extensions, won't it look odd?

If you intend to do synthetic extensions I would advise not attempting to make them permanent. Synthetics at about the 1 year mark (or a few months sooner depending on care) will start acting like an old sweater and getting sweater pills and the ends looking a scosh ratty. I would advise doing anything permanent with regular human hair and attaching them to the dread ends. If you must use sythetics, just install them at the base and keep moving them up (to keep them near the roots) as your hair grows out.

[*] I intend to backcomb my sections, overlay the fluffy end of my dread on most of my length, wrap the backcombed part of my hair around the synth. dreadlock and then crochet it in... It's the only way I can think of that will start the dreading process with that section of my hair AND provide me a very stable connection with the extension. :i7: My question here is: I've seen sewn in locs, too... would it behoove me to change up the process I have planned or to sew in ON TOP OF the other steps I'm already planning? What would be the best way to do this, do you suppose? And, at what point, do you consider it too many steps? I just *really don't* want to have any fall out... :i10:

That sounds like it could work just fine - its just that the material won't hold up forever. If you have any fall out, you can just switch up your attachment method - you'll know if they are unstable long before they slip all the way out.

[*] I've been told by a couple people I was conversing with on the net that you can "seal in" your kanekalon dreads to real hair by using a flat iron at their juncture point after you've dreaded them together with a strong crochet... That sounds damaging and like not such a great idea to me? Thoughts on this?

Not sure how that would be damaging. Kanekalon low-temp melts at a much lower temp than your hair will burn at - and Kanekalon does not seal to natural hair at all. So you can "seal" - which basically just means shape around - your natural dread if you want - but you don't even need to do that if you are just using crochet - a good crochet and you'll be stable without heating it anyway.

[*] Can I blow dry my hair with dreads? / Can I blow dry my hair with synthetic (spec. Kanekalon) dreads? I know the heat may tighten up the synthetic dreads, but will it pose a problem if I decide to do so? / How much damage could I do to my dreads if I do use a blow dryer? I don't usually blow dry my hair all the way on the rare occasion I do blow dry it... it's usually to get a good chunk of moisture out before going out while it's winter or before going to bed, but I wanted opinions on this.

Yes. Heat won't tighten synthetic dreads - it will make the fiber more pliable again. Synth dreads are formed when you heat/shape them and then let them cool into a specific shape. If you were to blow dry them, the fiber becomes pliable again. This can loosen them - just depends on the shape they hold when they cool. I always dry mine in a hood dryer as it takes some time. Medium-high heat is best so you don't scorch the outsides - but do a test strand to see what temp your dryer starts to melt your fiber - that's the best way to see how it reacts.

[*] What's different in the washing care of synthetic dreadlocks vs natural hair extensions when kept for the long term? And what can you tell me about the drying time on synthetic vs natural hair? Do synthetic tend to be more likely to mildew than natural or take less time to dry or require special care during / after washing?
There really isn't much of a difference - the main thing is that typically when you do synthetic dreads, you aren't trying to dread your natural hair. Since you want to dread your natural hair - use the care routine for natural dreads. Dread shampoo, tighteners, etc. Mildew issues are the same, but typically more common with human hair as it will absorb moisture to the core - you just need to dry them well to avoid these issues. You can always get out mildew after it happens though - I have a tutorial on that. Best to just avoid it with good drying techniques though. :)
Doctored Locks :)
Sophisticated supplies for hair extension architects.
Hair extensions, installation supplies, 300+ free DIY tutorials, classes and installations.

lulubelle
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:21 am
Location: Iowa, USA
Contact:

Re: Installing synthetic extensions to short hair - 3 to 4 inch hair.

Post by lulubelle » Sat Aug 11, 2018 4:06 pm

>>>If you intend to do synthetic extensions I would advise not attempting to make them permanent. Synthetics at about the 1 year mark (or a few months sooner depending on care) will start acting like an old sweater and getting sweater pills and the ends looking a scosh ratty. I would advise doing anything permanent with regular human hair and attaching them to the dread ends. If you must use sythetics, just install them at the base and keep moving them up (to keep them near the roots) as your hair grows out.

Okay, could I have them dreaded in to the middle-end of my current hair and then remove them later for replacement with human hair extensions? From what I'm thinking, I can cut the synthetic almost where it meets my hair and brush out the end of my loc / brush out the synthetic threads so I can join fluffy bit to fluffy bit on human hair extensions....?

>>>Not sure how that would be damaging. Kanekalon low-temp melts at a much lower temp than your hair will burn at - and Kanekalon does not seal to natural hair at all. So you can "seal" - which basically just means shape around - your natural dread if you want - but you don't even need to do that if you are just using crochet - a good crochet and you'll be stable without heating it anyway.

Ah- this is good to know. I didn't know how low temp the kanekalon would start to melt as the time I made synthetic dreads, I steamed them and it felt like it took forever. :) Thanks for this info.

>>>Yes. Heat won't tighten synthetic dreads - it will make the fiber more pliable again. Synth dreads are formed when you heat/shape them and then let them cool into a specific shape. If you were to blow dry them, the fiber becomes pliable again. This can loosen them - just depends on the shape they hold when they cool. I always dry mine in a hood dryer as it takes some time. Medium-high heat is best so you don't scorch the outsides - but do a test strand to see what temp your dryer starts to melt your fiber - that's the best way to see how it reacts.

Rock on. Could I possibly do curly dreads by having them set around something? I'm planning on having dreads that are a good 20-30 inches long (depending on how making them goes) so I'm worried about having weirdly angled dreads after blow drying my hair at all in the first place now that you've made the point of them being more pliable when warm (which makes sense - I feel silly for not making that conclusion on my own lol). --- I don't have a hood dryer... :/ The whole reason I'm doing synthetic hair dreadlocks is because I can't afford human hair ones right now, being out for disability... :i3:

>>>There really isn't much of a difference - the main thing is that typically when you do synthetic dreads, you aren't trying to dread your natural hair. Since you want to dread your natural hair - use the care routine for natural dreads. Dread shampoo, tighteners, etc. Mildew issues are the same, but typically more common with human hair as it will absorb moisture to the core - you just need to dry them well to avoid these issues. You can always get out mildew after it happens though - I have a tutorial on that. Best to just avoid it with good drying techniques though. :)

Sounds good. I'll have to do a compare and contrast on dread shampoos to find out what I can about them before purchasing. I also need to know more about tighteners as I know nothing of the pros and cons with them... I've seen them pop up in some videos and things I've read and then others advise strongly against anything beyond using dread shampoos and natural oils for your scalp to stop itching. Are you on YouTube or are your tutorials only on your website as purchasable content?

Thank you for your very thoughtful and in-depth reply!
New to the dread journey!
Tips? Tricks? PM me!

Budding photographer --
http://www.facebook.com/L2Photoshoot

User avatar
doclocks
Site Admin
Posts: 435
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:41 pm
Location: Spokane, WA
Contact:

Re: Installing synthetic extensions to short hair - 3 to 4 inch hair.

Post by doclocks » Mon Aug 13, 2018 5:45 pm

"Okay, could I have them dreaded in to the middle-end of my current hair and then remove them later for replacement with human hair extensions? From what I'm thinking, I can cut the synthetic almost where it meets my hair and brush out the end of my loc / brush out the synthetic threads so I can join fluffy bit to fluffy bit on human hair extensions....?"

----You can for sure - its just more work. But it will definitely work to get you by.

"Ah- this is good to know. I didn't know how low temp the kanekalon would start to melt as the time I made synthetic dreads, I steamed them and it felt like it took forever. :) Thanks for this info."

----Yeah, when you steam, the heat has to get to the center of the dread (which can take a bit to force through). I'm impatient, so I have a really expensive steamer - but if I'm without that, I find that the ol' household iron and wet towels work the fastest to blast steam to the center.

"Rock on. Could I possibly do curly dreads by having them set around something? I'm planning on having dreads that are a good 20-30 inches long (depending on how making them goes) so I'm worried about having weirdly angled dreads after blow drying my hair at all in the first place now that you've made the point of them being more pliable when warm (which makes sense - I feel silly for not making that conclusion on my own lol). --- I don't have a hood dryer... :/ The whole reason I'm doing synthetic hair dreadlocks is because I can't afford human hair ones right now, being out for disability... :i3:"

----The best way to do curly ones is to braid or use curling rods and dip them in boiling water and leave them to cool. You can do this with them attached to your head - it can just be a little awkward avoiding steam to the face and hot water as you bend over a pot of freshly boiled water - so use caution here. :) If they angles ever turn out strange, you can just dip them over again. Typically blow drying doesnt heat them enough to change the shape that dramatically. You might get some bend, but I wouldn't count on it - it might take forever. :)

"Sounds good. I'll have to do a compare and contrast on dread shampoos to find out what I can about them before purchasing. I also need to know more about tighteners as I know nothing of the pros and cons with them... I've seen them pop up in some videos and things I've read and then others advise strongly against anything beyond using dread shampoos and natural oils for your scalp to stop itching. Are you on YouTube or are your tutorials only on your website as purchasable content?"

----Doctored Locks is on YouTube and at www.doctoredlocks.com/tutorials - just scroll to the synthetic dread section. We are putting them all together into a course format soon. All of them are free now - and we have tons. Personally, I like Dollylocks products. We carry it - we used to carry DreadHead HQ and Knotty Boy, but their products can be inconsistent, their ingredients aren't as solid (or as pure) and they don't smell as good. So Dollylocks all the way. For tightening - I'm old school. I do like wax. Sparingly, and only in the beginning - not on synthetics. (Sidenote: no shampoos or goops will do anything for synthetics, so all of this relates to your own natural hair dreading.) I also like the gel tighteners better than sprays - sprays feel like you have a dirty film on your hair - which some people love - its very "beachy." If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask away. :)

"Thank you for your very thoughtful and in-depth reply!"

---Anytime. :)
Doctored Locks :)
Sophisticated supplies for hair extension architects.
Hair extensions, installation supplies, 300+ free DIY tutorials, classes and installations.

Post Reply

Return to “Synthetic Dreadlocks”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests