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LaetiLocs Etsy Changes

What We Are Doing

One of the defining factors of LaetiLocs has always been the ability to build any set that you can imagine. We are well-known for being one of the few online dreadshops that allows complete customization of a new set. We have always loved offering this service as many of our most gorgeous sets have been made for online clients. With that said, it’s no secret that we do not get on well with the lack of customization allowed on Etsy. We simply can’t create the type of listings we can here on laetilocs.com. This is why we’ve decided that within the next couple of weeks, all custom listings on Etsy (with the exclusion of a few) will be replaced with designer sets and most custom sets will be site-exclusive. This allows us to better control the prices so you don’t overpay, to add as many options as we’d like, and for you to checkout with your preferred method, not PayPal and ‘Other’, as Etsy puts it. We know this is a pretty massive change, so we’re ready to answer any questions not covered in this post. Head on over to our contact page to get in touch!

If You are Coming From Etsy for Custom Sets,

then the process will remain the same for you. The only difference is that you’ll be contacting us via Email instead of Etsy conversations. If the conversations are more comfortable for you, we’re still happy to use them as a form of communication, but the actual order will need to be placed on laetilocs.com. This is actually much more convenient for you, as you won’t need to deal with a severe lack of checkout options that Etsy does not allow us to have access to (US only methods). Additionally, our site has a much simpler and clearer product page with all of the options and information at-hand, not hidden in sub-menus or excluded due to “max characters reached”. You’ll also have access to our rewards program, where buying just a single set is enough to garner an awesome reward or two.

If You are Wondering Where to Buy Designer Sets,

the site and Etsy will continue to have identical prices. While most sales are going to be site-specific, the prices will not change. Designer sets available both here and Etsy will have the same options for the same prices as before. It’s up to whichever platform is more convenient for you. Please do note that purchases made on Etsy will not be included in our rewards program unless you have an account on our site. We still have to put that information in manually, so you may need to remind us if you’ve ordered on Etsy.

If You’re Waiting to Receive Your Custom Set From Etsy,

don’t worry! It’s still being made or on its way. All orders of custom sets will still of course be fulfilled. Everything will continue to run as normal on Etsy. The only difference will be the listing overhaul. Existing orders won’t be affected in any way.

Closing

We still love selling on Etsy and want to be sure that we are able to provide our services to the best of our ability. We just know that our pricing structure doesn’t work too well with Etsy’s current system, and we realize that sometimes we tend to overcharge or undercharge simply due to Etsy’s limitations regarding variations and customization options. Designer sets will remain on Etsy as will a single custom listing set. That listing will function the same way our site does, with length and color count determining the price.

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Dreads Are For Everyone

Your Style is As Unique As You

One of my favorite things about making synthetic dreads for my clients is how beautifully unique every set turns out. I make one set at a time, and the same amount of love and care is put into each one to ensure they look and feel their best.

There’s something else equally unique and beautiful in this world, and that’s you. Your clothes, your hair, and your style are the parts of you that you can customize to your heart’s content to make you you. In online games, people spend a plentiful amount of hours and money customizing their characters to their heart’s content.

A Brief History Lesson…

Hair styles have been used as a sign of leadership, to make social statements, and even as art since the dawn of humanity. Dreadlocks are no exception to this. From the Ancient Greeks, to the Viking Age, to the Plains of Africa, to even the hippie movement in the US during the 1960’s, dreads have been one of many amazing hairstyles with deep cultural roots.

Spartan Hoplite in Locs

More than half of the Greek statues found from 615 – 485 B.C. wore their hair in dreadlocks according to “Athens and the Peloponnese” by Rick Steves. In Ancient Africa, different styles of dreadlocks were worn by different tribes to distinguish from each other. The Hindu Veda, their scripture, provides the earliest known evidence of the existence of dreadlocks. In the 1960’s – 1970’s, dreadlocks were worn as a social statement by thousands in the US.

The point I want to get across with this post is that dreadlocks, like every other hairstyle in existence, isn’t specific to one culture or sub-culture. Their existence is comparable to that of the pyramid design. Pyramids were built by The Mayans, the Aztecs, in Egypt, in Eastern Europe, and more due to the strong and large foundation the pyramid shape provides.

But… My Vodka!

Russian Vodka

My culture is famous for vodka, a strong alcoholic drink from the 14th century. The name, “Vodka”, is derived from the Russian word for “Water”: “Voda” or “Вода”. Everyone who’s adopted vodka into their culture of alcoholism is adopting something from Russian culture whether they want to admit it or not. Sorry, Westerners, but vodka is ours!

This mentality clearly isn’t sound and doesn’t hold up very well, but this is essentially the same type of argument we’re hearing about synthetic dreads, with some of our clients being harassed in PM’s about getting them. Claiming a monopoly on something such as a hairstyle doesn’t just cause rifts where they don’t need to exist, it also sends a message that using anything from anyone’s culture is off-limits, and that doesn’t make a ton of sense in today’s world as long as it’s not meant to be offensive.

In Closing

One of our clients in their new hair

Globalization is a beautiful thing and suppressing the cultural blending it creates could be more of a hindrance than we realize. Many parts of American culture that we’ve grown to love in Europe wouldn’t exist here if we were barred from enjoying them. The same can be said for the hundreds of European cultures that the US adopted from its immigrants during the 20th century. Dreads are for everyone around the world, just like they were for their ancestors.

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LaetiLocs Etsy Shop Vs. LaetiLocs Website

November 2016 & August 2018

Before Etsy, LaetiLocs didn’t exist. All of our services and products were made and sold on the online social media platform known as “VK” under a totally different name, hence why you’ve probably seen a “Pandora” watermark on our oldest images. Our Etsy business was created in November of 2016 in order to start selling our products internationally and without the limitations of a social media platform. From then until August of 2018, we struggled with slightly looser yet still strict constraints of a third party platform. From increasing advertising costs to decreasing visits for seemingly no reason, we needed a better solution for the world to see our custom sets. In August of 2018, we (mostly Caleb) developed our webstore at laetilocs.com. This site included all of our products along with our ever-growing color palettes. It’s still being updated almost daily and makes ordering custom sets online easier than ever before.

If you’ve perused both our Etsy shop and our site, you’re probably wondering why you should use one over the other, and that’s a perfectly valid question that we’re here to answer. Our website not only offers MANY more customization options, but it also allows us to add a plentiful amount of products that we cannot bring to Etsy, including more designer sets, more pre-made items, and even cheaper sets such as our ombre products.

Why Our Website Works

Many people may choose Etsy simply due to the consumer protections Etsy has in place, and that makes sense. With that said, it’s important to note that due to our online payment platforms, Square and PayPal, the same if not better protections are active for each order. For more information on our policies and your protections, you can read our short terms and conditions page. Our website is built with security in mind, and we care very much that everyone feels safe ordering from us here. We have an SSL certificate courtesy of Siteground, our hosting provider, and Let’s Encrypt, a world-renowned https provider. Every page forces https, so your personal information is always safe. Additionally, we always try to remain responsive from the time the order is placed until it is delivered to you. We know that a 6 week processing time is long, and we don’t expect you to wait until your set is delivered to message us. You’re welcome to message us any time for updates, to change details, or simply to talk about synthetic dreads. We won’t ignore you, and if we don’t reply, it’s because we haven’t seen your message yet. Our previous customers can attest to this fact as well. Many of the feedback we receive is about our customer service, and it’s one area where we really try to give it our all. We know how hard it is to trust smaller businesses on the internet, especially when they’re on their own website, and we definitely want to be seen as a trustworthy brand.

Etsy doesn’t play nice when it comes to custom items, unfortunately. We are very limited in how many questions we can ask and even how long each question can be. That’s one thing we LOVE about our new website. We always love to hear from you, but it shouldn’t take a lengthy exchange of emails for someone familiar with synthetic dreads to know that they would like their set to be single-ended or to have curly tips. These are questions we are able to ask on our website, which means less typing for you (especially on mobile devices) and more dread-making for us.

One of the worst things about Etsy in recent years is the sheer amount of fees associated with selling there. At the current rate, almost 1/10th of your money spent on a new set on Etsy goes straight back to them in some way and not towards actually making your set. Our payment providers also take a small percentage, but it’s much less and is one of the reasons we are able to have cheaper products on our website, such as our listing for extensions or our listing for ombre sets. We are already selling ourselves short with these, and it’s quite possible we could be selling these items at a loss on Etsy.

Of course, we are always grateful for Etsy allowing us to grow our business in such a way that no other platform would, and we are happy for clients from both. Our clients’ sets are made with just as much blood, sweat, and tears whether they are from Etsy or our website. While we don’t put in quite as much effort in maintaining our Etsy shop as we used to, it doesn’t mean it’s going anywhere anytime soon, quite the contrary. Once our website is up and running with all of our planned features (An article on that is to come later), we will devote our attention to both equally.

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Why the Wait: What’s Up With Our Processing Times?

What the Heck is a ‘Processing Time’?

If you’ve been shopping for custom items online for more than a few minutes, you’ve probably noticed that they all have a processing time. These times can range anywhere from 5 days to 10 weeks or more depending on the complexity of the item. What entails ‘Processing Time’ differs from store to store. Some retailers such as Wal-Mart have a small processing time of a few days. During this time, they are preparing your order for shipment by finding it in a warehouse and packaging it up for you. Some sellers on sites like Etsy and Amazon have processing times of seven to fourteen days, or one to two weeks. During this time, your order is being received, planned to be made, and then brought to life by the maker. Processing time encompasses the time from when an order is placed to the date that it is shipped, regardless of what is happening during this time.

It’s no secret that our processing time isn’t the shortest on our custom items during the peak times of year, typically early Summer or late Winter. While we do try our best to meet estimated shipping dates, sets can sometimes still ship a few days past them (Hence why we always try to stress that the processing time is approximate). Instead of giving some vague answers as to why this is the case or trying to ignore it, we feel it is better that we walk you through what exactly is happening here at LaetiLocs while your order is ‘processing’.

An Order: From Placement to Delivery

We always reach out to each one of our clients once a custom order is placed unless we’ve discussed a set beforehand. Every set is handmade uniquely, and we want to be sure your set is everything you want it to be and more. Once payment is received, the processing time begins right away. At the time of this article, our processing times are approximately 4-6 weeks for custom items, but this fluctuates depending on my workload at the time.

What Happens Next?

  1. An order is placed on our online store and entered into the queue.
  2. Details are worked out with the client.
  3. I work 10 – 12 hours each day making sets in the queue in order.
  4. The order placed is next in queue. Materials are purchased.
  5. Work begins on the set in the queue. This can take anywhere from 1-4 days.
  6. Once the set is ready, it is packaged and shipped the very next morning.
  7. Pictures are posted on Instagram of the set and a tracking number is sent to the client.
  8. The order arrives to a happy client!

Ye Ole’ Assembly Line

You’ve seen several mentions of a ‘Queue’ in this post, so I want to clarify what this is referring to. We keep records of all orders here, offline and online included. These records are kept in a Google CSV file and ordered by date. Orders are copied from the CSV to a handwritten notebook so they can be taken to the kanekalon store and post office. They are then made in the order they’re written in the book. Don’t worry, we only record your address and set description to make sure we get everything right.

Sets are not made over the course of 4-6 weeks but rather 1-4 days. This is why the LaetiLocs’ Instagram gets new sets almost daily. The lengthy processing time here at LaetiLocs is to account for the queue of orders that need to be made. This allows our processing times to change whenever the workload is less. For example, when our shop was first opened, our processing time was as 1 week on full sets as we had no other sets in line to be made. Over the past couple of years, we’ve adjusted our processing time several times, most recently last Autumn. Now that we have newer, smaller custom items like mini sets, we can reduce our processing times more regularly!

What’s This ‘We’ Business?

The ‘We’ in this post refers to the people of LaetiLocs, Caleb and Vera. This is the other main factor for the lengthier processing time. We only have one person who is a dreadmaker. Other shops that have shorter processing times may have upwards of 5-15 dreadmakers at any given time. Caleb is in charge of online support and online business jargon, while Vera makes the dreads and runs the Instagram. We would love to get your dreads out to you sooner, but with only one worker and online/offline clients, we can only do so much with our 10-hour workday. Maybe one day we’ll have a full crew to work with.

Can I Have My Order By This Date?

Yes!! … Maybe. We understand that when you are looking for a custom set, you most likely want it by a certain date and not “Whenever within the next 7 weeks or so”. This is something we’re always trying to improve. We’re always happy to give you updates or let you know if things are going to be a little late. If you need a set by a certain date and are unsure if it will arrive in time, you are always welcome to ask us. We can give you a more definite answer as we are used to the shipping times in most countries now.

One thing we would like to add to our website (Etsy won’t let us add this functionality) is a delivery date estimator that would let you know approximately when your order is going to arrive. This isn’t ready yet and is probably a couple of months away, but it is definitely something we’re looking into.

Why Trust Us?

We know that a long processing time may hurt our credibility as it probably seems incredibly likely we’ve forgotten all about you after a few weeks. 100 reviews on Etsy with 5/5 stars still isn’t enough, especially when other stores are able to pump sets out faster than us with even more reviews. We believe that it’s not any of that that lends us much credibility; It’s our communication and personal touch. We’re always happy to hear from you, even if you aren’t planning on making a purchase anytime soon, if at all. One of the benefits of having an American and a Russian working together is that we are able to communicate in native English as well as simple English if need be. You don’t need to be nervous or shy to message us on our communication channels. We’re always ready to respond and help you any way we can in any way we need to. We love to reach out and talk about freshly ordered sets, and we sure love having new sets to show off!

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Substances Do’s and Don’ts on Synthetic Dreads

You’ve just purchased and received a beautiful new set of synthetic dreads in a pleasantly wrapped package. You open the package, take them to your local stylist, and have them installed. After about a week, you realize that you need to clean your set. You embark to Google, but you can’t seem to find a general consensus. Now what? Below is a small list I’ve compiled of substances I’m commonly asked about. If I’ve missed any, or you have a suggestion, you’re welcome to let me know, and I’ll be happy to update as soon as possible. Stay Lovely! <3

Safe / Recommended:
Water – Obviously, your dreads will need to be washed. While excessive washing can wear and loosen the hairs in each dread causing a frizzy look (Washing once a week or so is the best way to go about it), water itself will not damage the dreads or decrease their lifespan in any way.

Shampoo (ANY Brand, NO Conditioner) – Do not be fooled by anyone claiming that you must use a certain brand of shampoo on your dreads when you wash them. As long as there is no conditioner included, a simple store brand bottle will not have any adverse effects on your synthetic dreads.

Apple Cider Vinegar Solution – A very diluted solution is used as a method for cleaning natural dreads and can be used on synthetic dreads as well. This solution is a deep cleaning method and requires following directions online to a ‘T’. It cannot be used very often due to its nature and can decrease the lifespan of your set, making it stiff and brittle.

Neutral / Untested:
Essential Oils – While I understand the apprehension to using essential oils near your new dreads, I see no harm in doing so as long as very little is applied. It may be beneficial if you would like to cover up certain smells or simply want an interesting fragrance.

Not Safe / Not Recommended:
Conditioner (ANY Brand) – Conditioner is not safe to use on your new synthetic dreads due to its oily and slick nature. It can cause many problems for your new set and should be avoided.

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Choosing a Length for Synthetic Dreads

Length is one of the most important choices to make when you’re ordering your new set of custom synthetic dreads! Lots of places offer many different options, but here at LaetiLocs, you can order dreads anywhere from 10 to 25 inches. Those are some long dreads! All of the lengths are for each dread, so if you order double ended dreads, these lengths are from the middle of the dread (The fold) to the end! 🙂

Many people struggle with picturing different lengths on themselves, and that’s okay. It’s kind of like choosing a wallpaper. Sure, you can get an idea of how it will look with those little paper squares, but you won’t really know unless you’ve seen it on the wall itself. Luckily, there are several ways that you can improve your idea of how different lengths will look on you.

The first way is to simply measure your hair now. Is your hair already 15 inches? That’s about how long your dreads will look on you.

The second way to is to check out our Instagram to see previous customers’ photos. If you see a length you like, ask us how long they are. We will have an answer for you!

The third way is to follow these general rules, also listed in our comprehensive guide for synthetic dreads:

  • 10 Inches: ~Shoulder-Length
  • ​15 Inches: ~Shoulder blade-Length
  • ​20 Inches: ~Waist-Length
  • ​25 Inches: ~Belt-Length

Of course, this is very approximate considering everyone’s height differs so greatly, but these are at least some general rules for you to follow to help choose your length. 🙂

In Closing

Choosing a length for your synthetic dreads can be a real pain for some, but we strive to make it as easy as possible for everyone.

Need help choosing your length? We are happy to help. Please feel free to e-mail us anytime. 🙂

Would you like to pick the next blog topic? We’d love to hear your ideas! Send them over to laetilocsstore@gmail.com. If we choose to write about your idea, you will be credited as a co-author!

Image from @vikingnextdoor

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Order Synthetic Dreads Online

Hi there, everyone! 🙂 Today’s blog entry will be all about ordering synthetic dreads online, its pros, and how to make sure you receive exactly what you are looking for. This will be an important entry for those who are new to synthetic dreads, those who aren’t quite sure whether or not to order theirs online, and those who want to make the order process even faster than it already is.

Where to Buy Custom Synthetic Dreads Online and Why

This is an interesting and complex question. Most people flock to websites such as Amazon, AliExpress, or even Etsy to search for custom synthetic dreads. There’s nothing wrong with these options. Many of you know that LaetiLocs has a successful and well-known Etsy shop.

While these options don’t present any problem for you, they don’t give dreadmakers a way to make their shops more personalized. Let me explain what I mean here. laetilocs.com allows us to change every aspect of your experience, from visiting the website for the first time to completing the checkout for your 3rd set. It allows us to make the process more streamlined, monitor what you like and what you don’t like, and make changes accordingly. While marketplaces like Etsy are excellent for those who prefer the marketplace experience, smaller stores like laetilocs.com are better for those who are looking for the first time or want a more personalized experience when buying synthetic dreads online for the first or the fiftieth time.

Ordering Custom Synthetic Dreads: The Easy Way!

While I’m always looking for ways to make the order process even faster than it already is, I believe that LaetiLocs has one of the most streamlined processes for ordering custom sets online. With that said, most of the time contact will still be required to confirm a detail or two, and that’s okay! We’re always happy to hear from you. With all of that said, let’s go step-by-step through the ordering process so that your custom set will be exactly what you’re picturing!

Step 1: Choosing your Length and Colors

I have a blog entry coming soon that will cover length in greater detail, but for now, I will give a crash course version. The best way to know how long your dreads will be is to use a tape measure and measure down from the top of your head. Since dreads are handmade, the lengths are slightly approximate (i.e. 25 inches will most likely vary from 23-26 inches), but this is a good way to estimate how (long) they will appear on you.

Step 2: Read our First Time Guide

Our first time synthetic dreads guide is your next stop! Here you can find information regarding different transitions, styles, and colors. This page is your one-stop-shop, so you may want to bookmark it for reference. 🙂

Step 3: Order!

Once you can visualize what you want, place your order! Note the colors, length, style, transition, and maybe have a couple of reference pictures if it’s very specific. 🙂 After you order, we will most likely reach out to confirm any details we might need, so check that email! 🙂

Closing

I hope that this article helps clear things up regarding ordering custom synthetic dreads online! It’s an easy and fun process, and we guarantee you’ll be happy with the results. 🙂

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Choosing the Right Colors

When it comes to ordering dreads online, choosing the color is the first and the most important thing to do. Kanekalon can’t be dyed (with very few exceptions), so the color you pick cannot be changed after you receive the dreads.

My offline customers have a way to match their haircolor with the material directly in the store: it’s as easy as comparing a few strands of kanekalon to your natural color and choosing the one that works best for you. Unfortunately, this isn’t an option for ordering online.

Ever since we started selling dreads and braids online, we’ve been thinking of the easiest way for our customers to choose the color(s) for their sets. With our new color palette this process is easier than ever!

All you need is a picture of your own hair, and a photo/picture editing app or program (even Paint will do!).

First, take a picture of your hair in daylight. It’s important to have no filters applied, no bright direct sunlight and no artificial lighting for this picture, as it may affect the way the color looks on a photo.

Upload the picture to your device and head straight to our color palette right here. There is a clickable link just below the page description if you’d like to download the entire color palette to your device:

Don’t worry, the archive is completely safe to download 🙂

After that, all you need to do is pick the colors you like (or would like to use in your set), and compare them to the picture of your haircolor using the app to see if they match. This method is also great for playing with color combinations and checking how well the colors you picked work together in an ombre or simply next to each other.

If you prefer not to download anything, or if you trust us with matching the colors – just attach the photo(s) of your haircolor to your conversation or the order note, and we’ll happily do it for you! Remember to use the recommendations for taking a photo of your hair that I mentioned earlier.

Have any questions? Did I miss something? Feel free to comment below! As always, thank you for checking in.

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Installing Your Synthetic Dreads

In this article, I’m going to give you some tips and tricks on how to install your synthetic dreads at home. 

Before you start, you’re going to need: 

  • Hair comb with a “tail”
  • Hair clips 
  • Spray bottle with water
  • Small rubber bands

You would also need to divide your dreads into two piles (one for the front and one for the back). Normally, it takes more pieces for the front section (to make them look thicker and have more volume), but it’s always easier to start with the back section of your hair, so just make sure you have a bit more dread pieces ready for the front section. Depending on how many pieces you have, the amount may vary, but the general rule is that the front part of your hair usually needs just a few pieces more than the back. When you’re more experienced with it, you’ll know exactly how many pieces you need for each part, and you can also experiment with braiding in circle rather than back&front part. For a beginner, two sections are optimal. 

Start by sectioning your hair in two parts – use the hair comb’s “tail” (see picture above) to separate the hair evenly from the top of your head down to each ear, ending the “line” just a bit behind the ears. This way, if you decide to wear the dreads loose, you won’t have ears “poking” through the dreads;) Use the water spray to help keep your hair in order and make sectioning easier. 

Sweep your front hair up in a bun or any way you feel comfortable using hair clips. Make sure the hair is clipped tightly, you don’t want it in your eyes or clinging to your fingers while you’re working on the back part of your hair. 

Again, at least for the back part of your hair it’s always better if someone else sections it for you and installs the dreads. Even with two mirrors, it’s still quite tricky to part the hair in straight even rows, let alone braid the dreads in without looking at them. However it’s absolutely possible, just with a bit more effort. 

There are two most popular ways of installing synthetic dreads: simple braid method and blanket stitch method. First one is best for short/medium hair and is very easy to do. Second is a bit trickier but perfect for long hair as it visually makes your hair shorter without having to cut it. 

Regardless of which method you choose, sectioning your hair is very important. After you’ve divided it into two parts (back and front), use the same hair comb to section a straight row of hair from the lower part of your hair (where it meets your neck). You don’t need to make the line perfectly straight, the goal is to not let the parts be too messy since it may cause your hair to tangle and we don’t want that. Spray some water on the hair to help the sectioning (generally, always use some water when sectioning or braiding – it helps a lot to keep the hair together and not let any hairs loose while working on the dreads). After you’ve made a row, start dividing it into parts by “drawing” vertical lines across the row with your comb. Don’t be shy to make the parts wide – you don’t want to overload the back of your hair with dreads and you only need those parts to be smaller closer to the top of your head. Clip the parts you don’t need with hair clips leaving one loose to start braiding. With double ended dreads, clip one half of the dread piece to your hair (doesn’t matter where exactly as long as the clip holds it:)), with single ended – drag the hair from the part you need through the hole. Divide your hair into two parts, with the dread acting as third part of the braid. Start braiding! Make sure to not make it too tight – your hair and scalp shouldn’t feel uncomfortable while braiding. 

Here’s a video showing simple braid method of installing double ended dreads: 

And here’s a video showing the blanket stitch method of installing synthetic dreads: 

The two videos above explain and show the difference between the two methods. However to better understand how to install synthetic dreads into your own hair, here’s another video of the process. It also shows how to use rubber bands to secure the ends of your hair after you’ve finished braiding. 

Alternatively, you can use a cotton thread to secure the ends of your hair after the braid is finished. It’s more “advanced” and takes more time, but it’s way more secure and you can pick a thread that matches the color of your hair (or the dreads, if you prefer). If you want to use a thread, simply add it to your hair before finishing the braid (you should be able to braid an inch or so with both your hair and the thread), then wrap the thread around the ends of your hair and the dread piece, and secure it with a couple tight knots. Note that this method is usually used by dreadmakers so don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t work for you – rubber bands work just fine and you can also find ones to match your hair color! 

Make sure to give your hands and arms enough rest in between braiding the rows: it’s not the most comfortable position and it’s natural that your arms might be tired. Your neck might also feel uncomfortable if you bend it for too long, so taking small breaks to move around a bit is highly recommended! I personally take a five minute break every hour to stretch, move my neck and give my arms some rest. 

After you’re done with the back of your hair, the front part looks (and feels) very easy to do. You can use a mirror to section your hair in perfect parts, and you can – obviously – see how the braid is coming along, so even though you’d have a few more dread pieces for the front part, it’ll still go faster and much easier than the back. Just make sure to go from your ears to the top, just like you started from your neck to the top while braiding the back part. 

And that’s pretty much it! There really is no secret to installing the dreads, it may be time consuming (especially for the first time), but it really isn’t difficult. Anyone can do it with a bit of patience and a good tv-show or some music in the background to make it more fun:) 

Please let me know if you have any questions, don’t be shy to ask them in the comments, or in any of my social media accounts if that works for you! Thank you for taking the time to read, I hope this helps you with installing your synthetic dreads:) 

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Maintaining Your Synthetic Dreads

 In this article, I am going to share some tips on how to maintain your synthetic dreads. 

Comparing to any other hairstyle (often even to natural dreadlocks!), maintaining synthetic dreads is incredibly easy and doesn’t require any special products. There is however a number of things you need to know to keep your dreads and your natural hair in perfect condition. 

There are two basic rules you need to remember when it comes to synthetic dreads: 

  1. Don’t wash them too often;
  2. Don’t wear them for more than 2-3 months at a time. 

Both are very important. 

It is recommended to wash your dreads once per 7-10 days. Since you will be using shampoo, each wash will make the hair fluffy and cause the ends of your hair to slip out of the rubber band (or a thread), which eventually results in shorter wearing period. This is why you don’t want to wash them too often.  7-10 days span is optimal and it really is easier than it sounds:) 

Washing the dreads is also easy. You will need your usual bath sponge and as much shampoo as you’d normally use for your hair. Simply pour the shampoo on the sponge, foam it up and gently apply to your scalp and the roots of your hair. There’s no need to rub it (especially intensively!), just apply the foam and wash it off. You can also apply some foam to the dreads, just remember to wash it off really well since you don’t want any shampoo sitting in your hair long after you’ve washed it. 

It’s important to not use any hair masks or conditioners while having the dreads in! Unlike shampoo, masks and conditioners are heavy products and require more effort to wash off the hair; with your hair braided in, the products may not wash off completely and stay in the braid for as long as your dreads are in – you don’t want it there for that long! Your natural hair doesn’t require conditioning while it’s braided in – you’ll have time to do it after you’ve taken the dreads off:) Simple shampoo is more than enough to take care of it. 

As for the time you should keep your dreads in – 1-2 months at a time is optimal, 2-3 months is the longest time before taking the dreads off. While normally the weight of the set is light enough to keep your hair safe, having the dreads in for too long may cause some hairs to fall out. Even though 1-2 (or even 3, for thick healthy hair) months is perfectly safe, it is not recommended to wear them longer than that. Instead, take them off, give your hair some rest and treatment and then install them back in a few days. Usually (unless heavily damaged) the dreads are reusable and can be installed as many times as you like. You can also mix them with new dreads or only put in a part of the set – it’s totally up to you. 

Other than these two rules, there is also one thing worth mentioning, and it is actually way less harmful than it sounds.  Sometimes, after installing the dreads, it might get itchy. This is absolutely natural and here’s why. First of all, depending on how tight they’re braided in, dreads can sometimes pull single hairs too much while in a ponytail or a bun. This is why it’s generally not recommended to style your dreads in tight hairdos right after you’ve installed them; instead, give it a couple days to get used to them, make sure it doesn’t feel too tight when you move the dreads around. Even if it’s tight at first, they loosen up a few days after installing, so just give them some time to do it and then you can style your hair the way you like. Besides that, it’s natural that the synthetic pieces will start touching your scalp and neck skin after installing. Sometimes, it causes the skin and/or scalp to itch, and if you scratch it, it itches even more. It’s also fine – after all, you have fluffy synthetic dreads in your hair, something it’s not exactly used to 🙂 To help the itching go away, follow these recommendations: 

  • Try not to scratch the skin/scalp. It only feels nice for a short while and then it’ll itch even more;
  • Get a spray bottle (or use the one that helped you section your hair before!) and some camomile or green tea. Pour it into the bottle, let it cool down in the fridge and then simply spray on the skin between the dreads. It helps calm down the itch and treat the skin:) 
  • Do not use any products containing alcohol on your scalp and skin! They will dry it and only result in more itching. Instead, use the herbal sprays, thermal water sprays, or any alcohol free product you’d normally use to get rid of a rash. Remember that it is not an allergy, and it doesn’t happen often! Most of the times, it just takes a bit of patience and adjusting – wearing the dreads for a month or two is totally worth those couple days of slight itching. 

That’s about it! If you have questions or anything to add – please feel free to comment below! Thank you for taking the time to read the article:)