5.15.2011

Dreading It. Part1

Hello lovelies. Today is the first of two dreads posts. Basically, I wanted to answer questions and explain some things I’ve learned after wearing *synthetic* dreads for a while. Even if you can 100% say you’ll never do the dreadlocks thing, maybe you’ll get inspired to put some UMPH! back into your own style—give that color or cut you’ve always wanted a go!...Cuz hair always grows back, girls; and while you wait, you could always just install some dreads;)

blond dreads

This first segment is about deciding what you like, the installation, what to expect, and how they wear over time. My second post will be later in the week. I have also included links to a couple *FAB* dreadlock Etsy shops. Check ‘em out! A final note: These two blog posts are just my own observations—I’m pretty new to dreads myself...But, if you’re considering getting them, hopefully I can answer some of your questions.

Choices, Choices, Choices!
So you want dreadlocks!...Well, your choices are really endless as far as color and style. Typically, dread sets (counts of 80 to 100 dreads) will be offered in your choice of four colors. (You can always ask for more colors, but it will affect the price.) For my first set, I played it safe and went with two normal colors (dark and medium brown) and two brighter shades (pink and red). This time around, I wanted something really summery. A little lighter. And crazier:). I did blond, light auburn brown, royal blue, and turquoise. You can check out the typical color choices here. It’s super fun to pick out whatever color hair your heart desires, knowing you needn’t dye or damage your hair in any way to achieve it. Awesome!

For myself, length is the most fun part to decide. Full sets are often offered in 18-22” lengths. If you measure from the nape of your neck 22” down your back, that is fairly long hair. But I wanted Rapunzel hair:) So, the first time I asked for a few to be in the 20” range (face framing dreads) and the rest to measure about 26”. For my current blond/blue dreads, I added two inches. I love them. (And, yes, I sit on them all the time!:)

blond dreads

There are lots of different style dreadlocks: solids, transitionals, swirls, candy canes, braids, wrap braids, naturals, color splashed, blended, harlequin, etc. You can Google any of these for a picture of what they look like. Both my sets had candy canes, transitionals (one color blended to another), and solids. You are also given the choice between single-ended dreadlocks, or the double-ended variety. I like to order 15-20 double-ended ones for the top of my head (that = 30 to 40 dreadlock pieces once installed) and then the remainder in the single-ended style. The first photo below is of double-ended dreads. The third photo shows the installation loops of the single-ended type.

blond dreads

blond dreads

Installation:
I was totally stressed about finding someone to install my first set of 80 dreads. I called around everywhere, even upscale salons that advertised everything. Well, no one was interested...And most of the girls on the phone sounded completely baffled. Really...dreadlocks? After listening to my complaining, my sister offered to give it a go. She is so good at braiding; it was worth a try. She was a pro from the start, and after a few hours my dreads were securely in my head:)...Sisters are the best! She tightened them once, after three weeks. I wore them until I hit the 6-week mark. If you know someone who can braid, offer them a free dinner and get them to do it for you! It’s so much nicer to watch a movie and have some good old girl talk then to sit in a salon anyways.

blond dreads

What to Expect:
I’ve had people stop me and ask, “Aren’t they soooo heavy?!” Well, honestly, it’s not too bad. And I have a big head and a skinny neck as it is (or so Phil tells me:), but the added weight never really bothers me at all. The *only time* I noticed it was when I pulled them back into a ponytail. And then ran 4 miles. I thought my neck was going to snap and my head roll away:). (Note: when you exercise, put them in pigtails. It distributes and balances the weight better.) Seriously, though, they are worth the small burden...It probably isn’t what you’d expect.

Can you wash your hair?...Yes!! I rinsed my hair through at least once a week.
It is totally fine to do this. The only true downfall to washing your dreads is the amount of time it takes for them to dry. My pillow is always wet the night after. Literally, it’s a 24-hour process of drying up.

Can you style them?...Absolutely—but do not use any heat on them, i.e., no curling irons, straighteners, etc. That will probably ruin them. I like to pull them back into a ponytail, pigtails, half up/half down...Try it all. I love to add flower clips and nerdy glasses-- they are so fun to accessorize:)!

blond dreads

How They Wear:
Look at the photos below to get an idea of how they look pre-installation (blond/blue), and after 6 weeks of wearing them (dark brown/pink). I order them pretty skinny (although you can go fatter/more natural) . When my first set arrived in the mail, I was surprised to hold them in my hands. It didn’t seem like there could be enough to fill my head. (Like I said, I got a dome, kid;) ... 80 dreads did the job, though. As I wore them, they became thicker. Fro-ed out a little. This made me nervous at first, but I ended up liking it. They looked much more real this way. I can’t wait till my new ones get a little poofier:). And my first set is still in nice enough shape to re-install them for another 6 weeks in the future.

blond dreads

Okay, so if you are feeling like you might wanna give this a try, check out Imp and Petal and Damnation Hair. I have bought from both Etsy shops, and the girls are fabulous! (Imp and Petal is currently taking a hiatus, as they are in the midst of adding to their family:) I have already ordered a second set from Damnation Hair...How does dark brown, red, orange, and emerald green sound?...Perfect to tuck away for Halloween:)! And that is really the fun of it all- creating a look you can otherwise only dream about. I'm hooked:).

33 comments:

  1. Oh Goodness. I had synthetic dreads twice before (years ago) and it was my absolute most favorite hair I've ever had!! I miss them.

    p.s. I just found your blog via Sometimes Sweet. You're beautiful :)


    luckylucille.com

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  2. This is awesome! I'm inspired to make a post about dreads, myself :) It's SO GOOD to see another blogger with dreads /fistbump

    Yours look great, how long do they last/stay in? My dreads are of my own hair, I don't have any experience with synth dreads or extensions. I LOVE the colour pop :D

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  3. They do look amazing on you! I love the look but seriously doubt that I could pull them off. I'd look like a major dufus. =D

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  4. Great post and they look amazing!!!

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  5. This little blonder Viking just sits in amazement never having come across anything like it - brilliant info & I certainly learnt a lot - my very conservative husband would have such a shock he'd tie me down & cut them off......now how's that for a romantic dinner.
    Paula (PEP)

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  6. Do you know, that until you got yours Krista, I don't think I would ever had dreamed of getting dreads. But the more I see them, the more I quite fancy them - and now that I've had a nosey at the colours I really like the purples :)I've wanted purple in my hair for years now and this would be ideal. So thanks for the hints and tips, looking forward to part 2
    Debz
    xx

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  7. I've braided my own dreads in a couple of times, which is murder on the arms, but so worth it in the end. It's been a while though, and I've contented myself with just dying my hair blue in the meantime.

    I reckon I'll go back to them when/if I go on tour. Only needing to rinse them once a week will make my life so much easier. Thinking red/orange/gold this time, so I can have a massive firey mane, although I tend to keep mine around shoulder length since I've so much less hair to braid them into.

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  8. Ok, that is awesome! I could never pull off dreads, but they look great on you. :)

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  9. Rebecca said.... Let me know if Phil wants me to finish his.... ;)

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  10. I've always wanted dreads but people kept telling me no, so I forgot all about it :P

    I do still want them though.

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  12. Hello , I am new to your blog, and I love this post. I had dreads a few months ago, but a friend put too much beeswax in it, and they all stuck together and look horrid. I do want them again, but this time my hubby will do it for me.
    I love your look. I am seriously considering doing it like yours now. Thanks so much for the inspiration x

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  13. You look amazing with dreads ... I get the feeling I would just look weird!!!! I dyed my hair red last year ... my little darlings were quite uncomplimentary!!
    Hugs
    Cat

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  14. I just love how well you rock those dreads! I'm a hairstylist and I remember the first time I attempted dreads on my friends. Love it!!

    http://littleheatherm.blogspot.com/

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  15. you've inspired me toorder an accent set, and the girl behind damnation hair could not be nicer or more helpful. thanks so much for this post

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  17. ah i love dreads sooo much, i gave my boyfriend a full head of real dreads last year and it made me want them so bad! but i wanted to wait until my hair was longer, so i made my own fake dreads out of wool, and although its time consuming it works out a lot cheaper than buying them pre-made :) and its fun to do, i wrote a small how to on my blog if you’re interested :)

    http://imaginekingsalmon.blogspot.com/

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  18. Found your blog through the dainty squid. Great post...now I am thinking dreads may be my summer hair style:)

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  19. Wow you are SO pretty. Awesome hair!

    Naomi

    www.rhiandflea.blogspot.com

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  20. Thanks for this post! It was really helpful! I would lovelovelove to have dreadlocks, but sadly my hair is too short now:( I am planning on getting dreads in the autumn when my hair has grown up so much I can attach them. :)
    Dreadr from Damnation hair sure look good, maybe I`ll order mine there :)

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  21. I had synthetic dreads some years ago and I loved them! I had them twice - white and red...not only I was an object of everyone's attention but they also looked really good...now after reading this post I want to have them again! :D Although I'm not really sure what my future employer would think about it :D

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  22. @ Kaitlin, I wore mine for 6 weeks. They could have stayed in for probably another week or two.

    @Megan, awesome!!...hope you love 'em as much as me!...she's great to work with!

    @Debz, I love purple hair too!...Tried it on my sister once, (i'm not a good hair dyer!) and it came out grey. OPPS!! she was only 21...;)

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  23. how do you put them in? are your able to do a few with your natural hair, or do you have to do your whole head? i LOVE them. they look absolutely amazing on you!

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  24. p.s. i just checked out the etsy shops. i was surprised to find Imp And Petal are in my town!

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  25. wow-- i'm so jealous!:) all those dreads, so close to ya!:) ... and they are really easy to put in. if you search "dreadlocks installation" on you-tube, you will find a bunch of easy to follow videos! it is really just a braid.

    thanks for asking...and nice to meet you, spoogysprouts:)...awesome name;)

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  26. i'll have to look into it! if she comes back from her hiatus before i move maybe she could help me out also!

    it's very nice to meet you as well! you are a total inspiration. your so so beautiful

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  27. This is so neat! Thanks so much for sharing..your hair looks so cute I thought they were natural! I love dreads and have always wanted them but didn't want to make the crucial commitment. Once you do real dreads there's really no going back. I was wondering if it does any damage to your natural hair? and if you have thick hair already and/or does it work for fine hair?

    - Jodie

    lovarevolutionary.blogspot.com

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  28. Talk about rebellion inspiration. I've been thinking about dying my hair but this seems like a more creative alternative. Looks like I might just invest and stun everyone including the bosses at work ;)

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  29. ok this might be dumb but do u ever get dreads out? or do u have to shave your head?

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  30. Ok So question, My hair is really long, like lower back long but i really like the way that your dreads look. Could this be done with super long hair you think?

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  31. I soooo loved finding you and reading your hair stories! Your pix are beautiful and I love how you write! You really inspired me. I actually rocked real dreads for about 5 years when i was 18-23. Im in ma 30s and have just been flirtin with the idea of trying wigs and hair accessories to really expand my hair wardrobe. Reading your stpry was like my sure sign to go for it! Keep rockin it! Moxie.

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  32. found ur FB page and blog through someone on FB and I LOVE U GIRL!! life is for living and loving and being an individual....thats what we have taught our kids...however it makes it difficult trying to buy them clothes for Christmas as they are so fussy lol...keep dreamin and luvin ur man and wee babies...Lannie xx

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  33. So I just LOVE your dreads but I am a little confused, so you braid in these dreads and then every 6 weeks once your hair grows out do you pull them all out and replace them with new ones? Or do you just add them to your grow out building them up on top of your old dreads as they grow out? Are they technically temporary? Or is your hair really dreaded and braided in with the synthetic?
    I have been curious and wanting dreads like these for a while now so I have had many questions but never have gotten any answers.

    It would be so awesome if you could email me and I would really appreciate it!

    I'm Ashley at
    a.studdedrose@gmail.com
    Hope to hear from you, thanks!

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