Getting loc extensions is more common than you think – after all, hair takes T-I-M-E to grow and if you want a look RN, then extensions are a no brainer. Like other forms of extensions, if they’re done right, you can’t even tell. To find out everything we never knew about loc extensions, we hit up Derick Monroe, celeb stylist who slays the ladies of The View every morning.
Synthetic or Human Hair?
“Dreadlock Extensions fall into two categories,” says Derick. The first are human hair loc extensions, which are used if someone doesn’t have time for the grow-out process but is committed to rocking locs. “These locs never come out,” says Derick. They help to jump-start the loc grow process and aesthetic, and can be shampooed and touched up at the roots if needed, as if the hair was their own.
Next, are faux hair extensions – these look like real dreads and are done in the same design but because they are created using synthetic hair, they can’t sustain shampooing. “Synthetic hair can be kept the normal braiding length time, which is 6 to 8 weeks depending on hair growth and lifestyle,” explains Derick.
Stylists will braid the hair as normal, and then wrap the braid with the coarse hair. However, Derick explains that salons are using getting innovative when it comes to dreads. They have “premade locs in all different sizes and colors — they twist your hair and connect the locs with your natural hair using a crotchet needle!” he says, adding that these are the ones you can keep permanently.
For faux locs, the method is similar – hair is braided and then wrapped with the kinky synthetic hair. “They can also be done with a method where the hair is cornrowed and then crotched, until you have a whole head,” Derick explains of this loc process.
Though Derick explains that some people save their human hair locs and re-attach them in the human hair crotchet loc method, he recommends using new, human hair so you can shampoo.
The Loc Process
If you’re committed to locs, get your hair to grow in tandem with the extensions, explains Derick. “If you are starting off with short hair, make sure the loc extension and your hair loc together,” he recommends. “Then you can either crotchet a root touch up, which can be done as needed to maintain new growth, or twisted with a light color gel only at the root in same clockwise rotation, held with roller clips and set under the dryer,” continues of the process.
To take care of your hair with loc extensions, Derick advises the same level of care that you would put into any other protective style — aka make sure to spend time on your scalp. “Using natural oils to help the scalp, like tea tree extract to nourish the scalp and coconut oil for moisture and shine. I like Taliah Waajid products for locs,” he says, adding that he loves Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla Moisture & Shine Leave-in Conditioner: $11 for moisture.
“Also know that loc extensions can be done on all hair types and nationalities –it’s just about searching and finding the right loc technician that specializes in your needs,” Derick encourages.