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How to Do Synthetic Locs

Avatar • Nov 1, 2011

Saleemah of HydraTherma Naturals is currently rocking synthetic locs. Check out her explanation of how to apply, style and care for them.

Why did you get synthetic locs?
S:
Honestly, I love the look of locs. I think that they are gorgeous. I’ve always wondered what I would look like with them. I love the look of my loose hair so I never took the plunge and made the commitment to lock. In August, we started the Hydratherma Naturals 20 week protective style challenge. I needed a great protective style that I could wear for a few weeks and this was the perfect opportunity to try the temporary protective locs. I absolutely love them and I think that locs may be in my future one day 🙂

Where did you buy the hair?
S:
I bought the hair from my local black owned beauty supply store. I used regular kanekalon braiding hair. (3 bags for $10) to braid and synthetic Marley braid (about 5 bucks per pack) for the wrapping of the braid. Both of these hair types can be purchased from your local beauty supply store or online. The braid can also be wrapped with human kinky hair. It is much more expensive ($30–50 a bag). If someone is planning to leave the locs in permanently, I would suggest using human hair because it will lock with your hair better and will give you more of a natural loc’d look.

How do you put them in?
S:
It is very simple but time consuming 🙂 It is basically a two step process that consists of braiding and wrapping the braid. First, you have to determine the thickness of each loc. You can make the loc as thick or thin as you want it. Your base braid will determine the thickness and length of the loc. After braiding the hair in box braids, it is time to wrap each braid with the Marley braid hair. The Marley braid hair comes separated in strips. You can use the strip ‘as is’ or separate the strip further for a slightly thinner loc. Begin wrapping the Marley hair around each braid from the base of the braid to the end. Be sure to wrap the hair tightly around the braid to prevent unraveling later. If the hair strip that you are using runs out while wrapping just add another strip of hair and continue to wrap until you get to bottom of the braid. Once you get to the bottom, begin to wrap upward (to the base) until the hair runs out. You can burn the tips for more security but it is not necessary. You can experiment with different colors to give the appearance of highlights. I used #2 and #4 colors. I mixed the colors for every other loc and it gave me a very natural look of highlights. For those who like visuals, here’s a video tutorial

It took 8 hrs to braid and 10 hrs to wrap! I probably could have finished sooner but I took many breaks.

Are they heavy? Do they weigh on the follicle?
S:
I must say that the only con to this style is that fact that they are a bit heavy. You can always add less hair to each section to lighten them up a bit.

How long do you plan to keep them in?
S:
I plan to keep them in for 6–8 weeks. I don’t suggest keeping them in longer unless you want the loc extension hair to mesh with your hair permanently. I must say that the longer you wear them, the better they look. It has been a little over a month since my install and they are looking more frizzy and realistic 🙂

How do you style them?
S:
Because the hair is wrapped and protected, I don’t have to sleep with a head scarf at night. Needless to say, this style gets points from the hubs simply because of that. When I get up, I finger comb the locs, moisturize and seal with the Hydratherma Naturals products. I pat the moisturizer and oil through the locs and they soak up the moisture. The moisturizer penetrated without a problem. Typically, I wear my locs hanging straight down. I have been experimenting with updos and braid-outs.

If anyone is thinking of trying this style, give it a go! It is so much fun!!!!

Great explanation Saleemah! What do you think ladies? Would you give synthetic locs a go?

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Destinee
8 years ago

These are really nice! They would take me forever to do, my arms would completely fall off! lol

NIko
NIko
8 years ago

i would love to do this but honestly i dont have the patience..i wonder if i could find a natural salon to do it because i really do like it

Curliegirlie
Curliegirlie
8 years ago

I love this, but like those above me said, it would take too long, lol. If I had someone to put them in for me…maybe. Since I went natural to save time, though, I don’t really think this is what I want.

The locs are so pretty though…

MonDee
MonDee
8 years ago

Personally, I don’t really like the way they look. They just don’t look too real to me. They take forever to do, but so do genie locs/yarn braid which i absolutely LOVE (time isnt an issue for me). But I prefer the way my yarn braids look than these synthetic locs

Whisper
Whisper
8 years ago
Reply to  MonDee

Actally the synthetic looks better with time. They look better to me. That’s all I use. A lot of styles look better after they’ve been worn a few days. Don’t knock it til’ you try it! 🙂

Whisper
Whisper
8 years ago
Reply to  Whisper

*actually*

jmh
jmh
8 years ago

I love the way these look, but wrapping the synthetic marley braid hurts my fingers! I’m need to check out genie locs for a better option for me. Great idea for a protective style, thanks!

predestined010
predestined010
8 years ago

Love it I really think you should loc this style fits you so well!

blueknowledge
blueknowledge
8 years ago

Pretty. Can this be done with yarn?

MV
MV
8 years ago
Reply to  blueknowledge

Yes, it can. My cousin does it with yarn all the time.

juliette
juliette
8 years ago

I’m going to stick with yarn braiding it’s light weight and gives me that dread look and unlike this version which she states is heavy yarn braids are light weight. I don’t want a protective style that will weigh down or pull my hair. However, the end result looks nice.

MJ Labonte
MJ Labonte
8 years ago
Reply to  juliette

+1

Avanti
Avanti
8 years ago

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! I love it when people share good stuff like this with us! I was wanting to get extensions put in my hair that would be waist length, but didn’t want braids or kinky twists because they look too polished whenever I do them and I’ve always wanted to know what locs looked like on me and the closest I’ve ever gotten is 4‑week old two-strand twists. This is the PERFECT idea! Oh, I’m gonna do this for my December and January look, definitely!!! I might even throw a blonde loc in there somewhere 😀… Read more »

Somer
Somer
8 years ago

This style looks great on her. I love locs but could never make the commitment…I love my curls.

Adeyinka
Adeyinka
8 years ago

I’m digging this look! I will be putting in yarn braids this weekend. 🙂 oh lord braiding and then wrapping-time consuming!!

Lililuxe
Lililuxe
8 years ago

Beautiful results! I too have always wondered what locs would look like on me. I love the look, but not ready for the commitment. This is a great idea! Although, the time consuming part would deter me from doing this. I don’t have that kind of time or patience and I know if I attempted to try this on my own it would not have the same results! Lol!

LaNeshe
8 years ago

Looks very nice! Braiding and then wrapping all that hair? More power to her! lol

LM
LM
8 years ago

i want them!! too bad I don’t have the skill or patience to do such a style. I hate the time it takes to put two strand twists in my hair..

Eboni
Eboni
8 years ago

I ABOSLUTELY LOVE YOUR HAIR!!! I don’t undertsand wny people are leaving negative comments about the LONG process or how it doesn’t look “natural” to them. If you don’t like the style or lengthy process, then don’t do them!!! All this HATERISH is so uncalled for and yes that is a made up word I just used!! I wouldn’t want you all to bash me like you are bashing Saleemah!! Thank you and have a wonderful day!!:-)

June
June
8 years ago

It sort of looks like tight plaits with thread. I am wondering if the same look cannot be recreated that way.

HairAddict
HairAddict
8 years ago

These were really popular about 12 years ago — I think they were called “silky locs” then. They look okay, but don’t look anything like real locs. If someone wants the pseudo-loc look, yarn braids are a better option, probably hold up better, too. Either way, as a long-time locker, I can always spot a fake, no matter how good they look. LOL

Tifi
Tifi
8 years ago

Looks great…I’ve worn both synthetic locs (in a pixie style, done by someone else years ago) and yarn locs that I decided to do by myself on a whim when I wanted to switch things up one weekend in July(see picture). It doesn’t have to take a long time to put them in. With the yarn, I chose not to braid my hair all the way down before I started wrapping–just braiding about an inch or so, then wrapping starting at my roots and working my way down. Take down is a cinch! On well conditioned and moisturized hair, this… Read more »

Cassidee
Cassidee
8 years ago
Reply to  Tifi

Tifi, that looks so nice! Did you wrap with yarn or did you wrap with the marley hair which Saleemah used to do hers? Anyways, regardless of the fact that her “fake locs” may look fake, it’s a beautiful loc inspired do that I think looks very beautiful on her. I’ve been on her site and I like what she does with her natural hair, and this is just one of the many styles that she creatively and patiently does on her hair. I think I’ll take a tip or two from her because she definitely has some good style… Read more »

Tifi
Tifi
8 years ago
Reply to  Cassidee

Thanks Cassidee…I agree about them looking fake, but you’re right about them being beautiful anyway. I only used yarn. They looked more “real” over time as it started to fuzz a bit.

Krys
8 years ago
Reply to  Tifi

I want to do yarn braids or locs so bad and looking at your hair has finally given me the “push” to do them myself. I’ve been wanting someone else do it but I didn’t want to dish out a lot of money for it.

Do you have a tutorial or instructions on how you achieved this style or is the pretty much the same as the video posted above?

Nivea
Nivea
8 years ago

Id like to know how the process of taking them out goes for you. Do you get those lint balls at the root like with kinky twists? How much hair loss with the removal process? Looks really nice though… 🙂

Sarita
8 years ago

I started wearing these four years ago, they are my favorite protective style. But you have to be really careful with the installation and undoing of them, or else you can really lose a lot of hair! When I teach people to do this style I find that most do not secure the the extension hair to their own hair properly and it will definitely slip off, which can be mortifying in the wrong place.

[img]http://bglhonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/n5011119_40107774_6205131.jpg[/img]

Shanice
Shanice
8 years ago

I love yarn braids- my friend did them and it took 20hours!!! and I also have kind of weak natural hair, like when i put braids that are too tight it pulls from the root, so i have a lot of white dandruf looking patches which unfortunately aren’t dandruff 🙁
[img]http://bglhonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/yarnbraids.jpg[/img]

Andrea
Andrea
8 years ago

This is right in time. I have micro locs that are currently about chin lenght. I want to see what larger and longer locks would look like. I plan to take larger loc sections braid or twist them and then wrap with the synthetic hair.

Sita
Sita
8 years ago

I have worn these as a protective style for for years and even even my then new roommate, who’d had waist length locs for 6 years at the time, did not know they were faux. But I do not use the hair she is describing. I use a synthetic kinky bulk hair that wraps much nicer and blends well with natural hair, as it is a mix of type 4 hair.

Melony
Melony
8 years ago
Reply to  Sita

Sita, can you tell me where to get the hair you use?

Nia
Nia
8 years ago

Lovely!

Danni
8 years ago

I’ve utilized this process to repair individual ‘locs throughout my 8 year journey. I decided not to bleach my ‘locs again when I wanted to go blonde this summer, so I wrapped instead. It took about a week since I only had after work and weekends to get it done, but it’s been worth it!

Natureal
8 years ago

I am getting this done on Sunday. Hit me up if you want to know how long it took.

Shanda
Shanda
8 years ago

I have to try this as my protective style,soon, this style is beautiful:) Thank you for posting it.

Anya
8 years ago

This looks fabulous… when you’re taking them out please also give us a video tutorial lol

Saleemah
8 years ago

Loving all the comments! I think that this is one of my fav protective styles. Will I wear them again? I definitely think so. I didn’t like the time that was involved in doing them but it was worth the time overall. I think that I may give yarn braids a go next year! Blessings!

Joan B.
Joan B.
8 years ago

These are beautiful! I’d seen them some years ago and just wondered how locs were so smooth and silky. Seems like something I might try, but would have to make the braids larger.

AsMe
8 years ago

I’ll definitely give it a try next time I’ll do my hair which means next week-end^^

Cassidee
Cassidee
8 years ago

got these done two weeks ago and i love them!

Cassidee
Cassidee
8 years ago
Reply to  Cassidee

[img]http://bglhonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Photo1.jpg[/img]

Amina
Amina
7 years ago
Reply to  Cassidee

I want to know where you get those done. All salons charge $1200 :-/

LesinSF
LesinSF
8 years ago

OMGGG Salima thank youuuu! I am going through a phase where I really want to wear box braids/yarn braids/synthetic locs and I would love to incorporate some beautiful and funky colors so this method will certainly enable me to do that. Also, you have the prettiest big brown eyes I’ve seen!

LesinSF
LesinSF
8 years ago

Oops sorry meant Saleemah 🙂

Coco MaRiee
8 years ago

I just finished my synthetic locs and it took a day to braid and another day to wrap… I didn’t mind how long it took to wrap because I liked the transition look (: They are a bit heavy but I just put em up in a top knot to even out the weight. I did burn the ends on some but for some it wasn’t required, after I finished I dipped them all in hot water which softened them and took away some frizziest. I dont mind them not looking real enough its a unique look that I love.… Read more »

Amina
Amina
7 years ago

WWHERE DO U ALL GET THEM DONE. SALONS CHARGE $900‑1200 in DMV area :’(

trackback

[…] Community Member SaleemahWho has inspired you to get creative with your hair? Will you be trying any of these styles for the Summer? […]

Christian Ram
Christian Ram
7 years ago

I really want to start off my locs via loc extentions but because I am a college student who’s ballin on a budget I want to install them permanently myself (with human hair of course). Is this a good idea? Im in serious need of some gudiance here. Thanks for the help!

luclilu
luclilu
6 years ago

I need to no what do people charge to put in synthetic locs? Please let me no as soon as possible. Thank you.

parkwest88
parkwest88
6 years ago
Reply to  luclilu

Lucilu: I just got mine done for $350 and I LOVE them. I should have done this years ago! I am in upstate NY.

Wallencia Williams
Wallencia Williams
6 years ago
Reply to  parkwest88

Are yours permanent?

parkwest88
parkwest88
6 years ago

Yes Wallencia, they are permaenent.My own hair will soon mesh with the synthetic locs. Also everyone who has seen them believes they are my own.

Gena
Gena
6 years ago
Reply to  parkwest88

You use synthetic hair to crest permanent locs? Is is the same process as temp extensions but just waiting for it to loc?

Anonimizz
Anonimizz
5 years ago

does anyone know how to how to make these locs lighter and less stiff. I love them and I’ve only had them for a day but lord knows my head and neck is killing me.

KaylaSimone
KaylaSimone
5 years ago
Reply to  Anonimizz

Naptural85 has a great tutorial for faux locs that are more lightweight than the standard faux loc method. 🙂 Check it out on YouTube!

Lisa
Lisa
4 years ago
Reply to  Anonimizz

Hey there :3 It’s been a while since you asked this but I hope it can help you or someone else. You can try to leave the braiding hair loose after your natural hair has been plaiting/twisted into it instead of braiding it all the way down, then wrap as usual 🙂

Gary VS PM
Gary VS PM
5 years ago

Ive done mine the exact way only problem I’m having is that the burned tips keep sticking to each other and messing up my hair making the twist look frizzy and unravel I also dipped them in hot water but I still having the problem do you have any insight or solutions thanks

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