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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila Noel­lis­te, founder of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008). Social media, pop cul­ture and black beau­ty enthu­si­ast. bell hooks’ hair twin…

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57 Comments on "How to Do Synthetic Locs"

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