Thursday 28 August 2014

Synthetic Dreads FAQ

I receive and see a lot of questions on the subject of synth dreads and although I have covered some subjects on my previous posts I thought it was time to put together a more complete FAQ going over some of the basics.

I will try to cover everything but if you have any other questions please feel free to leave a comment or contact me directly.

  • What are synthetic / fake dreads?
Synthetic dreads are exactly what they are called, fake dreadlocks. They are made from synthetic hair (or sometimes wool / roving)  and are a non permanent way to have a dreadlock hair style.

  • Why have synthetic dreads when you can have real dreads?
Synthetic dreads are a great way to have a new hair style without the long term commitment. Synth dreads can be worn up to 3 months (this depends on person to person) and cause no damage to your natural hair.
For a lot of people work or school can dictate the hair style they have so being able to wear synthetic dreads during holidays or weekends allows them to have a new look for a short period of time.
Also some people with real locks also add synthetic dreads to them to add colour, volume or length. 

  • How long do synthetic dreads last?
If your synthetic dreads are well made and taken care of they can last you forever. You will be able to re install them into your natural hair time and time again.

  • What is the difference between single ended (SE) and double ended (DE) dreads?
I have covered this in full ( with photo examples) on my previous post which you can read HERE.

  • How do I install synthetic dreads?
Synthetic dreads are braided into your natural hair. Here are a couple of links to some very good tutorials on how to do so.

  • How to install double ended dreads - Link
  • How to install single ended dreads - Link

It is possible to install dreads by yourself (I have always done my own), granted doing the back is tricky but once you get used to it its fine. Or you might want to get a friend to help you.

  • How long does my hair have to be to install synthetic dreads?
Your natural hair needs to be at least 3 inches in length to be able to braid the synth dreads into your hair. Or if you are wanting to wear dread falls you need to be able to put your hair up into a pony tail or pigtails.

  • Will wearing synthetic dreads damage my natural hair?
Nope :) Your hair is braided around the synthetic dread and secured with elastic bands or thread so all of your natural hair is out of the way (unless you leave your fringe/ bangs out). By having this hair style you will not be using any damaging heat to them from hair dryers or straighteners you may usually use.
When you take your dreads out it will seem like you will lose a lot of hair when you wash it, this is because your hair is braided the amount of hair you naturally lose per day has not  been able to shed so it all comes out at once. 

  • Can I still wash my hair when I have synthetic dreads?
Yes you can! You can wash your scalp and roots of you hair using a watered down shampoo solution.
Be sure to rinse thoroughly.
If you do get your synth dreads don't panic! They will be fine :) Just squeeze them gently with a towel if very wet and let them dry naturally.

  • Why are synthetic dreads so expensive?
Prices of synthetic dreads vary from seller to seller. Making dreads takes a lot of time and effort on the makers part. Personally each single dread I make takes anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour to make dependent on the length and style of the dread. And does not include the time it takes to section hair, blend hair and the sealing of the dreads.
The materials for the dreads also has to be taken into account e.g how many packets of synthetic (kanekalon) hair is used to make the set. Also the tools such as combs, crochet hooks, felting needles etc. And not to forget the electricity that is used. 
Some dread makers, like myself, create synthetic dreads for a living so it is vital to cover all material, making and operating costs in order to support ourselves and continue to do the job we love.

For more information and links on synthetic dreads please check out my previous post 'Useful Synthetic Links'.


  1. How many dreads to you have installed in this photot?

    1. Hi :)

      I believe Whitney, modeling the dreads, has about 18-20 double ended dreads installed in her mohawk

  2. After my dread removal can i reinstall them as soon as possible?

    1. Hello, apologies for the late reply.
      Yes you can install your dreads as often as like :)

  3. how many dreads are roupgly on one head

  4. Hi :) For a full head install you would need 35-45 double ended dreads or 4570- single ended dreads, this all depends on the thickness of the dreads and your own hair.

    You can also have a partial install, which is just a few dreads (anywhere from 2-20) installed in your hair but leaving a lot of your own hair natural :)

  5. Hi! I've been looking into getting DE Synth dreads for awhile and I was wondering if you could recommend a good seller for a decent price. I really don't know where to look. Thanks :)

    1. Hi :)

      I have a few DE sets for sale over on my shop

      For other sellers I recommend, Imp & Petals, Tyto dreads, Filthy's Synthetic dreads, Teacups & tentacles, to name just a few.

  6. How many would you reccommend for someone who has an all the way around the head undercut with only hair on the top? Also my neck is very weak so what is the lightest option too if you know?

  7. Hi :)
    Depending on the thickness of dreads I would say about 25 double ended dreads. If you are looking for something ultra light I would suggest wool dreads. Two great wool makers to check out are 'Peacock Dreams' and 'Monarch Dreads', you can find them both on Facebook