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What Are Temporary Dreadlocks?

Temporary dreadlocks, often called "faux locs," offer a versatile way to embrace the dreadlock style without the long-term commitment. These can be braided or wrapped extensions that mimic the appearance of real dreads and can be removed at any time. Intrigued by how they can transform your look? Discover the myriad of styles temporary dreadlocks can unlock for you.
Cindy Quarters
Cindy Quarters

The term “dreadlocks” describes a particular hairstyle that consists of sections of hair about an inch (2.5 cm) around at the base that are matted together to form individual ropes. They cannot be brushed or combed, and, when washed, must be dried thoroughly to prevent problems such as odor and even mold or mildew. Growing dreadlocks takes quite a while and does not allow for any other hair styles during that time. For those who would like to try out dreadlocks, also called “dreads,” temporary dreadlocks can be created that give the look for a few days instead of long-term.

One type of temporary dreadlocks uses a person’s own hair. To start, the hair is divided into small, square sections an inch (2.5 cm) across. Each section of hair is then covered with wax or a similar product, then twisted around a finger tightly to form a dense coil. When all the hair is in these ropey coils they are dried with a blow drier to set the style.

Visiting a loctician is recommended for those seeking to style their hair into dreadlocks.
Visiting a loctician is recommended for those seeking to style their hair into dreadlocks.

To create a different look but still use only growing, natural hair, divide, wax, and coil the hair as previously described. Instead of drying with a blow drier, iron each lock carefully, pressing the individual locks flat instead of leaving them round. Some people feel that flattening the temporary dreadlocks in this fashion makes them look more realistic.

For those who prefer not to go through the work of separating, coiling and drying each lock of hair, artificial dreadlocks may be the best choice. These temporary dreadlocks can be purchased in many places and are easy to add and remove. Artificial dreads take only a few minutes to put in and are a convenient way to get a quick new look for a party or other event. They can be removed later the same day, with a minimum of effort.

Another type of temporary dreadlocks is synthetic dreadlocks, hair meant to be worn for a few weeks at a time rather than a few days or even just a few hours. These are attached as individual locks, usually close to the skull, and may be used to enhance existing dreadlocks or as a complete style on their own. People often have synthetic dreadlocks professionally attached, though it can be done at home.

One thing that all these kinds of temporary dreadlocks have in common is that they are meant to be impermanent and should not be left in long term. Most temporary styles should not be left in more than a few days at the most, to prevent damage to the natural hair. They can be put back in whenever desired, though, making them a handy way to try out the look of dreads without the need to commit to the dreadlocks permanently.

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Discussion Comments


@fify-- Have you heard of yarn dreadlocks? These are made from wool yarn and can even be prepared at home in a variety of colors. They are then attached to the hair with a hair clip.

This is the cheapest way to get real looking, temporary dreadlocks. Many people enjoy experimenting with different colors and styles with wool yarn as well. For example, some people make braided dreadlocks in different colors.


@fify-- If she wants just a few, colorful dreadlocks in her natural hair for a different and flashy look, you can easily do that look at home. Synthetic dreadlocks come with easy instructions for application. And they look natural, so it won't be trouble to put them in if she wants just a few dreadlocks.

If she wants lots of dreadlocks however, you might want to have the dreadlocks applied at a salon so that the hairstyle looks natural. Some salons sell temporary dreadlocks as well.


I didn't know that temporary dreadlocks were possible. This is great news. My daughter has been begging me to let her get dreadlocks for a long time now. I told her I wouldn't allow it because it's permanent and she won't be able to change it for a long time even if she gets bored of it later.

I might get her some synthetic dreadlocks as a gift and surprise her. Can we put in the synthetic dreadlocks ourselves or do we need to go to a hair stylist for it?

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    • Visiting a loctician is recommended for those seeking to style their hair into dreadlocks.
      By: eldadcarin
      Visiting a loctician is recommended for those seeking to style their hair into dreadlocks.