I know I can’t be the only one when I say that dreadlocks on girls look SO cool. I’ve always loved the look.
However, dreadlocks – the real kind, at least – can be a major commitment, and so here’s the next best thing: faking dreadlocks!
There are a lot of articles that has been posted since I wrote this a couple of years ago, and while I am sure they are great, I’ve noticed that they are making things a little bit too complicated.
Here are my tips on how to fake dreadlocks:
1. Get the right products.
First and foremost, you gotta get the right products. And the first thing is a good hair gel! The men in my life all recommend this hair gel as being the best. After hair gel, all you’ll need is a fine tooth comb, a hair clip, and some hairspray.
That’s really it! You will not need anything else. Because this hairstyle can be potentially damaging to your hair, I’d encourage you to keep it to just those few things – hair gel, hair clip and a fine tooth comb. (And actually, the hairspray is optional.)
Anything else – wax, special FX gum, hairstyling tools – that others are suggesting is too much for this simple style. You will damage and maybe even pull out a lot of your hair.
Preparation is key. First, starting with dry hair, divide your hair in “half”, from one ear to the other and hold up the hair at the top. Clip this top section to work with the bottom half of your hair first.
You will be working bottom to top, so make sure the top part of your hair is tightly and securely tied up, and won’t fall down – if it falls down, it might “stick” to the hair gel and create a mess!
3. Load up on hair gel.
With the loose, bottom hair section ready to be ‘done’ up, take 1 inch sections of the hair (or if you want smaller dreads, try half an inch) and apply a quarter coin size of strong hair gel on it, about an inch gap away from your hair root, all the way down to the tips of your hair.
It is important to leave at least an inch gap away from your hair roots as this will make sure that it is safer, cleaner and better for your scalp and hair health.
4. Teasing it up!
Once that small little section of hair is full of hair gel, roll it between your palms, as if you’re making a play doh snake (you may remember how to do that as a kid).
Roll them until they are fairly stuck together, creating the “dreads”. (FYI, this will damage your hair a lot. You can minimize the risk though, check out how to backcomb hair without damaging it.)
Allow to dry for a split second (maybe 15 seconds) and with a fine-toothed comb, gently tease the rolled up pieces of hair going upwards, from the end tip of your hair, up to the root.
Do the same with every section of hair until your whole head is full of your lovely fake dreadlocks, and let it dry naturally.
5. Finishing it off.
Once your hair gel has dried, finish off your fake dreadlocks with a very light mist of hairspray – you will need a gentle hairspray that holds, yet doesn’t interfere with the hair gel.
This cult-classic hairspray is a hairstylist’s favorite and a “cult” product for a reason – in my opinion, it’s the best hairspray ever made!
Remember that it is a light mist only – don’t over do it – it could create a bigger, stickier mess in your fake dreadlocks and could be super hard to remove.
How Long Will It Last? / Getting Them Out
Fake dreadlocks will last the whole day, and until you wash it off. (It’s all about the strength of your hair gel.) But you hair will get dirty, so I wouldn’t recommend having this hairstyle on for more than 2 days, maximum.
To remove your fan dreadlocks, this is where it could get very tricky. You gotta do this carefully so that you don’t damage your hair further.
For that, I would recommend using the method I wrote about in How to… Remove Hair Tangles, Knots & Stiff Hairstyles.