One of the major hair trends sweeping across Africa and the world are faux locs, which are braided synthetic dreadlocks.
The hairstyle of dreadlocks has been around since ancient times. The first known examples of the hairstyle date back to ancient Egypt, where dreadlocks appeared on Egyptian artifacts and on mummified remains of ancient Egyptians. The ancient Biblical figure, Samson, is believed to have worn his hair in dreadlocks as he was described as having “seven locks on his head,” by Roman accounts. Spirituals of Southeast Asia have also worn dreadlocks, believing that if hair is knotted, spiritual energy remains in the physical body, keeping a person healthy and strong. The Vedic deity, Shiva, is said to have had dreadlocks in, at least, 2500 B.C.
Rastafarians of the Caribbean wore dreadlocks in the early 1900s as part of their religious lifestyle, which was adapted from the Southeast Asian yogis and holy men. The hairstyle was brought into mainstream popular culture by reggae artist, Bob Marley, in the height of his career. Although he wore the hairstyle for religious reasons, it resonated with many communities of African descent, who wore dreadlocks as a resurgence of ethnic pride.
Faux locs, which are essentially fake dreadlocks that derive their aesthetic and function from dreadlocks, are not only worn for style purposes, but are also a protective hairstyle that winds natural hair into extensions that mimic dreadlocks, either temporary for about 3 months or permanently as hair is wrapped with yarn, synthetic hair or human hair.
Faux locs allow your hair to get a break from excessive combing, which breaks fragile curly hair, especially type 4c hair. For the style to work as a protective haircare style, it is advised that locs be shoulder length or just below the shoulder and have a diameter of a nickel or dime to ensure that they’re not too heavy on the head, which can lead to hair breakage and neck and back pain.
Haircare and maintenance is easier with faux loc extensions as you dry shampoo and condition the scalp to ensure that your hair remains clean and healthy for the duration that the locs are installed in your hair. You can moisturize your hair with products such as coconut oil, which will give your scalp much-needed nutrients, or a variety of loc butters for faux locs.
Installing faux locs into hair isn’t as complicated as it looks. It consists of installing box braids into natural hair before wrapping the braided hair around the box braid. Depending on the type of style you want, you can burn the bottom of the faux loc to secure it.
Here’s a full tutorial from YouTube on how to install faux locs.
Originally published at Africa.com