View Full Version : Synthetic dreads question... Possible damage?

January 22nd, 2012, 11:24 PM

I'm considering installing synthetic dreads in my hair. Essentially it involves braiding ones hair around a dread and attaching with an elastic. No glue, heat or anything. This would allow me to have tbl length dreads now, and I think would involve pretty minimal damage...

I can still wash my hair with them in, though I can't condition.

What does everyone think? Pretty negligible damage, right?

January 22nd, 2012, 11:55 PM
Thew only damage I could think of is the extra weight being put on your roots.

January 23rd, 2012, 12:24 AM
The only damage I can think of, would be extra tugging at the roots, which may cause more of your hair to come out than usual. I've had extensions in before (not the ones they glue in) and I think I lost more hair than normal. Especially gross was that when the hair did fall out it couldn't come out, so you'd see little root ends sticking up everywhere!

When I finally took the extensions out sooo much hair came out too (but it was short at the time anways...so didn't look thin).

I wouldn't think they'd damage the actual hair structure, however.

January 23rd, 2012, 12:52 AM
I've braided my synthetic dreads into my hair (gently) and had it hold for 3-4 days. I take them out before washing. This method does not seem to damage my very damageable hair, and was a nice way to add interest to boring, boring hair.

January 23rd, 2012, 03:09 AM
I have had synthetic dreads in the past and it never damaged my hair. I couldn't wash it though, I still remember how GROSS my hair was after a month (when I took them out). And there came sooooooo much hair out, it was quite scary. But you know, totally normal because all those 100 hairs a day just get stuck in the braids!
I know it was quite nasty haha!

January 23rd, 2012, 03:14 AM
I've also considered synthetic dreads for some time....but like the OP, was wondering about what damage could potentially occur.

I don't have any personal experience with synthetic dreads, but was talking with my partner's wife, who had synthetic dreads put in this summer...she had them for I want to say almost a month total. She took them out early because she couldn't stand her scalp itching, and also, the pressure on the roots was an odd feeling. :/ She liked it, but decided it wasn't for her, at least not at this point in time.

I'm still considering synthetic dreads, but am still going back and forth on the pros, cons, etc before making my own decision.

Hope this helps a bit!

January 23rd, 2012, 03:40 AM
I used to tie synthetic dreads into my real dreads for a right mop, but as my hair was dreaded, I didn't really notice any damage. What I did notice was the scalp pain from suddenly having so much weight. It was quite excruciating at first but it did go away- just a thought if you have a sensitive scalp.

January 23rd, 2012, 03:42 AM
Wouldn't the hair that's braided get tangled to the dread? At least with my hair that's what I'd see happening, especially if you'd wash your hair with the extensions on. I really don't know, but this was my first possible damage- thought...

January 23rd, 2012, 04:10 AM
Hey, I had synthetic dreads for six months. Had them re-done every month. That seems like an insane amount of pressure on the roots, since mine were past my tailbone and.. quite heavy. But seriously, my hair thickness was exactly the same afterwards, My hair grew a decent amount cause I wasn't really doing anything to it etc. Go for it! My hair wasn't virgin either, it was dyed to match the dreads (jet jet black) and I used to straighten it every day a few years before. Some of that damaged hair was still at the ends, but yeah, little breakage, no loss of thickness!


Edit: AHH sorry the pic is so massive!

January 23rd, 2012, 06:29 AM
It's really up to you if you want to chance it. I've had a friend who had them and they got caught in her real hair a lot, and when she finally took the dreads out, she noticed that her hair was patchy where the dreads had rubbed at her scalp...

January 24th, 2012, 02:24 PM
Apart from some uncomfortable days right after plaiting them in I didn't have much damage from my knee length synthetic dreads. I did redo them every 2 weeks due to the weight though. And I began to use hand rolled felt dreads after a while as felt tangled with my hair less than synthetic dreads.
But overall... Huge fun and hardly any damage.

January 24th, 2012, 06:12 PM
What type of synthetics are you thinking of using? I would go with something lighter, as I think most of the damage would be caused by weight. Wool dreads will be softer on your hair and light as long as you keep them dry. Otherwise, I imagine as long as you moisturize when you're re-doing the dreads, you'd probably be fine.

January 26th, 2012, 01:50 PM
I've had them multiple times. I love the fact that you get out of bed and have to do nothing with your hair, haha!
I wasn't that careful with my hair as I am now but I don't think there was much damage. I think the mostdamaging things are putting them in. I had a painfulish scalp for the first few days because it was so tight. And taking them out, and then I mean brushing it all out. I would take them out and have a HUGE fro (awesome!) and then go in the shower. Make my hair wet. Slather it with conditioner and carefully comb all the shed hair and knots out. Takes a long time. But I think those are the most damaging things.

I have an itchy scalp. Always have had it. But with the dreads itwas worse. A few times I had them I would wash or atleast get my scalp wet every single day. But there also have been times I could do thatjust once a week. But I think you could have a dry scalp problem because of them.

I'd always have them for about a month or 6 weeks :-)
I'd have them to get through the awkard stage of growing out my hair from supershort to long. It's great for that.

January 26th, 2012, 03:09 PM
Years ago, I had synthetic hair braided into my chin length hair to create 200 TB length braids. I loved the look of them and managed to keep them in for 12 weeks. It was painful having them done, and my scalp was sore for a few days after. I didn't wash them with water, but used a spray on my roots, and the thing I really remember was the constant itching.

When I took them out, the 12 weeks worth of shedding was obviously a LOT of hair to "lose" all in one go, and the base of each braid had a sticky lump of sebum and dead skin trapped in it, which was quite yucky! I didn't notice any damage at the time, but that might be because my hair is very thick. A few months later, I noticed a lot of "new" hairs that were a couple of inches long, but actually turned out to be breakage from the braids.

January 26th, 2012, 03:39 PM
I've had issues with dry, damaged ends when I've had my hair in braids for a week or two, so do be careful of how you secure your ends to the dreads. (My hair's rather fine and kinks badly and easily, fwiw.) The whole thing sounds potentially drying to me, but other than those points and the weight, I don't see that it could be particularly problematic.

Do make sure you take them out and redo them at least every few weeks. Even straight hair will eventually tangle in the things enough to loc up, though not as quickly as curly hair.

ETA: Don't forget to pull them back if you're working with something hazardous, like fires or machinery that spins. I sometimes get the feeling that this is less obvious to people who suddenly have long hair than for those whose hair grew to that point. Synthetic dreads could have the added hazard that they might go up in flames more readily or melt and drip on you.