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Caring For Synthetic Dreadlocks

If you’re tempted to have your hair dreadlocked but you’d like to test it out before locking up your hair, a great option to try the style is the temporary choice – braid in synthetic dreadlock extensions.

Synthetic dreadlock extensions give the look and style of real dreadlocks but without making any permanent changes to your natural hair. They are installed by braiding them in to your natural hair which can be done by your local loctician or you can install them yourself.  You could even ask some friends to help too!

The great thing about synthetic dreads is that you can change the colour, length and style as much as you change your outfit! Whether you’d like something a bit more natural or something colourful too! They can be decorated just like natural dreadlocks, with accessories of your choice, including dreadlock beads, wraps, accent sets and Spiralocks. Once you’ve mulled over which colour you’d like to go for we have a few hints and tips on how to keep them in perfect condition.

How to Maintain Your Synthetic Dreadlocks 

Synthetic dreadlocks typically don't require much maintenence, especially those that have been made by the backcombing and crochet hook method, as they tend to be very durable.

We have a few hints and tips to keep them great condition!


  • Use a shampoo that is residue free. We have a great Range of Dollylocks residue free shampoos in stock. These shampoos don’t contain any chemicals or softening agents which can affect your dreadlocks in the long run. Simply massage the shampoo in to the root and rinse – For more information on this please see our blog on How to Keep Your Dreadlocks Clean.


  • After a large amount of use you may find that your dreadlocks may have the odd loose hair sticking out or they may become a tad fluffy.  Depending on whether a high or low heat kanekalon (synthetic hair) has been used, different methods of sealing can be done. For high heat kanekalon,  you can dip these in a pan of hot water to re-seal. For low heat you can re-seal the dreadlocks by using steam to help neaten and tighten them up again. We advise to use a low heat method initially. We would not recommend using a hot iron or curling irons directly on synthetic dreadlocks. Synthetic dreadlocks are made from kaneklon which is a form of plastic so they may melt under high heat.


  • When you have taken your synthetic dreadlocks out they can be gently hand washed with a little residue - free shampoo and left to air dry. Perfect to hang out on the line on a sunny day although the neighbours might look confused!


  • If you have purchased an Accent Set, please be more careful when washing as the braids and decorations are slighty more delicate than the dreadlocks.

Synthetic dreadlocks can sometimes feel a little stiff to start with depending on how tightly they have been crocheted, but a certain amount of wear and washing they will soften up considerably.

How to Wash Synthetic Dreadlocks

When wearing synthetic dreads, you may notice your hair does not need to be washed as regularly as your natural hair. We would recommend not washing them for the first couple of weeks after installation. We have some great organic dreadlock products in our shop that are perfect for washing your synthetic dreadlocks and keeping them clean.

Which Products Work Well On Synthetic Dreadlock Extensions?

We highly recommend the Dollylocks range, which are organic and residue-free!

Our Dollylocks liquid shampoo will leave your hair and scalp feeling clean and refreshed. Pour a small amount into your hand and work in to the roots. Rinse and repeat as necessary.

If the length of your dreadlocks needs a good clean too, massage the shampoo into the lengths too. Rinse thoroughly. Wrap a towel around your dreads on top of your for about 20 minutes to remove excess water and then let them air dry. It may take a few hours for them to dry.

Our Dollylocks Cleansing Spray is great for a quick clean without having to wait for your dreads to dry. You simply spray this on your roots and wipe away with a damp cloth. The cloth will wipe away any excess oils, build-up and products. There is no need to spray it on to the lengths of the dread. 

For an all-over long-lasting scent of your favourite Dollylocks products, we recommend their Refreshing Sprays which leave your dreads beautifully fragrant.

Can You Dye Synthetic Dreads?

Synthetic dreadlocks cannot be dyed, unlike human hair dreadlock extensions, which often can (ours can!). However, the beauty of synthetic dreadlocks is that they can be easily replaced if you fancy a change. They can be decorated with a range of threads, dread beads and accent sets for a pop of colour when you need it. 

How to install Synthetic Dreadlocks

The best way to install synthetic dreadlocks is to start off by sectioning your hair in a brickwork pattern as in the example below. This is a nice, neat pattern that will give your dreads that perfect volume and coverage.


Step 1: Take a small square or rectangular section of hair – around 2-3cm wide.

Spray this section with a little water (The water helps to smooth the hairs out for less frizziness).

Step 2: Thread the small section of hair through the loop of the dreadlock. Then pull the loop to your root.

Step 3: Split your hair into 2 pieces so you have three pieces in total - two pieces of your hair and the dreadlock. Braid these together.

Step 4: Once you have braided to the end of your own hair, secure the top with a small elastic band to keep the three pieces secure

How Long Can Synthetic Dreadlocks Be Left In?

We would recommend keeping your synthetic dreadlocks in for no longer than three months.

Hair type and how secure you have braided them in can affect how quickly they become loose.  

If your hair starts to matt together at the root it is advised that they are removed and then replaced after your hair has been washed and brushed through again. When you remove your synthetics, you can expect some amazing big curls after it has been braided for so long!

Browse Our Range of Synthetic Dreadlocks

Check out our range of natural shade synthetic dreadlock extensions, including bleach blonde, brown and black. For a full head we recommend using 50-60 dreadlocks. What’s even better? You get a FREE installation kit worth £8.95 with orders over 50 dreads.

All of our synthetic dreadlocks have been made with high quality Kanekalon synthetic hair. They have been created with a backcomb and crochet hook method which makes for a very durable, long-lasting dreadlock extension and therefore not much aftercare will be required. 

We’ve also got a range of dreadlock beadsSpiralocksDollylocks products and other dreadlock accessories.

If you’d like something a bit more colourful then just get in touch for a custom quote!

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