Have you been dreaming of getting locs but would rather forego the locking process? Well, loc extensions may be precisely what you need.
Dreadlock extensions are not the easiest style to do on your hair, as they take patience and knowledge to create.
Although there’s no need to worry, this article will teach you step-by-step how to do loc extensions. We’ll also give you helpful tips and tricks to make your loc extension installation experience as easygoing as possible.
What Are Loc Extensions?
Many get confused when differentiating between faux locs and loc extensions. So, before we get into the instructions for doing dreadlock extensions, we’ll take a second to clarify.
Faux locs are a protective style that utilizes either synthetic or human hair to manipulate the look of dreadlocks. They are not meant to be left in your hair permanently and should be taken down within a few months of installation.
On the other hand, loc extensions are human hair woven together to create permanent dreadlocks.
These locs look very much like natural dreadlocks, unlike faux locs, which may look artificial. As your hair grows, the new growth is either retwisted or interlocked.
Now that you understand the difference between dreadlock extensions and faux locs, you can make an informed decision regarding whether loc extensions are what you want.
Loc Extensions: Step by Step Instructions
Let us tell you beforehand that doing loc extensions is no small undertaking.
However, if you follow our instructions, you’ll be able to prepare your natural hair, make your own dreadlock extensions, and install them yourself.
Let’s jump right into it!
Purchase or Make Your Own Loc Extensions
To do dreadlock extensions, you first need to obtain the loc extensions. Loc extensions are made of loose human hair using a crochet tool.
In this section, we’ll tell you how to get pre-made human hair loc extensions or how to make your own loc extensions.
Buy Handmade Loc Extensions
If the thought of making loc extensions makes you cringe, don’t worry. In this section, we’ll tell you where to get high-quality loc extensions.
Some of the best handmade loc extensions are on Etsy.com. You can find them in various lengths, colors, and price points. Etsy seller, Locsanity, offers an extensive array of loc extensions.
Choose from the following loc extension types:
You can also find quality loc extensions at FashionDreads.com. This online shop has them in just about every color you can imagine.
Choose your length and size, and they’ll ship your locs to your home.
Here are some options to consider:
We do not recommend buying your loc extensions from just any online store, as loc extension quality can vary. Choose a loc extension shop that has stellar reviews and is transparent about its prices and loc options.
No matter where you shop, you will need to pay anywhere from $300 to $1,000 for a full head of handmade loc extensions. The price varies based on the color, length, and size of the locs.
Make Your Own Loc Extensions
If you’d rather not pay for handmade loc extensions, you can save some money and make your own.
With some practice and dedication, you can become a loc-making machine! Read the section below for detailed instructions.
Gather Your Supplies
The size hook you will need depends on your desired loc size. Often, a 0.5mm or 0.75mm will work perfectly.
You can use a single, double, or triple hook tool, depending on your personal preference.
Make the Locs
Follow the below steps to turn the loose human hair into locs.
- Separate a section of the human hair. The larger the section of hair, the thicker your loc will be. Your locs should be proportional to the size of your future natural locs.
- Stretch out the section of hair. Pull the hair vertically from both ends to stretch it out a bit. This will prepare the hair for the next step.
- Insert your crochet hook. Starting midway down the section of hair, insert your hook into the section of hair.
- Begin crocheting. Hold the hair with your forefinger, middle finger, and thumb. Push the hook in and pull it out repeatedly a few times. Stop crocheting, turn the hair, and insert the needle at a different angle. Continue crocheting. Soon, you’ll notice that the hair is beginning to lock.
- Repeat the previous step, up and down the loc, without going all the way down to either end. Leave at least 3 inches of hair unlocked at both ends.
- Blunt the end. On one end of the loc, twist the hair between your fingers and fold it down. Crochet the end of the loc from several angles to create a blunted end.
- Repeat all of the above steps for each loc.
Prepare Your Natural Hair for Loc Extensions
To get the best possible results, you’ll need to prepare your natural hair. In the following sections, we will go over each step you should take.
Get Your Materials
Save yourself some time and frustration and gather your materials beforehand. You’ll need the following supplies:
- Rat tail comb
- Wide toothed comb
- Clips or ponytail holders
- Locking cream (optional)
Cleanse Your Hair Thoroughly
Before installing loc extensions, ensure that your hair is clean. Use a clarifying shampoo to get rid of any buildup or debris in your hair.
Keep in mind that any buildup in your hair will eventually end up in your locs, so starting with clean hair is a must.
Condition Your Hair
Condition your hair with a moisturizing conditioner to bring back moisture lost from your shampooing session. Choose a conditioner that has moisturizing properties and promotes hair health.
Take this time to detangle your hair to minimize pain during the parting process. Don’t dry your hair after conditioning it, as it should be damp for the next step.
Separate and Twist Your Hair
To prepare your hair for loc attachment, you’ll need to section and twist your natural hair. This way, you can plan out your loc parting system and keep the parts separate until you’re ready to attach the loc extensions.
Choose Your Parting System
There are many different parting systems to familiarize yourself with. The below sections will help you choose the right parting system for you.
Square parts – The square parting system is the most popular parting method for locs. You simply part your hair in the shape of squares.
People love this parting system for simplicity, but some don’t like it because of the amount of scalp that it tends to show.
Crescent parts – Crescent parts are created by making c-shaped parts all over the head. This parting system is preferred by those who want their locs to frame their face. They are also easy to do.
Diamond parts – Diamond parts are a bit more challenging to achieve, but they are preferred for their intricacy and the fact that they don’t show much scalp. Creating diamond parts is complex, and for that reason, it’s not recommended for DIYers.
You don’t have to choose a specific parting system if you don’t want to. You can part your hair randomly with your fingers if neatness is not important to you.
Whichever parting system you choose, make sure that you lightly twist your hair after parting each section. This way, you won’t have to go back and part your hair a second time.
Attach the Loc Extensions
Now that your hair has been parted and twisted, you’re ready to attach your loc extensions! Step by step instructions are below to help you through this step:
- Place the loc extension at the base of one of your sections of natural hair.
- With a crochet hook, begin to crochet the loose extension hair to your natural hair.
- Grip your natural hair and the extension hair with your forefinger, middle finger, and thumb.
- Insert and pull out the crochet hook repeatedly.
- Every so often, stop crocheting, turn the hair, and crochet from a different angle.
- Stop crocheting when the hair feels locked and secure.
- Repeat the above steps to attach the rest of the locs.
Note: Make sure not to crochet too close to the scalp, as this can cause scalp pain. Leave at least a half-inch of hair unlocked.
Twist the Roots of the Locs
Once you’ve attached all of the locs, you’ll notice that there is some frizz at the roots. If you’d like, you can twist the roots of your hair to make them look neater.
The below steps will get you through the twisting process:
- Spray the roots of your locs with water.
- Add oil or a locking gel if you desire.
- Twist your locs until they are flat to the scalp. Ensure that all of the locs are twisted in the same direction and not twisted too tightly. This is necessary to avoid headaches and hair loss.
If you’d like to see a visual demonstration of the loc extension attachment process, watch the YouTube video above.
Loc Extension Maintenance
Loc extensions require regular maintenance sessions to stay looking their best. Every few weeks, you should do the following:
- Wash your locs and scalp.
- Retwist the new growth.
- Oil your scalp to keep your locs moisturized.
Between maintenance sessions, you may feel the need to oil your scalp or spritz your hair. You can do these things, but above all, you should try to leave your hair alone so your new growth can lock.
Pros and Cons of Loc Extensions
Loc extensions come with their share of advantages and disadvantages, just like any other style. Read the below list to find out all of the loc extension pros and cons.
- You can get locs now – Natural dreadlocks take several months to loc, but loc extensions give you fully mature locs immediately. You can forego the many stages of loc maturation with loc extensions.
- No unraveling worries – With natural locs, especially in the beginning, you must be careful with how you deal with your hair. With loc extensions, you can wash and style your hair immediately after installation without fear of unraveling.
- Loc extensions are expensive – For a full head of loc extensions, you should expect to pay at least a few hundred dollars. This amount does not include the cost to get them professionally installed, should you go to a loctician.
- Difficult to install – There is a very steep learning curve when it comes to crocheting locs. Some give up on making or installing loc extensions because it takes time to get the crocheting technique right.
- Forego the locking experience – This con may be a pro to some. Loc extensions cut out all of the locking phases of natural locs, keeping you from experiencing the “journey” of it all.
- Risk of losing locs. If your loc extensions are not attached securely, there’s a chance that the extensions may fall out at unexpected times. You can minimize this risk by taking your time during installation and checking your locs for secureness from time to time.
Dos and Don’ts of Loc Extensions
Loc extensions are not the simplest style. This is why we want to share some dos and don’ts to help keep you on track.
- Shop around for quality loc extensions. Not every loc extension shop produces quality loc extensions.
- Give yourself more time than you think you need to make and install your loc extensions. It could take you hours to days to complete your loc extensions.
- Consult a professional if necessary. Though it’s great to save money and do things for yourself, loc extensions are a long-term commitment and should be done right the first time.
- Don’t attach the lock extensions too close to your scalp. This can be painful and make it impossible to twist your roots.
- Don’t attach thick extensions to small sections of hair, as the extension’s weight can cause thinning roots.
- Keep your lock extensions at a reasonable length. Extremely long extensions can put too much stress on your roots.
Now you know exactly how to do loc extensions. We hope that this article gives you all the information you need to create gorgeous loc extensions yourself.