Caring for Wool & Dread Extensions
» Washing hair
Good news! You don’t have to do it as often as you might usually wash your hair because you just don’t trap as much dirt/dust as your hair normally does when it floats around freely. This can be a really nice break for your hair too - we tend in modern times to wash hair much more often than it really needs anyway.
Dreads get pretty heavy when wet, and the only part of your hair which really needs to be washed thoroughly on a more regular basis is the scalp. You should therefore try to keep the lengths of your dreads held up and out of the way when shampooing. You can them all together loosely on top on your head then tip your head upside down and use one hand to shampoo, and one to hold the dreads out of the way. Or you could cover the lengths with a plastic bag (but some water may still run down the lengths when you rinse, no biggie, little bit of water won’t hurt!). Either a Knotty Boy shampoo bar judiciously applied to the scalp, or a big jug of somewhat dilute shampoo poured over the scalp is then probably the best way to go, massaging in as best you can before rinsing very thoroughly - the biggest cause of itchiness with extensions is shampoo not properly rinsed out! Dry with several towels if you need to, and you can use a hairdryer on a low setting to speed up the process. You shouldn’t need to shampoo your dreads more than once a week, and you can get away with shampooing them far less frequently than that.
If you find your scalp gets itchy from having extensions in, we recommend using Knotty Boy dread conditioning sprays on your scalp regularly to reduce itchiness, dandruff and any odours, as well as keep your scalp and hair moisturised and happy.
» Flaky scalp/root bulbs/sensitive scalp etc?
Sad but true, some people do actually have extremely sensitive scalps which just don't take extensions very well. You'll usually need to have them done to know, but you could get an idea if you might be prone to discomfort or excessive hair pullage by doing a few small but reasonably tight braids somewhere on your own head and leaving them in for a few days and see how your scalp fares. If you don't have any discomfort or flakiness occuring, then go for it, and chances are you'll be fine!
There’s a couple
of things you can do to reduce frizziness of dreads, which can
be a probelm for some people but not all, best would be to use
a silky pillowcase and/or wrap your head in a scarf to sleep in.
Also using a scalp spray
on the scalp helps with this as well as with itching.
» Unweaving hair or dreads falling out?
If you’ve got particularly short hair, thick hair with not a lot of sections [fewer dreads] or really play with your dreads alot, you might find one or two dreads loosening, and might need maintenance. Also the section of hair which is woven inside the dread below the braided part can at times loosen and slip out as well. You can just pop into the shop and we will replace any dreads that may have come out, as well as weave any pokey-out bits in again with our handy latch-hook tools. It’s not a perfect system but it’s better than most what we’ve seen elsewhere, just leaving the hair out, or worse, using glue - ick! If you want to try doing the weaving yourself, you can purchase a latch-hook tool from us and we can show you how to do this maintenance yourself at home. Please note that we will do replacement & re-weaving only up until 3 months of wear - synthetic dreads are not designed to be worn longer than this unless you plan to permanently dreadlock your hair, and even then we recommend leaving them in for no longer than 6 months, and they can be a little awkward towards the end.
» Hair loss?
One thing some people are concerned about with braids or dreads is hair damage - after having extensions in for a couple of months, when they come out you find a huge amount of hair comes out as well - but it’s mostly just hair that would normally have been shed during the course of the extensions being in, but they haven’t been able to because they’ve been braided! Some people do report hair thinning after having had extensions in, but this will only be maybe 5% of your actual hair volume - enough to be noticeable to you, but not enough to make you look much different, and not permanently damaging. Some people with especially thick hair quite like this aspect when they have their extensions out, too.
As far as actual permanent hair loss goes, extended and continual wearing of hair extensions can eventually result in traction alopecia in some individuals - but this generally take years of wearing your hair in exactly the same extensions formation, and is more often the result of very small tight braids or cornrows - very different from the dreadlock extensions Wildilocks does. More information can be found here, here and a very detailed article here if you are concerned. If you have a history of alopecia [hair loss] for any reason as a pre-existing condition, you can still have extensions put in without causing forther damage, but it may be advisable to consult your doctor or dermatologist before getting extensions, just to be sure.