Trick or Treat?! The REAL on faux locs and loc extensions
So, I’m just going to get right into it...This debate has been an ongoing hot topic for a few years now and I couldn’t let my first blog-year pass, without addressing it and my thoughts on the subject. I have read many articles, blogs, and comments from people who are in and outside of the loc community strongly sharing their views. Let’s just say overall, those with “real” locs are not too happy about the faux loc movement. Trust me, I get it, but I have a different perspective on why I think faux locs, real locs, and loc extensions all have their place of acceptance. And, If you read ‘til the end, I will share a little secret with you about my own locs.
What are Faux Locs and Loc Extensions?
First things first, let’s define what faux locs and loc extensions are, then I will explain the difference. Faux locs are meant to be a protective style that is a commitment-free alternative to having real locs. Loc extensions can be faux pre-made locs or faux kinky hair added to the ends of your hair or real locs. Most people who get loc extensions want locs, but also want to bypass the so called “ugly phase.” The difference between the two is, faux locs are more for a temporary style, whilst loc extensions are typically a more permanent option.
So, what’s the big deal?
Okay, so here’s the tea. To start and grow your locs to any respectable length takes A LOT of time and patience. You go through so many different changes with your locs as they grow and go through every up and down life throws at you. You literally grow a real emotional attachment with your locs. You watch them budd (happens in the first growth stage of locs), loc, and grow. You even have your favorite loc and that one that seems like it can never lay the way you want it to. When you have locs, you are your hair! It is a true bond.
So, the beef comes when someone decides they want to loc their hair, but then goes to get loc extensions to a length that would normally take real locs about 3 looong years. Or, when someone gets faux locs and tries to emulate the loc lifestyle. For some, it’s annoying when mainstream media decides to highlight and glamorize faux locs as a thing, when locs have been a THING for years. It makes the loc community feel overlooked and diminishes our journey and experience. Some even say it is an insult to everyone who has real locs. Well, for me it’s not quite that deep, but as a professional loctician and someone whose had locs for 14 years, I most definitely understand. My purpose of this particular blog is to educate you, whether you're thinking about getting loc extensions, faux locs, or even real locs.
Are you #TeamRealLocs or #TeamFauxLocs?
Don’t get it twisted (see what I did there lol), I am #TeamRealLocs all day, but everything has its place. I am pretty open to people wearing faux locs and loc extensions. Here’s why… First, you can’t really tell someone how to rock their own hair. Period. But, you can educate them and help them make the best choice. So, here’s the deal. Locking your hair can be a huge commitment. If there is a way to get an idea of how you might look with locs, faux locs is an inexpensive way to go. There are a few methods, but I recommend the crochet method or the braid-n-wrap method. If you want a temporary loc protective style (when done properly), again faux locs would be the way to go. I can’t lie, they are cute and you can do a lot with them that you may not always get to do with your real hair… like multiple colors, crazy lengths, and make them as thick as you want.
Same with loc extensions, if you need your locs to be a certain length for your career or personal reasons, go for it. However, loc extensions are more of a permanent style. I actually have about 10 pre-made locs installed in the back from when I had an undercut (my little secret). The locs that were there had to be used for my side that I used to have cut, because those locs got color damaged (you can read about that disaster HERE). FYI, if you decide to get loc extensions, make sure whoever is doing them uses high quality kinky hair. Anything synthetic can cause issues down the line. Also, with both styles, make sure your real hair is strong enough to handle the length and the additional hair added on to your roots. You also need to make sure while you’re “protecting” your hair, you are also keeping your scalp moisturized.
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Get to the point!
Okay, so from my professional perspective and my 12 years of experience as a loctician. I have decided NOT to offer faux locs as a service. Number one, they take forever and I rather spend that time starting and growing real locs. Also, I DO NOT recommend transitioning your faux locs into real locs, especially if your stylist uses synthetic hair. The synthetic hair, overtime has an adverse effect on your real hair. As it grows out, it can get heavy and put extra weight on your roots. It will also hold an unpleasant odor and your real hair will suffer. You also won’t be able to color the synthetic hair.
I DO offer loc extensions. But, I only offer the pre-made (I got mine here) loc extensions, which in my opinion are the best way to get loc extensions. This method involves using human kinky hair to back-comb and crochet into a loc of your color choice and thickness. Then, it is crocheted into your real hair, giving you a lasting more authentic look. This option is more permanent. Very similar to how real locs are reattached. However, I don’t like the idea of adding loc extensions for the sole purpose of just making your locs longer. I am also not a huge fan of starting with loc extensions, especially if your real hair is capable of real locs, but I will do it. I think they are more useful for repairs and add ins like what I did for my hair.
Everything is Love.
Although, I understand the frustration some may have, I live by the saying, “Imitation is the best form of flattery.” The loc community has been teetering mainstream acceptance for years. It sucks that our play cousins made it before we did lol, but as our community grows and more positivity is exposed from those who have locs, I know in the right time, we will have our rightful place. Until then, let people do what they want with their hair. You had the option to go against every societal norm and loc yours, be the acceptance we all want when it comes to “our” hair. It’s okay to have an opinion and even set your own boundaries, but show LOVE to everyone. I know I would rather see faux locs over faux straight hair any day. Just keep it all in perspective. Everything is love!