I’ve Got Kinky (Fake) Dreads

 First published January 2013
I have now had my Kinky (fake) dreads for about five and a half weeks now. I shared the photos on the Facebook page a few weeks ago and I know the anticipation has been building, so here is everything you need to know about how I did them and how you can do them for yourself. There will be a separate post on my braid regimen, which explains how I wash my hair weekly and moisturise daily using my modification of the crown and glory technique. I will also do a follow-up post, once I have taken them down.
If there is a dreadlock capital in the world after Kingston, Jamaica, it’s Johannesburg, South Africa. The folks at Kinky World of Hair have created a synthetic wig (extension) more real than anything I have seen so far. This extension is called R-Dred and comes in the usual colours. I used 1B (off black). There are Kinky World of Hair stores all over South Africa. Their website has a store locator to direct you to the nearest one to you. You will not find one in affluent (white) areas like Rosebank, you need to go to black areas and malls in black areas. Take note that KWofH manufacture and stock their own brands only. As far as I am aware, you cannot find their products in other stores, only in their own self-branded stores.
If you or someone you know will be travelling to the city of Johannesburg, go into what South Africans call Johannesburg. For some bizzare reason, they refer to the Central Business District (CBD) or city centre as Jo’burg and then other residential areas and suburbs by their respective names such as Sandton, Parktown, Houghton and so on. This is VERY confusing to any visitor but get used to it because you will get lost or confused when trying to ask for directions. For the rest of us non-Mzansi dwellers, there are a number of Kinky World of Hair branches are in an area of town called Braamfontein, where you will find several branches and a number of women ready to pounce on you and start braiding your hair. You just buy the wig from the shop and them find somewhere to sit outside and they get started. There are several hair and beauty supply shops in the area, hence the proliferation of hair stylists and braiders.
The closest I can equate this wig to is the one by many manufacturers called Soft Dred. Whereas Soft Dred is a soft and smooth coil that is somewhat loose; R-Dred is a hard and rough coil that is more tightly bound. Meaning R-Dred comes already coiled and in effect is a ready made lock. I advise you to buy it direct from the supplier in South Africa as if you buy from a salon or stylist here in Zambia, they will charge you an arm and a leg. For example, what you will buy in SA for approximately $6, you will be charged here at $20, which is three times the cost. Even with import duties, transportation and profit, in my view this is exorbitant. Especially as it’s not coming from America or Europe, but from within the SADC region.
Now, for those of you who are used to spending upwards of $100 on your hair, closer to $200 for those fond of Brazilian weaves, this will seem like no big deal. However, I am the kind of person who thinks spending more than $60 on temporary hair is just plain stupid. This hair cost me K700 ($140). This was because I used six packs of extensions (K600/$120), plus K100/$20 for labour. I shared this with some friends who commiserated with me on the daylight robbery that I had just experienced. The following day I related the same unfortunate account to some other friends who looked at me blankly when I told them the fortune I had spent. They were expecting a fortune on hair to be in the region of $300. So, this is really about personal preference.
Stage one of faux locking the hair: I washed and conditioned my hair at home, applied leave-in and then went to the hair salon to have it blow dried. At the braiding salon, it was sectioned into bantu knots and then the magic began.
In this picture, you can see that my hair is braided for about an inch and then one end of the R-dred lock is unwound and then rewound around the base of the braid at my roots. You continue the same technique until the hair is completely wound within the lock.
In this picture, you can see the centre part in my hair and one half that is done and the other half that is still waiting. The hair is blow dried to stretch the roots and hair effectively, minimise shrinkage and tangling.
In this picture, you can see how the R-dred is being wound around my own hair. In essence, my hair is encased within the coil. Some people braid the entire length of their hair and then wind the wig around it and this is what you will see in the video tutorial below.
A close up of my almost complete hair. It was almost 8pm by this time. We started around 2:00pm. It wasn’t as tight as it looked and I was glad the stylist didn’t pull the way some people do. She was very gentle.
The morning after, I noticed that in some places, my own hair was not properly encased in the lock. I had to take some time to re-twist and make sure my ends were tucked away. The end of your hair is the oldest part of your hair and therefore is the most vulnerable. This is where hair breaks off and therefore, it must be well cared for by conditioning, moisturising and monitoring for dry and split ends. As someone who is trying to grow my hair, exposed ends is a big concern as I know any hair growth from this long term protective style will be negated by failure to retain length on account of breakage. More about this in the braid regimen post coming next week.
When stretched, the loose hair was over an inch long. In some places it was even two inches. There was a temptation to just leave it, but this is a recipe for dryness, knots/tangles and breakage – enemies of hair growth. I made sure to thoroughly moisturise these ends before twisting them back into the coil. This is something I have to check for every morning when moisture spritzing my hair.
From this picture you can see that some locks are done neatly and some aren’t. This is the peril of doing your hair at night when you both just want to finish and go to sleep. Morning is always best to avoid this kind of scenario.
However, one plus of this ‘hit and miss’ in terms of tidyness is that it looks more natural – like real locks that are not manufactured in a factory.
Back to a minus: the beauty of blogging is that you get to take pictures and see your hair in a way in which you normally wouldn’t by just looking in the mirror. As someone who likes really neat hair, the loose and untidy locks at the back and the uneven length makes for a very straggly look. I don’t like this at all. And for the amount of money I paid, I expect to have better workmanship and start off with neater hair, especially if I must walk around with it for 8 weeks. This is why I only wear it down and loose after washing it to speed up the air drying process. I have since neatened the ends by trimming them to be more even. there’s not much I can do about the loosely twisted locks on the back of my head. These are all coming from the crown.

How to Do It Yourself

I have scoured the internet and as I suspected, I did not find any video that shows this style. Why? because the extension is what makes it different and ultimately is what makes it look so real. Major props to Kinky World of Hair.
My real dreadlocks, in 2009 before I BCd and went loose haired natural
I selected the video below because many people are familiar with yarn braids (aka genie locs). This is NOT that at all and actually doesn’t look anything like it in my view. I saw one yarn locks video which was pretty real and used a similar technique to this one but because it was done with wool (yarn), in my view it wasn’t even pretending to look real. For me, the idea of fake (faux) locs is to make it look like your hair and wool just doesn’t come close. I think one can be fooled in a picture or at a distance, but not when people are standing behind you in the supermarket queue. My count of people who have been fooled by my fake locks is now at 15. This is those who have come up to me and asked or commented. Many more just wonder to themselves.
Another reason for choosing this video is because it has the closest look to what I have, and because (to the best of my knowledge), Kinky World of Hair is only found in South Africa, anyone can do this style using Marley Braid which is available everywhere in the world where hair extensions are sold. There are a few other videos that I found, but they are not tutorials, they only give you pictures of the finished product.

If you want to contact the stylist who did my hair, you can email info@zedhair.com and I shall be happy to give you her details. However, there is no connection to ZedHair and I could very well have gotten a discount I wasn’t aware of, so please don’t quibble if it costs more. Everyone has to make a living, just ask for the cost up front – unlike me, who didn’t. Lol! Similarly, if you don’t like it, that is your business. However, I am pretty sure you will not be disappointed. Kinky Dreads are a great alternative to Kinky Twists (Senegalese Twists) and Box Braids.

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27 responses to “I’ve Got Kinky (Fake) Dreads

  1. Pingback: Where My Natural Hair Journey Begins Part Five | ZedHair·

  2. I LOVE this!! Thank you for this post, will go to JOBURG (lol) to check the place out. I also had locs similar to yours for 5 years…(before the chop-and-keep/sell era) and really miss them every now and then. This should curb that feeling temporarily i suppose.

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  3. Pingback: My Year Without Extensions | ZedHair·

  4. Hey there ,

    I was wondering where you got these done . I will be in Lusaka and was hoping to get some faux dreads while I was there .

    Thank youuuu

    Like

  5. Hi guys, you r doing beautiful job yooh, I like that, so I wanted to ask if I want you to braid this to me how can I contact u or meet u? How long does it take to do that and how much? Please let me know cos I wanna do it tomorro(22 nov) plz plz.

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    • Hi Nthabi, if you read the article, you will note that there are many ladies who you will find outside hair extension shops ready to braid hair. Just ask one of them and they will be happy to assist you

      Like

  6. Hi there,
    thank you for this blog, I been trying unsuccessfully to find out more about getting faux locs in Zambia. I wasn’t sure from your post whether you did yours in Zambia or in South Africa? I hope you did them here (Zambia) because I also want to get them but I don’t know who to go to…

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    • Hi Chisomo,

      Unfortunately, the last who did mine moved abroad. However, ss mentioned in the article, anyone who can braid hair can do faux locs. There are dozens of YouTube videos that explain the process clearly and simply.

      Like

    • Hi Chisomo,

      Unfortunately, the person who did mine moved abroad. However, as mentioned in the article, anyone who can braid hair can do faux locs. There are dozens of YouTube videos that explain the process clearly and simply.

      Like

  7. Hi mama…just wondering where will you get your sisterlocks done? Is there someone in zambia who can do it? Thanx

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    • There are no registered Sisterlocks practitioners in Zambia as it is a trademarked technique. But I have heard there are a few people who lock using the latch hook method, which is a similar technique to Sisterlocks. When the time comes, I will most likely have mine done in London.

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  8. hello,my name is Francis from Nigeria.I need a contact of were I can buy original kinky dread lock attachment in south Africa.thanks,

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  9. hi thanks 4 dis beautiful post. i am getting faux locs 2moro 4 d 1st time n i would like 2 know a few basic maintenance tips.tnx

    Like

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