Let’s start by saying that permanent loc extensions and faux locs aren’t the same thing! We know that faux locs have been one of the hottest styles to wear for the last few years, but we also know that they’re meant to be taken out after a few weeks or couple months.
Permanent extensions, on the other hand, are here to stay! They’re made with human hair and essentially help you grow your natural hair into locs without the awkward, short starter locs stage Interested in getting your own loc extensions? Here’s what you should know!
The process is not the same as installing faux locs.
If your stylist says that they can install loc extensions for you and mentions wrapping or using a loop crochet method, you need to run the other way. These techniques are all fine and dandy for faux locs that will eventually be taken out, but not for permanent locs.
The reason for this is that both wrapping and crocheting cause too much tension. And as your hair grows over time, the extensions will pull at your hair and weaken the roots.
Additionally, permanent loc extensions are made with human hair! This means that the process must be handled with a different kind of care and finesse. Before you go schedule your appointment, you need to keep a few things about the process in mind:
- It’ll take 6-12 hours to complete.
- They will still be using a crochet needle with sharp points, so don’t be alarmed as soon as you hear “crochet”. It won’t be the pink and green latch-hook used for faux locs.
- Your hair must be natural to start.
- Color is okay! Since the loc extensions are human hair, they can be dyed and color corrected with no problem.
- These locs will be embed in your natural hair, so removal will be similar to taking out natural-grown locs. The longer you have them, the harder it is to remove them.
If any of these simple guidelines sound uncomfortable to you, you might want to stick with regular ol faux locs for the time being and rethink your commitment to extensions.
Starting out on the natural side is KEY!
When getting loc extensions, it’s going to be super tempting to start out super long and thick. However, it’s important that you really consider what your hair can realistically handle and start out as natural as possible for a smoother, healthier growing process.
A few things to keep in mind:
- Can your hair really handle the weight of certain sizes and lengths? If you know you have naturally fragile or fine hair, try starting with something shorter and thinner and then slowly (but consistently!) grow into your desired length.
- Are you currently ready to maintain longer, thicker locs? Be mindful of the fact that longer hair tends to take much more work to manage.
- Is this a style that you’d actually want to keep long term? Remember that this is permanent! So if you’re someone who changes styles often, take some extra time out to choose what works for you.
In my personal opinion, this aspect is perhaps the most important decision you’ll make during the entire process of getting permanent loc extensions. Think hard, choose wisely.
Yes, the texture still needs to match your own.
Some people decide to cut off their loc extensions once their natural locs grow to a nice length and others decide to keep them for a longer period of time. Whichever you choose, make sure that you use extension hair that actually matches your natural texture.
If it happens to not match, it will become more and more noticeable as your grows. The two textures will not only look different, but feel much different as well.
Of course, this may be a cause for concern for the health of your hair, as well. Especially if the extensions are a far more coarse texture than your natural hair, which could ultimately cause breakage. There’s not much to do here except be mindful!
Don’t think they require no maintenance or upkeep.
Your hair will grow, so touch-ups are going to be wildly necessary! Every few months (give or take a month or two), you’ll have to go get your locs retwisted. You have two options:
- Palm Rolled. Your loctician will use the palm of their hands to roll (or twist) your hair to ensure neat and secure locs. Depending on your preference and their suggestions, they may use a cream or wax to get the job done.
- Interlocked. This technique is when your loctician pulls your loc through the root of your hair as a way to manage new growth at the scalp. Depending on the type of locs you have, either a tool or fingers can be used for this method.
Once you’ve decided your style, maintenance method, and checked off all of the “are permanent loc extensions for me” boxes, you’re now ready to start the process!