The synthetic and alpaca fiber extensions I offer can be sewn into your own hair permanently or pinchbraided in for up to 2 months at a time (they are reusable, of course!) For an even more temporary change, I also make tie-in falls, hairpieces, and wigs. Synthetic fiber comes in a rainbow of natural and unnatural colours that can be blended, mixed, and matched, and alpaca comes in a few natural colours and can be dyed for other effects. The possibilities are endless; I can match your natural hair colour, add some highlights, or to go bright red all over!
Pinchbraid extensions are a low-commitment method of putting in extensions and can last up to two months before needing to be taken out, without damaging your natural hair. The extensions are simply braided into your natural hair and secured with rubber bands. It’s best to have a minimum of 3” of natural hair to install pinchbraid extensions (results are best with longer hair). For those Do-It-Yourselfers out there, I include illustrated instructions with all dread kit orders. These allow you to install them yourself, with the help of a friend (for the back of the head), or are a good reference if you have a stylist install them.
To remove temporary extensions, simply cut the rubber band at the end of the braid and unbraid. Leaving them in longer than two months is not recommended, as the fiber will begin to felt into your hair and make them harder to remove, especially on coarse, curly, and dry hair that has a tendency to dread. As long as they’re well cared-for, all types of pinchbraided extensions can be reused many times.
Permanent sewn-in extensions are a bigger commitment and will last months to years, as long as you care for them well (see aftercare) and give them occasional maintenance work. The effect looks a lot more natural than the braid-in method and involves dreadding up the natural hair and adding in the extension by crocheting and sewing it in, blending it with the natural hair. Permanent extenders can be added onto pre-existing dreads to lengthen them. To assure that the dread bases will hold, I ask that you have at least five inches of hair before proceeding with permanent extensions. The longer, the better! With time, wool and alpaca can begin to felt into your dreads and tighten as it felts more.
Alpaca Fiber vs. Synthetic
Both materials are light-weight and fast-drying. Synthetic fiber is the best way to get very realistic looking dreads and match your natural colour, as I have a library of different colours which I can blend, mix, and match to get your natural shade or any combination you desire! I hand crochet the synthetic fibers in the same manner that I crochet real dreads - so they look virtually indistinguishable from real dreadlocks. Synthetic is the best choice for realistic looking extensions.
Alpaca is lighter when it is dry and can be softer on the skin than synthetic which is a plastic. Alpaca feels and looks natural and earthy, which appeals to some. Alpaca is available in natural colours, and can be dyed many colours, though the colours are more limited. If you’re looking for a spot-on colour match, super-bright, or UV-blacklight colours, synthetic is the way to go.
Both types of dreads are generally well tolerated for most people, but anyone with animal hair, wool, alpaca, or plastics allergies, or with sensitive skin or scalp should be cautious. (If there is any question, it is wise to braid in a few "trial" dreads for a week or two to test for allergic reaction before proceeding with a full head or permanent extensions).