How to - make synthetic dreads using X-pression!


Ever since i saw the Marc Jacobs girls and their pastel dreads above, I've had a pining for grunge style dreads and have set upon making my own for a hair piece. When making dreads from synthetic hair there are 2 types you can make, double ended dread or single ended dread which is looped at the top. In this how to i will be explaining how to make a double ended dread as they give more coverage and volume than a single ended dread. This can be quite fiddly, requires patience, time and a good work space. If your dread isn't looking how you'd like it on first attempt, don't give up because it takes time and practice is perfect!

What you will need :

  • 100 % Kanekalon hair - X-pression, color braid or braid now are all perfect! Prices range from £1.99 - £4.99 
  • A comb to backcomb your synthetic hair.
  •  straighteners
  • A wet cloth
  • coat hanger

Step 1 - Determine size of dread.

Generally a packet of X-pressions will create anything from 5-10 double ended long dreads, if you are making them smaller then you'd probably get double that amount. Think of the length you want your dreads and buy the right amount of hair. Think of how thick you want them, the more you backcomb the thicker the dread will become but also the shorter it will get. Choose how thick you want your dread and prepare your hair for backcombing. If you twist the piece of hair you have, you will get an idea of how thick the dread will be.

Step 2 - Start backcombing! dreadsss

Take your coat hanger and hang it somewhere low down, low enough so you are able to sit and grip one end of your synthetic hair between your knees. Hang the synthetic hair over the coat hanger, hold one side between your knees and pull one side tight with your other hand. Start backcombing the synthetic hair from the top downwards, after every few brushes you want to be smoothing the hair down. Start splitting the length to pull apart any knots as we want the hair to knot but we don't want the knots to cause our dreads to be lumpy. It should start to look something like the right photo above. Continue to work your way to the bottom, all the while smoothing out the dread that is forming.

Step 3 - Sealing the dread. dreaddd

Once your dread is looking uniform, straight and reasonably well backcombed it's time to start sealing! The X-pressions hair we use has to be sealed with steam, so this is where we will take our wash cloth and straighteners to produce steam. I think a straightener is the easiest method to do this. Secure your dread somewhere you are able to twist it and hold it in place, mind that you don't get burnt!  Begin twisting your dread and smoothing it with your finger, make sure you are twisting your dread tight enough as this can have a big impact on the outcome.

dread seal straightenre

Take your wash cloth and wet it under the tap, wring it out till it's damp and place on top of your tightly twisted dread. Place the straighteners over the wet wash cloth and clamp down lightly to produce steam, this steam will shrink your dread but don't worry, keep twisting it tight and this will produce a neat, tight dread! When you touch your dread it should feel solid, it should look much tighter and slightly smaller as a finished product. If there are any parts which look poofy or untamed then you can always go back over these sections till they're smooth and neat.

Step 4 - Sealing the tail sealing

When you reach the end of your dread you will need to seal the end, set your wash cloth aside and just use your straighteners for this step. Lower the heat on your straighteners to half wayand clamp it quickly on the tightly twisted ends.  If you leave it there for too long, you can burn straight through the hair and it will just fall off. Clamp it together a few times till you feel the ends are sealed properly, they should feel tight and solid like the rest of the dread. The fluffy part that's left at the end of the dread, just cut that off and throw away!  This is the last step in synthetic dread making, you should have a perfectly formed dread and know exactly what to do for the rest of your head! It does take a while to get it right but practice makes perfect.


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