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21:01  03 may  2021
21:01  03 may  2021 Source:   marieclaire.com

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If you’ve ever found yourself staring dreamily at a picture of Lisa Bonet and her iconic waist-length dreads (just us? Nope, impossible), then you’ve probably already gone down the Google rabbit hole of researching everything to know about getting locs…and then ended up here, a safe space for ~commitment-phobes.~ Because as cool as real locs are, they’re most definitely not for the easily bored, since it can take at least a year (!) for your hair to fully lock. And if you don’t have the time or patience for that, we’ve got the next best thing: faux locs.

Zendaya wearing a hat: Faux locs are a great alternative to real locs—they'll give you the appearance of locs without the commitment. Here's everything you need to know about them. © Getty Images Faux locs are a great alternative to real locs—they'll give you the appearance of locs without the commitment. Here's everything you need to know about them.

Faux locs are basically a super-easy (and significantly faster) way of getting the look of locs without the commitment. But, like all good things in life, they come with some important notes to consider before trying them out on yourself, which is we got our resident Cosmopolitan braider, Stasha Harris, to help break down all the need-to-know info, below.

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What are faux locs?

Here's the deal: Faux locs are a temporary protective style where your extensions are loc’d—not your real hair. Which means you don't have to worry about any of the damage you'd potentially get with real locs. Faux locks can be installed using two methods, says Harris:

  1. The braid and wrap method, which involves braiding your natural hair and then wrapping hair extensions around each braid.
  2. The cornrow and crochet method, which involves braiding your natural hair into cornrows and then crocheting the faux locs onto the cornrows with a latch hook.

While the crochet method is definitely quicker (think: 4 to 5 hours to install), the end results aren’t quite as realistic as the wrapping technique, which will give the illusion of real locs coming out of your head. So if you’re willing to put in the time to get faux locs that look super realistic, opt for the first method—though, in the end, either one will still look good.

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What type of hair do you need for faux locs?

You can use synthetic braiding hair for faux locs, which makes them a lot more budget-friendly than if you opt for human hair (ex: you can get three packs of synthetic braiding hair for $12, versus three packs of human hair for $75). Just make sure the hair has the texture and appearance of locs, so go for coarser-looking hair extensions, like Marley hair, instead of super-sleek and shiny hair. Need more options? I gotchu:

How much do faux locs cost?

The cost of getting faux locs depends on a few things, including where you’re located (bigger cities or fancier salons tend to be more expensive) and how long you want your locs (the longer, the more expensive). On average, though, the installation will cost you anywhere from $150 to $300—unless you're a pro (or have a pro BFF) who can do them on yourself for cheap. Still, even if you go the salon rate, it's a pretty good deal IMO.

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How long does it take to get faux locs installed?

Definitely bring snacks to your appointment—it can take anywhere from four to nine hours to get faux locs (less time if you do the crochet method, and more time if you do the wrapping method). Just keep in mind that the length of the process will depend on how long and how skinny you want your locs, along with what method your stylist uses. It's always a good idea to call ahead if you're feeling iffy.

Do faux locs damage your hair?

If your faux locs are too heavy, they can cause tension at the root of your hair, leading to some pretty serious breakage—so be sure to work with your hairstylist and decide on a size and length of extensions that won’t break off your natural hair. The safest will always be a skinnier, shorter style, since it places less tension on your scalp, but chat with your braider first if you're concerned.

Another important note: Make sure your hair is healthy and strong before adding the extensions to your hair. Harris recommends prepping with a deep-conditioning treatment to make sure your hair is super hydrated and to set a good foundation for the extensions.

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How long can you keep in faux locs?

With any protective style, you don’t want to keep them in any longer than six to eight weeks, says Harris, since your natural hair will have started to grow out by then. Any longer, and you’re risking major damage on your natural hair, like breakage. Also, that grown-out look with locs isn’t super cute, IMHO!

How do you wash faux locs?

Faux locs are pretty easy to take care of compared to other protective styles. You can gently wash them with a sulfate-free shampoo and let them naturally air-dry, or you could buy an at-home hooded dryer to speed up the process.

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The verdict

So are faux locs worth it? IMO, yup, thanks to the fact that they’re both low maintenance and temporary. If you’re looking for a cute protective style and you don’t have the time to put a ton of effort into your hair on a daily basis, faux locs should definitely be on your radar. Plus, you get to have the appearance of locs without the commitment—what’s not to love?

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