One of the major hair trends sweeping across Africa and the world are faux locs, which are braided synthetic dreadlocks. Faux locs, which are essentially fake dreadlocks that derive their aesthetic and function from dreadlocks, are not only worn for style purposes, but are also a protective hairstyle that winds natural hair into extensions that mimic dreadlocks, either temporary for about 3 months or permanently as hair is wrapped with yarn, synthetic hair or human hair.

Kgomotso Kgomo (26) is the owner and hairstylist of Hair Majesty Naturals based in Boksburg – East of Johannesburg who specializes in faux locs. As the trend became more and more popular, over the past few years, she has had many clients flocking in and requesting for this hairdo.

Ever wonder where the faux loc trend stems from? The inspiration for faux locs comes from a tradition known as African Threading. In this tradition, black thread is wrapped around sections of the hair from root to end. Though African threading has a fashionable look, it also has some beneficial properties. Threading the hair can help protect the ends and prevent knots, stretch the hair without heat damage, and offer a fun, new protective style.

“Faux locs are my favourites, I remember the first time I saw them from Nicki Minaj from the “Yu Mad” music video, I fell in love with the hairstyle. I had recently cut my hair and I wanted to start growing dreadlocks, but the thought of having a permanent hairstyle wasn’t ideal for me and I wasn’t ready for that commitment. So, I decided to do the faux locs, they are limitless, they would allow me to play around in terms of the styling and colour. They’ve been are a good protective hairstyle for me, since I started growing my natural hair. They are good for hair growth and health,” says Kgomotso.

Faux locs allow your hair to get a break from excessive combing, which breaks fragile curly hair, especially type 4c hair. For the style to work as a protective haircare style, it is advised that locs be shoulder length or just below the shoulder and have a diameter of a coin to ensure that they’re not too heavy on the head, which can lead to hair breakage and neck and back pain.

“The faux locs have become a very popular trend, and there are different types, which makes them very versatile and suitable for all the seasons. Haircare and maintenance are easier with faux loc extensions as you dry shampoo and condition the scalp to ensure that your hair remains clean and healthy for the duration that the locs are installed in your hair. You can moisturize your hair with products such as coconut oil, which will give your scalp much-needed nutrients, or a variety of loc kinds of butter for faux locs,” she says.

Kgomotso offers a variety of other hairstyles as well. “I also specialize in African braiding styles such as box braids, twist, crochet braids, and other natural hairstyles. I do maintenance for locs and make afro wigs, as well,” she says.

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