Photo credit: Isreal

Real vs Synthetic Dreadlocks: Which Should I Choose?

So you’ve made the decision to sport dreadlocks, but now you’re faced with the task of choosing real or synthetic dreads.

Color Variety

One of the perks of synthetic dreadlocks is the vast array of colors that are available. You can find them in practically any color under the rainbow, including traditional colors like black, brown and blonde and red, as well as bold colors like purple, yellow and orange. This makes synthetic dreadlocks a popular choice among men and women who are looking to separate themselves from the crowd.


Of course, many men and women prefer real dreadlocks simply because they are real. There’s an invisible stigma so-to-speak about wearing or having anything that’s fake. With real dreadlocks, you won’t have to tell people “oh, those are fake” when they ask. This alone is reason enough for many people to choose real dreads over synthetic.

Instant Gratification

Another benefit of synthetic dreadlocks is the simple fact that it allows instant gratification. Twisting your real hair into full-length dreadlocks can take months, and some people may not be willing to wait that long. If you have a vacation or party scheduled for the near future and want to dread your hair, synthetic may be the best course of action. But as long as you have the time and patience, you’ll find that real dreads are worth the extra effort.


It should come as no surprise that real dreadlocks look more natural. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of great synthetic dreads out there, but they lack the all-natural appearance of the real thing. You can usually tell if someone has synthetic dreads because their real hair, some of which will still be visible, is a different color and/or texture.


You can wash synthetic dreadlocks just like normal dreadlocks, even adding your preferred shampoo or conditioner. Keep in mind, though, that washing synthetic dreads too often may cause them to frizz, which is something most people want to avoid with their hairstyles. A good rule of thumb is to wash synthetic dreads no more than twice a week; otherwise, you may experience frizz.


The biggest issue with synthetic dreadlocks is their short lifespan. You can sport dreadlocks for years, but synthetic dreads must be removed or replaced after a couple of months. Leaving synthetic dreads in your hair too long may damage your real hair.

Start Your Dreads With Our FREE Eguide!

Maintain Your Dreads with Our DIY Video Course! For All Hair Types

Divine Dreadlock Grid
  1. Why couldn’t you do a mixture of both natural and synthetic? I cannot find anything on doing half and half.. Any comments?

  2. Was just wondering if the comfort is different like do real dreads feel different or more comfortable than extensions?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.