1. Enjoy your last shampoo for a while. And I mean enjoy it. It’s not nearly the same sort of affair when you’ve got dreads installed. Try to use a residue free shampoo/conditioner if you can manage! Go ahead and give yourself a nice scalp massage while you’re at it. Yeah, that’s it. Make the people outside the washroom wonder. Alright, alright, settled down. Now you want to rinse really, really well.
2. Coerce a good pal into helping you install. If they can figure out a three-strand braid, you’ve got yourself a winner. I hear milkshakes and movies are excellent lures for such helpful friends.
3. Make sure you have all your materials.
You will need:
* Your dread kit, of course
* A tail or “rat tail” comb, or other non-harmfully pointy object for sectioning. (I use a fancy-shmancy chopstick, for example).
* Itty Bitty Elastics in the color that will best blend with your dreads
* A nice cushy pillow or three
*A lot of patience, especially if this is you or your friend’s first install
*Possibly your computer screen, loaded up with the following links to help you install:
Single Ended Install, Washing & Maintainence: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KWYK5lb7P-I & http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xHl1XsnrNmk
4. I’m no doctor, but it’s advisable to drink plenty of water and keep some aspirin nearby. You’re adding a lot of extra weight to your head as well as yanking and pulling at your scalp, and you are likely to be sore for the next couple days.
+ Try not to pull your hair up for 2-3 days, or if you must, be very gentle. You’ve got to give your scalp a few days to get used to the added weight to avoid massive headaches and possible breakage.
+ Red bumps are fairly common for the first few days, and could be a result of pulling your hair too tight when styling. Don’t scratch! You may further irritate your skin. If said bumps don’t go away within 5 days or you start to see little white bulbs pulling away from your partings, you’ve installed too tightly and should consider re-installing.
+ Battling the Itchies: All of us that wear dread extensions simply have to take this one in stride. They itch. All extensions itch. We’re just willing to put up with it for the sake of fabulous hair!! Fortunately there are a few things you can do to keep from going completely mad.
1. The biggest cause of itchies is shampoo residue. When your hair is sectioned off the way it is, it makes it very difficult to shed normally, which created a mild matting effect at the root of the installation. If excess soap builds up in that tiny sponge of hair, it can be super irritating to your scalp. Just rinse extra, extra thoroughly and cut down on the number of shampoos to avoid this.
2. Tea tree or Eucalyptus oils dabbed on with a q-tip can bring amazing relief, but make sure your skin isn’t broken ahead of time, and be sure to dilute first if your skin is super sensitive. Learned that one the hard way, myself. Feel the burn!
3. Often times, the itch is merely caused by sweat drying on your skin. Hop in the shower and give yourself a cool rinse, and it’ll probably do the trick.
After 6-8 weeks, you’ll have enough grow out that you’ll be ready to re-tighten. A lot of folks will say you can leave them in longer (I’ve done it myself!) but I can confidently say that through years of experience I’ve learned this is the ideal amount of time to prevent excess matting at the root (which can be very tricky to detangle) and unsightly grow out. Not to mention, after two months you’ll probably be dying to enjoy the orgasmic experience of a proper scrub of the hair and scalp!
1. Very simply snip the band at the end of your braids (being very, very careful not to snip your hair or the extension) and unbraid! You may want to keep your tail comb handy to help you pick apart any tricky braids. If you’re in to hilarious pictures of yourself, now would be an excellent time to snap a couple.
2. Carefully work out any knots with a comb, working from the ends of your hair to the scalp. A little leave-in conditioner may be used to help you. Often, I won’t do this step until AFTER I’ve had a good shower. You’ll have to use your own discretion.
3. Don’t be alarmed when it looks like you’re suddenly losing all your hair. Remember, you’ve not been able to shed normally, so the 100 or so hairs that should be naturally detaching from your head daily, are all being combed out at once. Your hair will feel very flat for a few days, but unless you have large portions of scalp showing through, you should be fine!
..::WASHING AND MAINTAINENCE::..
1. Always use a diluted shampoo. You can concoct this very easily by adding 2-3 tablespoons of preferred shampoo to a spray or color-applicator bottle and shaking it up.
2. Damped and apple mixture to your roots only, working it in between partings. Rinse very, very, VERY thoroughly. The run off should be enough to freshen your dreads.
3. Conditioner is not necessary while your dreads are installed. The natural oils produced by your scalp will keep it nice and healthy.
4. Shampooing once every 1-2 weeks is more than sufficient. You can always “wash” with plain water in between.
5. Your extensions will get very heavy when wet, be mindful of this when washing!!
6. After washing, make sure to get your dreads nice and dry. Air and towel drying are recommended, as use of a hair dryer could result in accidental melting and general scratchiness of your extensions. They will drip for up to an hour, especially if you have long extensions.
Odor Control: in between washings you may feel like the lengths of your dreads need a little refreshing. Febreeze, Wig Fresheners or a few drops of essential oils are all excellent for this, but be very careful not to get any on your skin!
If your dreads start “fluffing” or unraveling: Not to worry, this is pretty normal with extensions that are worn exceptionally hard. You may very, very carefully trim any wildly loose hairs if you like, but I highly recommend waiting until you’ve uninstalled, and then sending them back to me for trimming and re-steaming. Remember, this service is free through Imp And Petal when you purchase a full kit from us, take advantage!
To Schedule Maintenance: Please contact us through Etsy or email us at ImpAndPetal@live.com to check on current turnaround time. You will need to cover shipping costs both ways, and we cannot promise we’ll be able to knock them out right away if orders are backed up. If you need rushed maintenance, extra charged may apply.
Storage: When not being fabulously worn, store your extensions in a cool, dry place. It’s best to keep them tidy, and either hang or preferably store them carefully in a shoe box. Any position you set them in will hold after prolonged storage, so try not to crinkle them too much!
WARNING: DO NOT use any hot tools (curling iron, flat iron, etc.) on your extensions. These are made of synthetic hair and will not hold up to extreme heat. If you are interested in having your extensions curled or straightened, please contact us to discuss rates.