Yarn Wraps/Faux Locs/Genie Locs FAQ and Tips

Beautifully Curled: Yarn Wraps FAQs & Tips

{updated 3/18/2015: check out my ultimate yarn wrap guide posted here}

How was my hair prepped before installation?

What kind of yarn was used?
Note: Only use 100% Acrylic Yarn when doing this style. Using wool yarn will loc your hair (based on information I gathered from YouTube tutorials I watched during my research and not from personal experience). One brand I have noticed that is commonly used by many women is the Red Heart Brand. I did not use the Red Heart Brand because it seemed really black compared to my natural hair; the Caron black yarn is slightly off-black with a little sheen--more like my own natural hair:

Beautifully Curled: Type of Yarn for Yarn Wraps
Red Heart Black (left) and Caron Simply Soft Black (right).
Tip: Buy your yarn from Michael's craft store and use the 40-50% coupon on your yarn to save a few dollars. I bought 3 bundles of yarn (4 oz) and saved over $5 just by using the coupons (available to scan via smartphone).

How long was each individual yarn string?
34.5 inches long. I am 5'8 and my yarn wraps came out to APL (Arm Pit Length) in the back.

Tip: Instead of cutting individual pieces of yarn, wrap all the yarn around two chair legs (or table legs) and cut straight down the middle on one side to create a bundle of equal length strings. This process only took 10-15 minutes tops and was a huge time saver!

Beautifully Curled: Quick Method for Cutting Yarn for Yarn Wraps

How much yarn was used to complete installation?
Each bundle had 4 oz of yarn. I used approximately 10 oz of yarn. My hair is pretty dense especially at my crown.

How was the ends sealed?
Initially, I tied two knots at the end of the wrap before cutting the excess strings beyond the knot and burning the knot to seal the wrap. Eventually I got lazy and went down to tying just one knot. During the final 6 hours of wrapping, I was so over with the entire knotting process and decided to just hold the lighter at the point where I wanted to end the wrap and allowing the heat to melt the yarn straight through thus separating the end of the wrap from the excess strings. I then clipped the burnt ends to create a blunt ("neater") look. Kind of hard to explain. I just know that doing it this way shaved off a significant portion of time (and lots of frustration) that would have been spent tying multiple little knots. 

How long was the complete installation process?
About 24 hours over a 5 day spread. This did not include hair prep before installing yarn wraps nor the yarn cutting process. Due to the fact that my hair is 2 inches long (except in the front perimeter of my head), I had some difficulty starting off the wrap closely to my scalp while I was working on the back portion of my head. My arms were in awkward positions (and became tired often) and many times I had to redo several of the wraps due to slippage. Also with my hair being short, I had to do smaller sections than initially planned to make sure I was able to securely wrap the yarn around my hair to reduce the chance of slippage over time.

Tip: Start with the perimeter of your head and move inward toward the crown. By completing the perimeter of my head first (at least 4-5 rows in), I was able to manipulate the wraps into different styles that could be worn outside the home even though the crown was incomplete.

How long do I plan to keep the yarn wraps installed?
8 weeks is the planned timeframe at the moment.

Does the wraps loosen over time?
Yes, it has been almost 2 weeks since I have first installed the wraps. Initially, the wraps were stiff but over time, they have relaxed significantly. So far, I have not experienced any complete (or anywhere close to complete) unraveling of the wraps but only time will tell. I am assuming that with greater manipulation of the wraps comes the increased likelihood of loosening. Honestly, I like them a ton more now they are loose and hang down more like locs.

Have I experienced any slippage of the wraps?
My hair is short overall as mentioned before so there was a great concern about making sure I can get the wraps started as close to my scalp without pulling too tight. After assessing my hair, I have noticed several wraps have slipped some, which could be caused by a number of factors: not starting wrap close to scalp due to awkward hand positioning while installing, hair growth, and/or loosening of the wrap as stated in previous question. Quite frankly, I have not had any major issues with the slight slippage especially in the middle section of my head, but I do plan to redo the perimeter of my head anywhere between 3-4 weeks to refreshen the style. In addition, I make sure I am not creating any extra tension on my hair (particularly my edges) when I put the yarn wraps into buns and ponytails.

What is my moisturizing routine?
I spritz my hair/yarn wraps every other day or two with my homemade moisturizing spray. I do not want to add lots of product in my hair especially since I am planning to thoroughly cleanse my scalp once while the yarn wraps are installed. I focus primarily on the first 2-5 inches of the wraps (starting from the root of my head). The yarn absorbs the spritz wonderfully (of course!). From what I have researched, the hair stays quite moisturized within the wraps. Got to love protective styling!

How do I plan to cleanse my hair?
I am still considering options. Some women have actually soaked their entire wraps under water to cleanse their hair/scalp. This results in very heavy wraps that can take over a day to completely dry. I am put off by this method because (1) it is too cold for me to have my hair drenched in water especially overnight, (2) I want to avoid any unnecessary slippage of the wraps due to the heavy weight of the wraps post wash since my hair is not very long as is, and (3) I am truly only concerned about my scalp. I was pondering doing some type of rinse over my scalp only (with the yarn wraps separated into several sections for ease of assess to scalp) such as apple cider vinegar and possibly using aloe vera juice as a follow up. Eh, I just do not know right now, but I will update this section once I figure out what I am going to do exactly.

What is my night time routine?
I put the wraps into a bun (if they are not already in one) and cover the bun with my satin bonnet while wrapping the edges with a satin cloth.

Has there been any issues thus far?
It has been forever (since 2005) since I have had any extensions (microbraids at the time) but having these yarn wraps sharply brought to remembrance the itchy scalp issue that occurs when I wear extensions. Spraying with my homemade moisturizing spritz has helped relieve the itching temporarily, but I am looking into possibly creating an oil mixture using Extra Virgin Olive Oil (base/carrier oil) and peppermint,  lavender, and rosemary essential oils (from Whole Foods) to test if this mix will aid in alleviating the itchiness and dryness over an extended period of time. Using tea tree oil is another idea.

What has been my favorite style?
The high bun. I cannot deny it. It was the motivation that led me to try out the yarn wraps. :-) Check out some of my other styles HERE.

If there are any other questions I did not address please feel free to ask them below in the comment section, and I will be sure to answer them for you.

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