Photo: Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images
Thinking about working a locked look but don't want to limit yourself to just one hairstyle? Although a full head of dreads might be the first trend that comes to mind, dreads aren't the only way to experiment with weaving your hair together. Other interlocked or interlaced styles -- like tree braids, cornrows and weaves -- can also allow a style-savvy gal to change her look without needing to chemically alter or take scissors to her natural hair.
Synthetic hair pieces may let you play with different looks without having to change a thing about your own hair, but they can still sometimes cause damage. Glued-in weaves can rip hair right out at the root, cause unwanted breakage or irritate your scalp. Heat fusion processes and clip-on tracks, too, can also put stress on your natural hair. However, interlocking hairstyles like cornrows create a safe base for sewn-on weave tracks, letting you indulge your stylish side without regrets.
Experimenting with different hair pieces doesn't always require including extra materials. You can also use cornrows to braid synthetic hair directly into your own. Rather than sewing tracks of hair onto a base of flat cornrow braids, tree braiding involves partially adding synthetic hair into cornrows so that the new hair stays attached to your head through the strength of the braid. Just like with weave tracks, you can create a chic, interlocked style without sacrificing your own hair.
Interlocking techniques aren't only for attaching extras. Not into weave piece or wig looks? Hair weaving itself can make for many beautiful designs, creating texture in both long locks and updo or half-up styles. You can go chic with French braids, microbraids and goddess braids, embrace a country look with milkmaid or bohemian braids and concoct complex designs with cornrows. You can even braid your hair to make it look shorter without ever having to pick up a pair of scissors.
Your hair can end up in this tangled state if not properly cared for, but when done intentionally, it is super stylish. You can coax your hair into locking through twisting, braiding the ends, using chemical adhesives that bond hair strands together or even letting it lock on its own by avoiding styling after each wash. This classic interlocked look can take weeks to months to become glam, depending on your hair type.