Custom locks

Ted Hamilton

Student sells synthetic hair extensions online

A model shows off the colorful synthetic hair extensions made by Chrissy Morreale, senior visual communication design major. Photo courtesy of Chrissy Morreale

Credit: John Proppe

Chrissy Morreale, senior visual communication design major, spends a lot of her time working on, a Web site she uses to sell the synthetic hair extensions she makes.

She started creating and selling the Dreadfalls when she was 19 years old. Dreadfalls are synthetic hair pieces worn to achieve the look of dred locks, she said. She started making them because the Dreadfalls she ordered online fell apart.

“The girl who I bought (the falls from) shipped them to me, and they didn’t look good to begin with,” she said. “After I wore them two or three times they unraveled and looked like crap. I was embarrassed to wear them.”

Morreale said her friends liked the ones she had made, so she began making falls for them. That’s when she decided to start selling them online, she said.

She stops accepting orders during school but opens the site again for Christmas break.

“I’ve thought about stopping it because I get so busy with school, but I have so many people that would be devastated if I closed down,” she said. “It’s something I love doing and have worked hard at it.”

She said she gets e-mails from customers telling her how much they love the falls they ordered.

“My dreds could handle the abuse of mosh pits,” she said.

All of the hair extensions, like her CyberLOX and other custom orders, are made exclusively by her. The extensions come in a variety of 40 different colors, ranging from a “fall colors mix” to “neon purple,” with blue being the most popular.

“I consider those my little pieces of art, and no one touches them but me,” she said.

Morreale makes enough money from the business that she is able to live off of the profit during the summer and uses it to pay her rent.

Recently she has had to hire people to help with the Dreadfalls when business picks up, she said.

“I teach them to make dreds exactly how I make them,” she said.

Her orders come from people all over the world.

“I get orders from places like Greece, Japan, Norway and the U.K.,” she said. “Most of my orders come from the U.S. and the U.K.”

Morreale also does the hair and make up for the industrial band Margin of Error. The bands musical influences are bands such as Skinny Puppy, KMFDM and Juno Reactor.

“(She is) more of an artist than most people I see online,” said band member Travis Meyers, 21. Meyers works the synthesizers and programming for Margin of Error.

He thought the falls would fit with the bands style, he said.

“Durability is a big for a live environment,” he said. “They still look great and last a long time.”

Morreale sells other things like goggles, CDs, different hair extensions, materials to make Dreadfalls and installation services on the site.

“CypherLOX is more popular among an alternative underground fashion,” she said. “People can get natural colors too if they want.”

She is hoping to launch a sister site soon as well. The site will sell everything a person needs to make their own falls.

Contact features correspondent Ted Hamilton at [email protected].