hairdresser dreadlock specialist louisville ky
hairdresser dreadlock specialist louisville ky
hairdresser dreadlock specialist louisville ky
hairdresser dreadlock specialist louisville ky
hairdresser dreadlock specialist louisville ky

Dreadlocks

As a hairdresser for over 15 years, I specialize in dreadlocks, extensions, and fantasy colors and am skilled in all aspects of hair coloring and cutting. I pride myself on my eagerness to continue learning and growing to bring my clients modern styles and techniques. More recently, I've taken the role of Dreadlock Educator with my current salon, as well as with Pulp Riot. If I can answer any questions for you, please feel free to reach out!

To better understand the care and process for dreadlocks, please refer to the guide below:

Dreadlocks F.A.Q.

Natural Dreadlocks

How long does my hair have to be before I can have my hair dreadlocked?


Your hair needs to be at least 6 inches to dreadlock your natural hair, this includes the hair at the nape of your neck. The longer your hair is, the easier it will be to dread and the quicker it will mature. If your hair is on the shorter side, dreadlocks may just need a little more maintenance before they really start to lock and tighten. If your hair isn't quite long enough let you might consider getting temporary extensions while waiting for your hair to grow.




What process do you use to get the hair to lock?


I use a combination of backcombing and crochet/latchook method. I never use thread, root ties, wax, or chemicals. There are many ways to start and maintain natural dreadlocks. I am professionally trained and have years of experience with our 100% all natural, WAX-FREE, back comb and crochet methods for natural dreadlock installation and maintenance. This method will work on ANY texture hair, no matter how straight, curly, thick, thin, coarse or soft it is. We never judge anyone on any way they choose to start their journey. This method can be used for any dreadlocks regardless of the method you used to start them.




How much does it cost to have my hair dreaded?


A consultation is required to give an accurate estimate of how long the process could take and therefore how much it will cost. The amount of time can vary greatly depending on the length of your hair, the size of the desired dreadlocks, and whether or not you'd like to add extensions. My standard rate is $100/hour. In my experience:

  • A partial set of dreadlocks can take 1-2 hours.
  • A full set of dreadlocks can take take 3-5 hours.
  • Extensions cost $5 per dreadlock and require extra time to install.




How much will my dreads shrink after install?


Just like if you had curly hair, you'll lose some length once your hair is dreaded. How much you loose depends on your hair type, as thinner hair tends to result in more shrinking than thick hair. The thickness of the actual dreads also tends to play a part. On average, expect to loose about 20% of your length.




How long will it take for my dreads to mature?


Well this depends on a couple of things - some hair types dread easier than other and the amount of time you spend on maintenance can influence the time they take to mature also. Here is an idea of what you may experience:

  • On day 1, you might find some of your dreads feel quite stiff and not very solid. Perhaps some are standing straight up, particularly if your hair is shorter, but over the coming days and weeks these little guys will start to settle down.
  • Between weeks 1-4, it may seem like they are starting to loosen and you'll have lots of loose hair coming away from the dreads. Don't panic, this is totally normal as dreads tend to tighten and mature from the inside out. Keep them on track by palm rolling.
  • By weeks 6 - 8 you should notice them really start to tighten and mature. You may notice them shrink a little more and perhaps get a little lumpy and bumpy as some mature faster than others. Your dreads are basically going through puberty but hang in there, they are well on their way to adulthood! This is the time when I usually like to see you back for a maintenace appointment to tidy everything up and make sure you're on track to happy healthy dreads.
  • At the 3 month mark they are becoming smoother and tighter by the day. Be sure to keep them clean with a residue-free dreadlock shampoo as this will also help encourage the new growth to lock up.
  • During months 6-12, they should be well over shrinking and you're on your way to getting some length. They should feel tight and smooth and no doubt can hold a lot of water - make sure you squeeze them out after washing and allow them to dry thoroughly. By their 1st birthday you should be sporting a hot head of mature dreadlocks - congratulations! From here on, maintenance only gets easier. By now you've developed a routine and know what works and what doesn't for your particular dreads to keep them (and you) happy and healthy.




How often should I get my roots maintained?


I recommend getting your roots touched up every 6-8 weeks for the first 6 months. After that appointments can be spaced out as needed. Maintenance sessions take an average of 1-2 hours.




What type of maintenance do you recommend?


Week 1 - I recommend that you avoid shampooing your new dreads for about the first week with a dreadlock-safe shampoo like Dolly Locks. If your scalp is not particularly oily and can handle less frequent shampooing, then you can wait longer before your first shampoo. Oily build up, however, can cause itch, irritation and dandruff, so I recommend maintaining the health of your scalp and hair by shampooing sooner if required. A good trick is to take a color bottle and mix a little shampoo with water and squirt the mixture onto your scalp between the dreads then gently massage your scalp and let the soapy water run over the rest of your dreads as you rinse. Ongoing Maintenance

  • Shampooing: How often you need to shampoo depends on your hair and scalp type. For most people, shampooing once a week would be sufficient but you may wish to do more or less frequent shampooing if you have a particularly oily or dry scalp. Keep in mind that the cleaner the hair, the easier it will knot and lock up. It's very important to use a non-residue shampoo designed for dreadlocks as regular shampoos will leave behind conditioning agents which could build up in your dreadlocks and inhibit the locking process. Make sure you never leave your hair tied up in a ponytail when it's still wet. Leave your hair down and allow it to air dry or blow dry before putting your hair up.
  • Palm Rolling: Frequent palm rolling with downward pressure will ensure your dreadlocks remain separated, help keep them nice and rounded, and will help stretch out and minimize lumps, bumps and shrinkage. Do this after shampooing and as often as is convenient.
Dreads are usually nice and tight immediately after installation but it is normal for them to become a little messy and untidy, particularly after shampooing. Wearing a headband or bandana when you sleep as well as a silk or satin pillowcase can also help with fuzziness.




Should I condition or oil my dreads?


NO! Dreads don't need or like conditioner OR oil. Conditioning is the opposite effect. It will make them feel soft, which can be nice, but also fuzzes them up, which isn't what you want!




Can you dye or bleach dreads?


Yes and colored dreads can look amazing! Coloring and bleach do tend to dry out the hair but this is fine for dreads as it means knotting and locking up will be easier. If you already have dreadlocks, just wait until they are about 10-12 weeks old before coloring them. Check out coloring products here.




I've seen photos of some dreads where you can see the scalp. Will I look scalpy?


All new dreads show the scalp a little as they've been freshly sectioned. It's the same as when someone gets their hair done in braids - some of your scalp shows because the hair is pulled tight to the scalp when they're fresh. Only someone standing over you and looking down head will see it, and after about 3 weeks your new dreads relax a bit you won't see the scalp anymore. If you prefer the relaxed look straight away, just ask your Loctician to make the bases a bit looser.




What about swimming with dreads?


You can swim with dreads. Chlorine won't hurt them and salt water helps the hair dread faster but it is a good idea to rinse chlorine out after you swim. If you have baby dreads, you may end up with a few loose hairs but just follow your swim with our recommended maintenance routine of palm rolling. You can also purchase a special swim cap that accommodates the size and bulk of dreadlocks.




Can you take dreads out after install?


Dreadlocks, or at least the method I use, are not a one-time-only hairstyle. They will tighten and mature over time, so if they are only a few weeks old then combing them out will be much easier than trying to comb out mature dreads. Combing them out is tedious but can be done using deep conditioners or coconut oil and a dread comb and lots and lots of patience.




Are natural dreadlocks right for me?


The transformation that occurs when someone locks their hair is a significant one, but dreadlocks don’t always deliver that instant gratification like a new haircut and haircolor may. When you leave our salon after having new natural dreadlocks installed they will look nice and tight, but will look nothing like what they will eventually mature to be. Locks typically take approximately 1-2 years to fully mature and will change significantly throughout that time. They require a ton of patience and a good amount of TLC from you at home especially if you want them to be on the neater side of things. Natural dreadlocks are a commitment and not what we would consider a temporary hairstyle.





Temporary Dreadlocks

How long does my hair have to be to install temporary dreadlock extensions?


Your hair needs to be at least 4 inches to install synthetic or wool braided-in extensions; this includes the hair at the nape of your neck.




How long does an installation last?


Typically, a temporary, braided-in dread installation lasts 5-7 weeks. With proper care, the dreads themselves can be installed many many times.




Where do I get synthetic or wool dreads?


From me! I make custom sets of synthetic and wool dreads to order in any length and any color. Or, if you've purchased them elsewhere or made them yourself, I can install those for you as well. Reach out to me to talk more about this.




How often do I need to wash my hair?


Everyone's hair varies slightly in its needs, but on average I recommend shampooing your hair once a week. Because synthetic hair and wool don’t hold on to dirt and oil the same way our natural hair does, it doesn't get as "dirty" as quickly. A good trick for cleaning your scalp is to take a color bottle and mix a little shampoo with water and squirt the mixture onto your scalp, then massage the shampoo into your scalp and let the soapy water run over the rest of your dreads as you rinse. I have some shampoos and other care products available in my shop.




Are temporary dreadlocks damaging to my natural hair?


Nope. This is considered a protective style. The only possibility for damage is where the rubber band or elastic is placed at the bottom of the braid to secure your hair to the dreadlock. I use high quality elastics to avoid damage as much as possible, and these are no more damaging than a pony tail holder.




What type of maintenance do you recommend?


Temporary dread extensions will need to be removed after 5-7 weeks. To do this, carefully remove the rubber band at the bottom of your hair that's braided onto the dreadlock and unbraid your hair. Once all the dreads are out, gently brush out all the excess hair. It may appear that a lot of hair is coming out at this time, but it's just the amount of hair that would have come out if you were brushing your hair daily. Once you've brushed out all the excess hair, marvel at the amazing afro you now have. Now give your hair a good shampoo (or two) and your ready to reinstall your dreads. Reach out to me if you have any trouble!