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:
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.
What process do you use to get the hair to lock?
How much does it cost to have my hair dreaded?
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?
How long will it take for my dreads to mature?
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.
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.
Should I condition or oil my dreads?
Can you dye or bleach dreads?
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?
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.
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?
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.