So you are thinking about getting dreads? That’s awesome! There are all kinds of reasons people decide to become love-locked and as a loctitian I am always amazed at how many different people from different walks of life have come to the decision to be dread-full! For some people, they just know that loc’n up is what they really want to do and they dive in head first full of passion and awe! But for others, there are many doubts often supported by people who don’t know about dreads and are still stuck on the ‘dirty hippy’ stereotype. No matter which category you fit into, there are some things you should know before you loc-up that hair!
I don’t want to put people off, but dreads are not cheap. Its not like a dye job or hair cut, dreadlocks are a lifestyle choice and you need to make sure you are ready for it, else you may spend 100s of dollars and many hours on a hairstyle you only have for 6 months and causes you a lot of pain or a lot of length to get rid of.
Firstly, think about your life style! Think about work and school – is it okay by them to have dreads? If you are a type of labourer, you are likely going to need to put some extra effort in to keep your loc’s clean and tidy – I have heaps of tips and tricks to help you but you do need to think about how much your willing to do for your loc’s – can you commit to this?
its worth adding, I have clients who work in all kinds of areas: stay at home parent, IT, government positions, business positions, students, educators, artists, retired, customer service…. There really is no ‘class’ of person who decides to become a dready – all walks of life find joy in dread-full life! So don’t let ‘stereotypes’ get in the way of being love-locked!
- Dreadlocks are a labour of love.
I cannot stress this strongly enough! Although its true that you wont have to spend hours in the morning with hair straighteners, curling irons, moose, clips and spray; and instead get to put deodorant on, brush your teeth and walk out the door with your hair looking awesome!! You will still need to look after your locks. You have to put some effort in to maintain them if you want them always looking their best.
- yes, I am here to knot back up those loose bits of regrowth and do whatever else you may need, but I do still expect you to put some work in yourself. You will need to make sure you keep your loc’s separate, don’t leave them wet (to avoid mildew – which is why people think they are smelly – which can turn into dread-rot), twist them to help keep their shape and not put crap in them!! While the dreads are maturing, you will need to come back for a touch up aprox every three months. Why? Regrowth and development. Some people take longer, some shorter, basically you will just know when it’s time for a touch up!
- Dreads take time
not only to install (5-30hrs aprox!), but to mature. The maturation period for loc’s is anywhere between 6 months and 2 years. During this time frame, you need to look after them by paying attention to them and their maintenance. Just before your dreads mature, they do what all children (And dogs do), dreads rebel. They go full blown wild and seem to be difficult to manage and maintain and you think ‘why the hell did I do this!!??’ – don’t worry, this is normal and if you can take a deep breath and ride through it, on the other side you will end up with the loc’s you always dreamed of having! They will require less maintenance and behave in the way that you really want it to. Dreads kind of need to learn how to be dreads, all the maintenance is almost like you are training your dreads to behave appropriately for your life style.
- Dreads like to be residue free
– this is a product issue, esp shampoo (See the blog about shampoos for more on that! PS I now have my own shampoo available for you that ive custom made to suit dread-fulls, just ask me about it.) Natural oils are blocked by residue and it’s the natural oils that are best for dreads. There is a lot of debate on how often to wash your hair, I can tell you I only wash when it feels gross. Ive never had anyone tell me my dreads smell and considering their age, they have bugger all bits of lint in them. Residues also attract more smell – for some reason, dreads pick up scents more than normal hair do, so if you work in a stinky environment, your hair is going to absorb that smell. There are lots of things you can do to help with this and I can certainly help you out! Wax will mean more lint, more smell and harder to dry, which is why I advise against it. DO NOT USE CONDITIONER!!
– lots of people have been asking me about this lately, in all my years of loc’n, I’ve never come across anyone with a problem, but it can happen. There are things you can do to help avoid this problem like keeping your loc’s well maintained and clean. If you are around children, make sure you keep your kids hair healthy. One seriously awesome tip – tea tree oil – it repels nits! Great to use for dreads in general (its in my shampoo!) and good for your kids hair too. Make sure you dilute it though!
everyone who gets dreads goes through an itch faze and this doesn’t mean nits!! Your scalp is adjusting to having loc’s, your hair is pulling in directions its not used to yet and that can (and usually does) irritate the scalp. To help itch, use tea tree oil shampoo. If you cant or don’t want to wash it yet (I’ll come back to this), put hot water on a flannel and a few drops of tea tree oil and put it over your scalp. The hot water steam will open up the pores in your scalp to let the tea tree oil really get in there. When your head is used to be dread-full, the itch will subside drastically!
- One last pointer – if you have an extremely sensitive scalp and are prone to headaches/migraines, dreadlocks may not be for you! However, you could get temporary dreads installed!! Please talk to me about this option as there are a whole different set of things to know about temporary/synth/woolies dreadlocks.
- Ready to get dreads?
contact me to make a booking, I have no set work hours and will do my best to fit you in whatever space suits you best – I do take deposits which are dependent on the size of the job. This deposit is non-refundable. You get two ‘change of time’ options before you incur a booking fee.
If I am not coming to your home, I work privately from a studio space, respect that.
a new full head will take between 5-30hrs, depending on length, thickness and dread size/number. If your hair is past shoulder length, I am likely to book you in two days just in case we cannot complete day one.
remember, it is difficult on your scalp to have your hair pulled at (I specialise in dealing with sensitive scalps so I do my best to be as gentle as possible, but it is going to pull a bit!) and tough on your body to sit for so long (we do take short breaks).
I don’t provide meals, so bring food with you if you think you’ll need to eat, but do provide tea and coffee.
if you can, please don’t use conditioner before your appointment in fact, don’t wash it for at least a few days before you come to see me (getting it wet is fine, but avoid the shampoo). Don’t straiten your hair or put any product in it. After you have your new loc’s created, avoid washing for at least two weeks if you can, this allows the dreads time to settle into shape.
Anymore questions? Feel free to ask!