You'll want to have a minimum of 4 inches of hair growth from the scalp before we can get you started. When your hair this short, it's a little more work for the first few months to get them going. However, as you watch them grow, it's nice to know cultivated them from such little nappies.
How long does my hair need to be before I start new locks?
How much length will I lose?
Everyone's hair varies in shrinkage after we start up new dreads. In the photo above, Jace seems to have lost a fair bit of length due to a layered cut before we started, while Ann Marie (above and to her right) barley lost any length.
Dreadlocks are a commitment. Like most great things, they take time to develop and grow into beautiful expressions of their owner. If you're considering starting up dreadlocks, you must be prepared for this journey.
As life ebbs and flows, there is likely to come a time when you are ready to leave your locks behind and start another chapter in your life. Oftentimes, during this transition, it can be very satisfying to shave your head. Others prefer to grow a few inches of un-dreaded hair at the scalp and then cut their dreads off, leaving them with a very short hair style.
Some people will choose to try undreading the hair. Although I don't recommend this approach, I have seen hair that was once dreaded and in remarkably good shape after much TLC. Just remember, dreads are a commitment. Never expect your hair to look healthy and unbroken if you try to undread it and make sure you are ready for the journey before you start.
Do I have to shave my head if I don't want to have locks anymore?
How far in advance do you book appointments?
Generally appointments one to two weeks after contacting me are available but there's always a chance that there is something open for you the following day. I'll do my best to accommodate you and am open for late-night appointments. Studio hours are 1pm to 1 am so that you can even come for your appointment after you finish work for the day. Keep in mind that appointments generally don't get booked in with start times later than 8:30. If you need something earlier than 1 pm, I'll do my best to make it work for you. Just ask.
How do I care for my locks after I leave your magical studio?
During your time in the chair, we'll talk about all sorts of ways to care for your scalp and new or existing locks. I hugely recommend that you return 2 and a half to 3 and a half months after your new locks have started for your first maintenance session. This is where we will use the crochet hook much more, make sure that they are not growing together and teach you a few more techniques in order to maintain a healthy head of hair. After this session, you'll see a dramatic difference in the look of your locks and really feel like a dready! Then it's up to you how often you would like to come in and get help with maintenance or work on them yourself. Some people like to come in once a month and others twice a year. The more love you give them, the more they'll give you in return.
How can I prep my hair before our appointment?
All you need for start-up is to wash your hair with shampoo, but don't condition it. If you're coming for a maintenance session, same deal. Make sure it's clean and dry and I'll take care of the rest.
Do I need to book a consultation first?
If you're planning on getting extensions and live in Vancouver, yes. But it's usually not necessary for all other types of appointments. If you're not sure that your hair is long enough to start dreads or have questions you would like answered in person, you're welcome to book a free consultation.
If you're wondering how long your appointment will take, you can guesstimate with these advanced mathematical calculations:
Shorter hair = less time. Longer hair = more time. Thin hair = less time. Thicker hair = more time.
The best estimate I can give you is once I get my hands in there and start doing a few dreads. Then I know how well your hair takes to the dreading process. Also, we'll start the session out by learning what you're looking for. Thin ones? Fat ones? Style and scalp placement? From there, I separate all your hair into sections so that we are happy with the layout. Now we know how many dreads you're going to have and after I do the first few, we do another advanced mathematical equation and can get a pretty good estimate on what time we'll be done.
It's okay for the tail of the dread to be loose in the beginning. Actually, you want them to be because you're going to use them to tighten the rest of the dread. This is how...
Grab the tail, split it in two parts and them pull upwards to pack the rest of the hair tightly into the dread. Then let go and part the same tail in a different way, grabbing two different sections and pulling upwards again. Then use your fingers to smooth out the hair at the bottom so that it's not in two distinct pieces like a pincher.
After a little while, you won't need to do this anymore and the hair at the bottom of the dread will start to lock up. After a few months, you can decide what you want the hair at the bottom to look like. Smooth and undreaded or rounded dreaded tips. I can hook you up with this when it's time.
What do I do with the tails of my new dreads?
What products do you use?
Let's keep it as natural as possible. Minimum product and just the good stuff. Knotty Boy for start-ups and a little aloe vera for maintenance.
How long will my appointment take?
Dread start-ups generally take 5 - 9 hours. Yeah. It's a lot of work to get locks that look this sweet from the get-go. Longer appointments can be booked in more than one sitting.
Maintenance sessions range from about 1.5 hours to 6. It totally depends on what shape your hair is in, how much hair you have and how dreamy you want it to look when it's done. If you keep up on the maintenance, it doesn't take too long. And think of all the hours you've saved every morning with your get-up-and-go style.
Books, music, movies, meditation and great conversation with your loctician all help make your experience fun. If you have a movie or some music you'd like to bring, bring it. Or dive into the mad land of metaphysics here at SAGe STUDIOS! We've got some movies, LOTS of books and an infinite supply of sweet tunes.
Answers to Dreadlock Questions
Here's the answers to many questions you may have about starting and maintaining a healthy head of locks. Click the question to get to the answer and find lots more photos on
This is the back of Zack B4 and after his first maintenance session.
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Julie and her fresh new locks