Dread Installs usually take between 4-7 hours.
After install, we recommend not wetting your hair for a full week, giving the dreads a chance to establish. We also recommend wearing a shower cap every time you have a shower when not washing your dreads, as the steam can unravel loose hairs on your dread bases.
You can find our recommended washing routine under Washing Your Dreads.
Once having dreads installed, people generally require maintenance once in the first 4 weeks, and then every 6-10 weeks after that. Some people require minimal maintenance sessions, while others can need more. Dread Maintenance, when done regularly, generally takes 2 hours. However some people’s dreads can be closer to 3 hours.
1. HOW LONG DOES MY HAIR HAVE TO BE?
Your hair needs to be at least 15 - 20cm, preferably longer. The longer your hair is, the easier it will be to dread and quicker it will mature so if your hair is on the shorter side they may just need a little more maintenance before they really start to lock and tighten.
Note: If you send us photos of your hair and we tell you it's too short, then it's too short! We will only install dreads if we can guarantee the dreads will stay in, so that decision is up to us.
2. HOW MUCH SHORTER WILL MY HAIR BE WHEN I DREAD IT?
Due to the fact we don't backcomb the hair, new dreads start out a lot thinner, usually half the size desired, and expand over the first 3-12 months. This process means no loss of length.
3. WILL IT HURT?
It really does vary from person to person. Some people find the process to be relaxing while others can be a little more sensitive. With new dreads, the scalp can be a little tender the first night you sleep on your new dreads, but is usually settled by the next day.
4. HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE FOR MY DREADS TO MATURE?
Well this depends on a couple of things - some hair types dread easier than others (think curly, course hair) and how much time your spend on maintenance can influence it also.
From day one you'll most definitely get the dreadlock look. You might find 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.
From about the first to fourth week 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 normal as dreads tend to tighten and mature from the inside out.
By week 6 - 8 you should notice them really start to tighten and mature. You may notice them shrink a little and perhaps get a little lumpy as and crooked as some mature faster than others. Your dreads are basically going through puberty but hang in there, they are well on there way to adult hood!
At the 3 month mark they are becoming smoother and tighter by the day. Be sure to keep the clean with a residue free shampoo as this will also help encourage the new growth to lock up.
6 months and 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 properly.
By their 1st birthday you should be sporting a hot head of mature dreadlocks - congratulations! From here on in maintenance only gets easier and less often.
5. CAN YOU DYE OR BLEACH DREADS?
Yep and coloured dreads can look amazing! It's best to dye or bleach the hair before it is dreaded and don't use the deep conditioner which is often supplied with the colour. Colouring and bleach does tend to dry out the hair but this is all good for dreads as it means knotting and locking up will be easier.
It’s actually quite easy to colour dreads, as the hair is already sectioned, you may require a little more colour than usual though!
6. WILL SPORTS OR SWEATING EFFECT MY DREADLOCKS?
No, sweats fine and dreadlocks should not inhibit your ability to get amongst it! Lots of sweating though means lots of showers and those can loosen new dreads. Always use a residue free dread shampoo and handle new dreadies with care.
7. ARE DREADS HARD TO TAKE OUT AFTER YOU DO THEM?
Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to shave your head to get rid of your dreads! Using our method, it is possible to comb out the dreads, however it will take a long time! After combing them out, you’d expect a bit of a trim, but the hair bounces back quite quickly after a couple of deep conditioning treatments.
7. TO WAX OR NOT TO WAX?
We say no! Wax can be detrimental to dreads, leading to dread rot, dirt, and smelly dreads! Back in the day, everyone waxed their dreads, but these days most people know to steer clear of the dreaded wax. We see no point using harmful products in dreads, when it isn’t necessary.