Getting dreadlocks is a major life decision. Having this type of hairstyle takes a lot of patience, discipline, and time. But, how much does it actually cost? That question is almost impossible to answer straight forward. There are a lot of different factors that can influence the price.
The cost of getting dreadlocks can range from almost nothing to thousands of dollars. On average, dreads in a salon can be anywhere from $200-$1400. DIY dreadlocks tend to be cheaper and can cost next to nothing. Let’s take a closer look at what to consider when determining the price of your new locs.
Different Types of Dreads
Typically, there are 4 different types of dreadlocks. Knowing the kind of style you want will help determine the price you pay. Different types of locs are a lot more time consuming and require more work in the beginning. First, you need to decide on natural or extension locs. If you chose the first option, here are the 4 different styles you can pick from:
- Comb Coils: small dainty dreads formed by tightly rolling hair around a comb. This type of dread requires the most maintenance and is the most time consuming when first starting.
- Braid Twist: pieces of hair braided together to form matting. Keep in mind with this form, the braided style will continue to show for at least 1 year. This type is typically high maintenance as well and takes longer to form a natural look.
- Palm Rolling: formed by back combing and then quickly rolled in the palm of your hands to form matting. This type requires less long term maintenance and is typically pretty average when it comes to time and cost.
- Organic/Freeform: natural dreads formed by letting your hair go unbrushed for long periods of time. This type of dread requires little to no maintenance, but can take the longest to form.
Depending on which type of dread you decide to get, will determine the price you will pay. However, there are certain factors to keep in mind when determining your budget. The big question is, are you going to dread your own hair, or are you willing to pay someone else to do it for you?
Getting Dreadlocks at a Salon
Getting dreadlocks formed by a professional loctician starts around $200, and goes up from there. Most stylists charge by the hour for this type of service ($50/hour average), but they have other things to consider as well such as what style of loc, the length and thickness of the hair, and the number of locs wanting to be formed. Dreadlocks can take anywhere from 5-15 hours to install, so having a budget ahead of time is a good idea.
Locs that need to be formed and are smaller in size, typically take longer to install, thus, tending to be more expensive. Braided locs are going to be more expensive than palm rolled locs, just because of how time consuming of a process it is. If you are someone who has really long or thick hair, be prepared for this to be an expensive, all day event.
Cost to Start Your Own Dreadlocks
Dreadlocks that are done at home can cost you nothing but time and effort! You can choose to have freeform dreads, or form them yourself with the rip and twist method. Doing this yourself usually requires a lot more patience, however, people have been forming dreadlocks this way for hundreds of years and have been very successful.
Some people who choose to form their own locs at home like to use gels and wax to help them start to mate together faster. These products can range anywhere from $5-$30. Keep in mind, these things are not totally necessary and can be really bad and damaging for your hair in the long run.
If you choose to install generic or extension dreadlocks, this can raise the cost of the DIY method, but is still a fraction of the price of a salon. Generic extensions tend to cost $25 and up, while human hair extensions usually start at $100 and go up from there. All that is needed for this method is a crochet needle, and gel if requested.
Cost to Maintain Dreadlocks
Deciding whether to go to a salon or install the dreadlocks yourself is not the only decision you need to make when determining your budget. You also need to consider maintenance. For the first year, dreads are best kept left alone. It is important to separate them from time to time to keep them from knotting together, but patience is key. Dreadlocks don’t form overnight.
However, there will come a time when your locs will need some TLC. Now comes the decision on doing this yourself, or paying a locticiation.
Depending on which style of dreads you have, will dictate how much maintenance is needed and how often. Organic dreadlocks require the least amount of attention as they are natural and have formed themselves over time. Small dreadlocks or dreads that are still trying to settle require more repairs and more maintenance in the long run.
Hair style will also be a factor when it comes to maintaining dreadlocks. African style hair tends to form on its own a lot easier and requires less maintenance overtime. Asian or caucasion style hair tends to require more maintenance and can take longer to look more natural.
Average Salon Cost For Maintenance
Maintenance at a salon is typically going to run about $70-$350, depending on what you are needing done. The style and amount of dreadlocks you have, along with how long you have had them, will also help to determine your price. The younger they are, chances are the more repairs they will need. Here is a list of what is usually asked upon dreadlock repairs:
- Retwisting: usually needed on smaller style locs.
- Repair Regrowth: dread or retwist the new hair that has grown out since the last maintenance session.
- Repair Frizziness: can be done with specific shampoo or treatment.
- Reattach (extension): needed to reconnect an extension style loc, usually done with a crochet needle and comb if needed.
- Tightening: needed every so often to keep locs shaped and strong. Can be done by hand, sometimes with a needle or product if needed.
When deciding on a stylist to make an appointment with, do your research! Some stylists can really do some damage and will cause more harm than good if they are not experienced with dreadlock repair. On average, every 4-6 months is a proper time frame for repairs. However, try to go at least a year with low maintenance.
Always keep in mind, the longer you grow your locs the less repairs that are needed overtime. Maintenance won’t always have to be an expense!
It is important to remember, whether you are maintaining your dreadlocks at home or at a salon, always try to give them the attention that they need. Wash your hair once a week and maintain proper personal hygiene.
If you decide to go more natural and maintain your locs at home, here is what you might need:
- Dread Shampoo: helps with frizz and gives your hair strength.
- Essential Oils: helps with dryness.
- Comb and crochet needle: for regrowth and tightening.
- Dread Wax: only if requested, remember this can cause long term damage!
- Nothing! Freeform locs can be left alone as long as they aren’t completely neglected.
Carrying dreadlocks is a long term decision, and oftentimes a big investment. There are a variety of different factors to look at throughout the whole process. The cost can vary from person to person, along with the repairs and services you are willing to pay for.
DIY dreadlocks can save a lot of money if you are on a budget, as well as opting for the more natural look. Dreadlocks don’t have to be expensive, and can easily be achieved with time and patience!