How Do I Choose the Best Dreadlocks Salon?

S. Reynolds

A good dreadlocks salon will have three main components: a certified cosmetologist or loctician, a variety of quality dreadlocks products, and technicians with knowledge of different dreadlocking techniques. While many people with dreadlocks prefer to maintain their own hair, specialists working in a dreadlocks salon have the knowledge, skill, and products to keep locks in excellent condition. Professional styling help is also advisable for someone who has never had dreadlocks before.

Dreadlocks salons should have a cosmetologist or loctician on staff.
Dreadlocks salons should have a cosmetologist or loctician on staff.

Dreadlocks are called "manicured" if one goes to a loctician on a regular basis. Manicured locks tend to grow more evenly and grow longer without breakage. The locks also tend to be less frizzy and look smoother overall. In contrast, "organic" dreadlocks are those that contain very little product and receive no professional treatments. Both types of dreadlocks, however, can benefit from a professional hair treatment in a salon.

Cutting off dreadlocks may be the only way to remove them.
Cutting off dreadlocks may be the only way to remove them.

A loctician is someone who is trained in the art of creating and maintaining dreadlocks in all types of hair. These hair professionals do not have to be certified to call themselves "locticians," but they usually have cosmetology licenses. Locticians help their clients grow long, strong dreadlocks by keeping the hair well groomed, clean, and trimmed.

Quality dreadlocks products are another must-have in a reputable dreadlocks salon. Products should not contain harsh chemicals that will strip the hair of its natural oils. The shampoos, conditioners, and lotions should contain all-natural ingredients.

A top dreadlocks hair salon also should staff technicians who know how to do different types of dreadlocks. Non-African individuals can get dreadlocks, but it takes extra time, effort, and product. There are a few different ways to start dreadlocks. The salon stylists should know how to start locks on someone with long, short, coarse, or fine hair.

Cleaning dreadlocks is another service found in reputable salons. The type of product a loctician uses should not damage the locks. Contrary to popular belief, greasy, dirty hair does not lock very well. Hair is easier to lock when it is dry and clean with a little bit of locking product in it.

Cutting off dreadlocks may be the only way to remove them, but a trained loctician at a dreadlocks hair salon might be able to brush out the locks in some cases. Removing locks by brushing them out can take several hours and a lot of product, but it is possible, especially for shorter hair. Going to a dreadlocks salon to remove dreadlocks generally is the best way to start a new hairstyle without damaging the hair too much.

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Discussion Comments


Dreadlocks are an African American tradition and African American salons do them best. They have far more experience and know dreading techniques better in my opinion.


@ZipLine-- I've heard far worse things happening to people at dreadlocks salons, like their dreads literally breaking off. It's very difficult to find a good dreadlocks salon these days. Getting dreadlocks at a salon is expensive and I feel like some salons intentionally don't get things right the first time just to get more money through future visits. But, there are still some trustworthy salons, you just have to look for them.

I highly recommend deciding on a price before you commit to a salon so that you don't get any surprise charges. Also, find a salon that doesn't use a lot of products to make the dreads, particularly hair glues or perming methods. This is a sure sign that they don't really know what they're doing. These products are very harmful for your hair and will damage your hair and possibly your scalp in the long run.


I had dreadlocks done two weeks ago. I don't think the salon I went to was very experienced with it, even though they claimed they were. The process took way too long and guess what, my dreads have mostly come undone. I've followed all of their directions and have not washed my hair. I'm so disappointed. I'm going back tomorrow and I hope they can fix it.

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