Starting dreads, but just not sure what you'll need?

We've done the hard work for you by putting together the bare essentials for starting locks from scratch (and in larger Kits, a few fun extras), at a discount!

Incredible locks
in weeks, not years.

Create and maintain beautiful locks in any hair type easier, faster, and cleaner with Knotty Boy Natural Dreadlock Care products.

Pure ingredients, simple instructions and limitless customer support. Think Dreadlocks, Think Knotty Boy - the Original Since 1998!

Frequently Asked Questions

Thanks for stopping by! These questions and answers are a compilation of many years of dialogue between you, our friends and customers, and ourselves, your humble Knotty Boy Customer Service department.

Almost everything we know about dreadlocks is here, so dig in!

Dreadlock Creation down

Before You Lock Your Hair

how to dread slippery hair? block

You will definitely need to backcomb a little tighter if you have slippery or smooth... Read More >>

how will my new dreads look? block

If you're using the backcombing method, and depending on your hair type, they will probably... Read More >>

is sweat a hygiene concern? block

As far as dreadlocks are concerned, no. We recommend once-weekly washing because that seems to... Read More >>

can dreadlocks cause balding? block

From Wikipedia: Traction alopecia is a type of hair loss caused by a pulling force... Read More >>

what if I have to wear a helmet? block

Yes, and we hope that if you should wear a helmet, you always do!  ... Read More >>

can I get fired for having dreadlocks? block

Depending on where you live, possibly - we suggest you check with policies at your... Read More >>

will my hair be shorter? block

With the backcomb-and-wax dreadlocking method, your locks will be 1/3 to 1/2 shorter than your... Read More >>

should I get my hair cut beforehand? block

Only if you want your dreads shorter. The messier your ends are, the easier they'll... Read More >>

do I need to stop washing my hair? block

Absolutely NOT. Natural oils that develop in your hair will hamper the dreading process, not... Read More >>

should I colour my hair beforehand? block

It's best to colour your hair before you dread for a few reasons.. 1) It's... Read More >>

will I need to shave my head if I don't like my dreads? block

No. But try not to judge your dreads by the first weeks! They need a... Read More >>

how much maintenance is required? block

Initially, you have a lot of work to do to keep the locking process going.... Read More >>

can I have dreadlocks with bangs? block

Lots of folks opt to keep their bangs out of the dreading altogether. It's kind... Read More >>

what can you tell me about dreadlock history? block

Great question! Take a look at our Dreadlock History page! Read More >>

Dreadlocking Techniques

can I lock my hair myself? block

Yes! We're all about the DIY here at Knotty Boy. Now, you don't necessarily need... Read More >>

can I have temporary dreads? block

That depends on your definition of temporary. For a weekend? Theoretically possible, but a lot... Read More >>

what about just one dread? block

Yes. Keep in mind that single dreads get lonely and will try to convince the... Read More >>

are dreads, twists, locks, braids all different? block

Yes. There are many roads to the top of the mountain. Twists are a method... Read More >>

how can I get phat dreads? block

By creating fewer and larger sections. Storytime: phattest dreads we've ever seen were proudly worn... Read More >>

how can I get thin dreads? block

By making more (and thus, thinner) sections. The size of a finished dreadlock depends on... Read More >>

can I dreadlock my layered hair? block

Yes. Layered hair, dreadlocked, will result in a layered set of dreads - which is... Read More >>

how long does my hair need to be? block

We've had reports of people starting successful locks with as little as three inches of... Read More >>

can I have dreadlocks in asian hair? block

Of course you can! If your hair is coarser, or thicker, it will tend to... Read More >>

can I dread very thick hair? block

Our totally unscientific and completely biased opinion is that thick hair makes awesome, phat dreads.... Read More >>

do I have to use wax? block

Totally! There are a bazillion different ways of starting locks, and everyone that does them... Read More >>

what about rubber bands on my roots? block

No. Rubber bands can bind and grab new growth (at the roots) and old growth... Read More >>

will smaller locks combine into large ones? block

They'll certainly try to, but whether or not they succeed is really up to you!... Read More >>

will my dreads stick up? block

That depends on the length. 3 inch dreads? You'll be rocking the pincushion look for... Read More >>

what do I need to dread my hair? block

We thought you'd never ask. It so happens that we have a step-by-step tutorial and... Read More >>

what is a dread perm? block

A dread perm can be one of two things: 1) a very kinky perm given... Read More >>

should I section a part into my dreads? block

In our humble opinion, the best part is no part. The thing is, if you... Read More >>

will my new hair growth be dreaded? block

Yes. Your amazing biochemistry will keep pumping it out as long as you're eating right... Read More >>

Dreadlock Maintenance down

New Dreadlocks - to 6 Months

can I go swimming with dreadlocks? block

  Yes! (as long as you know how to swim, that is) Occasional swimming in... Read More >>

can I wear a bandanna over my dreads? block

 Yes, if you like how it looks on your hair :) And even if you... Read More >>

can I wax my hair if it's wet? block

Dreadlock Wax is meant to be used on dry hair only, we recommend the use... Read More >>

how to make a dreadlock accelerator? block

We don't recommend DIY salt sprays because of the horror stories we've heard and the... Read More >>

what can I do about bumps and loops? block

Lumps and bumps may be a part of your locks for some time. Tightly felted... Read More >>

how can I protect my dreads while sleeping? block

Try wearing a snug cap, bandanna, or stocking cap over your locks when you sleep.... Read More >>

how do I stop my dreads from flattening? block

Flattening is very common with new, soft dreadlocks. They are still just loosely knotted hair,... Read More >>

how long until I can shampoo again? block

We recommend waiting two weeks after you install your locks before shampooing for the first... Read More >>

how often should I shampoo? block

We recommend washing once per week. But that doesn't mean you can't shower as often... Read More >>

how often should I wax my dreads? block

Rewax 'as needed'. Hmm, maybe not so helpful - ok let's try that again.. You... Read More >>

I started with the neglect method and I need help block

Sorry to hear you're having a rough go of it! The good news is, you... Read More >>

I applied too much dread wax block

If your dreads start looking like candles, or start falling apart into stringy pieces, you've... Read More >>

why do I have oily buildup on my scalp? block

Very frequent washing can strip the natural oils from your scalp, which encourages the production... Read More >>

will my scalp always be so visible? block

No. It usually takes anywhere from 2 weeks to a month for that 'scalpiness' to... Read More >>

will the Wax stay in my hair? block

No. Every time you wash your hair, you're washing out a little bit of the... Read More >>

should I trim the undreaded tips? block

The ends sure do take their own sweet time to blunt up. Unfortunately, freshly cut... Read More >>

what can I do about undreaded tips? block

Take the undreaded end and 'backcomb' it lightly with your fingers--just push the loose hair... Read More >>

will my roots ever dread up? block

They will, eventually. Regular palm rolling will encourage those roots to dread up with the... Read More >>

what can I do about itchy scalp? block

Pulling all your hair at once into bounded sections can stress out your scalp, and... Read More >>

why do my dreads still look puffy and limp? block

Don't worry, dreadlocks are a process. One month is pretty fresh yet for locks, and... Read More >>

what are these red spots on my scalp? block

Unless you have reason to suspect a medical problem, in which case you should definitely... Read More >>

will I still be able to clean my scalp? block

If you keep up with palm rolling and separating your locks, you will have absolutely... Read More >>

Mature Dreadlocks - 6 Months +

how do I know when my dreads are mature? block

When we say 'mature', we mean locks which will hold together without the aid fo... Read More >>

how do I maintain mature dreadlocks? block

If your dreads are mature, you no longer need to be backcombing and palmrolling them... Read More >>

how do I get sand out of my dreads? block

It's not going to be fun, and it'll take a while, but it can be... Read More >>

how to keep my dreads out of my face? block

If your hair's long enough, you can tie your hair with your hair! Just take... Read More >>

how do I adorn my dreadlocks? block

Just slide 'em on up a dread of the appropriate size. If you have a... Read More >>

I shampoo every day, why do my dreads smell bad? block

It's possible to have too much of a good thing. We can all agree that... Read More >>

how can I work loose hair back in? block

The easiest and most effective way to get stray loose hairs back into your lock... Read More >>

my bleached locks are getting brittle and dry block

A few preventative tips for the chemically inclined: 1) If only your roots need colour,... Read More >>

why are my dreads combining? block

Dreads will try to merge with the ones around them if you aren't careful! It... Read More >>

why aren't my dreadlocks getting longer? block

You probably won't see growth immediately, as your shedding hair and regrowth are busy tangling... Read More >>

why are the roots thinner than the locks? block

Weakened roots can be caused by a few different things. Dreadlocks are augmented - thickened... Read More >>

should I still be waxing? block

Dread Wax is meant to be used in the initial stages of the locking process,... Read More >>

what can I do about undreaded tips? block

Take the undreaded end and 'backcomb' it lightly with your fingers--just push the loose hair... Read More >>

how do I combine two dreads into one? block

In the case of mature locks, you need to focus on the root of your... Read More >>

what can I do about undreaded roots? block

As long as your hair is growing, there will be some root exposure - your... Read More >>

How to colour my dreads? block

We generally recommend against DIY colouring of dreadlocks, unless you know better. The reason for... Read More >>

Product Questions down

General Product Questions

do your products have a shelf life? block

Natural preservatives like Vitamin B (Tocopherols) and beeswax (Cera Alba) keep Knotty Boy products from... Read More >>

are your products cruelty free? block

Knotty Boy products are certified cruelty-free by the Leaping Bunny program. Our products are also... Read More >>

are your products nut free? block

No. Some of our product ingredients contain, or are derived from, nut products, and our... Read More >>

are your products gluten free? block

No. Some of our product ingredients contain, or are derived from, wheat products, and our... Read More >>

are your products corn free? block

No.  Some of the ingredients in our products do contain corn derivatives, and our production... Read More >>

are your products vegan? block

Yes, with one exception: Knotty Boy Dread Wax contains beeswax as the main ingredient. All... Read More >>

why do you use palm oil in your products? block

The Palm Oil in our products is sourced from RSPO - Roundtable on Sustainable Palm... Read More >>

are your products colour safe? block

Knotty Boy products are colour-gentle, but cannot be said to be colour-safe. While our products... Read More >>

what does 'all natural' mean? block

We use that term a lot on our website, so it's a good question. The... Read More >>

do you have anything for people without dreads? block

Well it just so happens that we do! We are pleased to present our Essentials... Read More >>

Dreadlock Wax

can I use the wax if I don't have dreads? block

Yes, and we've heard from people who do not have dreadlocks and use Knotty Boy... Read More >>

will the wax make my hair fall out? block

No. Hair loss is caused by overall health, genetic predisposition, toxic environmental factors, or a... Read More >>

does the wax attract dust? block

Although it is beeswax-based, Knotty Boy Dread Wax does not attract any more dust or... Read More >>

how long should I be waxing for? block

We recommend using Dread Wax for the first six months, or however long it takes... Read More >>

how much wax do I need? block

Overall, in terms of how much to buy, one 4oz / 115ml jar of Dread... Read More >>

will the wax irritate sensitive skin? block

Our Wax contains no chemical additives or fragrances - what you smell when you open... Read More >>

can I use the wax to turn braids into dreads? block

Dreads started as braids will always be thinner and kinkier like...well...braids. A really great look... Read More >>

what colour of wax should I use? block

Anyone can use the Light Wax. If you have blond, red or light brown hair... Read More >>

should I wax after shampooing? block

Only use wax on DRY hair - EVER. Phew! Now that's outta the way: yes,... Read More >>

wax or tightening gel for starting dreads? block

Both Dread Wax and Tightening Gel work great for starting locks. Dread Wax has one... Read More >>

why does the wax have clumps? block

It's a natural, handmade product - the clumps are normal and expected. You just have... Read More >>

how does the wax create dreadlocks? block

Knotty Boy Dread Wax helps your newly knotted dreadies hold together tight right away, speeding... Read More >>

if the wax isn't water soluble how does it wash out? block

While Knotty Boy Dread Wax will not dissolve in water (water soluble) but it IS... Read More >>

are the jar and wax stick the same? block

The Wax Stick was created to ease the application of wax in the maintenance stage.... Read More >>

how long will the dread wax take to dry? block

It isn't, strictly speaking, "wet". The tackiness and adhesion you feel when you touch the... Read More >>

Locksteady Tropical Tightening Gel

when should I use the gel? block

The Tightening Gel can be used to maintain (tidy) or create dreadlocks. When using it... Read More >>

how do I use the gel? block

LockSteady Tropical Tightening Gel should only be used on damp or wet hair. After washing... Read More >>

can I use the gel without shampooing first? block

Of course! But NOT dry, or you'll just end up with tacky feeling, flaky dreads.... Read More >>

will the gel affect my coloured hair? block

Possibly, due to our products' pH level. Generally, hair care products designed to not affect... Read More >>

Ultimate Detangler

can I use the detangler as my every day conditioner? block

Yes, it's what it's made for, however you probably don't need to wash your hair... Read More >>

can I use the detangler to remove my dreads? block

The Ultimate Detangler is meant to be used for the everyday tangles that appear in... Read More >>

can I use the detangler to take down matted hair? block

If you have matted hair, from trauma tangles, long hospital stays, or if for any... Read More >>

Dreadlock Shampoo

how long until I can shampoo? block

We recommend waiting two weeks after you install your locks before shampooing for the first... Read More >>

can I use the shampoo if I don't have dreads? block

Certainly! It's an all-natural, small batch, handmade, cold-process Castile soap - which is a fancy... Read More >>

can I use the All Purpose Shampoo Bar instead? block

Yes, but we recommend not doing so until your dreads are six months to a... Read More >>

what's the best way to wash my dreads? block

We recommmend focussing most of your attention on your scalp, which is why we recommend... Read More >>

liquid and bar shampoo - what's the difference? block

    Apart from the obvious - formula-wise, absolutely nothing. They're the exact same recipe!... Read More >>

Peppermint Cooling Spray

what is the cooling spray used for? block

The Cooling Spray is great for soothing the itchiness and discomfort that can sometimes occur... Read More >>

the itch has gone, what to do with this stuff now? block

More than you might think! Here's a sample of what we've used it for: • ... Read More >>

Knot-Tea Scalp Tonic

you guys make tea now? block

DO. NOT. DRINK. THE. KNOT-TEAS. Just don't, please. They taste nasty. Let how we know... Read More >>

how do I use the knot teas? block

Brew like a regular tea, cool and preserve in a spray bottle - it'll last... Read More >>

Dreadlock Conditioning Spray

I thought conditioning was bad for new locks? block

Our Conditioning Sprays are a spray-on, leave-in conditioner in a light, wash-out formula which is... Read More >>

Dreadlock Removal down

The Emergency Dreadlock Removal Kit

how do I use the removal kit? block

Bare bones step by step: 1) soak your hair in the hottest water you can... Read More >>

how long will it take? block

The answer to this depends on a number of factors... • How long have you... Read More >>

what condition will my hair be in afterward? block

If it started out that way, and you've removed your dreadlocks with care, your hair... Read More >>

how many kits do I need? block

One 4oz Kit should be plenty if your hair is up to medium - say,... Read More >>

I'm done, what to do with the remainder? block

Sure! The Conditioner is really useful immediately after the removal as a leave-in. You can... Read More >>

is all this loose hair normal? block

Yes, it's perfectly normal! The average human being loses 50 - 150 hairs per day.... Read More >>

how is this different from any other conditioner? block

Because it's the best product made for the purpose. The Emergency Dreadlock Removal Kit is... Read More >>

can this take down my severely matted hair? block

Maybe. The Emergency Dreadlock Removal Kit is not, despite its name, intended to be first-aid... Read More >>

what kind of comb to use? block

We strongly recommend using a straight-pin tail comb (aka 'rat-tail') and against the use of... Read More >>

Ordering & Shipping down

Get Some

do you offer next-day shipping? block

Maybe. We can ship overnight, but there's a bit of a catch: you may not... Read More >>

can I phone in my order? block

Yes! If you want to place a credit card order over the phone, call us... Read More >>

when will my order arrive? block

Shipping times vary based on how far you are from our warehouse in Vancouver, Canada.... Read More >>

is Knotty Boy sold in stores? block

Knotty Boy products are carried by stores and salons all over the world! However, very... Read More >>

why am I being charged duties or tax? block

Customs, excise, and importation fees and taxes are an unfortunate reality of cross-border shipping. Due... Read More >>

why is your shipping so expensive? block

It's not, really, when you consider what you're getting for your shipping price. A person... Read More >>

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