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!

Our story


Adrianna smiling at the camera wearing a green hat and light pink dreads and wide framed glasses

Adrianna, Knotty Boy co-founder and dread wax creator, way back in... oh, let's just say a while ago.

side view at a diagonal of Andrew's quite mature and well maintained dreadlocks

Andrew, Knotty Boy co-founder and original Knotty Boy Dread Wax testing monkey! (And you thought we never tested on animals.)

backyard scene on a sunny day with a man wearing a blue shirt and jeans next to a woman in a brown dress and dark glasses smiling broadly and leaning into him

Andrew with Isadora, the first person they'd ever met - at a Rage Against the Machine show, no less - from this magical island called Salt Spring.

small house nestled in trees with a bright red motorized scooter parked in front

The tiny cabin in the woods on Salt Spring Island where Knotty Boy grew from 1998-2000. And their 80cc scooter/pickup/delivery truck.

small array of very first batch of knotty boy dread wax arranged on and around chunks of raw beeswax

The first photo shoot. Pretty darn DIY. Sorry guys, we really didn't know what the hell we were doing back then.

very early knotty boy product labels for dread wax and dreadlock shampoo bar

A few of the first REAL labels! As in, not printed on a dot matrix printer!

busy apartment and work space with person on couch doing something

Where the magic happened! Also endless shipping, receiving, packing, labeling, quality checking, storing and crying after too many 16 hour days.

young woman sitting on a couch with a pile of padded mailers in front of her packing an order

Help was needed desperately, which is when Krystl came to the rescue early on as chief order packer!

table filled with various office equipment and papers shot from above at a rakish angle

Long before e-commerce ever hit the internet there was verrry old school, manual credit card processing, Gah, you guys ordered a lot. This used to take forever!

black and whtie photo of 1970s era baywindow Volks wagen Type 2 Transporter with Adrianna sitting on the front spare tire attached to the front of the truck

Upgrade from scooter came with 'The Toaster' in 2001, when deep roots were pulled up to make the painful but necessary move back to Vancouver to keep growing.

Adrianna seated and Andrew standing behind a product display table at an outdoor festival

Very first tradeshow! Seattle Hemp Fest 1999. Note the totally homemade banner and do we even have anything on that table?

very hairy young happy man smiling at the camera as Adrianna stands next to another seated person creating dreadlocks on a sunny day at a trade show or festival

Adrianna helping someone get her dreads did at Seattle Hemp Fest. So fun!

array of Knotty Boy products on a table on a sunny day at a trade show

This must be a later tradeshow as we've definitely got our shiz together better on the packaging and display. Same home job banner, though. Oh well.

table covered in plush orange fabric with large knotty boy dread stuff banner hanging in the front of it with displays of knotty boy products, and a man looking at literature on offer

Krystl & Andrew man the Summersault 2000 table. Big show! Foo Fighters, Deftones & Smashing Pumpkins plus a bunch of Canadian bands no one knows.

two young men wearing dreadlocks and smiles flashing peace signs, one  in black and one wearing a white t-shirt

Andrew meeting Rich Beddoe from Finger 11 after HE approached US about sponsoring him. Knotty Boy's first big sponsorship - yeah!

Adrianna sitting at a display table with her arms outstretched as if to say tada! with piles of products in front of her

Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam, 2002! Table display looking better and better, thankfully.

knotty boy lock shop and salon colourful with woman standing behind seated man having his dreadlocks either maintained or installed, can't tell

And suddenly - bam! - we have a shop! The Knotty Boy Lock Shop & Salon opens 2004, quickly becoming a destination hair salon for clients worldwide.

bright orange 1999 era knotty boy website with really dated graphics and logos - so last millenium

Probably the earliest version of we still have a screenshot of, circa 1999.

photo of 2005 era knotty boy website, still bright orange but with professional looking sidebars and much more flash graphics

Look familiar? This Knotty Boy website design was most recently used before this, our latest, and greatest update, and lasted the longest from 2005-2011.

pictorial of knotty boy mascot logos in various types of dress and costume

Behold the evolution of the Knotty Boy himself! He's gone through a lot of changes over the years but he still loves his snug orange t-shirt the best.

Once upon a time, way back around the year 1997 when the world had only dial-up Internet, there lived a boy who had wild and unruly hair.

His name was Andrew, and no matter how hard he tried to tame his big, curly mane, it had a mind of its own and grew wild like a raspberry bush. It seemed his hair had finally won when Andrew decided to try the very last thing he could think of - dreadlocking it. But it wasn't so simple.

At that time it was difficult to find information about dreadlocks. No dedicated websites existed and certainly no dreadlock-only hair salons. Andrew knew he could neglect his hair for a very long time until it eventually locked on its own in the traditional way, but it was important to him that his locks be washed, groomed and sweet-smelling from the start. No such locking method seemed to exist, so Andrew made an appointment at a local Afro hair salon thinking surely they would be able to help him in his quest for quick, clean locks.

As it turned out, his loctician had never worked with his hair type before, which is probably why Andrew didn't end up with the locks he was hoping for. To make matters worse, the products recommended to keep his soft, loose, white-boy curls together just left them greasy, wet and, saddest of all, unlocked.

Luckily for Andrew, he knew an innovative girl named Adrianna who had been making natural body products in her home as a hobby. Scouring libraries for recipe books, herbals and biographies on Rastafarian and other dreadlocked subcultures, she learned as much as she could about the ancient hairstyle and natural hair-product creation. Then, right on her kitchen stove, concocting a recipe of beeswax and natural oils, Adrianna whipped up a small batch of hair wax they quickly discovered miraculously held Andrew's new knots in, while allowing his hair to be washed like normal!

Within a few short months, and for the first time in his life, Andrew had hair he could not only manage, but that he loved. People stopped him in the street to admire and ask how he had made such great-looking locks. His hair troubles were finally ending, but unbeknownst to this new knotty boy, or Adrianna, something bigger had begun...

Two years later, the friends found themselves on Salt Spring Island, a forested wonderland nestled off the coast of Vancouver where traffic lights don't exist and living in tree-forts is not unusual. Winter was coming, which, for this small, tourism-based community, meant far less jobs. Out of work but not wanting to be forced to leave this magical new place, Adrianna and Andrew racked their brains for a way they could stay. They test-marketed a slough of ideas from super-food pancake mixes to vinyl record cleaners with no real success. Discouraged, it looked as though they may have no choice but to head back to the big, bad city. Then it hit them like a lightening bolt: Andrew's locks were looking really good...

And there were still no dreadlock-specific hair products out there. Was it because nobody wanted them? Adrianna and Andrew were about to find out. For the first time in years, Adrianna gathered the original ingredients, bought a few jars from the dollar store and put the Wax formula to melt on the stove. With only a couple photos, basic directions, a price and address, the first one-page Knotty Boy @ website was hesitantly launched.

 white 4 ounce plastic jar of Knotty Boy dreadlock wax with orange label and barely-drawn mascot in black writing

The Wax Thickens

Within five days, handwritten notes and orders began arriving from as far as Australia and Japan. Within a few weeks, the mailbox was overflowing with orders for the World's first all natural hair product for starting and maintaining dreadlocks. In utter disbelief, Adrianna and Andrew worked non-stop, surrounded day and night by bubbling pots and jars of cooling Wax. It didn't take long for them to buy out every last ingredient available on little Salt Spring Island. The two had no choice but to ferry over to larger Vancouver Island to begin knocking on farmers' doors, doing 60 km/hr on the highway on a tiny scooter with 100lbs of raw beeswax between their knees.

Just like a baby, Knotty Boy grew. The next three years were a waxy whirlwind. Sales exploded, along with the Internet, and online shopping became less risky. Requests were pouring in for more dreadlock products and Knotty Boy, listening carefully to their customers, added the World's first all natural Dreadlock Shampoo. The manufacturing space on Salt Spring Island, which by now had expanded to other Islanders' kitchens, quickly became too small for the burgeoning business. It was obvious that to keep up, Knotty Boy needed to find a bigger crib.

In 2001, Knotty Boy relocated to Vancouver, where the very first jar of Wax had been created years before, and teamed up with a local body-product manufacturer who shared, and still shares, the same fierce commitment to all natural, ethically sourced ingredients. With more resources and experience on their side, Knotty Boy worked hard to develop a complete family of natural dreadlock care products as quickly as customers asked for them. The unique Knotty Boy line popped up on store shelves worldwide, and back home, people from far-flung lands themselves were dropping in to get their hair locked at Vancouver's first extreme-hair destination: The Knotty Boy Lock Shop & Salon, opened April 20, 2004.

Since 1998, Knotty Boy Natural Dreadlock Care has been dedicated to all natural, ethical, gimmick-free products, prompt and friendly customer service and big-time purpose beyond profits. We believe this commitment is responsible for the hundreds of thousands of Knotty Boy products sold, thousands of photos from happy customers in the Knotty Boy Dreadlock Gallery and our wonderful, growing, international Knotty Family.

The Knotty Boy story begins with just one boy, but in the end, it's all about you, Knotty ones. Thank you for taking the time to read about our humble beginnings. Knotty Boy is still a small, independently-owned company and has been nothing short of a gift and a blessing from day one. We simply couldn't have done it without you!

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