How to Calculate the Cost of Getting Dreads

If you’ve ever wondered about the financial commitment of getting dreadlocks, look no further. “How to Calculate the Cost of Getting Dreads” is your comprehensive guide to understanding the expenses involved in this stylish hair transformation. From initial consultations and maintenance products to salon visits and DIY options, this article breaks down all the costs associated with achieving and maintaining the perfect set of dreadlocks. So, whether you’re considering this unique hairstyle or simply curious about the expenses, “How to Calculate the Cost of Getting Dreads” has got you covered.

Choosing a Salon

Researching Local Salons

When considering getting dreadlocks, it is important to research and find a reputable salon that specializes in this hairstyle. Start by researching local salons in your area that offer dreadlock services. Look for salons with experienced stylists who have the necessary skills and expertise to create and maintain dreadlocks. Pay attention to their portfolio and check if they have experience working with different hair types and textures.

Reading Reviews

Reading reviews from previous clients can provide valuable insights into the quality of service provided by a salon. Look for reviews on websites or social media platforms to get an idea of other people’s experiences. Pay attention to feedback about the cleanliness of the salon, the professionalism of the stylists, and the overall satisfaction of clients. Positive reviews can give you confidence in choosing a particular salon, while negative reviews can be a red flag.

Considering Recommendations

If you know someone who has dreadlocks and you admire their hairstyle, consider asking for a recommendation. Personal recommendations can be a great way to find a salon that has a proven track record of providing excellent service. Talk to friends, family, or even strangers whose dreadlocks you admire and ask them about their salon experiences. Keep in mind that what works for someone else may not necessarily work for you, so it’s still important to do your own research.

Comparing Prices

Another crucial factor in choosing a salon is comparing prices. Contact the salons you are interested in and ask for pricing information. Keep in mind that the cost of getting dreadlocks can vary depending on various factors, including the length and thickness of your hair, the technique used, and the experience of the stylist. Consider your budget and compare prices to find a salon that offers a balance between quality service and affordability.

Types of Dreadlocks

Traditional Dreadlocks

Traditional dreadlocks are one of the most common and well-known types of dreadlocks. They involve sectioning the hair into individual parts and then backcombing or twisting the hair to create knots that eventually develop into mature dreadlocks. Traditional dreadlocks can be achieved with different hair textures and lengths and are typically versatile in terms of styling options.

Freeform Dreadlocks

Freeform dreadlocks, also known as organic or neglect dreadlocks, are created without any deliberate manipulation or styling. This type of dreadlock allows the hair to naturally form into locks over time without much intervention from a stylist. Freeform dreadlocks give a more natural and wild appearance, and they require minimal maintenance and styling.


Sisterlocks are a relatively newer form of dreadlocks that involve much smaller and thinner sections of hair. They are created using a specialized technique that requires a trained Sisterlocks consultant. Sisterlocks are known for their neat and uniform appearance and require regular maintenance to keep them looking their best.

Interlocking Dreadlocks

Interlocking dreadlocks involve using a tool to pull the hair through itself, creating a interlocked pattern. This technique is popular for creating uniform, neat-looking dreadlocks and can be a suitable option for those with hair that is tightly coiled or prone to unraveling. Interlocking can help maintain the shape and longevity of the dreadlocks.

Crochet Dreadlocks

Crochet dreadlocks, also referred to as crocheted or latch hook dreadlocks, involve using a crochet hook to pull the hair through itself, creating knots that form the dreadlocks. This technique is popular as it produces tight and uniform dreadlocks. It can be a suitable option for those with various hair types and textures.

Faux Dreadlocks

Faux dreadlocks, also known as synthetic or temporary dreadlocks, are a non-permanent option for those who want to try out the dreadlock style without committing to long-term maintenance. Faux dreadlocks can be achieved by attaching hair extensions or using pre-made faux dreadlocks. They offer versatility and can be easily removed when desired.

How to Calculate the Cost of Getting Dreads

Factors Affecting Cost

Dreadlock Length and Thickness

The length and thickness of your hair are important factors that can affect the cost of getting dreadlocks. Longer and thicker hair requires more time and effort to create individual sections and to complete the dreadlock installation process. Therefore, the longer and thicker your hair, the higher the cost may be.

Hair Texture and Type

Different hair textures and types may require different techniques and approaches when creating dreadlocks. Texture plays a role in how easily the hair can be manipulated and twisted into knots. Hair that is naturally straight or fine may require more work to achieve and maintain dreadlocks compared to hair that is naturally coily or kinky.

Dreadlock Technique

The technique or method used to create dreadlocks can also impact the cost. Some techniques, such as freeform or neglect, require minimal manipulation and therefore may be less expensive. On the other hand, techniques like sisterlocks or interlocking that require specialized skills and tools may be more expensive due to the precision and time involved.

Experience and Reputation of Stylist

The experience and reputation of the stylist or salon can also influence the cost. Highly experienced and reputable stylists who have a proven track record of creating and maintaining quality dreadlocks may charge higher prices for their services. Their expertise and skill level can justify the higher cost as they are more likely to deliver satisfactory results.

Location of Salon

The location of the salon can affect the cost of getting dreadlocks. Salons situated in urban areas or high-cost-of-living regions may charge higher prices compared to salons in suburban or rural areas. Consider the location and weigh the cost factor against other considerations, such as convenience and the reputation of the salon.

Additional Services

Additional services offered by the salon may also impact the overall cost. Some salons may include maintenance products or educational materials as part of their service package, while others may offer specialized treatments or styling options at an extra cost. Consider what additional services are offered and if they align with your needs and preferences.

Cost of Initial Dreadlock Installation

Consultation Fee

Many salons charge a consultation fee to assess your hair and discuss your desired dreadlock style. This fee typically covers the stylist’s time and expertise in providing personalized recommendations and advice based on your hair type, texture, and desired outcome. The consultation fee can range from a nominal amount to a higher fee depending on the salon and stylist.

Basic Installation Package

The basic installation package typically includes the initial process of creating the dreadlocks. It covers the time and effort required to section and manipulate the hair into individual parts, as well as the initial tangling and knotting process. The cost of the basic installation package can vary depending on the technique used, the length and thickness of your hair, and the stylist’s expertise.

Customization and Styling

If you have specific customization requests or want additional styling options, such as adding beads or wraps to your dreadlocks, there may be an additional charge. Customization and styling options can enhance the overall look of your dreadlocks but may come at an extra cost. Discuss your desired customization with the stylist during the consultation to get an estimate of any additional charges.

Maintenance Kit and Education

Some salons may include a maintenance kit or provide educational materials to help you properly care for your dreadlocks. These kits usually contain products and instructions for washing, conditioning, and retightening the dreadlocks. The cost of the maintenance kit and education may be included in the initial installation package or offered as an optional add-on at an additional cost.

How to Calculate the Cost of Getting Dreads

Cost of Dreadlock Maintenance

Retightening and Re-twisting

Regular maintenance is essential to keep your dreadlocks looking neat and healthy. Retightening and re-twisting involve reinforcing and tightening the knots and loops within the dreadlocks. The cost of retightening and re-twisting can vary depending on the length of your hair, the frequency of visits, and the salon’s pricing structure. Maintenance sessions are typically scheduled every few weeks or months.

Washing and Conditioning

Proper washing and conditioning are crucial for maintaining cleanliness and the overall health of your dreadlocks. Some salons offer services to wash and condition your dreadlocks during your scheduled maintenance visits. The cost of washing and conditioning may be included in the maintenance package or charged separately based on the salon’s policies.

Application of Products

Using specialized products, such as oils, gels, or waxes, can help maintain the shape, moisture, and overall health of your dreadlocks. These products may be applied during maintenance visits or recommended for at-home use. The cost of these products can vary depending on the brand and specific products recommended by the stylist.

Salon Visits and Frequency

The number of salon visits required to maintain your dreadlocks can impact the overall cost. Regular visits are necessary to ensure proper maintenance, retightening, and styling. The frequency of visits depends on various factors, including hair growth rate, desired appearance, and personal preferences. Discuss the recommended frequency of salon visits with the stylist and consider the cost implications associated with more frequent visits.

DIY Maintenance

Some individuals prefer to handle their dreadlock maintenance on their own, which can help reduce costs. DIY maintenance requires investing in the necessary tools, products, and learning proper techniques through resources such as online tutorials or books. While DIY maintenance can save money, it may require more time and effort on your part to achieve and maintain healthy and well-groomed dreadlocks.

Potential Additional Expenses

Haircut or Trimming

If you prefer to have a specific haircut or trim before getting dreadlocks, this can incur an additional cost. A haircut or trimming helps achieve a clean and uniform look by removing any split ends or uneven sections of hair. Discuss your preference with the stylist during the consultation and inquire about any additional charges for a haircut or trimming.

Coloring or Highlights

Adding color or highlights to your dreadlocks can create a unique and personalized look. However, coloring or highlighting your dreadlocks may come with an extra cost due to the additional time, products, and expertise required. The cost of coloring or highlights can vary depending on the desired outcome, the salon’s pricing structure, and the stylist’s skill level in color application.

Accessories and Decorations

Accessories and decorations such as beads, wraps, or charms can be added to your dreadlocks for added style and personalization. These accessories may need to be purchased separately and can vary in cost depending on the materials used and their quality. Consider your desired accessories and inquire about their availability and cost at the salon.

Specialty Products

Specialty products specifically designed for dreadlock maintenance, such as shampoos, conditioners, oils, or sprays, may be recommended by the stylist. These products may come at an additional cost, but using them can help promote the health, cleanliness, and longevity of your dreadlocks. Inquire about the availability, cost, and benefits of specialty products during your consultation.

Repair or Reconstruction

In certain cases, dreadlocks may need repair or reconstruction due to damage, breakage, or personal preference for a different style. Repair or reconstruction services may incur an additional cost, as they require the stylist’s time, expertise, and potentially additional materials. Discuss any repair or reconstruction needs with the stylist and inquire about the associated costs.

How to Calculate the Cost of Getting Dreads

Tips to Reduce Costs

Do Research and Compare Prices

Before committing to a salon, do thorough research and compare prices from different salons. Consider the overall reputation, experience, and expertise of the stylists, as well as the cost of the services they offer. Look for any ongoing promotions or discounts, and read reviews from previous clients to gather more information about the quality of service.

Consider DIY Maintenance

If you are comfortable with learning and practicing proper maintenance techniques, consider performing certain dreadlock maintenance tasks on your own. DIY maintenance can help you save money on frequent salon visits and reduce your overall costs. However, ensure that you educate yourself on proper techniques and use suitable products to prevent any damage to your dreadlocks.

Opt for Simpler Dreadlock Techniques

Choosing a simpler dreadlock technique, such as freeform or interlocking, can potentially lower the overall cost. These techniques require less manipulation and time compared to more complex methods like sisterlocks. Discuss different technique options with the stylist and consider the pros and cons, both in terms of cost and desired outcome.

Choose a Salon in a Lower Cost-of-Living Area

Salons located in regions with a lower cost of living may offer more affordable pricing for their services. Consider expanding your search beyond your immediate area and explore salons in nearby towns or cities. However, keep in mind that the reputation and expertise of the stylist should still be a top priority, regardless of the location’s cost of living.

Negotiate or Ask for Discounts

Don’t be afraid to negotiate or ask for discounts, especially if you are a new client or booking multiple services. Some salons may be open to offering discounts or package deals to attract new customers or retain existing ones. Inquire about any promotions or discounts available and be transparent about your budget constraints to explore potential cost-saving options.

Take Proper Care of Your Dreadlocks

Maintaining a proper hair care routine and following the stylist’s recommendations for at-home maintenance can help prevent potential issues and expenses in the long run. Regularly washing, conditioning, and retightening your dreadlocks, as well as using recommended products, can contribute to the overall health and longevity of your hairstyle and potentially reduce the need for extensive repairs or treatments.

Additional Considerations

Time Investment

Getting dreadlocks is a time-consuming process, both during the initial installation and ongoing maintenance. Consider the time you are willing to invest in the creation and upkeep of your dreadlocks. The length of time it takes for your dreadlocks to fully mature depends on various factors, including your hair type, texture, and the chosen technique. Be prepared for the time commitment it requires.

Postponed Hairstyling Freedom

Dreadlocks require a certain level of commitment and may limit your hairstyling options compared to non-dreaded hair. While there are still various styling options available for dreadlocks, such as updos or accessorizing, some hairstyles may be more challenging to achieve or may not be possible with dreadlocks. Consider your personal style preferences and how dreadlocks may align with them.

Maintenance Commitment and Frequency

Maintaining dreadlocks is an ongoing process that requires regular maintenance and attention. Depending on the chosen technique and your hair type, you may need to schedule frequent salon visits for maintenance and retightening. Consider the commitment required to maintain your dreadlocks and ensure that you are willing to invest the necessary time, effort, and potentially costs.

Overall Long-Term Costs

When budgeting for dreadlocks, it’s important to consider the long-term costs beyond the initial installation. Ongoing maintenance, product purchases, and any potential repairs or reconstructions should be factored into your budget. Take into account the frequency of salon visits, the cost of recommended products, and any other additional expenses associated with maintaining your dreadlocks.

Personal Value and Cultural Significance

For many individuals, getting dreadlocks holds personal value and cultural significance. Consider the emotional and cultural significance attached to the hairstyle and factor it into your decision-making process. Understanding the personal value of having dreadlocks can help justify the associated costs and ensure that the hairstyle aligns with your personal beliefs, identity, and lifestyle.

How to Calculate the Cost of Getting Dreads

Average Costs of Getting Dreads

The cost of getting dreadlocks can vary widely depending on the factors mentioned above. On average, the initial installation of dreadlocks can range from USD 200 to USD 600. However, it is important to note that this is just an estimate, and the actual cost can be higher or lower based on individual circumstances and preferences. Additionally, ongoing maintenance costs should also be considered when budgeting for dreadlocks.


Getting dreadlocks is a personal and unique hairstyle choice that requires careful consideration of various factors, including choosing a reputable salon, understanding the different types of dreadlocks, and considering the cost implications. The type of dreadlocks, your hair’s length and texture, the technique used, the experience of the stylist, and the location of the salon are all factors that can influence the cost. Additionally, ongoing maintenance and potential additional expenses such as coloring, accessories, and repairs should be taken into account. By researching and comparing prices, considering DIY options, and taking proper care of your dreadlocks, you can manage and reduce costs without compromising the quality and health of your hairstyle. Remember that the cost of getting dreadlocks extends beyond the initial installation, and proper budgeting for ongoing maintenance and long-term commitment is crucial. Ultimately, the decision to get dreadlocks should be based not only on cost but also on personal value, cultural significance, and the overall satisfaction that the hairstyle brings.

How to Calculate the Cost of Getting Dreads

Toufiq Ur

Toufiq Ur

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