14 May 2012

Dreadlock Shopping List

We each have a reason for embarking on a loc journey but for the purposes of this post let's focus on dreadlocks as an affordable alternative to their conventional counterparts.

I'm almost half way through my second month and so far self-maintenance has been manageable. And at this point I wonder whether to return to the salon as planned. Also, as I purchase my latest item, I question the overall cost of this journey.

My relationships with hairdressers are civil at best, Over the years I've grown accustom to keeping hair as an at home affair and have only had to venture to a salon when in need of something I couldn't do myself. Nonetheless I had no specific intentions for a DIY loc'ing journey. Does the hairdresser expect me back? Should I go?

And then there are the products. I've never been as deeply attached to products as I could have been. I freely picked up new items that looked remotely presentable and dropped old ones based on little more than availability. Being recently introduced to dreadlocks and black hair culture it's pretty hard to ignore the volumes of information. All of a sudden, products are interesting; What's in them? Is it healthy? Where did it come from?  And then. . . "How much does it cost?" That last one rings in my ears all too well. Cost is very important to me, important because dreadlocks have opened my eyes to the amount I had to spend on products when having a perm.

A good hair care balance would encompass simplicity, effectiveness and affordability, right? So, are locs the best lifestyle choice?

I've decided to take note of my loc'ing purchases for the purpose of comparing this new jounrney with my old one, so here goes:
  • Starter coils - £25. 00 
  • Satin scarf - £2.99 
  • ORS Lock & Twist gel 360ml (no longer in use) - £1.99 
  • Cold pressed Coconut oil 500g - £6.49 
  • Cold pressed Sweet Almond oil 100ml - £1.99 
  • 12 double prong clips - £1.49 
  • 80 pin curl single prong clips - £2.99
Total: £42.94

Update January 2013:-
  • Head wrap fabric (no longer in use) - £4.00
  • L'Oreal box Hair colour - £5.00
  • Powder Bleach - £6.00
  • Cream Peroxide - £4.00
  • L'Oreal Hicolor - £9.00
  • Dark and Lovely box Hair colour - £3.99
  • Creme of Nature box Hair colour - £3.99
  • x2 Creme of Natural Argan oil conditioner (never used) £1.99
  • x1 Adore semi permanent Hair colour - £2.99
  • x1 Adore semi permanent Hair colour £2.99
  • Spray bottle - £2.00
  • Creme of Nature Ultra Moisturising Shampoo - £2.99
  • Oliv Oil conditioning pack - £0.99
  • Loc maintenance - £60.00
  • Aloe Vera Gel - £7.00
  • Accessories £3.00-£7.00
  • Satin Bonnet - £1.99
Total: £119.92-£123.92

Perhaps you're a self proclaimed product enthusiast, or already planning your next etsy dread haul? Maybe you simply opt for regular salon maintenance or get through your fair share of rubber bands and bobby pins? Tell us what's on your dread shopping list and how important cost is to you.


**I DONOT posses photography ownership or creator rights. Photography ownership or creator rights are held with the artist and photographer**


  1. i think i may be having a malfunction problem too. hahaha!!! i didn't get this post in my mailbox.

    anyway, my mom swears dreadlocks are more expensive. i don't think so, at least not in my case. but i can see how it could get expensive if you were to always be shopping, which is so tempting when you start something new. products made specifically for dreads are pretty expensive too.

    i'm not a hair salon person either. i prefer to spend my free time and free money on enjoying life. it's one of the reasons why i went natural. so, as you can see cost is very important to me.


    so far what i've bought:

    -2 shampoos (will be buying african black soap this week-- am so excited. :)) $6-8
    -unwefted hair extensions for braids est 7 bags @ $2.99 ea
    -box of hair elastic bands
    -2 travel size spray bottles
    -small kitchen towel with less lint
    -2 ribbons (never use them)

    products i've used, already in kitchen or bedroom:

    -olive oil
    -baking soda
    -apple cider vinegar
    -white vinegar
    -3 halter-neck shoulder straps, used as dreadlock ribbon-wrap for color
    -sewing thread, used as dreadlock thread-wrap for color

    1. Hey, glad to see I'm not the only one x)

      Interesting list you have. I'm debating whether to try black soap or a dread shampoo but it's difficult to know what the exact ingredients are until I come across them in a shop, and then I think to myself, why not make your own... I suppose dreadlocks are as affordable as you want them to be. How was your hair before you went natural?

    2. "How was your hair before you went natural?" i'm not sure what you mean. so, sorry if i don't answer well. if this is not what you were looking for, please let me know.

      my hair was damaged, but looked decent. I wore it wet-wavy, so the damage wasn't very noticeable. i had a lot of damage down the middle. that area still remains a problem. of course it didn't help, that after going natural, i was continuously on and off texture softeners. oops ;)

  3. About the black soap... i'm going for the raw kind made in Ghana. not fancily packaged or boxed. msfullroller suggested it to me several weeks ago. and i finally read up on it this weekend since my current shampoo is finishing. read somewhere that you have to be careful now when you buy ABS in stores since manufacturers have gotten involved and started changing the ingredients to make it smell better, soapier, more conditioning... i found a store near me that sells it raw, organic, from Ghana and at a decent price. so, i have my fingers crossed. saw some great choices on-line too, but the shipping cost more than the soap. i'm still puzzled.

    1. Oh don't worry. You explained perfectly well. I was trying to ask an all inclusive question i.e. be it chemical treatments or weaves and other extensions.

      I'd never heard of wet & wavy before, but I don't hang around salons enough to pick up all the lingo. I had a perm for several years before going natural for about 3 months and then started this journey.

      Yes the organic stuff does seem inviting. I'll have to do my research. All I know is that in order to turn anything into soap form there are certain chemicals that are used and nearly all of them leave some kind of waxy-ish residue. Having said that Dove has a soap for skin that's 'residue free' so perhaps there is hope.

      It's funny, I got over my fear of water on my locs during the first week and now I'm wary of residue. Will it ever end!? :D

  4. hahaha!!! so true. never thought of that. i had a fear of water in the beginning too. but me, i was worried my extensions would fall out in the middle of my shower. now, like you, my big worry is residue which i keep accumulating. oh well... in time, we'll figure it all out.

    wet-wavy it's just what i called my hair when i found out i could keep the waves that wet hair normally has, all throughout the day. it was my biggest find. i'm lazy when it comes to my hair. hated going under the dryer, wearing curlers to bed, blowing drying then pressing, not being able to wash or wet my hair whenever i wanted...

    extensions/weaves... only had my whole head done once. 1 or 2x i did a one-cornroll weave across middle of head for fullness. and i also tried the clip on extensions for fullness until it half came off while i was dancing. so embarrassing. that was the last of that. ;)

    perm... i've been doing perms since i think high school. i went natural a few years back. had a difficult time managing it. so experimented with texturizers and texture softeners.

    what about you?

  5. Its been 3 months for me and I just wish I had the balls to embrace doing it myself! I'm SO afraid to try washing & retwisting my hair on my own. AND I don't want to get so used to going to the salon every month that I never try :-( I guess it's one of those things that you just have to suck it up and try, even if you fail at it the first time. So...unfortunately, my shopping list has been very scarce. Ofcourse I've bought scarfs to cover up on the crazy hair days. Other than that, I use nothing in my hair on my own except for witch hazel & tea tree oil. On the other hand... the trips to the salon have been VERY expensive. *cries*

    1. I can understand the desire to want your hair done correctly J.Larise, however I've learnt that's nothing is uncorrectable on this journey.

      The main issues are products and method; try to do a row by yourself. Use plain water to start with if you like. You can ask your hairdresser whether you're doing it right and what products she uses OR visit youtube and get clued up.

      It sounds like you simply need a dose of hair confidence and DIY is a wonderful way to start. Salons are great if you find a good one but being able to hone your own skills helps you balance a budget with a luxury.

      Best, NL

  6. My shopping list consists of raw African black soap, coconut oil and dried herbs all of which I purchase in large quantities. I've also purchased decorative clips to hold my locs out of my face and a few pony tail holders.

    For me dreadlocks have been less expensive because the stuff that I'm using I use for other purposes as well.

    1. I like that. Many of the items I used also have multiple purposes too especially the coconut oil which seems to have an endless list of uses.

      I suppose after three years they've become very cost effective. Were sisterlocks as affordable in the beginning i.e. installation/maintenance?

  7. Oh I don't have Sisterlocks. I've got braidlocks which I installed myself and have maintained from their birth so yes they have been very affordable. I even made my own maintenance tool from a paperclip and I currently use a modified metal yarn needle. Those are a bit over $3.00 for a pack of 4. I did break 2 of the needles in modifying them to fit my locs. lol

    1. Ah forgive me.

      You've really embraced a DIY journey. If I ever decide to interlock I'll be asking for the best how to's from yourself :)