Saturday, September 17, 2011


This is one heck of an overdue post, but I hope you'll forgive me when I share my news with you!

A ton of you already know via the Facebook and Knotty Boy webpages, but for those who have't checked in for awhile… The Knotty Boy Lock Shop and Salon is now The Dreadquarters!

What's up with that, you ask? Basically, Adrianna and I split the day-to-day operations of Knotty Boy down the middle, allowing her and Knotty Boy to focus completely on bringing you the world's finest all-natural hair products, while still backing us exclusively as the only Official Knotty Boy Concept Salon! We've known and trusted each other for so long that it was a natural next step for both of us. I know there's no better product for my clients than Knotty Boy, and Knotty Boy can refer their customers to us with complete confidence - they've watched happy, healthy dreads walk out of the building for years!

We miss having everybody upstairs, but Becca and I having our own shop is a dream we've held since hair school. (And that was a longish time ago.) Hell, we even lured Christine back! The three of us are excited to strike out on our own, but we'll never forget our Knotty roots; working with Knotty Boy to make sure you always have a place for stellar dread care is our number one priority. Us gals at The Dreadquarters are always available to answer your questions and walk you through the tough spots.

It's exciting, and it's scary… but mostly it's the same! If you still aren't sure what the heck I'm jabbering about, I made this incredibly messy (but possibly handy!) set of graphics for you!

Truly, all of us at The Dreadquarters are so grateful for the support you've given us as we've transitioned over in the last month! It means everything to us! Join us at for new blog entries (things are starting to settle now, I will have new blog posts!) and drop by the big green house on Grant Street any time to say hi! Here's all the important info again!

The Dreadquarters
1721 grant street (just off commercial drive)

open tuesday through saturday by appointment from 10am

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Our Daily Dread

Katelin's hair was already totally amazing, but her dreads are incredible! She's got a zillion of them (at least it felt like it) and they just suit her. I cannot wait to see these all felted up and filled with beads and treasures!

This was a long day for both of us (the dreads took 8 solid hours) but with a Back To The Future boxset and the first 2 seasons of Trailer Park Boys, it wasn't nearly as long as it could've been. Thanks to Katelin for her incredible patience - it isn't easy sitting in one spot for that long, let alone when someone's yanking on your hair!

Our Daily Dread

It's summertime, and the shop is crazy busy! As soon as the sun comes out, good folks start coming outta the woodwork looking to get their locks started at the shop. I love being this busy, but with less shop time to spare, the posts get fewer and farther between! Sorry, dudes. I promise I'll post more often, okay? Starting now!

This is Derek, and his newly dreadful 'do started off my week. Derek and his girlfriend traveled from the great state of California to get styled and see the sights. We finished up his 70+ dreads in just over 6 hours.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Frank's New Length

I started Frank's dreads just about a year ago, and he's been taking good care of them ever since. He had some shorter bits in the front that we lengthened at the time, and last week I got an email that he was ready to extend the rest of 'em and start this summer off with some length!

Normally I like to start out with a maintenance, but Frank likes his dreads with a little chaos on the top. I wove a little of the loose hair at the scalp to keep the roots healthy and strong, but otherwise left it alone. The dread extensions are woven into his locks a little hair at a time, there's no braiding of a pre-made anything. With a little palmrolling, these human hair extensions will felt directly to his natural locks, making for a seamless addition. He looks awesome!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Kate at 6+ Months

It's always a pleasure to see Kate and catch up, and it's a treat to see how rad her dreads are after just a few months! They're felted up tight, and they look great - if I do say so myself ;)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Our Daily Dread

Our Daily Dread today is Angela, all the way from Calgary. She's wanted dreads for ages, and after doing her research, she decided the KB Lock Shop is the place to get started! We spoke briefly on the phone, and consulted in depth in person as well. This is a lady who knows what she wants, and she wants the best dreads around! (Happy to oblige, ma'am.) She also wanted to keep as much length as possible, while keeping her dreads on the small side.

When Angela walked in she had her hair tied up in a braid. That was one hella big braid, friends, and you can see what I was dealing with when I took that hair-tie out. I'm not sure the picture really captures the sheer magnitude of hair on this woman's head. It was EPIC. With hair this dense and long, I knew I was settling in for the night. (Didn't think it would take quite as long as it did, ever the optimist. Thank goodness for small noggins!) We kept the sections small, and wove the hair all the way to the bottom. She ended up with over 70 tightly woven and tapered locks, and a ponytail the size of.. well, a pony's tail. From start to finish, this took just over 9 hours. I think we're both pretty happy with the results! (And that we got out before midnight.)

Friday, May 13, 2011

Tips for Tips


The very lovely Ashleigh (who will be Our Daily Dread very soon!) reminded me that while I teach all my clients how to work on their ends before they leave the shop, I haven't written anything down about it to revisit later. Loose ends are so pretty for some, but so annoying when all you want is round blunted tips! The bad news is, ends will dread straight-up on their own schedule, often times staying frustratingly loose while the rest of your hair felts up in record time. The good news is, there are a few super easy things you can do to get that loose hair at the ends of your dreads to knot up nice and tight. It's not going to happen overnight, but if you add this step into your regular maintenance routine you'll have solid tips WAY faster!

I harp often enough on what not to do with your ends (oh man, do I hate elastics) so it's high time I spend an afternoon MS Paint-ing my way through what you can do. Here's my step-by-step-oh-my-stars-isn't-this-the-easiest-thing? guide to getting your messy tips going!

This is Judy. She's totally bummed! What's going on, buddy?

Oh. I see. Judy's bummed because her otherwise awesome locks are loose at the tips. We can fix this. We have the technology.

The first step is to backcomb the loose hairs at the end of the lock, pushing the new knots right up to the solid area of the dread. Use a fine toothed comb or... it like a real caveman would, and use your fingers. No need to get all fancy or nothing.

Once you've pushed all that hair as high up as you can (without forcing it) rub the end of your lock in your palm. Now, some people advise you to do this in a clockwise direction, or a counterclockwise direction - but really, they might as well advise you to bark like a dog. I have a hunch folks tell you that kind of thing just to be able to tell you to do something, you know? You're trying to make knots. Just gently rub it around every which way until it's knotted up. No need to check the phases of the moon or anything.

As always, we finish off our maintenance with a palmroll. This is the key to keeping your locks in great shape! Put the dread between your palms and pretend you're trying to start a fire with two twigs! If you'd like, you can add a very little bit of wax at this stage.

And that's it! There's no wax in these right now, and it took all of 2 minutes per dread. Maybe. Like I said earlier, this isn't something that's going to hold up after just one go. As time goes on, all those loose little hairs will get sucked into the middle of your lock, and the end will round up as the dread matures. Chances are, this'll come out again after you wash your hair for the first while, but if you incorporate this as a regular step in your maintenance routine, your ends WILL tighten up faster and you won't have any of the problems I regularly see from other end-tightening methods. But how does Judy feel about this?

Got questions about your dreads? Leave 'em in the comments, or email me at

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Our Daily Dread

Our Daily Dread this fine Wednesday is David, and is anyone else getting "handsome-Jeremy-Piven-meets-Jesus" vibes off these photos? I mean, it's not just me, right? Anyway...

When David swung by the Shop, he was on his way back from 2 months climbing in Mexico (jealous!) and on his way to 3 months planting trees in Northern BC (not jealous.) Perfect timing to get some sweet dreads going, but no doubt getting them going right will make it a lot easier to handle in the middle of nowhere. Starting dreads yourself works great, but it's a lengthy process and most of the time involves a ton of daily backcombing and palmrolling - something not a lot of people are willing to do after hours of backbreaking backcountry work. (I get a lot of Reconstruction work after the season.) I'm confident that he's got the info and determination he needs to keep these looking great, especially since he's only got a fraction of the homework to do.

Dreads really suit him! Can't wait to see them get settled in, so I really hope he manages to hop a train (Yeah, dude can hop a train! One of many rad tales of the road he shared) into town on the way to his next crazy adventure.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Dread Do-Over

Saturday last I met with Joel at the Lock Shop. He was totally unhappy with the state of his dreads, and I get where he's coming from; when he first took his hat off, I had to strain just to see any. His hair had barely started to knot together up nearer the roots, and the lengths were still totally loose. Joel's hair as-is would eventually dread with enough hard work, but a Reconstruction service would fast forward this undone phase and cut out months of daily backcombing and waxing.

Like all my fave reconstructions, Joel's was made so much easier by having essentially sound sectioning. There were really only a few points where it was necessary to reshape the section at the root, usually because of either awkward angles or poor sizing. For the most part I was able to simply clean up what was already there section-wise, then weave from there to the tip of the dread - creating solid knots from top to bottom. I'm wicked grateful he was an hour and half early for his appointment, because I just barely got Joel out the door at closing time, about 5 hours after we started. This was a lot more work than I was expecting at 3pm on a Saturday!

I'm very grateful to Joel for the opportunity to restart these locks. I think we were both pretty stoked at the outcome! If you've got questions about your locks, or you wanna start a new set altogether, shoot me an email! Have a great weekend!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Jonathan Brookins In The (Big Green) House!

For those of you not in the MMA know, this is Jonathan Brookins, winner of 'The Ultimate Fighter' Season 12 and currently fighting in the Lightweight division of the UFC!

Like the picture shows, he's got some pretty awesome curls going on, but all that gorgeous hair is a serious hindrance during his intense training. It flies all over the place, and gets trapped while grappling; even for a seriously tough dude, that sucks. So, when he decided dreadlocks might be the way to go, he called up Knotty Boy for some expert advice. Turns out he'd had a bad experience in the past trying to get dreads started with more old-sc
hool twist techniques, so The Lock Shop stepped up and invited Jonathan to the big green house for a (totally manly) makeover!

This service was such a pleasure! Jonathan was a wonderful guest and was more th
an patient with two girls reefing on his head at once. Becca and I rocked this out together in what I think was about 5 hours - but to be honest, we were having too good a time to really notice. Good tunes, great peeps. Lots of laughing! An awesome day to do what we do. We both hope to see him in the shop again, but at least I know I can keep tabs on his dreads by watching the fights... and don't think I won't call if I see he isn't doing his homework! I really think he's going to find this style so much easier to keep in check. The maintenance will be minimal, and with his fine texture they ought to be felted up in no time at all!

Seriously, how well do dreads suit this guy?! So cute!

There are plenty of folks who still hear "UFC" and instantly dismiss those involved as violent 'roid-raging streetfighters. Hell, hosting MMA in Vancouver was straight up illegal until 2009! I challenge anyone to spend 30 seconds with Jonathan and hold onto that outdated thought; this is a disciplined, hardworking, and deeply humble man. (And too bad for all the haters out there: he's also really, really nice on top of it.)

*As with all the athletes that stop by my chair, the subject of sweating and shampooing did come up. While it's ideal to keep your washing down to about once a week, everyone's head is different. The main thing is to ensure that the dread is completely dry before it gets wet again. For in between shampoos, Knotty Boy just released Natural MISTic - a rad new spray that kills odor-causing bacteria without needing to wet your hair! It smells awesome too.*