Thursday, December 30, 2010

Our Daily Dread

Technically, Dennis was two days of dreading. We started on Tuesday with his natural dreads, and I wish wish wish I had a before pic, as he had the kind of fine blond curly hair that I envy from the depths of my very soul. Dennis was definitely looking for bigger than average locks, but I had to curb his enthusiasm a bit: I explained that the dreads I create on Day One with his existing hair are not what the matured dreads will look like - matured dreads done with this technique will be about twice the size of the started lock, and approximately half the size of the section itself. Dreads are the accumulation of shedded hair trapped at the root and maintained into shape. Once I demonstrated that he'd have about seven dreads total if I followed his instructions, he let me take the reins.

This is Dennis after Day One of dreading. I know the ends look unfinished, because they are! I need something to be able to weave the human extension hair to on Day Two.

We added just over double the length of his natural dreads. Adding more than double the length past the shoulders is dicey, because the accumulated weight of the extension can be too much for the join. Luckily Dennis lives locally, so he promised that he would show up for his 30 day checkup, and we can repair any pulls before they become a problem. All dread extension bills include a 30 day checkup, but only a fraction of peeps take me up on 'em. I guess there ain't no use messing with a good thing, but... I miss you guys! More than doubling the length of thicker locks also meant an extra long day of work - day two clocked in at 10 hours of dreading.

I know a bunch of people will ask "Hey Kris, if you know it's gonna take that long, why not dial it back a little?" And hey. Could you say no to that face? Factor in how that face was talking all Irish at me and admit it - yeah, you'd be powerless to resist too. Just saying. Besides, not to toot my own horn or anything, but those dreads are awesome and Dennis looks badass! I am so happy with how these turned out it was worth the crazy long day. He couldn't tell where his natural dreads ended and his newly purchased hair began, and that is compliment enough for me (though he complimented my work plenty, sweet boy that he is.)

Human Hair Dread Extensions are hands down the best option if you're looking for dreads with length. Most people who don't get locks when they want them talk themselves out of it because they don't want to wait for the growth. Save yourself the time and accelerate the process with human hair extensions - they're totally 100% seamless and mature with your natural dreads. I loved mine and no one knew that it wasn't all me!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Our Daily Dread

It's a documented fact: the holidays make people do crazy things. Take me, for instance. Last week, when Susan came in for her dreadlock appointment she presented me with this inspiration image:

And like a crazy person, I said "Sure! No problem!"

After explaining the amount of homework and aftercare required, I attained Susan's solemn promise to meticulously maintain and palmroll each of her million tiny locks, and we got started. Eleven (yeah, eleven) hours later, we had transformed her hair completely from a frustrating curly mop to the dreadlocks of her dreams. (She even let me call her Chad, thus allowing me to fulfill my oath to never again attempt to install that many dreads on anyone except Chad.)

I will not do this for just anyone who asks. There are certain textures of hair that will be so maintenance-heavy with this number of dreads that I won't even start it. Tiny dreads are like the puppy a kid desperately wants at Christmas. When that kid realizes how much work goes into taking care of it, the level of attention goes way down. And who gets stuck with taking care of things? Me! I'm not going to spend twelve hours creating 150 dreads that will just become 75 anyways. (At least 90% of my Reconstruction jobs are due to sections being started far too small with way too many dreads - leading to neglect, massive joining, or falling apart.) Every once in a while, I'll meet someone who's got both the texture and the temperament to take it on.

I was beyond stoked to see Susan so happy with the outcome. We had a great time hanging out and talking about books, and laughing about stuff I can't even remember I was so tired! I got an email from her the next day promising to do me proud, and letting me know that her palmrolling routine takes 2.5 hours! See?! It really is a lot of work!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Our Daily Dread (x2!)

Pretty busy in the shop lately, so just a quick post today to share a couple newly dreaded peeps!

This here's Zach, with his bigger dreads.

And this is Francisco, with exactly 79 (yeah, I counted) tiny, tiny locks!

The back view's pretty cool, too. Thanks for hanging out, boys!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Slow Day...

Today didn't start out so hot, lemme tell ya. I showed up at the shop this morning feeling like a moderately well-rested zombie (derby practice x 3, KB Christmas Party/Casino Extravaganza, Brathouse Christmas Dinner and Present Parade, Papa Lockafella's Birthday Dinner, The Charlie Da Clown Show World Premiere and oh yeah... working) only to find out that my morning (slash whole day) appointment was not coming in. This is not good.

[The last time I had an uninterrupted day to myself at the shop, I tried to Weird Science my way to Bruce Willis using the Gary and Wyatt method. According to my employee review this is "not the most effective use of company time." (Like they'd say that if it worked.) ]

, lucky for the dudes who pay the power bills around here, Martyna came in for some synth dread love!

I took the pic with her hat on because I thought I'd be fun to play a little game of "Spot the Synthie". It took me a couple times to find them, and I freakin' installed them 15 minutes ago! They blend in so nicely, and do a great job filling in the gaps between her larger locks. Thanks for coming in Martyna; crisis averted!

Silent Night, Dreadly Night

It's only 9 days until Christmas, and I'm celebrating in the traditional North American fashion by running myself so ragged that by the time Christmas actually rolls around I'll be good for nothing but crankily snapping at fruitcake-bearing relatives and throwing hot wassail in the face of unwary carolers. But you! You can have a lovely Christmas! There's still hope for you!

If someone in your circle is stumped about what to gift you this season, let them know about Knotty Boy Gift Certificates! What better way for Mom to express her love while also suggesting that perhaps a professional could... (Just a little.) You and I both know this is a gift she'll truly enjoy giving ;) Available in $10, $20, and $50 amounts, they can be redeemed in the shop for services with yours truly, or for any of Knotty Boy's awesome all-natural products! You should probably also bookmark, just to be safe.

I'm pretty sure I just saved Christmas. (You're welcome!) Anyone looking to purchase gift certificates can call the shop at 1-877-566-8748 for more info. Happy Shopping Holiday!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

One Month Check-In

When I start dreads for someone, I typically won't see them until their first maintenance appointment - usually at around the three month mark. Today I had the opportunity to poke around in Kate's lovely locks, only one month old. (This was especially nice of her, since she actually showed up to get her bangs trimmed.) I thought I'd take the opportunity to show you folks an update on salon-started dreadlocks, 30 days later!
If you click the link above to Kate's first-day locks, you'll see that just like I always promise, they're laying much flatter to her head than when just completed. The areas in between the dreads have filled in as well - no more soccer-ball grid! With a bit more damp palmrolling, these are going to felt up beautifully - they're halfway there, at just a month! Best of all - she loves them! Doesn't get any better than that.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

3 Month Update

Three Month Maintenance Time for Dom!

On the left she's looking freakin' stunning for someone who's spent the last 6 hours sitting on their butt and getting their hair pulled into brand spankin' new locks. And over on the right is Dom after our maintenance appointment yesterday. You can really see the size difference. When I say they're gonna get bigger with time, I ain't lying! Proof positive, right here. Her dreads are approximately doubled in size, and she's obviously been having a good time with colour. (I asked for the recipe for that awesome teal she achieved, and it's half manic Panic Midnight Blue and half MP Bad Boy Blue on bleached-to-yellow hair.) Fridays are cool.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Locks of Love

My long time buddy Mark gave me a semi-panicked call yesterday. You see, it's his dad's birthday today, and apparently Pop's been pretty vocal about his gift preference: all he wants is for his hippie kid to get a freakin' haircut already. Being a really good dude (with really good hair) Mark decided to donate his hair to a charity that'll take his sweet curls and make a wig to help someone going through the chemo process. I know it's for the kids and all, but I freely admit that I was damn sad to cut all that gorgeous hair. Mark and I met when we were 16 years old, and a big part of the crush I had on him back then was his wicked Keanu hair! (That he totally dyed with a purple Smelly Felt. Or was it a bingo dabber? I can't remember. It was... let's just say it was a while ago.) Check out the progression!


Tiny ponytails so we get max length for donation

I'm traumatized!

Mark's awesome girlfriend Heather is totally on board. Not worried at all.

Aaaaand After. What the hell was I worried about, huh?

If you're interested in donating your hair, please check out this link to the Canadian Cancer Society for more information.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


When I consult with a new client, there are a few "red flags" I look out for, in terms of misinformation or misunderstanding. There are some HUGE myths out there about dreadlock care, and I want to make sure that everyone who's contemplating dreads in my chair is well informed about what's to come. The biggest misconceptions are always involving aftercare - yes, there's homework! I recently updated the information sheet that we give our clients at Knotty Boy, and I thought I'd post it up here for everyone who's asked.

Weekly Dreadlock Maintenance

Step 1 – Wash your locks
Washing your dreads is a key part of growing a healthy head of locks! Contrary to popular belief, shampooing your hair will actually help them develop faster and tighter – with the added bonus of smelling great!

When you wash, you only need to be concerned with your scalp – don’t worry about soaping up your locks. Give it a good scrub with the Knotty Boy Dread Shampoo Bar or Liquid Shampoo. The water and shampoo rinsing from your scalp will be enough to cleanse the dreads themselves.

Step 2 – Palmroll your dreads one at a time while they are still damp.
Palmrolling is the most basic and important tool of maintenance. Most lumps, bumps, and general disarray can be prevented and cured with regular palmrolling. Doing this when your hair is damp will help you to keep a cylindrical shape, as well as encourage loose hairs to reintegrate back into the lock. It will also help you to keep the new dreads separate from each other. This is the step to incorporate Locksteady Tightening Gel, if you choose.

To palmroll, start at the root and briskly roll your dread between your palms to the end.

Step 3 – Dry your locks, all the way through.
Most horror stories about smelly dreads have a common root cause, and that cause is trapped moisture! Making sure your dreads are 100% dry, all the way through, will prevent musty odors from developing. If you wash your hair more than once a week, or otherwise wet your hair often, you’ll want to make sure you use a blowdryer to accelerate the drying process. Otherwise, air drying is fine. Simply wait a day or two before proceeding with your maintenance routine.

Step 4 – Reapply wax, as needed.
Now that your hair is dry, you can apply a little more Knotty Boy Dread Wax to your dreads if necessary. Section out a dreadlock from the root, and give it a feel. If there is loose hair coming out, or it feels like it’s coming apart a little, then go ahead and add some more. If you have a jar, dig into the surface of the wax a little, so that you can easily take a pea-sized amount. Work that wax in your fingers to soften it and ease out any clumps. Next, massage it in to your dreadlock, starting at the roots and working down to the ends. Remember – less is more with this wax! You only need enough to bind the hair together.
*If you are using the Knotty Boy Wax Stick, you can just lightly run it down the body of the dread.*

When you’ve applied your wax, it’s time to palmroll again! Didn’t we mention it’s the most important tool in your hands? It’s the best way to get that wax where it’s going to do it’s work.

Some other helpful tips:
• Immediately after receiving dreadlocks or maintenance your hair will feel tight, and slight irritation to the scalp may occur. Redness around the hair line is normal and will go away shortly - don’t panic! Give it a spritz with Knotty Boy Peppermint Cooling Spray to ease itchiness and irritation.
• Don’t tie up your wet dreads or pile them in a hat – you’ll need the air to circulate freely!
• Don’t apply wax to wet hair – you’ll trap the moisture inside, creating a stinky mess.
• Use a shower cap when you aren’t washing your hair.
• For tight, blunt dreadlock tips, place the tip of your dread in your palm and rub in a circular motion. Backcomb the remaining tip-hair, moving the knots back up into the lock, then palm-roll. Repeat process until ends have achieved desired look.
• Cutting locks apart or snipping ends is not recommended, as this often causes more problems in the long run. Rip dreads apart to keep them separated, and run your fingers around the sections keeping loose hairs in the dread they belong to.
• Flipping dreads through themselves is not recommended as it may cause kinking, holes and serious weakness in the locks if not done correctly.
• When using Knotty Boy LockSteady Tropical Tightening Gel, coat palms of hands with gel, then drag through wet locks. Do not use on dry locks as it may leave build-up and flakes. Palmroll gel into each lock and let dreads dry thoroughly before tying up.
• Dreadlock maintenance is strongly recommended every 3-4 months for uniform, well-groomed, healthy locks. Re-sectioning, grooming and tightening by weaving loose hair back into locks helps prevent thinning at the root and breakage.

For more questions and answers check out Knotty Boy's FAQ!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Super Saturday

All Maintenance, all the time! All the time I had for the day, anyways. 3 back-to-back appointments make for a very, very sleepy Lockafella.

It's always nice to see Chance and his gorgeous locks. Started by Becca about 4 years ago, and maintained by mostly me since. He takes great care of his locks and is a pretty kickass ambassador for Knotty Boy and dreads in general! We spent pretty much this entire appointment debating about various superpowers. FYI, we both choose Regeneration over Invincibility, though for different reasons.

Sarah's appointment was actually for yesterday, but she kinda misjudged how crazy Canadians would be for US Black Friday deals and got stuck in the northbound lineup. Luckily today worked out a little better, and we managed to finish up all her seven million locks in two hours. Fingers crossed that she's already back home south of the border! As per usual with our American clientele, I pulled out the DVD player and schooled Sarah in a little classic Degrassi Jr. High. Spreading the gospel one head at a time..

Last but so not least on this marathon maintenance day is Catherine, who came over from the Island. She had approximately the same amount of hair as Sarah, but much less interest in Canadian children's programming circa 1987. This chick actually managed to read a book while I ripped apart her locks! I'm always so impressed by that! Hey, I had dreads - I know what maintenance feels like. This lady here is a total badass - watch out!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Whatcha Do? Wednesday

Just a short post to rub in how awesomely fun my day was...

This here's my new friend Nick. He's a fellow Metalocalypse enthusiast, and totally brightened my morning! His dreads are also pretty rad, just a bit messy at the roots.

Here he is all maintained! (I'm totally using that photo on the right for advertising purposes.)His dreads make a serious case for leaving your ends loose - those curls are seriously hot.

Speaking of hot...

Lara cruised by and snagged an open spot in my afternoon, and I'm so glad. It's always a blast to hear what's going on with this new mom on the serious go! (Plus, she forever earned a place in my heart by naming her daughter the coolest baby name ever.) This was a 100% collarborative art project ;)

Cody here is new to me. He's had his dreads done at Knotty Boy before, but never by me. I'm so glad we got to meet, and his dreads were a pleasure to work on. Poor guy, I had to really reef on a few of his bigger sections. Props to him for not axe murdering me during those ones - he didn't make a sound, and assured me that I wasn't hurting him. What a gentleman! Not to mention a pretty decent liar ;)

I'm off to round out this totally-packed-with-rad day by rollerskating around outside in subzero temperatures! Lucky for me I have so many warm fuzzy memories of the day to keep me toasty (and Sock Monkey Mittens will help.)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Blogging for Blondies!

I mean, everyone knows we have more fun!

This is Kelly, and this is her insane mane! Actually, this is Mane 2.0 - both were originally installed in Thailand, and I've now maintained round 1 and this latest incarnation. With easily the largest number of dreads in my female clientele, from a distance you'd need a double-take to realize she even has locks. In the future we may end up combining a fair amount of these. Really tiny sections still keep hanging onto shedded hair (like we know all successful locks do) sometimes becoming too heavy for a small root to support. Adding bleach to the mix can also cause breakage, contributing to the overall weakness. However, Kelly maintains her locks so well this might never be an issue! The maintenance went great, and only took 2 hours.

Marlowe's dreads had a pretty rough start. They were backcombed and interlocked - the practice of flipping a dread through itself at the root to keep it close to the scalp. She came to me two months ago with big holes in her dreads, hard twisty knots, and some pretty wacky sectioning. The shape of the locks themselves was pretty out of whack, mostly because she was totally overwhlemed - she didn't know where to start. We took a few hours and Reconstructed, and I couldn't be more stoked with the result! The two pictures to the left is how she walked in yesterday - with gorgeous, well kept dreads, just needing a tightening at the scalp. No weird hard bumps or bizarro elbow shapes. (I may have fawned a bit, I admit it.) The picture on the right is after the tightening. I'm so excited to see these dreads grow, and I'm very happy to see how happy Marlowe now is with her hair.

Oh, how I love blond dreadlocks! I miss mine tons. (Most especially when I wake up in the morning looking like 1984.) If you and your locks are... um... helping nature along a little bit, here are a couple of things to consider.

1) If you aren't looking to go platinum, consider using a permanent haircolour instead of bleach. It's got an automatic "shutoff" time, whereas bleach continues to "work" until you shampoo it out.

2) Bleach will NOT get your hair white. Platinum and all other "cool" blond shades are achieved using toners on lightened hair. If you try and achieve coolness with lighteners alone, you will only achieve breakage.

3) Be cautious when retouching your roots. If you've achieved the desired lightness in the body of your lock, don't just "use up the rest" by pouring the leftovers on your dreads. Remember, your hair isn't getting all the conditioning it once did - chemical overuse can easily cause breakage.

4) Don't get overzealous. 6-8 weeks is average for a root retouch. Every time you use bleach on your roots, it rinses through all your dreads in the sink. (Just like when you wash your scalp, the soapy rinse is enough to clean your locks themselves.) Try coating them before you apply product, like a stylist would apply a barrier cream to protect your skin. Give a good palmroll with a light amount of wax to your already coloured ends.


6) If you have ever had bleach in your locks (specifically bleach, not including colour) do NOT under any circumstances allow a stylist to start or maintain your locks using perm solution, or a "dread perm" until is has completely grown out! Even if it's underneath other colour. This is not a drill. They are not compatible chemicals, and will cause your hair to melt. This is not an exaggeration. It's really nasty.

Honestly, I don't endorse using bleach at home. It's a caustic chemical best left in the hands of a professional who understands it's properties. If you are have any doubts whatsoever, go to your local hair shop, or better yet - come see me! I'd love to see you!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

No Dreads Wednesday

Today was a DreadFree day in the shop! It's a pretty rare one when I just do cuts and colours, but I had a blast!

This is Marina. She's usually found anchored to her desk, answering Customer Service calls in the space above the KB Lock Shop (aka - where the grownups do actual "work".) She got a really cute asymmetrical haircut from another stylist before her vacation, but was ready to switch it up. We changed the silhouette and added a flash of lilac to the bangs.

Here's Mikey deliberately throwing me his best "deer caught in headlights". (I'm sure it had nothing to do with his cut and colour bill.) He was blond a couple of hours ago (maybe that's it?) but with summer over, he wanted to switch it back to a darker, more natural shade. We cut off about 4 inches all over, placed some highlights in the front, and hit everything with the ashiest toner I could find. I'm going to have to get my hands on some nice pics, because Mikey looked damn handsome walking out the door!

Sorry folks, it's once again with the weird freakin' formatting... fix it, blogger!

Friday, November 12, 2010

I'm Just A Girl Who Can't Say No...

So I've been laid up with the Fresh Meat Flu for the last few days, major side-effects including runny nose, exhaustion, and near-constant complaining. I know you're thinking, "Hey! Isn't being stuck in bed the perfect opportunity for blogging?", and I feel you - but really, you didn't want to hear about it. Really. Thanks to a couple of immune buddies, some homemade ice cream, and a sh*tload of comic books, I'm on the mend and back at work. Too bad my client wasn't able to show up. Burn, dude! But, as lame as a no-show can be (life happens!) there's a flipside to every coin...

So last Sa
turday, I rolled into work after spending a very early, very long morning at a meeting for the Derby league. I was stoked to come in and spend a mellow couple hours with some long-time haircut clients. So I get started on my 2 o'clock...when my other 2 o'clock shows. Wha? Yeah. My 2 o'clock dreadlock appointment. From out of town. Who can't come back. Who I've never heard of.
Oh man. Clearly there's been a pretty major miscommunication at some point... what to do? I c
ouldn't bail on my booked appointments, so Brenna and I struck a deal to start a late night dread sesh at 4pm.

This lady has a lot of hair. A lot of long hair. She pretty much made my week when she told me that she wanted "quarter-sized" locks. (Translate that to bigger than normal.) Oh man, her hair dreaded like a dream! (Mad props to Carolyn the Coffee Fairy for keeping that dream alive.) She was really sweet to boot. Even in the larger size Brenna ended up with 59 locks. At 6.5 hours, it was definitely a later night than either of us had bargained for - and it ended up being a 12 hour day for me in the end. But we were both so happy with the outcome, I'm really glad we took the time.

The only real downside to taking the appointment was that I ended up missing Derby practice that night. According to firsthand accounts, it was "the most brutal" seen yet. So it's probably safe to assume I'll get my ass handed to me tonight. If you want to see the carnage firsthand, I'll be showing off my bruises afterwards at The Cobalt for the 4th Team Unveiling Party. Deets here.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Our Daily Dread

This adorable face belongs to Kate! Her dreads took 5 hours straight - no rest for the wicked.

Speaking of no rest - I normally have more to say, but the Cocaine Moustache boys and Nashville Pussy rocked my face off last night, and I've gotta get it together enough to roll to Derby practice asap. Happy Friday, everyone!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Last Saturday afternoon I had a sit with Andrea, who came all the way from Campbell River! Andrea had been a client of another dread stylist, so the pressure was on. She was expecting a lot outta me... and on a Saturday, too.

The Mission: Andrea has about 30 locks, and she loves them. What she wasn't so keen on was the level of coverage she was getting as they grew out. So our mission this day was to start with the basics and maintain her roots - then pull on our fancypants for adding volume and density by filling in those gaps!

Step one: fulfill client's Rapunzel fantasy! Just kidding... I think. Look at that face! Clearly someone's enjoying themselves here. We're done the maintenance and just finished installing the superridiculouslyhighquality kanekalon fiber at the root of every one of Andrea's locks, some in her natural colour, others in subtle (and not-so-subtle) highlights. I back away so that she may bask in the synthetic glow...

And Ta freakin' DA! Mission :Accomplished! A few hours of steamy
action later (stop right there, gutterbrain...) and all that loose hair is twisted up nice and tight in Synth Dreads, sitting snugly between Andrea's natural locks. Each individual section now has 3 dreads springing from it, bumping her total up from 30 to 90! That is a seriously full head of hair!

With a few washes, those synth dreads lose their New Lock Shine - they blend in really well with natural dreads. As her hair continues to grow, I'll move those locks up to the roots again and again - the quality of the hair is so good, you can keep using the same locks for years. When she gets tired of the turquoise, we'll switch it up, easy as a snip of thread! (That's easy, yo.) Should Andrea choose not to reinstall her synth, she can instead put them onto an elastic fall and tie them in when it suits her.

Thanks for hanging out, Andrea - it was a wicked time! Looking forward to seeing you in the spring :)