How Much Does It Cost to Get Dreadlocks? [DIY Cost & Cost at Salon]

If you have decided to lock your hair, then you have made a major decision. As exciting as the thought may be for you, you are probably worried about the modalities and the cost. If you are worried if the anticipated look will suit you, I suggest you try temporary dreadlocks first.

That will give you a quick peek at whether carrying dreadlocks long-term is the best way to go. 

Now that you are sure you want to lock your hair, the next step is to prepare a budget for it. There are several types of dreadlocks available for you to choose from according to your preference. 

Faux locs are artificial hair extensions that are made to resemble natural dreadlocks. Some of them are made with very colorful wool or yarn.

Natural locs (sometimes called “free form”) are mostly free at no cost. All you need to do is leave your hair to lock on by itself without combing it but you must keep it clean by washing it regularly. 

If you’re looking to get dreadlocks, continue reading this post to find out what it entails, especially the cost. Let’s get into it.

How Much Does It Cost to Get Dreadlocks? 

The approximate cost of getting your dreads done by a professional loctician is between $250 and $1200. Locticians normally charge hourly and according to your hair length or how full your hair is. They also consider the number of strands that you want before charging you.

So, it is best to first consult and negotiate with a dreadlock stylist to agree upon the exact charges specifically for you. 

3 Critical Factors that Influence the Cost of Dreadlocks

There are specific factors that determine the charges stipulated for different dreadlock styles. These factors influence the length of time a stylist will spend locking your hair. And the longer the time frame, the costlier the charges will be. The factors include:

1. Hair Length 

The first thing a haisstylist considers is how long your hair is. If your hair is waist length, expect to be charged higher than someone with shoulder-length hair.

The reason is that it will take more time to get your hair done due to its longer length. If your budget is tight, you may consider cutting your hair to a shorter length to reduce cost. 

2. The Number of Locs 

Depending on the number of locs or strands you want, your bill will be calculated accordingly. If you want more locs, your hair will be parted into plenty of sections to achieve that.

Be aware that doing so will mean a lot of time will be spent before completing the task. And more time attracts more money. 

3. Your Hair Volume 

A full head of hair requires the most stress when it comes to styling generally and dreadlocks aren’t an exception.

No matter how few you want your strands to be, it will still be time-consuming because the loc thickness must match the hair thickness and that will require extra effort. So, be ready to pay extra if you have voluminous hair. 

Below is a tabulated finding based on research carried out into the cost of getting dreadlocks done according to the number of locs, hair length/thickness, and time spent.

Take a look at a summary of the average cost per category:

Hair Volume Hair LengthNumber of Locs Maximum Duration Average Cost
ScantyAbove the shoulder 305 hours$250-$350
Medium Shoulder length407 hours  $350-$450
Medium but thick A bit past shoulder length 40-45Approx. 9 hours $450-$550
FullWaist-length 5010 hours plus$650-$750
Medium or full Bottom length 45 or more 15 hours plus $900-$1200

How Much Does It Cost to Get Dreadlocks at Home? (DIY) 

You may want to get creative and try your hands on the task of getting dreadlocks done yourself at home. There are false dreadlock extensions that are very easy to fix with the aid of a crochet needle.

Just get a front and a rear mirror to make it easier for you. Sit between the two mirrors facing one and turning your back on the other. However, if you prefer having your natural hair locked, it is possible to get it done also.

There are several quality products you can find on the market either physically or online. I have compiled a few good products you can choose from to fix according to your budget and choice of dreadlock style.

That brings us to two major categories of dreadlocks:

  1. Using Dreadlock Extensions
  2. Free Form/ Neglect Method

Let me give you an insight on how to DIY in the comfort of your home. Remember there are two methods of getting dreadlocks done. One involves using extensions while the other is the free form method. 

The first thing to do for both methods is to wash your hair thoroughly with shampoo. Don’t use any conditioner because according to the rule of dreadlocks, your hair shouldn’t be too soft before locking. 

1. Using Dreadlock Extensions  

Cumulatively, if you opt for a cheaper hair extension within the $15-$25 range, you will be spending approximately $50 (with shampoo, crochet, and wax/gel costs factored in). But a choice of real human hair extensions will amount to a $100+ price range.

The items you need and their costs include:

S. NoHair Product NameRecommended Product
1Dreadlock ShampooKnatty Dread Dreadlocks Shampoo
2Dreadlocks Crochet HookAQUEENLY Dreadlocks Crochet Hook for Hair
3Braid, Loc, Twist GelAfrican Pride Black Castor Miracle Extra Hold Braid, Loc, Twist Gel
4Hair Extensions (Low Cost)Noverlife 10 Strands 20cm/7.87″ Black Backcomb Twisted Dreadlock Extensions
5Real Human Hair Extensions (High Cost)DAIXI 8-18 Inch 30 Strands 100% Real Human Hair Dreadlock Extensions

DIY Process (Extensions method):

  • Part your hair into small sections equivalent to the number of locs you want and hold with rubber bands. 
  • Next, untie each band one after the other and braid them in threes. 
  • Now, pick up one strand of your loc extension and pass it through the base of each braid you previously made using crochet. 
  • Then, stitch each strand of your braided hair to the corresponding extension until you finish.
  • Finally, apply a small amount of wax or loc gel to each strand starting from the base while rolling the loc between both palms. 
  • If you happen to have applied too much wax/gel, then you need to blow dry the entire locs to avoid a build-up of wax in your hair which could cause a bad odor or mold. 
  • Remember to maintain your locs by washing them regularly with dreadlocks shampoo and using moisturizers or sprays for dreadlocks afterward. 

2. Free Form/ Neglect Method

The total in the case of DIY naturally will be around $85 considering all the hair care treatments you will need to buy.

For the free form locs, you will need: 

S. NoHair Product NameRecommended Product
1Dreadlock Tool SetKnatty Dre5 Pcs Dreadlocks Tool Set
2Dreadlock holder waxJamaican Mango & Lime Blax Black Wax 6oz – dreadlock holder wax
3Locs Rosewater SprayLion Locs Rosewater Spray with Aloe, Essential Oils, Vitamins, and Glycerin
4Hair Locking Dreads MoisturizerLion Locs Hair Locking Dreads Moisturizer for Dreadlocks and Locks 
5Dreadlock ShampooDollylocks 12oz Tea Tree Spearmint Liquid Dreadlock Shampoo
6Hair SpongeRioRand Hair Sponge Magic Barber Twist Curl Brush

DIY Process (Free Form Method):

  • If you have African virgin hair and it is short, then you don’t need to do anything at all. Just neglect your hair after washing. Don’t comb it. After a while, it will begin to matte and lock by itself. Although, from 3 months and beyond, you will need to hold the roots in place by twisting them in sections using dreadlocks wax/gel. 
  • If your hair is permed (relaxed) or naturally silky (Asian or Caucasian), then backcombing is how you will get it done. Tousle parted hair sections from the base by combing downwards toward the root. Next, use crochet to loop the tip through the base. As you do that to each section, keep your loc wax/gel close by and apply by rubbing each between both palms. Over time, your locs will form properly with adequate maintenance. 

How Much Does It Cost to Get Dreadlocks at a Salon? 

Having your dreadlocks done by a loctician at the salon will cost more because of the professional charges you will incur. On average, stylists charge about $50 hourly as a service fee.

So, depending on the factors earlier discussed, you will need to estimate the total duration that will be spent in getting your hair locked.

However, if the hairstylist’s fee doesn’t cover the extension, you may have to provide the hair extensions yourself (I have picked a few options for you). And you may want to buy your personal crochet (for safety reasons) and also go with your shampoo/wax.

Below are some of the hair products used by hairstylists at salons to get Dreadlocks:

Wrapping Up: 

It is pertinent that you opt for more affordable dreadlock methods if you are on a tight budget. I believe that you will surely find a method that you can afford from the products listed above.

DIY can also cut a lot of costs when opting for dreadlocks, so consider doing it yourself to save cost. There are several DIY videos online to help you handle your dreadlocks.