Modlocks Dreadlocks

What is Modlocks?

Modlocks is a professional method of making and maintaining dreadlocks for all hair types and textures. Hair is sectioned according to the size of the anticipated lock. The root of the section is tied with a small thread (the thread is unnecessary for most afro texture hair) See: Why use thread? Each section of hair is backcombed and felted from top to bottom with a thin hook. Felting is one of the most favourable techniques because they mimic the look of mature dreadlocks and blend well with the new growth.

What is a dreadperm?

As an aesthetic alternative, Modlocks offers curly locks. Perm solution is used to chemically change the shape of the hair making new dreadlocks curly. Both techniques, felting and perming are permanent. Felt locks and perm locks look different in the beginning but ultimately serve the same purpose. See: Will dreadlocks damage my hair?

Will you dreadlock children’s hair?

Children must be able to decide for themselves whether they can commit to dreadlocks. In addition,  children under the age of 16 must have consent from a legal parent/guardian. It is important to understand that making new dreadlocks or having root maintenance is both time consuming and in some instances painful. Modlocks offer a few gentler techniques for children but the results will likely require more home care. Homecare guidelines are provided to all Modlocks’ clients.

Why use thread?

Modlocks are tied at the root with a polyester thread. This helps keep the dreadlocks neatly sectioned and encourages natural matting at the root by catching all of the hair you would otherwise shed (the average person sheds 100-150 hairs per day).

Can I cut the thread out of my locks?

It is not recommended to remove the threads as it will result in premature loose hair. When you come in for Modlocks maintenance the old threads will be removed and a new one will be tied at the root. 

What is interlocking and what are the disadvantages?

Interlocking (also referred to as crocheting or latch-hooking) is a common way to make and maintain dreadlocks by splitting the root hair and looping the end through. The process is repeated splitting the root hair in different ways until the dread is tight to the scalp. Some people choose interlocking because they prefer the look of it or because it’s easy self maintenance or simply that it’s the only method they know. Interlocking afro texture hair might appear better than interlocking straighter textured hair but in my experience, there are some clear disadvantages:

  • Interlocking splits the root and weakens the base of the dread. A weak base will grow to create weak areas in the dreads
  • Interlocking shortens dreadlocks (hair does not grow slower in dreadlocks; that’s a myth)
  • Interlocking creates hard lumps and bumps that can never be fully repaired
  • Interlocking inconsistently creates inconsistencies in the dreadlocks that cause breakage
  • Interlocking too tightly can cause tension headaches
  • Interlocking may cause hair to thin especially around the hairline
  • Interlocking too tightly can cause a receding hairline

What happens when I don’t want dreadlocks anymore?

In most cases you will not have to shave your head. However you will likely need to cut some of the length before starting the removal process. A shorter hairstyle will be far easier to achieve than opting for shoulder length or longer hair.

How do I remove dreadlocks?

Figuring out how easy or difficult it will be to remove dreadlocks will depend on knowing how they were made/maintained and knowing what the natural hair texture is. If the dreadlocks were interlocked, the hair might easily unravel or it might be completely knotted up. Some people prefer to remove dreadlocks using the teeth of a metal comb or the handle of a rat tail comb. Some people prefer to remove dreadlocks when the hair is dry while others prefer working on damp or wet hair slathered in conditioner. There is no one preferred way to remove dreadlocks but in every situation, patience is a virtue.

How long does my hair have to be?

Modlocks can be started on just about any length of hair (being mindful that short hair will stick out in the beginning). Modlocks recommends that with shorter hair, smaller sections are made so that the hair reaches into each lock. They can always be combined in the future to create thicker locks.

Will I lose length?

Sometimes new locks will appear shorter, sometimes longer and sometimes the length will stay about the same. This is primarily determined by the texture of the hair, the density of the hair, the desired size of lock and whether you choose to have tapered or blunt ends. See: What’s the difference between tapered and blunt ends?

What’s the difference between tapered and blunt ends?

Tapered simply means the lock will be thicker at the root and thinner at the end.

The length of taper can vary based on the density of the hair or in some cases, by choice. For example, fine thin hair will have a soft wispy taper whereas thick coarse hair won’t.

If the ends are blunted it means the lock will be matted all the way from top to bottom with the end rounded up. You will lose some length with blunted ends.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both but the choice to do either is mostly aesthetic.

How many locks will I have?

A few factors come into play including size of the sections, circumference of the head, shape of the hairline and whether you want a full head of locks or a partial (ie:mohawk, undercut or fringe).

Do dreadlocks work for fine or thin hair?

Absolutely. Dreadlocks work for everyone with any hair texture or density. If your hair is thin, your new locks will gradually thicken up as they mature and accumulate shed hair. Note there is a difference between thin hair and thinning hair e.g. pattern baldness. If you suffer from thinning hair, there are some advance Modlocks techniques that can help short term, but it will not make the hair appear fuller. It is always important to have realistic expectations.

Do dreadlocks break?

Some breakage is natural, especially for long or mature locks. The hair closest to the root, attached to the scalp, should not break. Further down, the lock is a combination of attached hair and hair that has naturally shed. Few hairs at the bottom of a long dreadlock is actually attached to the head; so when locks “break”, it’s nothing more than loose hair that has worked its way undone. In some instances, breakage can occur unnaturally when dreadlocks are damaged. For instance from the overuse of chemicals like bleach. With proper maintenance and care, your locks will have less chance of any kind of breakage. Broken or weak dreadlocks can be repaired.

Will dreadlocks damage my hair?

Some methods are more damaging than others. Twisting hair is not damaging. Interlocking, felting, backcombing and palm rolling are all subjective. Perming dreadlocks is the process of using chemicals to change the structure of the hair. Bleaching dreadlocks is another method used to chemically dry out the hair thus making it easier to tangle. The use of chemicals is clearly damaging but no matter what method is used, hair will inevitably grow back new and healthy at the roots.

Why should I get locks made professionally when my friend can make them for me?

If a friend has no prior experience with dreadlocks, there’s always a risk. The process might be fun and easy at first, but it can turn into tedious, repetitive work. Sometimes the good intentions of tidy sections made in the beginning, become bigger and sloppy towards the end.

However this isn’t always the case. There are undoubtedly some pretty good attempts at homemade dreadlocks. On the other hand, there can be some pretty bad attempts at professionally made locks.

No matter who starts your locks, do your research and ask questions. Ask for photos of their work and price compare. There are so many different ways to make and maintain locks that as long as you understand the facts, you can make a decision that is best for you.

Is it painful?

Most people will experience some amount of discomfort. Different parts of the head will feel different levels of pain. A few people find the process relaxing.

Should I do anything to my hair before getting Modlocks?

It is recommended to come to the appointment with clean, dry hair. Hydrating and moisturizing products are O.K. for afro texture and some mix texture hair. Do not saturate your with oil.

How do I wash dreadlocks?

Washing isn’t a difficult procedure but it can be time consuming. How often you should shampoo is subjective. Some people shampoo weekly and others less frequently. Lather the shampoo in your hands, then use comfortable pressure but small movements on the scalp with the pads of your fingers to gently massage the roots. Do not scrub vigorously. It is not necessary to add shampoo all over the locks; the soap that cascades down from the scalp is enough for a light cleanse. Rinse thoroughly.

How do I dry dreadlocks?

Squeeze the excess water out with a towel or a shamois–try not to rub. Air drying is great but you can also use a blow dryer to speed up the process. Try not to sleep on damp or wet dreadlocks. Trapped moisture will provoke an unpleasant musty odour.  See Why do my locks smell?

My hair gets dirty everyday at my job. Is it O.K. to wash and shampoo dreadlocks every day?

It is not recommended to wet or shampoo dreadlocks everyday. New locks are soft and fragile while old locks retain water and take a lot longer to dry. A good suggestion to protect your locks at work is to cover them with a doo-rag or bandana. See: How often should I wash my locks?

How often should I wash my locks?

It’s not necessary to wet or wash dreadlocks more than once a week but some people with an athletic lifestyle might do so. Remember to dry them thoroughly. See: Why do my locks smell? Some people go two or three weeks while others go months without shampooing their locks. There is no right or wrong answer to this question. If you are someone who, before dreadlocks, washed their hair daily, Modlocks recommends that you wean yourself down to a less often, and here’s why:

Your scalp produces sebum (oil) to protect the hair follicles. When you shampoo, you strip the scalp of its natural oils. If you shampoo every day, the sebaceous glands have to work harder to replenish the oil – which is why some people with oily hair wind up in a vicious cycle of shampooing every day.

But if you shampoo less frequently, your sebaceous glands will slow down the production of oil so that you won’t have to shampoo as often.

What if my locks get wet in the rain or the snow?

Nothing bad will happen. It takes a lot of water to saturate dreadlocks. If you find yourself dripping wet, squeeze the excess water out and then use a blow dryer to speed up the drying process.

Why do my locks smell?

Smelly dreadlocks might be the cause of washing them too often or not often enough. If your locks are damp or wet, try not to let them retain the moisture over several hours. Dry them as best as you can before tying them up or going to bed at night. Using a blow dryer will help speed up the process. On the other hand, if you don’t shampoo often enough, the smell might be the cause of buildup on the scalp (oil produced by the sebaceous glands). Some natural remedies are apple cider vinegar, rosemary, lemon or mint. 

Are locks uncomfortable to sleep on?

New locks or freshly tightened roots may be uncomfortable to sleep on the first night or two but the discomfort should never be acute and it should never last several nights. If it does, the concern should be addressed.   

Can I dye my dreadlocks?

Yes absolutely. Be mindful that locks require more hair dye than you think, so it’s better to have too much than not enough. Rinse and shampoo thoroughly after processing. Dreadlocks dye the same as loose hair except the results may appear a little darker because light doesn’t pass through the density of a dreadlock.

Should I dye my hair before or after getting dreadlocks?

It is certainly easier and less time consuming to dye your hair before getting dreadlocks; especially if you’re doing an all over colour. On the other hand, if the look you want is to specifically colour a few select locks you’ll want to do it after they’ve been made.