Frequently Asked Questions

Here at The Knotted Sloth, we have compiled a healthy digest of all the information you will need to know about dreadlock care for a tropical climate, our methods used and a comprehensive catalogue of our services and products available from our treehouse studio here in Singapore.

Please do read through our FAQs below as they will help clarify any questions or doubts you might currently have about installing or maintaining your dreadlocks.

Dreadlock Installation

Just as you would with getting a tattoo, we always recommend that you do a little research of your own and check out as many dreadlock artists and studios in your area as possible before starting your dread journey so that you can start off with the best possible knowledge from a local dreadlock artist on their methods used and how best to maintain a healthy head of locks wherever you are in the world. They will often come with knowledge, valuable tips and insights on how best to manage your dreadlocks in that climate and which products have been proven to work better than others in that particular part of the world.

Along with choosing the right products, it is also important to recognize that professional dreadlock installation across the globe varies greatly in its methods of dreadlock creation. Artists from different studios have systems and methods of their own to lock hair which they all swear is more efficient and healthy for dread development than the next. Therefore, although prices are generally similar for dreadlock services – the creativity, locking experience and craftsmanship of the locktician or artist will be different from studio to studio and may result in varied expectations and results.

No one is more right nor wrong! You will simply need to find the dreadlock artist or studio which is right for you!

This is a difficult question for any dreadlock artist to answer or quote you on without first gathering a bit of information from you. The length of your current hair, type of hair, desired dreadlock style, number of dreadlocks and whether you will be needing or wanting dreadlock extensions are just some of the things that need to be discussed before we can best quote you on how many hours it will take to complete your installation.

Yes hours!!! Dreadlocks, like any other form of art takes time and skill to create well so that minimal maintenance is needed as the dreadlocks mature healthily over the years. Most people who fall in love with their locks keep them growing for many years and struggle at the idea of cutting them – ask anyone with dreadlocks and they’ll tell you all about how addictive they can be! I personally grew my last set of dreadlocks on my head for well over 10 years – so trust us when we say that finding a reputable and trusted artist or studio from the start is important, and setting good foundations can go a long way in terms of dreadlock health and scalp wellness.

It is important to take note that installation times can vary between 2 hours to well over 8-10 hours depending on the complexity of the dreadlock installation which you are after and the length and type of hair which you have.

Indeed, a full head of well-crafted dreadlocks could set you back a bit of time and money. But to watch your pockets and ensure that you are happy and comfortable with your transition to your new head of dreads – we are committed to honest practices and will not charge you a large sum of money at once for a project which you are not entirely happy or comfortable with at the end.

We are committed to not rushing you on any level – this is the sloth way! And here at The Knotted Sloth, we will work with you in stages and at your own pace so that you are able to control your transition and change course with new ideas as they come to you; gradually build your perfect head of dreads over time; or have the power to stop entirely after a dread or two if you felt like it without having to feel guilty about having spent a lot of money upfront and needing to ‘see it through’.

With this in mind, we decided to keep things fair and simple by charging a flat hourly rate for both our installation and maintenance services.

Honest and Transparent – We Only Charge You for the Time We Spend on Creating Your Locks!

All our rates are kept in line with industry best practice and fair trade guidelines to ensure that you are not overcharged, our employees are not overworked and that only the best craftsmanship goes into the work that we do.

View Our Rates!

We are often asked why we do not carry dreadlock wax in our store. Well, here is our take on wax...

Commercial hair wax which you find in supermarkets are bad for the environment for many different reasons. Many of them are not made to biodegrade easily through regular washes and are made with a long list of chemicals and dyes, which make it harder to clean from our bodies and the water system. These should be avoided in general, but certainly NEVER used to create dreadlocks!

Dreadlock waxes on the other hand are most certainly a better alternative for the environment and are the only waxes you should be using to create or tame your dreadlocks as almost all of them are made from eco-friendly and sustainable alternatives such as bee or soy wax and are specifically designed to provide a stronger, more natural and longer lasting hold than commercial hair wax.

But here’s our issue with dreadlock wax...

  1. Dreadlock wax, although made from more wholesome and sustainable ingredients than regular hair wax, still has a considerably large environmental footprint which it leaves behind with its production of bee and soy based waxes. As we create and maintain our dreadlocks without the use of wax here at The Knotted Sloth, we saw no need to offer it in our shop as an essential item. We do, however, sell dread locking gels instead. Keep reading to find out why!
  2. Furthermore, dreadlock wax is designed to moisten and lock hair together through its waxy and oily properties and is almost always made to be highly water resistant and harder to wash out so that it can help to ‘stick hair’ together for longer. In drier and colder parts of the world, the use of dreadlock wax can be a good thing as the oil and wax properties help retain moisture and nourish dry hair. However, here in the tropics – we highly recommend that you do not use dreadlock waxes to create and maintain your dreadlocks as the surrounding environment is already humid enough and overly moist dreadlocks can lead to other dreadlock health and scalp hygiene issues.

Dreadlock Care & Maintenance

Quite frankly there isn’t a cheaper and less time consuming hairstyle out there both in terms of maintenance and in terms of day to day care! And here’s why...

Dreadlock maintenance has to do with personal preference and is entirely up to you!

In a nut-shell, it all comes down to how you want your dreadlocks to look and feel. For example, some people prefer a more bohemian style look to their dreadlocks, which flow more naturally and have less structured root sections. In this case they may only want to tighten and tidy up their dreadlocks every 8- 12 months. Others prefer their roots to be clearly defined and dreads to be neatly locked up and as tight as possible all the time, in this case, he or she might want to fix an appointment for maintenance once every 4-6 months.

Many dread heads all over the world will manage their own dreadlocks after the initial installation and never feel the need to book an appointment for dread lock maintenance ever again as they find it easy enough to do by themselves. If you were lucky enough to have your dreadlocks created by us, we would definitely have sent you on your way with plenty of tips and care instructions. Very basic stuff really, but a few minutes a day of self-maintenance while watching television or on your daily commute can go a long way for your dread health and wallets too!

We definitely think so, and it is most certainly a better option for your hair in more tropical climates! Gels are made to provide a similar hold to Dreadlock Wax (albeit a bit weaker), however are usually water based and easy to wash out of your hair in a single wash. These gels are often made with minerals and plant based locking agents such as Aloe Vera which leaves no residue behind and helps to knot and lock your hair all naturally, whilst nourishing and repairing any damaged hair or roots in the process. Aloe production is also a greener, healthier and more sustainable option to many bee or soy based waxes.

Check out our store for recommended Dreadlock Gels and Conditioners!

All the featured soaps and shampoos in our shop were carefully and intentionally crafted to be non-residual. What does this mean exactly?

In a nutshell – Regular soaps and shampoos are almost always designed to coat hair strands and skin follicles in chemically derived additives to reduce friction and create the illusion of a cleaner, smoother and healthier head of hair and skin. So common are these additives that almost 9 out of 10 hair and body care products feature such chemicals or ‘conditioning agents’ as they are commonly dubbed.

Dreadlocks require a clean, dry and residue-free environment to grow healthily. So as far as dreadlock care is concerned, it is essential that regular shampoos are NEVER used! They hinder the hair’s natural ability to knot and lock, trap additional moisture and cause unwanted chemical residue build-ups in your knotted hair.

What this means for those of you without dreadlocks is that no additional chemicals have been added to our products to create an illusion of cleanliness. They are packed to the brim with Mother Nature’s mildest and purest detergents and essential oils to thoroughly cleanse and deeply nourish your hair and body. With this in mind though, using our products may leave you with the impression that your skin and hair has been left feeling drier than it usually is. This is merely a placebo effect which has occurred from the removal of chemical conditioners from your regular grooming routine. Welcome to your new and all-naturally cleansed self! For a smoother and more ‘conditioned’ feeling, we recommend only the use of naturally derived moisturising agents, tonics, oils and conditioners – do yourself and the environment a favour and try to avoid harmful chemicals as far as possible!

Dreadlock Removal

Absolutely not! Although this may vary with dreadlock installation methods in other studios, here at The Knotted Sloth we ensure that we only start to lock your hair a few centimeters from the scalp. What this is means is that your natural hair grows out from the roots as it always has, completely un-dreaded. In other words, you can simply let your hair grow out before trimming off the locked portion of your hair. Your hair is 100% back to normal and as it always was.

Dreadlock Hygiene

This is perhaps the biggest misconception out there – that they smell bad, carry bugs or should not be washed?! This is a complete myth and fabrication, nothing more than an old wives tale intended to discourage youth from being creative and unique with their hairstyle choices!

Contrary to belief, dreadlocks actually form better and mature healthier in a clean, dry and non-oily scalp and not the other way around. Dreadlocks can and should be in fact washed as often as any other head of hair and if they are installed correctly and maintained properly with the right dreadlock care products, they can even be washed every day!!! That’s right... EVERY DAY!

Here along the equator in sunny Singapore, where it is hot and humid all year round, we recommend that you wash your dreadlocks at least twice a week. In colder and drier regions of the world you can afford to wash them less but minimally once a week is recommended. This is a general rule of thumb – if they feel dirty, they probably are and are due for a good wash.

I, personally have shorter locks and prefer to wash them every day. But many people who have longer locks (which I once had as well) will tell you that washing them every day is not as practical as it sounds as they would naturally take a longer time to dry (as with having longer hair in general).

To keep both a healthy, balanced scalp and squeaky clean locks, it is essential that regular shampoos and waxes are not used as many of them will offset the scalp’s natural pH balance and cause unnecessary and unwanted residue build up in your locks!

Just like vegetables, we like our dreads fresh, healthy and wholesome! – So we also carry a range of products specifically with dreadlock care, your general well-being and the environment in mind.

Check out our dreadlock care product range!

Dreadlock Extensions

This varies from studio to studio – but here at The Knotted Sloth we offer two different methods for our installation of dreadlock extensions: The ‘Lock n’ Fuse’ Method or The ‘Braid In’ Method. Click here to find out more.

Unfortunately you cannot get real dreadlocks or extensions installed if you do not already have natural hair on your head. We recommend at least 5-8 centimetres of hair for a good lock and strong bond to be formed between your natural hair and the dreadlock extension. The same minimum of 5-8 centimetres of hair length applies as well if you are intending on dreadlocking your natural hair!

Dreadlock extensions usually come in three different materials, Wool, Synthetic Hair and Human Hair. Each has different properties. Here in Singapore, wool dreadlocks are simply a bad idea as they are not made for this climate and are too warm to be worn comfortably. Therefore we do not carry extensions of woollen varieties. If you are looking for woollen dreadlocks, you can easily find them online in many other dreadlock stores around the world and we will still be happy to help with your installation if you need.

We offer two types of extensions here in our Singapore studio:


If your desired look and dreadlock installation is highly complex and full of different lengths, colours and textural requirements we prefer to initiate a consultation over the phone or in our studio so that we can get the best idea of what you want your dreadlocks to look and feel like. This will be completely free of charge and will only take 15 mins or less!

For more common dreadlock installation and maintenance services, we should be able to quote you more quickly. Contact Us Today

The Knotted Sloth focuses solely on premium dreadlock installation and maintenance services and DO NOT provide hair cutting and colouring services! If your dreadlock style calls for a Mohawk, Undercut or cosmic colour combination then you will need to solicit your own hairdresser for a cut or colour before coming for your appointment with us.

We are operating out of a small home-based studio, are not open to the general public and thus DO NOT entertain walk-in appointments or enquiries. Please be mindful that this is a healthy and wholesome family environment so we would kindly ask you to refrain from bringing your buddies up to our peaceful treehouse.

Still have questions? Get in touch