Become a Loctician
The work of the loctician, also known as the dreadlock maker or artist, is exponentially increasing in popularity. It is however still a niche job, and there is the possibility of making a good living.
More and more people are looking into becoming professional locticians, and you may be interested too, but how to start?
In this article you’ll find a lot of useful tips on how to start your dreadlocks business, and we’ll also list different training courses you can take.
Photo by Luis Villasmil on Unsplash
Please note that dreadlock-making is an art and nobody should make the mistake of thinking it is easy money. The learning curve can be daunting. To succeed you need a mix of strong passion, creativity and determination.
There are four main ways to learn this art:
- Self-teaching with the aid of free sources (like our guides!)
- Finding a mentor in your area
- Enrolling in an in-person course
- Enrolling in an online course and learn remotely
Let’s see the differences between these methods:
1.Self-teaching (start from here!)
If you’re an absolute beginner this is how you can start your journey, to see if being a loctician is something you would actually enjoy. The enjoyment part is, in fact, crucial to keep your motivation, become an expert and, most of all, make your customers come back to you.
You’re ready to start? Get yourself some good quality Jumbo Braid Hair, a Rat-Tail Comb, several different sizes of Crochet Needles, and some Mini Elastic Bands. We recommend starting with the Dreadlocks Creation Guide and the Jumbo Braid Hair Guide, but all of our articles are meant to give you all the basic knowledge you need.
Please keep in mind that after a while self-teaching can be a struggle, you’ll need a lot of time and intrinsic motivation to push forward. Your mistakes can easily go unnoticed without the supervision of an expert, so we recommend self-teaching only as a launch platform for the next method(s):
- Finding a mentor in your area
There’s nothing more valuable than being guided in person by an expert. For example, a good loctician would be able to touch the dreads you’re making and understand what kind of knots you’re creating. This is not possible online or if you’re self-taught. But how to find a mentor?
Imagine if you were looking into becoming a tattoo artist: what would you do? Of course you would look for an apprenticeship. You would learn everything you need from a person with years of experience: you’d watch them dealing with clients, providing different types of services, handling the tools, storing them properly, etc. For an example of mentoring, check this page: http://ragingrootsstudio.com/looking-to-train-a-part-time-dreadlock-artist/
Finding a mentor is our most recommended way to learn the art of the loctician, but it’s not available for everyone: there aren’t locticians everywhere, and not every loctician is keen to become a mentor. But if you’re having to rule out this option, don’t despair: you can still try the next two methods.
Photo by Julia M Cameron from Pexels
- Enrolling in an in-person course
Sometimes master locticians organize intensive courses that last just a few days, so people can travel to them and spend some time learning. These courses are often segmented over the year, to accommodate people who don’t have much free time. If you can enroll in one of these courses, we totally recommend it. To make it easier for you we collected a list of locticians who offer full-immersion courses that last a day or a few days at a time (keep reading, the list is at the end of this article). There are courses for different types of dreads and for different techniques, so please check carefully all the details before enrolling. You’ll want to check what type of services you’ll learn, the students’ feedback, prices etc...
- Finding an online course
Online courses to become a loctician are popping out like mushrooms in the past few years, especially since the pandemic started. Some of these courses are known in the dreadlocks community to be extremely valuable, but your teacher won’t be able to feel the dreads you’re making or look closely at your technique, so be careful with this type of investment. Also, please double check the trustworthiness of the teacher before committing to any of their courses. This type of course is normally cheaper than the in-person courses.
Photo by fauxels from Pexels
Please remember that in some countries you may need a hair stylist diploma or some other form of certificate in order to provide your services legally. We recommend researching this matter as soon as possible: one simple way to go about this is to connect with several locticians in your country and ask them for some advice.
LIST OF TRAINING PROGRAMS
Note: if you know of any good loctician training program that could be added to this article, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
IN-PERSON TRAINING PROGRAMS
ONLINE TRAINING PROGRAMS (all in English)
The prices were last updated in 2021
Dreadlock Artist Collective: a team of experienced locticians will guide you through a customized training. Featuring Alin Leslie, the founder of Dollylocks Organic Products. Starting price: $599
Natural Hair Class: lots of mini-classes with different durations and different prices, with particular focus on highly textured hair
Digital Loctician: lots of mini-classes with different durations and different prices, with particular focus on highly textured hair
Nu growth salon: lots of mini-classes with different durations and different prices, with particular focus on highly textured hair
Divine Dreadlocks: the complete loctician course is divided into 3 levels for a total of 1.990 AUD (1,076£ or 1.267€), with the option of paying in 8 installments of 260 AUD (140£ or 165€) a month
The Dread Shed: this course is focused on natural dreads and the cost is $590 AUD (319£ or 375€) plus materials. You will have three months to complete it.
Dread Nation Aotearoa: another complete course which gives you 6 months to study and costs 600 NZD (306£ or 360€) with the possibility of paying in installments.
Basic course of 6h in total, half of which are a remote supervised practice with the master loctician. Total cost: 60€ (51£)
The most known online course for locticians, for a whopping cost of 1.997$ (1,466£ or 1.726€) or 12 installments of 199$ (146£ or 172€) a month.
The most expensive course, which focuses solely on synthetic dreads, for a one time payment of 2.099€ (1,783£) or 6 monthly installments of 370€ (314£).
Never stop researching about the art of making dreadlocks and always keep yourself updated. For example, did you know that the crochet technique was barely known until recent years? Nowadays it’s one of the most common techniques to make dreadlocks, nearly every loctician uses it. Updates are essential for the improvement of any type of craftsmanship. Join Facebook groups or other forms of social media where locticians exchange their problems and solutions: there are plenty out there. Once you get into this environment you’ll start meeting more and more people, and maybe you’ll be able to attend gatherings for locticians in your area. For example, DreadFactory in Germany organizes yearly meetups with locticians to update each other, exchange knowledge and keep improving their service.
About the author