My name is Lani and I run Namaste Dreadlocks in country Victoria in a town called Horsham.
My dread business began entering my consciousness when I was fired from a previous job as a waitress because I needed to be by my fathers side during a triple bypass operation. During my families hospital stay in Melbourne I visited Weirdsistas for some dread love and was both overjoyed and surprised by the pain free experience that when they mentioned to me that they train people to learn how to become lockticians through learning the Sista System, I let the thought sink in. I wasnt long home when I messaged them to let them know that yes, I would like to begin training. After completing one dreadlock and realising that yes, I could do this, I went about planning the opening of my very own business. It was a dream come true...my own boss, my own hours, great money, a way to support my daughter and all while doing something I had developed a love for! Winning!
I have found that since opening, I have been treated very well by the general public, clients, family and friends. A huge amount of support has surrounded me and many dreadheads are rapt with having me in the town as it means they dont have to travel hours and hours to the nearest locktician. My business works in with other businesses around Horsham with us helping to promote each other and sending clients to each other for example, hair colourists, tattoo artists and my business provides sponsorship to both Ambulance Active and Bluelight Disco.
It didnt take me too long to get up to speed and come to some degree of 'mastering the art' of dreadlocks. I practised on a few people and swapped maintenance sessions with another woman who was training in the Sista System and also at the beginning of her business.
Weirdsistas train lockticians all over Australia and even some abroad in the Sista System, which I have to say is the most gentle technique I have ever come across when it comes to dreadlocks. My first set of dreadlocks I can only liken to childbirth on my head. It was so painful and a lot of the methods out there for creating dreadlocks are unfortunately this way. I have had clients too experience the WOW moment of 'I cant believe Im not in excruciating pain,' while I have done their maintenance.
The Sista System group that I am a part of due to my training is something that has become a very dear part of my life. I know within the click of a button, I can have support, advice, encouragement and in general, love from a group of people who are all on the same journey. I love these people...they are truly a part of my soul group and the support is never ending once you become a locktician.
My first paying client was probably my most memorable...though I do have memories of crying from laughter and barely being able to continue dreading due to giggling with a client while we watched a comedy festival during maintenance and one client in particular who just makes me belly laugh every visit and various younger people who have blown my mind with their insight into the world, my first client was a father. A blue eyed, dreadheaded, gemini man who I felt at ease with and thank goodness because my nerves were through the roof waiting for him to arrive. But it was memorable because I was laughing at the universe....he was a taken man, but at the time, my idea of a perfect man. I cant tell you how many times I had willed a single father, blue eyed, dreadheaded, gemini man into my life and here he was as my first paying client!
The Sista System uses products from Lock, Stock & Apparel, which is brilliant because these products are designed for dreads, designed to help them lock up, smell great and fight problems that can sometimes arise from having dreads like dandruff, psoriasis flare ups and itchiness. And that's not the only great thing about them. They are 100% Vegan made products meaning they are both natural and good for the planet! Its hard to pick a favourite product...as a locktician I would say the Lokk Up Spray is amazing and despite what my clients tell me, I can always tell if they have been using it or not ha! It really does help to lock the dread up and smells amazing. As a dreadhead myself, I would say I love the Bloke Blokk shampoo. It is so easy to use, fits perfectly in my hand while washing and soaps up great in the shower, leaving my dreads smelling and feeling amazing!
When asked about cultural appropriation when it comes to dreads, I now have to laugh. I didnt realise it was a thing until I was browsing through twitter one day and saw a comment that said, 'if another white person with dreadlocks uses the word 'namaste' Im going to smash their face in.' Yikes! I thought, Im in trouble!! But now I just laugh and think, really??!! Dreads are for everyone man... Namaste