MODLOCKS 25: Toronto Hairstylist Celebrates Twenty-Five Years of Dreadlocks and Diversity by Amplifying the Next Generation of Locticians

One of Toronto’s most in-demand locticians, Karen Wallington, and her brand, Modlocks,

has been an innovator, educator, and advocate for the creation, maintenance, and repair of dreadlocks for more than two decades.

To mark her twenty-fifth year as a loctician, Karen is reimagining her brand with new in-person education for 2023, a family-friendly celebration, and a way to amplify the next generation of beauty professionals. “I have had an incredible career, and I am so excited to continue to both celebrate and share everything I have with the next generation,” says Karen, who has been teaching for over ten years.

Through an alliance with Eikonic Academy, one of the most innovative post-secondary Hair and Barbering schools in Canada, Karen is excited to announce dates for the Modlocks Method Loctician Certification Program. The program is a comprehensive, three-day education course that gives students everything they need to begin a career as a loctician. The Modlocks Method Certification will be held in May, and November at Eikonic and in other Canadian cities in the Fall.

To mark Karen’s anniversary, Karen will be hosting Modlocks 25, a community event on Sunday, April 30th from 12:00-5:00 pm also held at Eikonic Academy. This family-friendly event will bring together her clients, fellow stylists, family, and friends that have impacted her throughout her career.

Many of Karen’s clients will have an active role in an interactive experience that is very rare in the professional beauty industry - the unifying nature of dreadlocks that cuts across race, class, and gender. Modlocks 25 will raise money to support two nonprofit organizations, The Viola Desmond Awards of the Mirror Lounge Collective, which celebrates beauty professionals that have used their platforms to support social justice reforms, Hair Story Rooted, which creates A Firm Foundation for the Future of Black Youth in Ontario’s Systems of Care, and Karen’s new initiative, the Modlocks for All Scholarship Fund.

The Modlocks For All Scholarship Fund is a year-long education and mentoring program that prepares the next generation of locticians. The Scholarship provides, at no cost to the student, all of the education, tools, and resources needed to be a successful career. The Modlocks For All is open to both licensed and non-licensed hairstylists (with extra modules for working stylists). “I recognize my incredible privilege to have lived my life and had my career,” says Karen, whose Toronto studio is on King Street west. “And I want to be sure every person has a chance to be a loctician with as few barriers as possible.” While the scholarship is available to anyone, preference will be given to people of colour, women, and members of the LGBTQ2+ communities. Karen hopes to give away twenty-five scholarships, one for each of her years as a beauty professional, and she hopes that other beauty pros will follow suit.

Finally, will be refreshing her Modlocks brand with a new logo and updated website, where she will be posting more technical content on the business and beauty of locs. Karen will be sharing more thoughts in an upcoming book, “The White Elephant in the Room: Twenty-Five Years Amplifying Dreadlocks and Diversity.” The book, which will be released towards the end of 2023, outlines her unique perspective as a white loctician, and shares what she has learned from the incredible people she has met sitting in her chair, and how she has been forever changed by those experiences.

Each of these events honors a very unique career, but at the end of the day, it still comes down to the relationship between a stylist and her client. “Every day, each of my clients trusts me with more than their hair, they trust me with their intimate journey of discovery to find who they are. I can't wait to tell you more about them, and what they have meant to me.”


One beauty professional involved in this year’s event is 25-year veteran hair stylist, educator, and expert in the health and care of dreadlocks, Karen Wallington (@modlocks), founder of Modlocks salon and education (classes and certification program coming soon) and co-founder of Noggin Oil (@nogginoil), the first and only vegan scalp care products designed and formulated to clean, soothe and protect the scalp between braids, locs and other protective hairstyles.