How to care for dreadlocks

Dreadlocks unlike the other hairstyles look better as they age and the older they are, the less maintenance they require. Contrary to many beliefs, clean dreads look and lock better. To achieve this, you need to have a proper regimen that you follow regularly just like maintaining loose hair.
Dreadlocks are done in two main ways ;-

Twisting/Palmrolloing – This is basically twisting a small section of the hair in one direction preferably clockwise with fingers then palms, depending on how long your hair is.

Latching/ Crocheting – This is a quick way of making dreadlocks and a crochet is used to lock your hair. Its a perfect method for those who want instant dreads and will hardly loosen up when you wash.
Depending on how the dreadlocks were made and how old they are, they may require a different type of care. Twisted dreadlocks are more delicate than the latched dreads because they can easily untwist during washing. You might wanna check these tips out for your regimen.

Washing

How to care for dreadlocks

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This is the main part that can cause residue if not done properly. Use a residue free dreadlocks shampoo whenever you wash your hair. Don’t over do this though. It may dry your scalp out causing flakes, dandruff and breakage. Once a week to every fortnight should be alright.

DO NOT wash starter locs until they have had some time to mature. Depending on your hair texture, maturity takes anything between 2 – 6 months or even a year.
Squeeze as much excess water as possible and dry with a microfiber towel or t shirt. The normal towels tend to leave some tiny lint particles that may gather and form some sort of residue which will be hard to get rid of.

Allow your dreadlocks to dry completely after t shirt drying. You can air dry or use a blow-dryer. This is important because damp dreadlocks will eventually smell. Ew!

Conditioning

Locs should also be deep conditioned every fortnight to keep them moisturized and vibrant. You might wanna wait with your starter locs until you cross this phase (3 to 6 months) or else they will loosen.
I would recommend apple cider vinegar rinse for a start before you find your preferred conditioner. Apple cider clarifies build up and leaves your locs soft and moisturized.

Oiling

How to care for dreadlocks

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Oil your dreadlocks and scalp regularly with natural oils. I recommend light oils since dreadlocks are made of matted hair and are prone to build up. Avoid leave in conditioners or moisturizers because this will likely lead to build up. Use water as a moisturizer instead.

A well moisturized and oiled scalp will result to healthy hair growth resulting to strong and healthy dreadlocks.

Go easy on oiling though. In comparison to lose hair, dreadlocks do not need too much oiling. Use less oil than you would use on your loose hair. Little is more.

Re twisting

Be careful when re twisting your locs. Don´t do it absentmindedly. Take your time and do them or have them done for you within a given time. They shouldn’t be too tight or else they may thin out and fall with time.

Re twisting dreadlocks should not be done very often. The less manipulation your hair gets, the stronger they grow. Give your dreadlocks a few months, 3 or so to allow new growth to fill up before re twisting.

Styling

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There are overwhelming ways to style your dreadlocks form medium length to long. Make Pinterest your best friend for this kind of stuff 🙂 . Short dreadlocks however don’t really have variety of styling options, but this is just for a few months before they gain length.

Just make sure whatever style you desire doesn’t put a strain in the roots. This tension may lead to breakage and irritation of the scalp and we don’t want to scratch our heads when our hair is on point. Now do we? lol

Sleeping

Dreadlocks tend to pick up a lot of lint because of their texture. It is advisable to wear a satin scarf or better still a satin bonnet to protect your locks from collecting lint from your bedding. In addition, wearing a satin scarf/bonnet will help retain moisture in your dreadlocks and prevent them from breakage.
Most cotton bedding shed a lot of lint and this stick on your hair making them not so pleasant to look at even if they are clean. Satin scarfs or bonnets protect your hair as well as allow it to breath and leave your pillow case clean.

Take away

Dreadlocks vary from person to person because of our diverse hair textures. What works for one may not work for another. Before you work with a locktician, i would advise you to check their work first so you know what you are getting yourself in to.

These were just a few general tips for how to care for your dreadlocks properly. Do some research to answer all your dreadlocks questions like dying, trimming, styling among others and explore different sources for your information.

It is important to select products according to your hair type. Not all dreadlocks products are for all hair types. Make sure to ask your locktician or do your research on the best products for your hair type.

I hope you enjoyed reading through. Feel free to leave a comment or question in the comment section or contact me if you need clarification or have any ideas i might have missed out.

  1. At long last something for me. Lately I have been having dandruff despite the fact that I haven’t changed the hair products….any cause for this?

    • Hi Joanne, thanks for your time to go through this article. Dandruff has many causes. You might wanna check out this article to find out wheter it is dandruff or dry scalp you are dealing with and where the problem is possible coming from. I would love to read your feedback. Check out my latest article on Allys hair products. She also has dreadlocks and customizes to suit your needs.

  2. I didn’t know that these were things you had to pay attention to when you have dreadlocks. I know a few people who have dreadlocks, I think they would love to read this article. I found the info about sleeping at night and conditioning interesting, and I am glad i read this. I have sometimes considered getting dreadlocks, but I did not know how to take good care of them. I also wonder if it’s true what they say, that if you don’t want your dreadlocks anymore, you have to shave it off? Is that true?

    • Hi Christine, thanks for your time. Your friends will be glad to read this information. About boredom with dreadlocks,the determining factor is how old the locks are, how they were locked and your hair texture. Young fingerlocked dreads on fine hair are easier to remove without the need to cut as compared to older crocheted dreadlocks.

  3. I sometimes think that some of the old school reggae singers look cool in their own sort of way, with the dreadlocks hanging down low, but I didn’t realise that they required so much maintenance to keep them looking good. I’m white with a shaved head so this is not relatable to me one bit – however, this is still a pretty sharp post nonetheless.

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