Dreads Breaking Off

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Get the right fix if you are suffering from any of these?

You’ve been growing out and taking care of your locks by regular retwisting, conditioning, and so on. And then one day, you notice that some are falling out. You may have also noticed that your dreads are thinning. 

It’s frustrating when you spend countless of your precious hours creating a full head of dreadlocks, only to discover that some of your locks have begun to break just days later.

Developing full-length dreadlocks isn’t a fast procedure by any means, often demanding several months (or longer) to reach full length. So when a lock breaks, it’s very disheartening, knowing that you’ll have to wait for it to grow back.

Why is Your Locs Falling Out?

One of the main causes of dreadlocks breakage is that they lack moisture. Several factors can contribute to breakage, although the most popular is dryness.

Dryness happens due to lack of care, seasonal changes, or location changes. When dreadlocks lose their moisture content, they’ll become dry and brittle, making them more prone to breakage. Doing something as easy as turning your head the opposite way in bed could cause one of your locks to snap in half.

The good news is that you can stop dreadlocks from breaking by following some simple actions, the first of which is to identify the cause. 

Another reason is that the locks were too thin straight from the beginning. The third reason why locks break is that they are fixed too tightly. The friction caused by playing active sports and lying on your locks while you sleep prompts them to pull and break.

This issue is particularly prevalent among newcomers to dreadlocks, many of whom don’t understand the strength (or lack thereof) of their hair.

Locs may also break for other several reasons, including:

  • Overzealous retwisting
  • Age
  • Weight
  • Poor scalp health
  • Medications

We’ll break each of these reasons down a bit further:


The first question to ask yourself is, “Are my locks dry?”

It’s mainly important in winter to keep your locks satiated and well-nourished. Winter is a particularly appropriate time to look after your locks and keep them in their top knot condition. Try applying a Leave-in Conditioner when you notice your locks are looking extra thirsty.

Make sure that you stick to the natural goodies. Otherwise, you will most likely end up with residue build-up. Another alternative is to apply natural oils and hot oil treatments made to moisturize your natural hair.

Dryness is the easiest circumstance to fix as long as it’s the only problem. You may need to increase the number of deep conditioning procedures you perform while making sure that your product isn’t so thick. That way, it’s not difficult to rinse off.

Also, apply lightweight, natural oils (like jojoba or coconut) to the extent of your locks and your scalp. Take time for yourself and revel in a scalp massage, which is both calming and can stimulate your scalp.

If your dryness is produced by dying your hair, particularly bleaching, then you may need to stay away from color until your hair’s health regenerates.

Tight Styling

The tension produced along the hairline or anywhere else on the scalp is, unfortunately, a big reason for hair thinning and loss.

It’s essential to vary your hairstyles. If you wear a tight ponytail every day, it can eventually drive your locks to thinning along the hairline, and even at the bottom of the ponytail.

To avoid tightness on the hairline, loosen your locks before you go to sleep.

Overzealous Retwisting

Over twisting can produce breakage, particularly if you frequently change the direction of your twist. Let your locks grow on their own and give them some time to recuperate.

Over twisting causes a lot of stress on your roots and can often start to breakage.

When retwisting your dreads especially at the roots, take care not to twist too tightly. This is regardless of whether you retwist yourself or you visit a professional.

Also, don’t get overeager with retwisting. Some loc’d individuals begin twisting at the slightest hint of new growth instead of waiting it out. The frequency of retwisting will depend on the texture of your hair and how fast it grows. But twisting each week is usually too often.


There are times that locks get old like any hair on the head. Age itself isn’t normally the culprit, but it may work hand-in-hand with dryness and the weight of your individual locks.


Working along with age, the older your locks a, the longer they are. So much so that they become too heavy for the roots to support. This can lead to thinning and eventual falling.

Poor Scalp Health

Good hair growth starts with a clean, healthy scalp. Several people get by fine as long as they shampoo and condition frequently.

However, scalp problems sometimes crop up, which may need professional help. If you speculate a medical condition is causing hair to fall, it’s necessary to visit your doctor, who may refer you to a dermatologist.


Most people love color, and for some of them, they keep going lighter and lighter. And then they wonder: Why do my dreadlocks keep breaking off?

The lighter you dye your locks, it doesn’t matter if it is sisterlocks, microlocs, Dreads, or traditional locks, you are decreasing the bond strength of your hair.

Keep in mind that color is also a chemical and you are altering the construction of the hair when it is applied. Therefore, the right solution is to invest in a reconstructor or a shampoo and conditioner for color-treated hair.

A reconstructor must be a part of your ‘how to care for your locks hair care regimen.’ More so, if you apply color that is at least three levels lighter than your own natural hair color.

The main objective of the reconstructor is to reconstruct and repair the damaged layers of the locks. This is to prevent your hair strands from splitting.

Typically, the reconstructor is packed with protein and will filter to the deeper layers of the locks and strengthen it. Apply it once a month, and let it sit for 15 to 30 minutes with a conditioning cap on.

A dryer can also be used to aid to open up the cuticles for better infiltration of the reconstructor. Afterwards, you can wash with a conditioner. It is always good also to read the directions on the label.


While most medications are helpful when it comes to solving issues, side effects are common.

Some prescription meds may have adverse effects like hair thinning. Again, this is a time to consult your doctor.

If you only have to take the medication momentarily, your hair can eventually grow back. However, if it’s something you require long-term, you’ll need to consider possible options with your physician.

How to Prevent Your Locks From Breaking?

The best advice is to visit an experienced loctician, who may be able to avoid any thinning locks by joining them to adjacent locks. However, this isn’t always achievable, which is why you should discuss the issue with a professional who can give you better advice.

What you shouldn’t do right now is retwist your locks or form any hairstyles that put stress on the thinning areas until you find out exactly what is causing the falling. It can be distressing to experience such a loss after successfully growing your hair. So, the sooner you distinguish the cause, the sooner you can find a solution.

Avoid Chemicals

If you just require that rich red running through your locks, nobody’s going to hold you. But try to limit the number of chemicals you use into your locks and scalp. It’s not suitable for your hair shafts.

Also, make sure to have a natural moisturizer handy or use a natural hair dye. Keep in mind that the brighter the color, the higher the peroxide levels, the dryer your locks can become. 

Don’t Neglect Your Locks

This is the main reason your sisterlocks, locs, or dreads may be thinning or breaking off.

Let’s face it. A few loc’d individuals abandon their locks. But please, don’t ever do that.

Even if you do not apply oil or put some type of product on your scalp, at least invest in a good shampoo that has moisturizing abilities. Locs that are too dry, particularly when thin, are more likely to break faster than normal.

If you are pressed for time, many of us cut out time and care from our beauty routines. Of course, it’s okay and often essential, but don’t underestimate the importance of proper hair care.

Looking after the health and beauty of your locks is critical for your body, mind, and soul.

A great moisturizing pre-cleanse and shampoo can be your most favored investment this year.

Take a Closer Look at Your Diet and Routine

Protein and vitamin deficiency can produce dry, brittle, easily breakable locks. If your sisterlocks, dreadlocks, or just your traditional locks tend to break easily, it may be a hint for you to examine your diet.

It never harms to eat healthier. A healthy diet will keep the hair follicles strong and will help to prevent dreads, locks, or sisterlocks from breaking off prematurely.

Make sure to consume lots of protein in all of your meals. Drinking water is great for you, as always. You may also be encountering a vitamin deficiency. Eating a lot of organic leafy greens can greatly improve your vitamin levels, resulting in better-looking dreadlocks.

What Else Can You Do for Falling Locs?

In the circumstances that one of your dreadlocks breaks off, don’t panic. You may still be able to save it.

Just take the broken lock to a nearby beautician and ask them to reattach it. A well-experienced loctician should be able to put the broken lock back in the appropriate place, making it look like it was never broken to begin with.

Here are the  things to do when your locks break so you can get back on track.

Don’t get too upset

The first time one of your dreads breaks, you will surely get pretty upset. Since this aspect takes some time to cultivate, it can be really frustrating when you get the dreaded breakage outcome.

Whether it is just a little or a lot of breakages, it can be certainly upsetting. Don’t get too upset, though, because there are things you can do to make this situation better.

Find out why

Aside from managing your emotions towards dread breakage, finding out why is the critical next step.

If your locks are breaking off ,there is normally a root cause worth finding out.

Are you styling your dreads too tight?

Are you washing your locks too frequently and drying them out?

Do you require more daily moisture because they have become brittle and dry?

If you can find the root cause of the problem, it can be helpful for you in the future. 

Trim your dreads

If a small part of your dreads is prone to breakage, maybe it’s time for a trim. You can get a few other dreads trimmed to balance the one that has snapped.

Trimming your dreads is not a DIY job. So make sure you book an appointment with a loctician or stylist to get the job done.


The good news is that you can still reattach your broken locks. You can either visit a professional or just simply do it on your own. This will help you to retain an even length throughout your hair as opposed to having a few sections where your locks are shorter and uneven. 

To reattach a loc, take the end of the short loc and section it into two, then take the broken loc and put it in between the two sections. Then perform a traditional braid, using both end sections and the loc as the three sections of your braid. Then palm rolls the loc once you’re done without applying any products.

Hide the broken locs

If the breakage is minimal, just simply hide it with a strategic re-arrangement of your dreads. You could pull them back with a rubber band or move them over to a side until your hair that has snapped grows longer.

Prevent it

Once you have determined the root cause of the breakage, you should do your best to stop it from happening in the future.

This includes getting frequent trims, improving your diet, and reducing the hair products you use. If you have locks that are thinning in specific spots, you can always have your stylist fix the area by using some added hair from the beauty supply store.

Add some protective styles

If you are encountering breakage, you should also consider adding a few protective styles to your look. A protective style for locks can be anything from wrap styles to updos or any style that will provide your locks a break from manipulation or pulling.

Final Thoughts

The single most crucial step in preventing broken dreadlocks is to keep your hair moisturized. As long as your dreadlocks have enough moisture, they’ll be hard to break. It’s just that simple.

So, what’s the best procedure to moisturize dreadlocks?

Applying high-quality shampoo and conditioner will help to moisturize your dreadlocks, but you should avoid applying too much product. Otherwise, it can cause more harm than good due to residue build up. Follow this “less is more” strategy by applying just a small amount of shampoo and conditioner.

Another tip to help defend your dreads against breakage is to cover them with a cap at night. Sleeping in a cap will block moisture from escaping your scalp and hair, keeping it nice and moisturized until morning.

Get the right fix if you are suffering from any of these?