Washing Hair With Dreads

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Dreadlocks are a timeless and completely cool hairstyle. But how do you wash dreadlocks?

While having locks may lower down the amount of time you consume doing your hair on a day-to-day basis, you still have to do the work in having and maintaining it. This includes re-twisting and thoroughly washing your hair. Otherwise, it can lead to product buildup and hair damage.

What’s the Best Way for Washing Locs?

First and foremost, you have to determine how often you are required to wash your hair.

This can vary from one person to another. You can apply shampoo weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly.

Once you’ve decided that, hair experts recommend beginning by pre-pooing your locks with an apple cider vinegar or baking soda rinse. 

You can effortlessly make your own hair care solution at home by combining some of the liquid or powder to a spray bottle and diluting it with water. Afterwards, you can apply to your scalp and lightly massage it.

This mixture loosens up oil, buildup, or debris from the hair and scalp, making it easier to shampoo.

Next, squeeze some clarifying shampoo straight into your palm and work it into the shaft of your locks and scalp. Experts suggest that to wash the ends of the locks by rubbing them together while the shampoo is applied. You may also need to apply some shampoo two or three times to get a thorough wash.

If you need a good cleanser, try Eden Bodyworks Peppermint Tea Tree Shampoo. It is light and free of parabens and sulfate, ensuring that it can clean your hair without leaving any residue.

How Often Should You Wash Your Dreadlocks?

The cycle of your washes depends on a lot of factors. If your dreads are new or one month old at most, you should wash it every three to four days.

As your dreads mature, you don’t have to fret about lots of fluffing and re-dreading. So feel free to wash your dreads as often as you wish. Nonetheless, you should not go longer than about a week without washing.

When you wash, you should also expect a lot of loose hairs. So be ready to ball them back into your dreads after your wash

Washing Mature Dreadlocks

If you have mature dreads, make sure that you wash them at least once every week. During the rest of the days when you take a shower, you can use an extra-large shower cap to protect them from the humidity.

Washing New or Baby Dreads

If your dreads are brand new, wait for about a week before you wash them for the first time. However, if your scalp is too itchy or oily and you don’t feel comfortable anymore, you can go for a mild wash on your baby locks.

Please be aware that washing your new dreads will make them look a little more loose and messy. But don’t worry! This is just a normal part of the process.

If you don’t wash your locks based on the thought that they will become messy, you will only be left with gunk and buildup that can infect your scalp.

How to Choose a Dreadlock Shampoo?

This is what you need to learn about dreadlock shampoos – residue-free. In other words, they should not include any kinds of butter, vegetable oils, or softening agents because they could lead to build-ups.

Therefore, the shampoo should be clear or transparent if squeezed into your palm.

How to Avoid Product Residue When Conditioning Locs?

The most reliable way to dodge residue from conditioners is to skip the conditioner altogether.

Experts recommend a hot oil treatment, like Ampro Pro Styl Vitamin E Oil, which was formed to help restore dry or damaged hair after washing. On the other hand, most dread owners are a fan of Oribe’s Gold Lust All Over Oil, which can be used not only on the hair but also on the face and body.

After washing, heat the container in water for two to three minutes and then apply the oil to the locks and scalp. Next, wrap your locks in a warm, moist towel for 20 minutes before you rinse them. This will make your hair soft and moisturized.

How to Clean Dreadlocks

Dreadlock is a hairstyle that has been around since time immemorial and became popular in African and Caribbean countries. They are set when sections of hair become matted together into long, rope-like strands.

Dreadlocks are frequently unjustly criticized for being dirty and unkempt. But in reality, they are quite simple to keep clean as long as the wearer is willing to wash and treat them regularly.

Shampooing Dreadlocks

Wet your dreadlocks. Begin by running some water gently over your dreadlocks in the shower. There’s no need to fully saturate them because the more water your locks grasp, the harder it will be for the shampoo to infiltrate them. For best results, use lukewarm water.

Squeeze a small amount of shampoo. Squeeze a moderate amount of shampoo into your palm. It’s better to apply a little shampoo at a time so you can regulate how much soap goes into your locks. If you’re using a solid bar shampoo to your dreads, rub it between your hands until it forms a rich lather.

Always use a shampoo that doesn’t leave any kind of residue. It is not recommended to use gels, waxes, and other additives on your dreads, either. That’s because it can lead residue buildup in the hair.

Search for natural, organic shampoo that are free of chemicals.

Work the lather into your scalp. Using both hands and the tips of fingers, apply shampoo in-between the roots of dreadlocks while massaging your scalp.

Don’t neglect to clean and take care of the roots. Since this is where your dreadlocks connect, they need to be strong and healthy.

Rinse the shampoo through the locks. Let the shampoo rest in your head for 1 to 2 minutes. Then, bend your head downward so that the lather will run through your locks as you rinse.

Lightly squeeze the shampoo lather into the dreadlocks. Make sure that there’s no shampoo residue left in your hair when you’re done washing.

If you want, you can apply a little extra shampoo to touch up each lock separately. Just don’t overdo it or it will be more time-consuming to rinse and it may cause loose hairs to frizz.

Dry thoroughly. When you are done showering, you’ll want to make sure that you let your dreadlocks dry fully.

Squeeze every lock with a towel to press out the water absorbed into them. Let your locks air dry or use a hairdryer on a low heat setting.

If too much moisture lingers in the locks, they can begin to come unlocked and smell or even grow mold.

”Dread rot” is when moisture becomes confined in the matted hair for so long that it begins to mildew. Thus, as your dreadlocks tighten, you may have to begin using a hairdryer more often after washing to ensure that the hair inside the locks is getting dry.

Rinsing Dreadlocks with Water, Baking Soda, and Vinegar

Avoid mixing the baking soda and vinegar. Baking soda is a base and vinegar is an acid, mixing them will create a chemical reaction that neutralizes any cleansing power the two substances have on their own (which is a lot).

In a sink or washbasin, disintegrate ¾ cup of baking soda in a few inches of warm water. It is perfectly safe to use the mixture on your hair and scalp.  Use this solution once every couple of weeks, as too much baking soda can make your hair brittle and dry.

  • If you prefer using essential oils, you can add them to the cleansing liquid during this step. A tablespoon of lemon juice will kill any odors and prevent mildew.

Dip your dreadlocks for 5-10 minutes. Immerse your dreadlocks straight to the baking soda solution up to the roots. Dip your locks for up to 10 minutes or longer if you require a deep clean.

As your dreadlocks are completely wet, the baking soda will strip away dirt, oil, debris, and other unwanted buildups. If you don’t have the time or space required to soak your dreadlocks, you can mix up the solution and pour it straight over your head for a fast cleanse.

Rinse with cool water. Take out your dreadlocks from the baking soda bath and wring out the excess solution. Turn on the faucet or get in the shower and give your locks a quick rinse to clear away any lingering bits of the baking soda solution.

Rinse your dreads until the water runs clear. The dirt, oil, dead skin, and other detritus that’s been extracted from your hair will be noticeable in the discoloration of the water. You might even be surprised at how much cleaner your locks will feel afterward!

Be sure that your scalp takes some direct exposure to the water as well.

Prepare a large bottle of water and vinegar, combined at a 3:1 ratio, enough to rinse over your scalp and lightly through your dreads. Pour the mixture through your locks after rinsing out the baking soda solution. This will eliminate any remaining baking soda, balance the pH of your scalp, and soften loose hair frizz. You can leave this in (any vinegar smell will evaporate as it dries) or rinse it out.

Towel or air dry. Give your dreadlocks ample time to dry. If you’re in a hurry, use a hairdryer on the ends and shafts of your locks and allow your roots to finish air-drying.

Your dreadlocks must be completely dry before you cover them with a hat, tam, or scarf. Otherwise, these items will trap the remaining moisture in the locks and make it harder for them to escape.

  • Try to squeeze as much water out of your locks as you can before letting them air dry or trying other drying methods. Wrapping your dreadlocks with a dry towel can help draw the water out of them at a faster rate.

What can I Do if My Dreads are Smelling?

Given the fact that they all consist of thickly matted hair, dreadlocks will never dry in the same method as traditional hair. Therefore, they can preserve water, resulting in a musty odor.

After shampooing, squeeze the dreads as thoroughly as possible. Use a microfibre towel, which can absorb a lot of the moisture. When the towel gets wet, substitute it with a dry one and continue until you can’t get any more water out of them.

The most helpful thing to do would be to let your dreadlocks air dry under the sunshine. This will stop any mold and mildew to grow inside and it will refresh your dreads. If you can’t do that, set your hair dryer on medium heat or even cold air and use that.

Keeping Your Hair and Scalp Healthy

Wash your dreadlocks regularly. Contrary to popular belief, dreadlocks demand washing just as much as other hairstyles.

You should strive to shampoo and roll your dreadlocks every three or four days, especially when they’re new. Once they’ve completely locked up, you can start washing them once a week or more often, depending on your hair type and how oily your scalp can get.

Most people with dreadlocks wash them at least once a week. If you have particularly oily hair or if you exercise frequently, work outside, get dirty, or sweat a lot, you may benefit from more regular washings.

Nonetheless, you can still bathe normally between washings without having to shampoo your locks.

Take care of your scalp. Dreadlocks place a lot of weight on the scalp as they get heavier. Aside from the hair itself, you must keep your scalp clean and moisturized.

Whenever you’re washing your locks, always take a few moments to massage your scalp actively with your fingertips. This supports proper blood flow and will stimulate the follicles. That way, you won’t have to fret about your locks becoming fragile or falling out.

Freshen your locks with essential oils. Apply a couple of drops of tea tree, peppermint, or rosemary oil along with your shampoo. Essential oils moisturize the hair, eliminate itchiness and irritation around the scalp, and leave your hair smelling nice. They are far better than perfumes, spray-in fragrances, and scented cleansers, as they won’t hurt your locks or leave behind any residue.

Avoid conditioners and similar products. Conditioners are produced to relax and detangle hair, which is the last piece you want if you have a head full of dreads.

In general, you don’t necessarily need to condition your dreadlocks. You should also be careful about using any other products that contain oils, waxes, or knot-fighting agents.

Frequent use of these products can weaken the structure of your dreadlocks and make them much harder to manage.

A residue-free shampoo, salt-water tightening spray, and \pure aloe gel should be all you need to keep your dreads looking clean and great.

What’s the Best Drying Process for Locs?

Most experts suggest that you sit under a dryer for about 30 to 45 minutes. If you do not own a dryer, you can improvise or let your hair air dry. What’s important is that it is dried completely

If the hair is not dried correctly, this can create a mildew smell, which can be a bit difficult to get rid of.

How Do I Keep My Locs Feeling Fresh In-between Wash Days?

A spritz of a light leave-in spray on both the hair and scalp can get the job done. The Oyin Handmade comes in three nourishing herbal leave-in Hair tonics that you can use any time of day.

Morning Care for Dreadlocks

In the morning, nourishing and revitalizing your dreads are essential. Try using a cocktail of essential oil like eucalyptus, lavender, lime, and mint,and mix it with distilled water to provide your dreads a fresh feel.

If you want to smoothen your dreads out a little bit for a more stylized look, feel free to use some wax, like Bed Head by TIGI Manipulator Matte Cream for some hold.

Nighttime Care for Dreadlocks

When you’re set for bed, treat your dreads with gentle care! Try sleeping in a silk scarf or head wrap to help keep your dreads and prevent them from breakage.

Do My Dreadlocks Need a Deep Washing?

To achieve healthy dreads, it is recommended to deep wash your dreadlocks 4 to 5 times per year depending on your lifestyle. The more dynamic your lifestyle is, like if you often work outdoors, the more you need to deep cleanse your hair. Doing so can help you eliminate gunk, smell, product residue, and more!

Final Thoughts

Treat your dreads with the right amount of care and don’t neglect washing them. They may be fragile the first month, but by month two you can treat your dreads like any regular hair that needs to be washed regularly.

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