You may think keeping your new dreadlocks healthy is complicated, but it’s far from it. You can easily maintain healthy, clean and good-looking dreads by simply adhering to the following steps …
Find A Good Loctician
The first, and perhaps most important, step is to find a good dreadlock hairdresser, preferably one that is very experienced. This is especially important at the beginning, so they will guide you from the outset of your dreadlock-growing journey. You want a loctician that can give you great advice and recommend healthy products. Make sure you feel comfortable with her or him and get a sense of how knowledgeable they really are about dreadlocks. For example, a good & knowledgeable loctician will recommend you use only natural products on your hair rather than synthetic ones.
Wash Your Dreadlocks
One often-held misconception is that people with dreadlocks don’t and need not wash their hair. Nothing can be farther from the truth; dreadlocks are washable and ought to be on a regular basis. You can keep your dreadlocks clean and healthy by following the simple procedure we’ve written about in our previous post. Basically, this involves washing your hair with warm water and using natural, residue-free shampoos. Be careful not to over-wash your dreads, however. Over-washing can dry out your scalp and lead to flaking, itchiness, breakage, and thinning of locks. Read more on this here.
Regular Visits To Your Loctician
As your hair grows, you need to help your locks to mature well, and one of the best ways of doing this is to encourage the locking process. Regular visits to your professional loctician for dreadlock maintenance every 6-8 weeks will help tighten up the roots of your dreadlocks, smooth out any bumps, as well as weave in any loose strands, making your dreadlocks neater and less frizzy. This helps the locks to mature and helps to prevent damage and breakage of your dreadlocks. Some people prefer to stretch the periods between dreadlock maintenance much longer. I would say you can stretch this period as long as you dreadlocks do not grow into each other and become one big knotted mesh at the scalp. This may cause your dreadlock maintenance appointment to be lengthy and uncomfortable.
Use Only Natural Oils On Your Scalp
As already hinted, for healthy dreadlocks, you’ll need to moisturize your scalp only with 100% natural oils that are residue-free. It’s important to moisturize your scalp to enable healthy hair to grow from it. Lack of moisture to your scalp can cause your dreadlocks to be brittle resulting in them breaking easily. This is the last thing you want! Also, dry hair tends to be very frizzy. I recommend the following natural oils for your scalp and dreadlocks. Please note that only those that work for you should be used and not necessarily all of those I have listed below:
- Aloe vera gel.
Benefits: prevents hair from shedding, cleanses the pores on your scalp, seals in all of the moisture that your scalp needs
- A mixture of half Rosewater and half Vitamin E oil.
Benefits: replenishes lost moisture, makes dreadlocks more manageable, smoother, shinier and healthier, promotes hair growth, rosewater has natural anti-inflammatory properties which help to clear dandruff, Vitamins E is nature’s natural antioxidant and therefore reduces the amount of oxidative stress and free radicals that cause the hair follicles in the scalp to break down.
- Castor oil.
Benefits: thickens hair. We have found Jamaican Black Castor Oil to work best for this purpose
- Olive oil.
Benefits: stimulates hair growth, keeps dreadlocks and scalp moisturized.
- Carrot Oil.
Benefits: promotes hair growth, contains vitamins A, E, and beta-carotene which all help to moisturize the scalp
- A mixture of half Organic Coconut Oil and half Organic Olive Oil with 8-10 drops of Tea tree oil.
Benefits: has anti-fungal and antimicrobial properties making it the best way to treat dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis, cleans the hair follicles, moisturizes the scalp, prevents the buildup of excess oil on the scalp, facilitates hair growth
Apply any of the above natural oils of your choice and work them into your dreads with your fingertips before styling your hair.
Rehydrate Your Scalp.
Give your scalp some TLC moisturizing treatment that is formulated for dreadlocks after every wash. This treatment is known as Hot Oil Treatment. This will restore moisture to your dreadlocks that have been lost during the washing process. It’s important to maintain your scalp health to ensure that your hair is strong and healthy. Hot Oil Treatment also helps to repair damaged and weak hair. For this treatment, simply apply any combination of the oils we mentioned above in your dreadlocks soon after washing them, while they are still damp. Cover your dreadlocks soon afterward with a shower cap for a couple of hours. After you remove the shower cap, style as desired. There is no need to wash off the oil from your scalp.
Don’t Overdo It With Oils Or Products.
Locs are made of matted hair and can cause buildup if you go too hard with products of any kind. Avoid products such as leave-in conditioners that leave a lot of residue in dreadlocks. Stick with the natural oils we discussed above for healthy dreadlocks.
Protect Your Dreadlocks From Damage By Sleeping With A Silk Scarf.
While sleeping, your pillowcase can pull or tug on your dreadlocks, causing the hair to break, especially if they are dry. To prevent this, pull your hair into a ponytail or bun, and fasten a silk scarf around your dreadlocks. The silk will protect your hair from damage and will also keep your hair healthy by preventing the essential oils on your dreadlocks from being absorbed by the cotton on your pillow.
And there you have it! This is all you need to maintain healthy, clean and good-looking dreads! You’re now all set to enjoy a natural and practically care-free lifestyle with your awesome dreadlocks!