There are many misconceptions and misinformation (plenty of which is spread on the internet) about dreadlock maintenance, the most notable of which is that dreadlocks need not be washed. Yet another misconception is that dreadlocks are difficult to maintain. Nothing could be further from the truth, as we explain in our series of articles dealing with dreadlock maintenance in my Blog. I have learned a lot through my dreadlock journey by following advice from dreadlock gurus such as Yannie the only Locologist. This page begins with just a summary of the key points that I’ve learned and mentioned in my dreadlock maintenance series (be sure to visit my Blog for more details).

The first and most important consideration is to stretch the period between washes for up to 3 months or longer. Washing dreadlocks too often strips them of their natural oils leaving them brittle and susceptible to breakage. When washing, it is preferable that one uses only natural, non-residue shampoo products. The shampoo, Dr. Bronner’s soap (Peppermint or Tea tree oil), work best for washing dreadlocks. Other shampoos like Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Shampoo as well as ORS Olive Oil Creamy Aloe Shampoo are generally detanglers and will wok better with mature dreadlocks that are past the stage of detangling.

The second thing to consider is the importance of keeping your scalp (and dreadlocks) moisturized and healthy. This will prevent your hair and scalp from getting dehydrated, dry and brittle. Again, ensure to use only natural, residue-free products to moisturize and nourish your scalp and dreadlocks. Aloe vera gel, a mixture of half Rosewater and half Vitamin E oil and Black Jamaican Castor Oil are recommended products.

Finally, the importance of finding a professional, experienced dreadlock hairdresser cannot be over-emphasized. A good loctician will not use any kind of wax products for the maintenance of your undergrowth. Wax products leave deposits on your dreadlocks and cause build-up over time. I only use the Crochet Method on my clients whether I am doing dreadlock maintenance, installation, repair, or adding extensions. The periods between each maintenance appointment is a personal decision. Some people prefer to let their dreadlocks grow out and freeform and may never visit a Dreadlock Specialist. Others will check in once every 6 months or more for maintenance of the undergrowth. many more prefer a tidier look and book a maintenance appointment once every 2 – 3 months. Whatever you decide, just ensure that your hair is manageable when you visit your Specialist to prevent a lengthy, uncomfortable dreadlock maintenance appointment especially if the hair has knotted at the roots or requires repair.

Below are some examples of dreadlock maintenance I have done using the Crochet Method:

Dreadlock Maintenance with +6 months undergrowth. A considerable amount of dreadlock knotting at the scalp was visible when I went to see this client. She also had a number of weak and missing dreadlocks. I re-sectioned her locs and used the Crochet Method to tighten up her roots and to repair the missing dreadlocks.
Dreadlock Maintenance with +6 months undergrowth. A considerable amount of dreadlock knotting at the scalp was visible. There was also a large area with missing dreadlocks at the back of her head before I used the Crochet Method to repair the missing locs with dreadlock extensions.
Dreadlock Maintenance with +3 months undergrowth. Some knotting was visible at the scalp when I saw her. This client was also using conditioner on her locs which was causing them to untangle visibly at the ends. The conditioner was also leaving white deposits on her dreadlocks. I steam washed her locs making sure to work on each one individually to remove the deposits. I then re-sectioned her dreadlocks at the scalp and used the Crochet Method to tighten them up from root to tip and rounded her ends.
Dreadlock maintenance at +3 weeks. This client started her dreadlocks on her own and contacted me 3 weeks in, to work on the body of her locs and to tighten up the visible loose hair around them. I used the Crochet Method to smoothen out her frizz, tidy up her sections and give her a neater look.
Dreadlocks Maintenance and Repair after a very long time. My client regretted cutting off his sides many years ago. He trimmed his dreadlocks time and again and kept the pieces. I was able to combine his trimmed dreadlocks to make new extensions and use the Crochet Method to attach them to the sides he had cut many years ago.

Each of these clients and many others come to me with different individual needs and are satisfied with the service and results they receive! There is nothing as fulfilling to me as a happy client whose confidence is restored after I work on their dreadlocks! This to me is more important than money and fuels my dreadlock passion to continue to do what I do!