So you’ve gone ahead with it and got the dreadlocks you’ve always wanted? And now you’re probably wondering what the best method of dreadlock maintenance is? No worries. It’s not complicated and easier than you may have imagined.
For starters, it’s important to wash your dreadlocks at least once in two weeks; this will not only help to keep them clean but also will remove any build-up that may have occurred since your last wash. I know of some people that will stretch periods between washes to 3 months. If you are comfortable with that and your scalp is not itchy and your dreadlocks remain scent-free during this period that ok too. Just be sure not to wash them too often though; doing so will wash away your scalp’s natural oils, which it needs to stay healthy. Washing at regular intervals will also help to prevent any build-up within your locs.
When washing your dreadlocks, do so with warm water. Warm water has a higher ability to remove grime that may be stuck in your dreadlocks that cold water cannot remove. Also, ensure that you wash your dreadlocks early in the day so as to allow enough time for them to get completely dry before bedtime. Having them completely dry will prevent any moldy smell from developing in your dreadlocks overtime as well as the growth of mildew.
Using the right choice of shampoo matters. Be sure to use shampoos that are anti-residue and promote a healthy scalp and hair. Because I know the importance of keeping a healthy scalp and hair, I prefer to use only shampoos with natural ingredients, some of which include Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Soap and Dr. Bronner’s Tea Tree Soap. Other shampoos to be considered are, Olive Oil Shampoo and Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Shampoo, as shown below. These shampoos are available on Amazon, and some can also be found at Walmart and Superstore. These shampoos are suitable for most hair types, however, if you require other alternatives, please consult your dreadlock specialist.
When applying shampoo, ensure to massage it into your scalp and dreadlocks. Starting with a small amount of natural oil shampoo, massage the shampoo into your dreadlocks, starting at the scalp and working your way to the tip of the dreadlocks. Working the shampoo into your dreadlocks will help to clear the build-up of debris in the locks that may have occurred since your last dreadlock maintenance.
After this, let the shampoo sit in your hair and scalp for a short while, approximately two minutes before rinsing it off. Rinse off the shampoo thoroughly by letting the water run all the way through your locs, from your scalp to the tip. You should also squeeze the dreads as water is running through them. Squeezing removes any remaining shampoo that may still be within your dreadlocks. Continue rinsing with water until no traces of shampoo are visible in your dreadlocks or the water running through them.
Once your dreadlocks have been thoroughly rinsed, squeeze out any excess water that may be in your locs. Be sure to use a lint-free towel to gently wipe off any remaining water from your scalp and your dreadlocks. Lint-free towels ensure that no lint builds up in your dreadlocks overtime. Remember never to use any conditioner on your dreadlocks; this can cause buildup and also make them untangle. Also, wait until your dreadlocks are completely dry before you style them. This is to prevent the mildew issue we spoke about earlier on.
While this is all you need to know about washing your dreadlocks and keeping them and your scalp healthy, be sure to read the next article about maintaining your dreadlocks that focuses on how best to moisturize and keep them healthy.