Basic Dreadlock Care
Basic methods used in starting
Help with deciding if dreadlocks are for you
dreadlocks are easier to maintain than other hairstyles, they do require
some basic maintenance.
hair is locked)
awful myth that wearers of dreadlocks don't wash their hair.
Everybody washes their hair, we hope. We know some people with dreadlocks who wash
their hair every day! I opt for once a
week, as dreadlocks take a long time to dry.
is necessary. Sweat build-up causes bacteria to grow and the scalp to
itch. Excessive scratching causes hair breakage and scalp irritation.
A residue-free shampoo
is best. Its important that your shampoo does not
add to the residue you are trying to get rid of. Residue clogs the pores and attracts dirt. If
applied gels or oils to your hair it is good to give it a good soak in
soapy water first.
There are many shampoos made
specifically for dreadlocks on the market that you can try. Check
your local health food store for the most natural products. Most commercial shampoos contain
additives. Sometimes the simplest this is the best. Our
model has been using plain Dettol bar soap to clean her locs and scalp
Lather twice. Once, focusing
only on the scalp
and roots. Next, focusing on the rest of the hair. Be generous with
the soap and rinse extra well. To dry, wring hair out and
wrap with a towel to draw out extra moisture.
apply some type of moisturizer to the scalp and locs. Apply it while the hair
is still wet-damp. Again, there are many different hair and scalp
oils designed for use with dreadlocks that you can try, just remember, not
too much! Too much grease will
attract dirt and lint. If your scalp isnít clean, grease contributes to
dandruff which is very tough to get out of loc'd hair.
Anyone with dreadlocks knows that they take a
long time to dry after being fully saturated with water. Because of
this, frequent washing isn't always possible. Sometimes a
quick refresher for the scalp is sufficient. You may blot the scalp
with a mild astringent like Sea Breeze or any witch hazel. It will help to remove trapped
oil and dirt and keep your head smelling fresh and clean, without over-drying the scalp.
Twisting shouldn't be done more than every 1-3 weeks and it is
okay to do it
the hair is damp, but the hair shouldn't be dripping wet. Dreadlocks can
be twisted in either direction.
Start at the base of
the loc'd portion of the hair (NOT at the root near the scalp) and twist
downward to the scalp. Sometimes twisting upward from the
scalp causes the root sections to thin over time.
small portions of whatever product you use. (Please
note that beeswax use
should be minimized after your hair has actually
locked). Clamp a few
newly twisted dreadlocks with a clip in the spot where the loc'd hair ends and the new growth begins
to hold the newly twisted section (if you clamp one loc at a time it will
just unwind...its best to clamp in small groups).
hold freshly twisted hair in place while sleeping. Cotton bandanas can
be very drying to the hair and they rarely provide full coverage or stay
on correctly all night.
Dreadlocks are akin to the strands of a mop....they hold alot of water.
Thorough drying is necessary, otherwise hair will smell damp and musty.
Air drying can take as little as an hour (hair loose while standing in blazing
sunshine) or up to 24 hours (indoors or hair braided or curled tightly for
can sit under a hood or bonnet dryer to speed up the process. Hood
and bonnet hair dryers are relatively inexpensive. We purchased a new hood
hair dryer online for under $50.
Rubberbands or not?
Rubberbands DO NOT break off your hair when used properly. The
trick to using rubberbands is to use them for short intervals (less than
24 hours). Actually, ANY band that you keep your locs tightly
bound in for more than 24 hours will begin to whittle away your hair in
that particular section. You can even see the difference after
you've taken out a band that you've worn for more than a day.
Banding the hair in the same spot day after day (even with a nightly
break) is just as detrimental to your hair. Our model usually uses
small rubberbands only when securing the end of a braid.
Remember, it takes TIME, PATIENCE AND DEDICATION to reach the point where
you'll have a natural, long, flowing mane of dreadlocks...several years
actually. All the more reason to start NOW!!