Last week I ran into an old school friend of mine who, for as long as I can remember, has had rough dreadlocks. Even back then in school he used to get punished constantly for not keeping his hair neat. And I didn’t blame school authorities, his hair was always a hot mess. So now, as I was talking to him, all I was really doing was trying not to stare at his hair. I really wanted to find out if it had changed from its former dirty state.
It turned out he had realized that just because you have dreadlocks doesn’t mean you should not pay attention to it. A lot of people, I have come to realize, think that having dreadlocks is an excuse for letting your hair run a-mock. But the reality is, the more hair you have, the more your responsibility to it.
When it comes to keeping and maintaining dreadlocks, there is a lot of work to be done. Maintenance requires a lot of products and this could cause build up in your hair. There are two things you need to note when it comes to maintaining dreadlocks.
The first is that just as much as you add products to your hair, you have to monitor the extent to which they are used. Secondly, as you add products to your hair, you have to take care of their after effect.
A lot of people always associate having dreadlocks with un-serious individuals or those who do not keep good hygiene. This is mostly due to the fact that some of those that have dreadlocks do not know how to take care of it. Here are a few important things you should know when it comes to washing dreadlocks and check out some cool dreadlock style inspiration.
When your dreadlocks are at the early stage, it is important to begin and maintain a washing culture. You could decide to wash your locks every 3 or 4 days and maintain that schedule for a while so you hair adjusts to it. This would help your dreadlocks establish their individual patterns.
After a month or two, you can then begin to wash them every other day
Use Residue-Free shampoo
Always use residue free shampoo. This residue is sometimes left behind after washing your hair and could cause a bad build up on your locks or scalp. For dreadlocks, this problematic residue are those left behind by traditional soaps made from animal fats or vegetable sources like olive oil or coconut oils.
The residue build up could prevent the hair from locking properly which could make your dreads look poorly done or rough. It could also lead to dread rot which is the growth of mildew in the dread, leading to bad smell.
Pattern your shampoo to your dread growth
Dreadlocks go through different stages of maturity. Therefore it is important to pattern your shampoo to the current stage of your dreads. The type of shampoo your hair would require when it is at an early stage is different from when it has reached mid-length.
Make sure to get all the water out
After you have washed your dreadlocks, be sure to rinse them out properly. Dreadlocks consist of a lot of hair and you could become tired of continually rinsing them, but it is very important that you do so. Not rinsing your dreadlocks properly could lead to more build up on your scalp which could eventually lock more dirt and cause dread rot.
Instead, when you are done washing, continue pouring water on them until the rinsing water turns clean. After this squeeze the excess water out while in the shower or otherwise and place them in a lint free towel. When they have dried considerably, use a hand drier or standing hair drier to dry them of completely.
Moisturize & use Dread wax to hold in place
After washing, the dreadlocks may loosen as a result of the method of washing. To remedy this, after you have washed the locks and they are now dry, apply some dread wax in a twisting motion. This takes the loose strands of hair and locks them back in place. After you have waxed your hair, then use a dread cap to hold the dreadlocks in place while they wax.
There are a lot of tips and tricks to keep your locks and your scalp healthy like using rose water, baking soda, vinegar etc. Watch this HowCast video on how you can get your dreadlocks clean and healthy.
Dont forget to share any tip you may have on washing dreadlocks with us.