Maintaining dreadlocks is very different from maintaining other natural hair styles. Dreadlocks don’t need to be brushed and don’t require regular trimming. Like other natural hair styles dreadlocks need to be kept clean. Contrary to popular belief clean dreads lock up and tighten faster than dirty dreads. While other natural hair styles require combing to put stray hairs back in place, dreadlocks need to have stray hairs tucked back into the dread so they can dread up and lock with the rest of the hair.
1. Moisturize properly. You may find that your locs don’t require as much moisture as your loose hair did, but don’t test your luck- you should still moisturize regularly. Dry hair breaks easily, and the last thing you want is brittle locs! Use a light leave-in moisturizer, or water sealed in with oils.
2. There is some controversy in the dreadlock community about whether you should use a daily conditioner on your locs- there is a risk, especially on new locs, that such products can loosen/damage your locs. While some individuals go ahead with conditioner, we recommend using apple cider vinegar as an alternative. This rinse will leave your locs soft, conditioned, and will clarify product buildup from your scalp as well.
3. Deep condition every 1-2 weeks (you may want to wait to deep condition until you pass the starter loc phase.)
4. Don’t over-wash. While locs are more prone to odors and buildup than loose hair, over-washing can dry out your scalp and lead to flaking, itchiness, breakage, and thinning locks. We recommend once every 1-2 weeks, and don’t wash starter locs until they have some time to mature.
5. Dry locs thoroughly after washing. More often than not, the mildew smell that locs can develop is due to improper drying (picture how your laundry smells if you leave it in the washer for a couple days without drying it!) Use a blow dryer on low heat or let your locs air dry. Don’t tie up your locs, bunch them together, or cover them with anything until they are fully dry.
By: Dammy Eneli
See Also: Are You Really Ready For Dreadlocks?