Maintaining healthy dreadlocks requires care and a regular cleansing and treatment regime. Understanding the specialist needs of your hair will enable you to keep your dreadlocks looking and feeling healthy whether you have black, asian or Caucasian hair.
How to Wash Dreadlocks
Washing dreadlocks requires attention to care, especially if the dreads are still young. Tying up the roots and loose ends with rubber bands before washing is a good idea as this stops the dreadlocks loosening. Wash the hair with mild shampoo paying attention to the scalp and massaging in circular movements to stimulate blood circulation. Rinse dreadlocks with clean, warm water and then squeeze out any excess water.
More mature dreadlocks can be washed through a nylon stocking, to avoid loosening the hair. This is done by shampooing the hair through the nylon and rinsing and repeating the procedure.
How to Dry Dreadlocks
Dreadlocks hold in a lot of moisture so ensuring they are dried properly is important to maintaining healthy hair, as this stops mildew forming inside the dreadlocks. After washing the dreadlocks it is important to spray on some locking accelerator or conditioner as this speeds up the drying process. This spray-on product also helps tighten the form of your dreadlocks and keeps them looking and feeling healthy. Conditioning also improves the locking process and helps correct surface damage.
Air-drying the dreadlocks is the recommended way of maintaining this style and stops hair drying out more than is required. Wrapping up the dreadlocks in a towel also removes excess moisture.
Tidying Up Loose Ends
After careful washing and drying loose strands of hair can be weaved back into the dreadlocks. Weaving can be done by rolling the loose hair together into a mini dreadlock and then weaving this strand into the closest dreadlock. An alternative method of weaving is to re-insert individual strands of hair into the dreadlocks. Both methods of tidying up require patience and a certain amount of time but will help you maintain the style and health of your dreadlocks.
Without adequate care your dreadlocks will become loose and stressed and may cause other problems, like scalp irritation, hair thinning and excessive dandruff and flaking. It is important to minimise potential hair maintenance problems and this can be achieved by maximising your hair care routine and regime.
You can lock the dreadlocks by root rubbing, latch-hooking or palm rolling the strands of hair. It is also important to reduce fiddling with your hair as this may add to thinning and stressing of the locks as they take form. Allowing your hair to be natural is your aim and this will help ensure that your style is full of character but also healthy.
If cost is not an issue you can opt to have your dreadlocks professionally cared for by a specialist hairdresser, also known as a loctician. Your dreadlocks need to be maintained between visits however, so it is important to understand the basic requirements of caring for this style.