Dreadlock 101

Dreadlock 101

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There’s a big misconception that washing your dreadlocks can be a time-consuming and ineffective process. We disagree and have compiled a guide to help you make sure your dreads remain clean and healthy.

An itchy scalp and bacterial growth is a common side effect of having dreads and is due to a build-up of sweat, therefore regular washing is absolutely necessary. A residue-free shampoo is recommended, as you don’t want to add more residue to your hair. If you’ve applied oils and gels to your hair in between washes then be sure to soak your hair in soapy water before washing to remove any oil or gel residue.

The best for this is a trusted favourite; a simple bar of Dettol soap.

TIP: Lather the hair twice. On the first wash, pay special attention to the scalp and roots and on the second wash, focus on the rest of the hair. Be generous with the soap and rinse thoroughly.

To dry, wring out the hair and wrap it with a towel so that extra moisture may be drawn out. While the hair is still damp, be sure to apply a moisturizer to the scalp and your lock’s.

Use hair products suited for dreadlocks and remember that too much grease will attract dirt and grime.

Because dreadlocks take a long time to dry, it’s not always possible to wash them frequently. It is therefore advised that you blot the scalp with a mild Sea Breeze astringent in between washes to remove trapped oil and dirt while keeping your hair smelling fresh and clean.

Experts say twisting should not be done more than every 1 – 3 weeks. The hair should be damp but not dripping wet. Twisting the hair upward from the scalp may eventually cause thinning over time so it’s encouraged to instead twist your lock’s downward toward the scalp.

We love Isoplus Styling Gel (R19.95 at Clicks) for easy twisting and locking as it contains zero alcohol, which can dry out the scalp and cause flaking.

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TIP: Take care to use small portions of your desired product. Its important to note that the use of beeswax should be reduced to a minimum once the hair has been locked.

Like a mop, dread lock strands hold a lot of water therefore thorough drying is crucial. For hair to dry in an hour or less, loosen the dreads and let them air dry naturally. If indoors, however, and your lock’s are tightly bound, drying can take up to 24 hours. Sitting under a hooded dryer will of course speed up the drying process.

By Cynthia Gwebu

How do you care for your dreadlocks and what are some of your favourite products to use? Let us know in the comment section below BB beauties!

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