Of Moisturizing, Maintenance and Care of Dreadlocks

Thursday, November 10, 2011

NB: We will focus on bonded dreadlocks today, for more information on Sisterlocks, keep a look out.


The onset of dreadlocking your hair may have you avoiding large water masses, force you to duck and hide at the sight of rain and play cat and mouse with the shower head. It's a tricky place to be; you have to avoid washing your newly formed locks because this is the phase where your hair needs to mesh together naturally. Water and other cleansing agents hinder this locking process. This bonding period usually lasts, all factors held constant, for as little as 4 weeks, or for as long as three months.

It goes without saying, that healthy hair care demands a clean and healthy scalp. As such, the locking phase is usually synonymous with an itchy scalp and inflamed scalp. But do not dispair, todays post will address remedies and tips on how to care for your scalp and your hair.


General Maintenance:
Always opt for products that do not clog the pores or cause bulid-up. Avoid heavy butters and balms such as shea butter, beeswax or products that have mineral oil as their base. Such products can lead to buildup and leave behind a residue that accumulates and collects grime over time. You have heard us chime and rant about sleeping with a satin/ silk scarf night after night, having dreadlocks does not exempt you from this rule. Not only does a silk bonnet protect your hair from knotting up and losing moisture, it also keeps your locks lint free.

NB: The use of beeswax has often been debated among locticians; while some claim it is a necessary evil during the initial phase, know that there are alternate products that can be used. These include clay, gels, hair glue, honey mixes among others. Find out what you and your hair best.

Now with regard to scalp care, kindly read up on this post. It highlights what you need to know about essential oils for the scalp. Trust me essential oils are a lifesaver for an inflamed scalp. Vitamin E Oil is an antioxidant and a natural preservative that stabilizes other oils. Vitamin E also repairs hair and skin damage caused by stress and the environment. Using the pads of your fingers you can massage the oil little by little to different parts of the scalp and hairlocs as needed. Be sure to also work some oil along the length of your locs all the way to the ends.

Anti-Itch Scalp Oil and Organic Root Stimulator Herbal Cleanse are another way to go. Add a dab of either on a cotton swab and apply sparingly to the scalp.


Styling:
When it comes to styling, the sky is the limit. Dreadlocks are versatile and translate well with any setting. The only word of caution that I cannot stress enough is this; do not stress your hairline. Your hairline is very weak and sensitive, even more so in the case of dreadlocks. Avoid tight ponytails or styles that will cause undue stress on your hairline. Failure to do so will ultimately lead to traction alopecia.


Cleansing:
During the initial phase, washing your hair is out of the question. One of the most effective way to care for your scalp by routinely carrying out scalp dubbing sessions. Remember to be gentle on your hair. Grab a cotton swab and dip it into a mixture of warm water - 250ml and a table spoon of baking soda. Work your way in between your locks section by section and rub your scalp gently (as you replace the cotton swab when necessary). Follow this up with a oil massage be sure to add a few drops of your favorite essential oil (remember that less is more, don't use too much product). Retwist to avoid locks from meshing together.

You can wash your matured dreadlocks as often as you would like. Some experts recommend washing dreadlocks every 2-3 weeks, but this really depends on your lifestyle and tolerance level. Be sure to dilute your sudsy shampoo or opt to purchase a sulphate free shampoo if you can. If you work out or have the need for water on your locks, washing your hair more often or whenever you feel the need is also an option.

Deep Conditioning
Yes. You must deep condition your locks. There is a thought that exists that claims once you dawn dreadlocks, your hair is as tough as nails. No ma'am, that is false. Your hair will still need regular nourishment which will come in the form of moisture and protein. How often you carry out these processes is by far, a lot less than that of a woman who has her natural hair out.

Deep conditioning sessions are what make the difference between lustrous, shinny hair and dull, listless locks. You can up your protein; protein deep conditioning sessions will make your locks stronger and tougher, while moisture DC's will give your hair that brilliant shine.

Co-washing mature dreads also promotes clean, soft locks. Do not over-do it, however. Your dreadlocks may begin to fluff up if they are not fully mature.

Leave-In Conditioners such as Infusium 23 are excellent choices for not only dreadlocked hair, but all-natural hair textures because it opens up the cuticle, moisturizing and coating the hair shaft.


In the end, proper dreadlock care is very important. Keeping your dreads clean not only promotes healthy hair growth, but helps get them tighter and stronger. Moisturizing dreadlocks requires light oils that do not clog pores and is close to the
natural oily state. Essential oils like Castor bean oil, Jojoba, Sesame oil and olive oil, will cleanse condition and stimulate the scalp, strengthen, and add sheen to your dreadlocks. Olive oil and Sesame oil are very nourishing to the scalp and hair and help reduce stiffness and tightness in the scalp. Olive oil has purifying properties that help keep pores open.


Thanks for reading.

Back to you.

27 comments:

  1. Greetings Kurlies!

    Lovely piece on locks, but looking forward to more...
    Now i have had mine for a little over 5 years and loved every moment save for the waiting for matting (Sigh...)However i have an issue after doing my retouch and styling, two weeks later some whitish stuff starts appearing on them especially around the roots...
    I use olive oil sheen and there has been very little change if any, help.....

    Thanks!!!
    Isabella

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It sounds like ur locks are being pulled to tight during the re twisting and styling process.

      As the lock grows you may notice that its thinner in certain areas, where the hair focal has been pulled from the scalp

      Delete
  2. @Isabella, Clearly the root of your problem is too much mechanical stress on the roots of your hair..the white bulbs are caused by your loctician applying too much stress on the roots of your locs. We would recommend that you have a word with him or her and make sure they loosen the grip on your locs as you get your retouch. Overtwisting can lead to your locs falling off.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am currently considering getting locs and consulted with a loc practitioner last week. I wash my hair every week and the loctician said I could continue doing that but I'd have to be gentle with it. I can't imagine going for weeks without washing my hair, sadly.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great article!! Looking forward to lots more...have had loc's for 6 months now and so far things are great! I do occasionally miss my long natural hair that i had on before, still hold on to my combs and blow driers...
    I enjoy washing my hair...so Eccentric Yoruba, go ahead...as long as its done gently...but you'll find you may not want to wash it as often...
    Go for it!

    Mumbi

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks for the post. I've had my locs for four and a half years. I totally love them! Contrary to popular belief, you can wash your hair even in the initial stages. I washed my hair every two weeks, gently though, and my locs still meshed after three months or so which is usually the average time it takes depending on the texture of your hair.

    As for the whitish stuff, it can be resolved by having your loctician mix the wax with a good hair moisturizer as they re-twist. It will prevent the white flaking as well as promote growth.

    ReplyDelete
  6. hey...looing to loc my hair..will be away from +254 fro two yrs..... and perhaps finally getting the reason i have always sought to loc my hair:)....just not upto hair care and thesis drafting:-)

    Plz anyone reply with a number(s) of a good loctician...good here means one who is open minded...always comes in handy when i begin the traction alopecia lecture whenever hair is pulled..plus want someone i can chat up freely abt loc care...

    plz help!

    ps... Kurly Kichana..lovely post..once i'm all loc'd will def refer to this post!

    ReplyDelete
  7. What good timing! Just got locced myself(6wks!) and I was wondering when you guys are gonna have articles about dreadlocks on here.

    I am one of those who cannot do without washing my scalp and did a lot of research on how to wash newish locs. Youtube has very good instructive videos and yes it can be done but you need to be very gentle!

    Wonderful post, Kurly Kichana!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks for this post. Really need your help to crack this: My friends locs are like 3 years old...very long cuz he has that to die for hair....BUT.... the product build up has been crazy (am guessing all the wax, shampoo's that leave residue etc)...and now his locs have white stuff on them. What can my pal do to get rid of this 3 year product build up? Will appreciate....

    ReplyDelete
  9. @Lamka!! Your friend needs to buy a clarifying shampoo...look at shampoo labels that have clarifying in the description...this will get rid of build up after a few shampoos. He should also avoid using beeswax, there are loads of other alternatives in the market.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I have had my locs for 4 years and the front on my hair is soft and curly and will not loc. HELP! Any suggestions on how to get it to loc?

    Denise

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had the same problem. When u get twisted u have 2 put it in a style that hold it down.

      Delete
  11. Lovely post KK girlies!! We want more!! I've had my locs for 8 years I've chopped them once but they're still pretty long...I get sooo boring with them. I would love a post on different easy ways to style locs :)

    I'm a fan!

    ReplyDelete
  12. What product can I use to start locks without using wax or gels?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, i know this was for 2012 but was re-visiting this post since i rock locs... Try using moulding gel mixed with Indian Hemp, i have grown wax free hair for 8 years now..
      Isabella

      Delete
  13. Hey Sadly we do not know of any, However when I had locks my hairdressers used a honey based homemade product to loc my hair...I think it was honey and a bit of beeswax...Could be an option

    ReplyDelete
  14. My then salonist started my locs on pure honey and though I have soft hair, my hair locked in a short period. She later switched to using mollasses though I dont know where to get it, it was very good for my hair and left no residues of white stuff etc. I have since switched to making my own hair and use honey to re-twist(anything from healthy U or Kate organic honey is good, otherwise there are a lot of honey brands that are full of sugar :-\)

    To remove the white stuff from mature dreadlocks, you can use apple cider vinegar or baking soda or a mixture of the two. Once you have shampooed and rinsed your hair, mix two spoons of baking soda and a cup of apple cider vinegar with warm water. dip your hair and stay for at least 10mins. I normally mix the baking soda in water, splash it on my hair and wear a shower cap for 10-20mins then rinse off as usual

    ReplyDelete
  15. Do u know a dread lock specialist in Philadelphia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. https://www.styleseat.com/shariasweets This is the lady I go to for my newly formed dreads. Check her out. She is all of that. And on point with her knowledge.

      Delete
  16. Where do you normally buy all of your essential oils?

    ReplyDelete
  17. I HAVE my locs for close to 3 years now they are pretty good now though its been a long journey. i need a more haelthy and shiny look for my locs,what products can i use?i twist with wax alone and apply Dr Miracle conditioner and olive sheen.pliz advise.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Sadly locs do not possess the kind of shine/sheen you would expect! You can use the olive oil sheen, however keeping the clean and moisturised can make them look better

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thanks for this information. I was told that I should not condition my locs with cream conditioners. I though it strange, but I love the way my hair feels after I condition it. I will continue to do so. I was told that conditioners leave buildup on your locs. I have reduced my retwisting time from 4 weeks to 6 weeks. I will wash every two weeks and condition.......

    ReplyDelete
  20. Omg I'm going crazy because I can't find anyone consistent that does dread locks..I started this process on the day that president Obama was re-elected for his second term which has only been almost 8 months I've been thinking about giving up numerous of times can someone please explain to me what process or stage should I be in now because my dreads are budding at the ends, I was told that's one of the stages that dreads go through..idk but can sum1 please inspire me b/c I'm ready to give up..Last question should my hair be locked by now and can I wash my hair now or get it wet at all? I wrap my hair every night fyi......Thanks from a newly dread head

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hello well I'm having a very hard time with finding someone consistent with taking care of my hair because that's just what I'm used to doing. I recently started this process the day that President Obama was re-elected for his 2nd term so it's been all of almost 8 months so should I be locked by now? Why dows my dreads look like little buds? I was told dreads have stages they go through and mine are at that budding stage. I'm getting so frustrated because when I try to re twist my dreads it last for 3 days or so and then they go right back to looking frizzy. I need to know what kind of mixture I need for my hair? It's very thick and coarse. I have the concept of how it's done I just need the right products. I must admit that my hair has grown tremendously since I've started. Should my dreads be locked by now and am I allowed to wash my hair and is it ok if they did get wet in rain, shower or just straight out washing it? I'm trying to stay on board but it's very frustrating when you don't know much about what you're trying to accomplish it just seems like a dead end......Please Help Me #anewdreadhead

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  22. Do you has to retwist your hair evertime you wash it

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Depends on the stage, if they are fresh yes, but if already matted, you can moisturise the grown add some sheen and wear them as the lovely Wanyeki does..
      Isabella

      Delete