How to Wash Your Dreadlocks

It’s the #1 question I get asked:
“How do you wash your hair?”
“Um, just normally,” I usually answer (because it’s really not that complicated, and most people don’t want all the details.)

But if you’re considering dreadlocks, you need to know that washing your locs is VERY important. Here’s why and how to do it.

Why You Need to Wash Your Dreadlocks

  • Just like with non-dreaded hair, your scalp needs to be cleaned so it doesn’t get oily or produce dandruff.

  •  If you don’t wash your hair, your scalp will become itchy.

  • Cleaning your dreads actually helps them mature and lock more quickly since your hair won’t be greasy/slippery.

  • It helps break the stigma that people with dreadlocks are dirty. 😉 

How to Wash Your Dreadlocks

1. The most important thing is to use a residue-free shampoo. ⚠️

If you use a shampoo with residue, that residue can’t “escape” like it does on non-dreaded hair. It will eventually build up, potentially causing your dreadlocks to mold. (Ew!) Also, the residues in shampoo lubricate the hair, which will prohibits your locs from knotting up. 

Use whichever brand of shampoo you’d like, as long as it’s residue-free. I personally prefer Dollylocks products.

2. Twist your individual dreads at the roots before getting in the shower. 🔀

This simply helps to gather all those little root-frizzys and expose your scalp for washing. 

3. Wash away! 🚿

Focus on the scalp, especially areas that are more prone to itchiness or dryness (like where your ponytail might gather). 

When I wash my dreads, I don’t really wash the dreads at all. It’s really more about cleaning the scalp.

4. Rinse well. 💦

You want to rinse that shampoo out as best as you can! Cold water works best for rinsing (but who likes doing that?!) 

5. Let those dreads dry! 🌬 

Do not put your hair in a ponytail until your dreads are completely dry. This can lead to mildew aka dread rot. 

Other Tips

  • It’s best to wash your dreadlocks at least once per week, but maybe more frequently depending on the time of year and your lifestyle. 

  • Your locs will likely become a little frizzy after washing them, particularly at the roots as they grow out. That’s normal, and that’s why it’s great to come in for regularly scheduled dreadlock maintenance to keep them lookin’ good. 

  • When you first get dreadlocks, you should be washing them once a week – it’ll help them mature! Just don’t work the dreads too much; focus on the scalp.

Dreadlocks in Sioux Falls

If you want to start dreadlocks, need maintenance, or want dreadlock extensions, contact me today