Natural Dreadlock Care and Maintenance

We have great respect and nostalgia for dreadlocks. Kandra’s husband had dreadlocks for 20 years. He cut them off when the children were grown as a symbol of a new chapter in his life. The internet wasn’t around to provide all the answers back then, so they learned the hard way how to keep his locks clean and nourished.  We want to make it easier for anyone with locks and let you know that we can help; here are some tips for proper Dreadlock care.

First, a little Dreadlock History (because we’re a fan of history, and it really does make everything more interesting):

Over the past few decades, it seems that dreadlocks have been associated with all things Jamaica to the point where most people think Jamaican’s invented locks, but that is not the case.

Natural Dreadlocks Care Tips

The earliest evidence of dreadlocks dates back as far as 2500 B.C. when “The Vedas”, Hinduism’s oldest scriptures depict the Hindu God wearing locks. Ancient Egyptians also wore locks, which appeared in drawings, tomb carvings, and other artifacts. Mummified bodies have been recovered with their locks still intact.  Dreadlocks can be traced to almost every civilization in history, no matter the race, you will find a connection to having dreadlocks for spiritual reasons.

Today dreadlocks can be created several ways with the “comb twist” method being the most popular. On average the locking process takes 3-6 months with comb twisting and after about 2 years the locks become mature. There are “sisterlocks” that resemble micro braids and are typically worn by women. There are “brotherlocks” that are slightly thicker than sisterlocks and are typically worn by men. And much thicker than both of those are the “traditional” locks that feel heavier but require less upkeep. 

Tender Loving Dreadlock Care

If you have dreadlocks, proper care is essential to keeping them amazing and tight. Here are some tips to keep your dreadlocks manageable and great looking, and we’ve packaged up a collection of our natural products to make tending to your locks a snap.

Wash your locks regularly:

When you first get locks, wait a few weeks until washing them. But then be consistent and wash them once every one to two weeks. Washing your locks with the right shampoo is essential to keeping them tight. You will need to have a natural shampoo that won’t leave any residue after rinsing. We suggest our Coconut Tea Natural Shampoo Bar.  It’s loaded with hair and scalp loving herbs and essential oils, and it rinses clean.

It’s also a good idea to treat your locks and scalp with nourishing herbs with an herbal hair rinse. Simply infuse the herbs in apple cider vinegar (which helps combat rinsing issues in hard water) or steep a strong tea. A vinegar rinse can be applied as a “conditioner” and then washed out. If using a strongly brewed tea, rinse the tea through your locks multiple times before you dry them.

Dry your locks thoroughly:

If you don’t have time to let them air dry completely, use a hairdryer on low heat. Make sure they are completely dry before trying them or bunching them together.  Leaving them damp will encourage mildew and other nasties in your lovely dreads.  This will cause them to stink (it’s called “dread rot” and it’s not a pleasant thing by any means).

  • As soon as you turn off the shower or get out of the water, wring them out, start higher up and work your way down. Wait 10 seconds or so and you will realize they are full of water again, wring them out again, you may have to repeat the process 3 or 4 times until you don’t get steady drips.
  • Next, wrap them in a towel so it can absorb some of the water; leave it on for about 10 minutes.
  • After that, use a hairdryer to finish the drying process. If you live in a warm climate, you can avoid the hairdryer and spend the afternoon in the sun!

You can also buy a “dread dryer” which is a hairdryer made for dreads. We’ve never used a dread dryer, but if you have, let us know if you recommend them or not.

Massage your scalp:

Massage your scalp every day. Not only is it relaxing but it will also stimulate hair growth.  If your scalp is dry, you can use our Miti Herbal Salve while you massage your scalp. It will help lock in moisture to prevent dryness and nourish your scalp with the infused herbs and essential oils.

Don’t retwist too often:

It can create breakage and thinning at the root. Our Miti Herbal Salve comes in handy when you do style and twist… it contains a dab of beeswax and hair loving oils infused with hair nourishing herbs, and tea tree essential oil. It’s the perfect blend to nourish your dreads while locking them into place.

Practice night care:

Using a silk nightcap helps keep the moisture in your hair and protect it from pillow friction. Locks tend to shed a lot, so this will also help protect the edges and your scalp.

Be patient:

Maintaining dreadlocks is very different than maintaining other natural hairstyles.

  • Contrary to popular belief, clean dreads lock up and tighten faster than dirty dreads.
  • Combing is not necessary, stray hairs need to be tucked back into the dread so they can lock with the rest of the hair.
  • Dreadlocks look better and better over time. As they mature, they become tighter and smoother, so they will require less maintenance.

 Keep up the proper maintenance as they grow, and you will love the results!

Non-toxic Dreadlock Shampoo: The Alō Coconut Tea Bar.

We know that natural ingredients are important for your dreadlocks and choosing the right product for you also includes reading the labels. Here’s the low down on our Coconut Tea Natural Shampoo Bars so you can make an educated choice about what you use on your locks:

  • Like all our hair care products, this bar is Sulfate-Free, Silicone- Free, and Paraben-Free
  • The natural fluffy lather is created without foaming agents – they are formulated to naturally clean and condition your scalp while leaving hair healthy, soft, shiny, and clean.  
  • Here’s the full ingredient list:
    • Organic Coconut Oil: for a squeaky-clean non-toxic wash, loads of lather, and a touch of conditioning.
    • Citric Acid: from citrus fruits, allows this bar to wash away clean with no “soapy” residue, even in hard water.
    • Organic Rosemary, Lavender, Nettle, Comfrey, and Marshmallow Root: infused into each bar, this blend of organic herbs promotes strong hair and happy scalps.
    • Cedarwood, Lavender and Lemongrass Essential Oils: they not only smell amazing, but they also promote hair growth, can help balance oil-producing glands on the scalp, and can strengthen hair follicles.

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