Tips for Dreadlocks Care and Maintenance

Dreadlock is a signature style for the Rastafarian look. This is often associated with the reggae culture in music, infused with a bit of alternative rock. You may see popular celebrities like Bob Marley, members of Korn and Jason Momoa display their long dreadlockswhen performing. This hair style is more than just another way of fixing the hair because it also mirrors individuality and a unique fashion statement. Even if dreads are more popular for men, there are also a lot of women who are daring enough to have their tresses done in dreads.

dreadlocks pictures
dreadlocks picture

Dreadlocks Hairstyles require a special kind of caring compared to the typical free-flowing hair. Washing, drying and fixing is a bit more tedious but it is all worth it.

If you have just recently had your dreadlocks done, it is very important to resist the urge to wash it right away. Let it stand for about two weeks so you would not end up ruining the locks. At first, your scalp would not be accustomed to infrequent washing. However, it would also naturally adjust over time. After the two-week period, your dreadlocks are more secure. You can then wash your hair every 4 to 6 days.

Girls Dreadlocks
Girls Dreadlocks

When shampooing your dreads, be very careful not to pull the wounded locks. Using just the tips of your fingers to rub the roots is the best way to go. You shampoo should not be too bubbly either. Opt for the ones which do not leave to much residue because this might promote more dandruff.

Water for washing your hair should not be too hot. Lukewarm is the best choice because this would make it easier to remove dirt and oil. If your water is too hot, the wax and other styling products which you used for your dreadlocks will melt too and cause your style to loosen.

After washing, it is best to use a blanket or bed sheet rather than a towel. Blankets and sheets are bigger so it can absorb more water. Plus, these do not usually have the lint which towels can leave on your dread head.

Dreadlocks do not have to always look untidy. With proper caring, it is possible to stay looking neat and smelling good too. Make sure that you have the right tools which can keep your dreads clean and tightly wound.

If you would like to back comb your hair, refrain from using elastic or rubber bands. The strands have the tendency to wind and be pulled by these. Knitted scrunchies and cloth bands are more appropriate.

Dreadlocks for women
Dreadlocks for women

Using palm rolls and petroleum-free dread wax will help in maintaining the neatness of each strand of dreads. As your hair starts to grow, you will notice loose strands by the roots. Retouching these will avoid the extremely messy look.

To maintain your dreadlocks for a long period of time, it is necessary to drop by a specialized salon which provides excellent care for such style. They will weave in loose ends, repair dishevelled strands and apply product which will tighten your dreads. With the help of the stylists and some caring techniques on your own, your dreadlocks will always look amazing.

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  • Kat Barnett

    I have had dreadlocks for 8 years now and I just want to clear some things up. It is a common misconception that Rastafarian is a “style” but this is incorrect. Rastafarianism is a real recognized religion and should be respected thusly.. Having said that does not mean you must convert to have dreadlocks but you have to understand their history (which actually started in Asia) to completely and truly appreciate them. I have one other thing to say, and that is yes, upkeep of your dreads will make sure they are not messy but you must be able to endure the untamed nature of dreadlocks. Too frequent rolling for perfection and neatness will weaken your locks and possibly (strongly leaning towards possible) thin your hair especially along the edge (most especially the temples) so please take good care of them, and if possible go to a salon for your first twisting, it saves A LOT of pain later. :-)

  • Dawn Sandahl

    This is the worst advice I have every heard for dreads. I’ve had them for 4 years. Here is my recipe for success with white hair. 1. section off and back-comb (rat) until you have puff balls. 2. Wash whenever the hell you want and however often you want, and you can use a towel (WTF?). 3. DO NOT USE WAX. It will never come out and it actually hinders the tangling (tightening) process. It’s like putting plaster on the outside. 4. In about 6 weeks, they should be pretty tight 5. Clean hair dreads better than greasy hair. 6. Loose bits can be pulled back in with a tiny crochet hook used for making lace. Like 1mm or smaller. 7. You can comb them out, too! Go to get_up_dread_up on livejournal group for positive energy and advice!

  • Hotshot t

    Before I go further, i’m asking ONLY those who know how you can make them and take care of them, i’m not asking your opinion on them!

    How do you make your hair into dreadlocks and take care of them, keep them clean? What shampoos do you use?

    Does it matter what kind of hair you have to get them?

    Is it true that black widows and lice will get in them?! O_o
    Oh! And I am a girl! :)

  • Mackenzie P

    I’ve had dreadlocks since last April (2009).
    I LOVE my dreads and anyone who tells me to just let them grow out and get rid of them because they’re nasty and gross – you’ll get a thumbs down.
    I went to a salon and had them done professionally and she used the crochet method.
    Unfortunately, working 2 jobs and having her salon so far away, I have not gone back to have my roots redone. I’ve been looping them through the roots whenever my hair starts to grow out (about once a month or so).
    I’ve noticed that the bottom half of my dreads are dreading beautifully, but the top 2 inches that have grown out since I got them done look like braids and they’re not dreading!
    I’ve been trying to undo the roots, but since they’ve been looped for the last several months, I’m not having much luck getting them unlooped so I can properly dread them :(
    Is there a way of backcombing the looped part of my dreads to loosen some hairs and palm roll them around to cover up the roots?????

    Any help or tips is REALLY appreciated as I’m very very frustrated right now.

  • TommyKay

    Okay, so I’m thinking very strongly of getting dreadlocks, and I want them just like Sharon Bailey’s dreadlocks form the band ‘Amazulu’.
    If you don’t know who she is, she is the one in this video that bangs the pots on the house (not the lead singer, but the other Jamaican woman). This song is also SUUUUPER good, so you should take a look…

    Anyways, I want my dreads to look exactally like hers, but her hair looks extremely thick, and my hair is not thick, but not thin. Would the dreadlocks not look as full on me? Also, what size do they look like?


  • Joey 01

    I have two dreads in my hair. i will be putting more in when it gets longer. I plan on doin natural dreads. which simply means i will not use harsh chemicals or products to form them.

  • Jeffery Carlson

    I’m going to a salon that does dreadlocks because I’m terrified of doing them myself. I want to get pretty thin/skinny ones. What are they going to do? What do I want to know about dreadlocks?