Dreadlocks have a long history dating back to at least 2500 BCE. In that time, they have been a part of spiritual and cultural practices in many different societies. Even today, they manifest an individual’s ethnic pride and deep spiritual convictions while also symbolising one’s understanding that physical appearance and vanity are insignificant.
Also known as locs, dreadlocks are rope-like hair strands formed by braiding or matting individual strands together. Growing dreadlocks takes time. Just because they don’t require regular trimming or brushing doesn’t mean they don’t need maintenance or care. If you’re committed to having dreadlocks, you have to understand that growing and maintaining them is quite different from managing other hairstyles.
Tips For Growing And Maintaining Your Dreadlocks
The good thing about locs is that they will continue to grow even with very little help from their owner, but if you want to do the job properly, the following will give you some tips on how to develop and maintain healthy, long dreadlocks.
Wash Your Hair
Washing is a crucial step in keeping your dreadlocks healthy, and there is a right way to do that. There are various opinions about how often you should wash dreadlocks, but it mainly depends on your hair type. For example, if you have naturally oily hair, you can go for an extended period without washing them.
You should avoid washing dreadlocks every day, whatever your hair type. It can strip them of the moisture they need, causing them to dry out and break. Remember that dreadlocks need moisture to sustain their firmness and strength. Otherwise, they will be more prone to split-ends, breakage, frizz or other forms of hair damage.
As a rough guide, wash your dreadlocks at least once a week. Use lukewarm water only, as a hot wash may cause them to break and frizz.
Keep Your Dreadlocks Residue-Free
To achieve the best results, use shampoo or hair products designed for dreads. Rinse them thoroughly, making sure that there’s no shampoo residue left in the dreads as it can cause drying and flaking.
If possible, use a residue-free shampoo and other hair products to keep your dreadlocks clean and tight. When residues build up in your locs, they make it hard for thicker dreadlocks to dry correctly. They can also cause itching and scalp irritations.
Dry Your Dreadlocks After Washing
Never leave your dreadlocks down and loose until they’re dry, and you shouldn’t go to bed with damp or wet dreads. Letting them stay moist on the inside could lead to them smelling like mildew; this is a sign that you’ve developed mildew growth or ‘dread rot.’ People often have to cut their dreads to deal with the problem, something you don’t want to happen to your gorgeous hair. If you have older and more mature dreads, it will generally take them longer to dry as they tend to be more compact and thus retain moisture longer.
Start by squeezing all the excess water out of your dreadlocks after washing. Once you notice that you’re no longer getting steady drips, wring them out with a towel wrapped around the locs. You can continue drying them using a towel and the natural air, but using a hairdryer is an excellent alternative. Make sure you use low heat and speed settings or you could end up with dry, brittle and loose dreadlocks.
Moisturise Your Dreadlocks
If your hair is naturally oily, there’s no need to moisturise your locs every day, but you should apply moisturiser at some point to avoid breakage. Use a moisturising spray on your locs as often as is necessary to prevent frizz and snaps.
Another way to keep your dreadlocks healthy, vibrant and moisturised is by using a deep conditioning treatment. This encourages optimum hair growth and protects your locs effectively.
To make sure that they don’t lose moisture while you sleep, cover them with a wrap or satin cap. Unlike other fabrics, satin is gentle on your hair and helps maintain moisture in dreadlocks. You should avoid wrapping them in wool or cotton as these can strip the moisture from your locs and cause them to become loose.
When using moisturiser or deep conditioners, it’s best to avoid products containing sulphates and silicones. Sulphates can wash off your hair’s natural oils. Silicones, for their part, can create an insoluble coating on the hair that does not allow hydration to penetrate the hair’s shaft. Natural ingredients are always a better choice but take care not to overdo it with any product.
Growing long, healthy dreadlocks takes time, patience and the appropriate care. Whether you’re planning to grow dreadlocks or looking for ways to maintain them, we hope that these ideas can help you on your journey to having beautiful and vibrant locs.
If your hair is thinning and you’re worried that you may never be able to have dreadlocks, perhaps it’s time you talked with a Vinci Hair Clinic specialist. We help many clients with a wide range of hair concerns. We offer a free hair loss consultation at which you can get answers to all your questions. Go ahead and book one today!