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How to Properly Wash Dreadlocks: Step-by-Step (2024)

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how to wash dreadsAre you ready to take the plunge and get dreadlocks? Congrats! You’re about to embark on an amazing journey.

Washing frequency depends on how mature they are: daily for new ones, weekly for established locks.

  • Choose a shampoo suitable for locs.
  • Use conditioner only if needed.
  • Avoid blowdryers.
  • Address odor problems with deep cleanses if necessary.
  • Finish off with additional tips from experienced hairstylists like Dionne Smith and Jennie Roberts.

Make sure that your precious locs stay in top shape by following these guidelines – it’ll pay off!

Key Takeaways

  • Wash new locks daily and mature locks every 7-10 days.
  • Choose a suitable shampoo and conditioner that do not leave residue or contain wax.
  • Avoid blow dryers and opt for air drying or use a microfiber towel.
  • Use clarifying shampoo and an apple cider vinegar rinse to address odor and deep cleanse occasionally.

How Often Should You Wash Your Dreadlocks?

How Often Should You Wash Your Dreadlocks
When it comes to washing dreadlocks, the frequency of washing depends on how mature your dreads are. For mature locks, experts recommend that you wash them every 7-10 days to prevent dirt and buildup. On the other hand, new or baby locks should be left alone initially as they set so that they can tighten up naturally; however, exceptions may need to be made if there is itchiness or oiliness present.

Washing Frequency for Mature Dreadlocks

Mature dreadlocks should be washed every 7-10 days to keep them clean and healthy, with an even higher frequency recommended for those leading active lifestyles. A few tips to maintain your locs: shampoo regularly; consider a hot oil treatment; use clarifying products like ACV shampoo or activated charcoal and keratin shampoo; apply natural oils instead of spray-on products.

Washing Frequency for New/Baby Dreadlocks

Newly formed locs usually require less frequent washing than mature dreadlocks, so adjust your routine accordingly. New dreadlock maintenance depends on the individual’s lifestyle and hair needs: an active person may need to wash their baby locs every week or two while someone with a more sedentary lifestyle may be able to wait longer between washes.

Frequency Description
Every 2 weeks Light cleansing & conditioning treatment for new/baby locks in active lifestyles

How to Properly Wash Dreadlocks?

How to Properly Wash Dreadlocks
Taking care of dreadlocks requires the right shampoo and a step-by-step washing process. You may also need to address itchy scalp or dandruff issues, so understanding how to properly wash dreads is essential for clean, healthy hair and scalp.

With expert advice from hairstylists Jennie Roberts and Dionne Smith on hand, you can learn how often you should be washing your locs as well as the best products for keeping them looking their best.

Choosing the Right Shampoo for Dreadlocks

When washing your dreadlocks, carefully select a residue-free shampoo to keep them looking vibrant and bouncy like fresh daisies! For optimal hair health, use clarifying shampoos that are specifically designed for dreads.

Opt for natural oils instead of spray-on products to prevent dryness and scalp itchiness.

Avoid using wax on locks as this can cause greasy buildup over time.

Consider activated charcoal or keratin shampoos which help restore natural shine without residue build up.

Ensure you take the necessary precautions when choosing a product so your cleaning routine does not damage your locs but rather nourishes them with each wash!

The Step-by-Step Washing Process

You can keep your dreadlocks looking their best by following a step-by-step washing process tailored to your individual lifestyle and needs.

Begin by wetting the locs thoroughly before shampooing with a residue-free, clarifying dreadlock shampoo.

Gently massage the scalp and locs while lathering twice for optimal results.

Follow up by conditioning evenly, then rinse off completely. Squeeze out water using an EMIKO Microfiber Hair Towel for best results.

Wrap the locs in soft towels when drying naturally or use essential oils to prevent odors from developing over time.

With proper care, such as this routine, you’ll be able to maintain clean locks free of buildup!

Addressing Itchy Scalp and Dandruff

To keep your dreadlocks looking their best, address any itchy scalp or dandruff issues with gentle care. Massage a moisturizing shampoo into the scalp to relieve discomfort and reduce flakes.

To prevent dryness and further irritation, use natural oils on the hair instead of sprays or waxes that may cause buildup over time.

For more intense hydration needs, consider deep conditioning treatments like hot oil treatments which will leave your locs feeling softer than ever before!

Should You Use Conditioner on Your Dreadlocks?

Should You Use Conditioner on Your Dreadlocks
Though conditioner is traditionally used in hair care, many hairstylists suggest avoiding it when caring for dreadlocks to reduce buildup. One interesting statistic to note is that using conditioner on your dreadlocks can result in up to 30% more tangles and knots than usual.

To reap the benefits of conditioning without the buildup, consider alternative methods such as natural oils or a hot oil treatment for moisture management. Product recommendations should be tailored specifically towards holistic hair care solutions like ACV shampoo and coconut/avocado oil conditioners, which are free from waxes and residues that cause unwanted greasiness or build-up over time.

To keep your dreaded locks looking their best with minimal effort, use clarifying shampoos regularly while avoiding spray-on products, which can lead to dryness and scalp itchiness instead of healthy hydration levels.

Consider investing in quality microfiber towels too; these help reduce drying time by half while also enhancing natural curl shape – perfect if you’re prone to frizzing! Lastly, remember that prevention is key: regular washing will go a long way towards keeping mildew away from your lovely locs!

How to Dry Dreadlocks Properly?

How to Dry Dreadlocks Properly
When it comes to drying your dreadlocks, avoiding hair dryers is essential. There are several techniques you can use to ensure that your dreads are fully dry and free of residue.

Avoiding Hairdryers

After washing your dreadlocks, avoid using hairdryers to prevent damage and keep them looking their best. Air drying is the preferred method for drying locs as it prevents frizz and preserves natural oils while avoiding any heat damage.

Microfiber towels are a great option for hands-free air drying; they cut down on time and reduce the risk of developing an unpleasant odor caused by wet hair not being dried properly.

Natural oil products can also be used to help control frizz, protect from environmental pollutants, and add shine without weighing down dreadlocks or creating buildup.

Taking these extra steps will ensure healthy-looking locs that last!

Drying Techniques for Fully Dry Dreadlocks

Once you’ve washed your dreadlocks, it’s important to ensure they’re fully dry before sleeping or styling. To do this, consider using a microfiber towel for hands-free drying that’ll help reduce frizz and split ends.

Air drying is another great option but can be time-consuming. If possible, try pinning them up in the sun or fanning them with a magazine!

For any type of dreadlock maintenance routine, it’s essential to make sure all excess water has been removed from your locs to avoid mildew and other buildup.

When done correctly, proper hair care techniques like these will keep your locks looking fresh and hydrated while avoiding wax products that cause greasy buildups over time.

With consistent practice of these methods for drying dreadlocks properly, you’ll soon find yourself on the path towards healthy locs!

How to Address Odor in Dreadlocks?

How to Address Odor in Dreadlocks
Dreadlocks may become smelly if not washed regularly, but luckily there are ways to address the odor. To keep your dreads smelling fresh and clean, it’s important to practice good hygiene habits as well as use odor control products.

  • Odor Elimination: Use a clarifying shampoo specifically designed for dreadlocks every 7-10 days or more often if needed. This will help get rid of any build-up that can cause odors in the hair. Additionally, try using an apple cider vinegar rinse before washing with a mild shampoo to further eliminate odors from sweat or dirt buildup on the scalp and roots.
  • Hygiene Habits: It’s also important to maintain proper hygiene when wearing dreads by keeping them dry after swimming or sweating excessively so bacteria doesn’t grow in damp areas of the scalp, causing foul smells over time.
  • Freshening Techniques: Utilize natural oils like coconut oil, avocado oil, jojoba oil, etc. between washes – these serve both moisturizing properties while reducing unpleasant scents too! Spraying light fragrances such as essential oils onto locs can add pleasant aromas without irritating the skin like many chemical perfumes do.

How to Deep Cleanse Your Dreadlocks?

How to Deep Cleanse Your Dreadlocks
To deep cleanse your dreadlocks, give them a thorough scrub with a clarifying shampoo and conditioner to remove any residue or buildup.

  1. Try using an apple cider vinegar rinse as it helps to balance pH levels of the scalp and hair strands while removing excess dirt and grime from within the locks.
  2. Consider steam treatments which help open up cuticles, allowing easier access for product application and absorption into the hair shafts while promoting healthy growth in locs over time.
  3. Use essential oils like peppermint oil or lavender oil on the scalp after washing to provide additional moisture retention benefits without leaving behind waxy residues that can cause build-up issues later down the line when left unchecked.

For optimal odor prevention, wash dreadlocks at least once every week with mild shampoos free of harsh chemicals; this will keep them feeling fresh longer between washes too! If you find yourself dealing with excessive dryness due to frequent laundering sessions, then opt for natural oils instead as they won’t weigh down locks nor leave a greasy film on hoodies or pillows during sleepovers either!

Lastly, don’t forget about regular maintenance such as trimming split ends, which makes all other efforts put forth towards achieving healthier-looking locs worthwhile!

Recommended Products for Washing Dreadlocks:
When it comes to washing dreadlocks, there are several products that can be used for the best results. Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo and Coconut/Avocado Oil Conditioner Pack are great options for providing nourishment and hydration to your locks.

Activated Charcoal & Keratin Shampoo is effective at removing buildup, while WOW Hair Revitalizer adds shine and softness without wax or other greasy substances.

Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo and Coconut/Avocado Oil Conditioner Pack

Try out an Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo and Coconut/Avocado Oil Conditioner pack for a deep cleanse of your dreads, leaving them nourished and healthy. The natural oils in the conditioner help control frizz, while the Steam Treatment for Locs is great for keeping dreadlocks hydrated.

Get value bundles with best sellers like EMIKO Microfiber Hair Towels – perfectly sized for hands-free drying! Keep your loc journey maintenance on track with regular shampooing and conditioning to prevent odor build-up.

Activated Charcoal & Keratin Shampoo

Unlock the potential of your dreadlocks with an activated charcoal and keratin shampoo for a deep cleanse and nourishment that promotes softer, stronger locks. This potent combination of ingredients helps draw out toxins and buildup from the scalp while also hydrating the hair strands.

Hair is left feeling refreshed without stripping away essential oils or drying it out.

WOW Hair Revitalizer

Experience the benefits of WOW Hair Revitalizer with its blend of natural oils and extracts that help nourish your dreadlocks while locking in moisture, leaving them soft, shiny, and revitalized.

With its unique formula containing activated charcoal, which helps to detoxify hair follicles for a deeper cleanse than ever before – up to 20% better than regular shampoos – you can be sure your locs are getting all the love they need!

Wow Hair Revitalizer helps restore hydration to dry locks while adding shine.

Dreadlock Hydration enhances strength and elasticity with natural oils and extracts.

Natural Hair Oils seal in moisture and reduce frizz for smooth-looking dreadlocks.

Preventing Dryness, the product detoxifies hair follicles without harsh chemicals or stripping agents for holistic hair care solutions.

Additional Tips for Dreadlock Care and Maintenance

Additional Tips for Dreadlock Care and Maintenance
Take care of your dreads with these additional tips to ensure they stay healthy and hydrated. Regularly moisturize them using natural oils such as coconut or avocado oil. This will help keep them soft and prevent drying out.

Pay close attention to your scalp’s health by addressing any itchy spots or dandruff issues gently. Consider a holistic approach when taking care of your dreadlocks. Use essential oils for hydration and revitalization.

Explore WowSkinScience’s offerings for hair and skin solutions. Read blogs on expert advice about maintaining dreadlocks in the long-term. Manage shed hairs that may have become knotted up within the locs. Don’t be tempted to pull at knots as this can cause damage.


It’s no secret that dreadlocks require special care to maintain their health and cleanliness. As the saying goes, A stitch in time saves nine – and it’s true for dreadlocks too! With the right shampoo, conditioning, and drying technique, you can keep your dreads looking their best.

Follow the steps outlined in this article to properly wash and maintain your dreadlocks. From the frequency of washing to using the right products, you now have all the tools to keep your dreads looking beautiful and healthy.

With regular upkeep and care, you can keep your dreads looking their best for years to come!

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Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is a published author and software engineer and beard care expert from the US. To date, he has helped thousands of men make their beards look better and get fatter. His work has been mentioned in countless notable publications on men's care and style and has been cited in Seeker, Wikihow, GQ, TED, and Buzzfeed.