Having clean dreads is very important, so the longest you can go without washing your dreadlocks are- two weeks.
I had a friend who went for five months without washing his dreads as part of a neglecting lifestyle. He claims that it helped with the locking process. However, he used nothing in his hair except for coconut oil.
He experienced a lot of sebum and gunk, so I introduce him to an AVC rinse, and after two washes, his dreads were almost clean. Even if your dreads appear clean on the outside, inside there is dirt, gunk and buildup.
This was a bit of a case study for me.
What Happens If You Don’t Wash Your Dreads For Months?
Even if you put nothing in your dreadlocks, you will still have a build-up of sebum.
Sebum is a natural oil your scalp produce that make your hair look greasy. So if you don’t wash your dreadlocks for months, you will feel and look dirty. The good news is clarifying shampoo can get rid of this and clean your scalp.
Now, if you are adding oils and other products to your hair, it will combine with your scalp sebum. This increase build-up and slow down your hair locking process.
How To Clean Your Dreads After Months?
If you haven’t wash your dreads for months, you will need to separate them first. The build-up will have the new growth matted together, so it is easier to pull them apart before washing.
Have someone help you wash your hair to soften the gunk, then soak your dreads in an ACV rinse. After, you’ll need to finish with a peppermint and tea tree treatment.
Shampoo and (conditioner- optional) your dreads and apply a homemade natural oil mixture to your scalp.
Increase Washing Days
There is a test you can try to understand how your hair works and when it’s time to wash. If you used to wash your dreadlocks twice a week than extend it to a week.
Inspect your hair and note any sebum build-up. Is your scalp itchy? Can you wait for another three days? When you find a washing schedule, that works for you. Stick with it.
To help with an itchy scalp while extending your washing time, mix two tbsp of apple cider vinegar to a cup of water. In an applicator bottle, apply to your scalp.
Essential oils like peppermint and tea tree can help increase your gap between washing. Because they contain anti-fungal and antibacterial properties, they can soothe an itchy scalp.
Personally, I can wait two weeks without washing my hair but with help from the apple cider vinegar mix.
How Long Should I Wait To Wash My Dreads After A Retwist?
With dreads, the longest you can wait to wash your hair after a retwist is again two weeks. To keep your hair neat, you can use a stocking cap.
I was happy to help a friend get rid of five months of build-up, it was challenging, but I love his results. There is still some gunk along his locs however, after a couple of ACV rinses his hair was build-up free.