How To Clean Gunk Out Of Dreads? Tips And Tricks

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Remember my friend who hasn’t wash his hair for five months, because he was part of a neglecting lifestyle? Well, I’m happy to report that his dreads are gunk free.

Dirty dreadlocks are not a cause of concern. However, attend to the situation immediately. Contrary to popular belief, not all dread heads are stinky and suffer from poor hygiene.

Over, 90% of people with dreadlocks wash their hair on a regular basic. So, in this post, I explain what causes gunk and how to get rid of them.

What Causes Gunk In Dreadlocks?

Gunk is product build-up. Gunk is not lint or hair bulb.

The texture is sticky and sometimes smells.

There are many causes of gunk in your dreadlocks, but most of the time it results from wax, using too many products, and poor washing.

Wax: In the 2000s wax was a staple for every starter locs it was used in all the salons. I also use wax for a few months while my dreads were locking, only to discover a gunky disgusting substance oozing out of my locs.

Wax creates the perfect breeding grounds for mould and mildew. So, don’t get caught up with manufacture’s gimmick of wax as it just gives you the illusion that your hair is locked.

To many products

While I promote the use of conditioner in mature dreadlocks, this too can cause gunk. Most conditioners on the shelf are designed for loose hair. This means they are thick, and some may contain chemicals and additive.

However, products like Dollylocks conditioner oil have all the properties to help restore brittle hair without leaving build-up. You can mix it with water to further dilute the product for peace of mind.

Poor Washing Schedule

It is a good habit to wash your dreads once a week, but you can adjust it to whatever works for you. Any longer than two weeks can cause a build-up of sebum in your scalp, a natural oil you produce.

Sebum feels sticky and greasy, and it can get tangled in your dreadlocks creating layers of gunk. Some people produce a lot of sebum and may have to wash their hair more than once a week to keep it at bay.

Now, the million dollars question- how to clean gunk out of dreadlocks?

ACV Rinse

ACV rinse for dreadlocks

An ACV rinse is one of the miracle treatment to help get rid of the gunk in your dreadlocks. Most of the time one session will not get rid of everything, but it is a start. Since the rinse (more like soak)softens and draws out any product build-up.

The ingredients comprise apple cider vinegar, baking soda, water and lemon juice (optional). The exact instruction is in this video here. Also, don’t do this treatment every day as the baking soda is very invasive and may leave your dreadlocks dry and brittle.

I recommend treating your dreadlocks to an ACV rinse 2-3 times a year to be on the safe side.

Clarifying Shampoo

Clarifying shampoo is a must-have in every household as it gets rid of sebum and product buildup. There are tons of brands available because unlike many other dreadlocks products, it works for every hair type.

Like the Neutrogena Anti-Residue Clarifying Shampoo or any of the Dolly locks products. These are two of my favourite, and it will help keep your dreadlocks residue-free.

Peppermint, Tea Tree And Lavender Treatments

An essential oil blend with olive, peppermint, tea tree and lavender is a natural way to get rid of any mould and bacteria in your dreads. Because of their anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties, they can stop the growth of mould.

Gunk, is the ideal place for bacteria. This can lead to dread rot, which can destroy your locs if not dealt with immediately.

Apply this mixture regularly after you are finished with your ACV rinse as it can soothe an itchy scalp and kill mould.

To sum, stay away from products like wax and thick cream as they can cause a build-up of gunk. Also, maintain a healthy washing schedule that is the best for your hair.

An ACV will get rid of any build-up in your dreads, and a clarifying shampoo is a must-have to achieve residue-free hair. Furthermore, you can kill any mould and mildew with peppermint, tea tree, and lavender oil mixture.

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