Dreadlocks are like trees.
They need nutrients, water, time and sunlight to grow.
Also like trees, they require consistency, so while your dreads are in its locking phase you must take care of them.
So, how to maintain dreads as they grow out?
This will keep your dreadlocks and scalp healthy and buildup free. Below, I’ll explain why these simple steps are important for your locs.
Rosewater And Natural Oil
Rosewater has many benefits for both your hair and dreads: they improve blood circulation to the scalp and promote hair growth. Further, they are one of the best and natural conditioner for your hair.
They are easily attainable since you can find them at your local drug or beauty store. One of my favourite and trusted brand is the Heritage Store Rose Petals Rosewater.
The application of natural oil depends on what your hair needs. For instance, people who suffer from dry scalp will need a mixture of oil comprising avocado or olive oil base.
As they are high in fatty acid and their primary function is to moisturize. Also, people who sweat and visits the gym often will need oils like peppermint and tea tree oils.
Don’t apply peppermint or tea tree oil directly on your scalp, always mix them with a carrier oil.
Create a mixture of your favourite oils in an applicator bottle. If you are new to dreadlocks and are unfamiliar with natural oils mixture, you can check out my post on the best oils for dreads.
Washing And Re-twisting
Contrary to popular belief, you need to wash your dreadlocks, and this also applies to starter locs. You should always maintain the same washing regime your hair is accustomed to.
Dirty hair will not lock the same way clean hair will. In fact, they slow down the dreading process altogether.
When I am washing my hair, I focus more on my scalp by giving it a gentle scrub. You can mix apple cider vinegar with the shampoo, but it is a bit extreme for me to use in every wash.
ACV dry out your hair and I already suffer from dry scalp. When I’m finished washing my scalp. I tend to my locs and often give my hair two washes so I can remove any buildup.
You can treat your hair to a hot oil treatment the night before, to further moisturize your dreadlocks.
Thoroughly, drying your dreads is a vital part after washing, you can blow dry or air dry. After your hair is nice and dry, you will need to add your natural oil mixture and re-twist if necessary.
Sleeping With Scarf at Night
Don’t underestimate this part of your maintenance because it is crucial to the process. By wrapping your hair at night prevent lint buildup which is very tricky to remove.
Because you can’t comb out as you can do with loose hair. A scarf also keeps re-twist fresh every morning.
ACV rinse is the Clorox of dreadlocks, it breaks all the greasy substances and softens your hair the process. As I mentioned, above, I suffer from dry scalp so I will treat my hair to an ACV rinse every three months.
If your dreads have build-up, you will need an ACV rinse regularly until your hair is free of gunk. Apple cider vinegar has many benefits: it contains an acetic acid that kills any bacteria or fungus in your dreads.
Remember, after every rinse moisturize your hair with something light like rosewater and for your scalp olive oil.
Here is a cheat sheet for maintaining your dreads as they grow. These tips are both beginners and mature, friendly.