Did you love the natural loc journey but now not like their stiffness? Want to know the reasons for it and how to soften stiff locs, then this article is for you.
The solution to soften the natural locs will be suitable for dreadlocks of any hair type, no matter how long you had them stiff—excited to explore? Let’s start!
Table of Contents
- How To Soften Stiff Locs? (Natural Hair)
- Reasons For Stiff And Hard Locs :
- Too Much Product Buildup :
- How To Soften Your Natural Dreads
How To Soften Stiff Locs? (Natural Hair)
Should Your Loc Be Hard Or Soft?
First of all, yes, naturally healthy hair locs are soft, bouncy, and lightweight. However, little firmness help the locs stay in shape, and roughness is perfectly fine because of the natural knots that form the dreads.
There is a difference between locs being a little rough but soft and hard and stiff.
Stiff and hard locs indicate damaged and improperly cared dreads. Want an in-depth analysis of reasons for stiff and hard locs? Keep reading!
Reasons For Stiff And Hard Locs :
Natural Hair Texture :
If your natural hair texture is thick and dry, chances are your natural locs are stiff and hard because of that. You don’t need to do anything to alter the hair texture but opt for the correct treatments that will optimize the texture and give some flow to the locs.
Wrong And Improper Care :
Over time, wrong or improper care cause dreadlocks to become stiff, hard, or sometimes lifeless.
The best examples of incorrect care are:
- Not covering your head while you sleep
- No moisturizing or hydration to dread
- Sleeping with wet hair
- Not protecting the locs from rain
- Neglecting doing palm rolling every 4 to 6 weeks
- Not washing dreads even after 2 weeks
- Not considering deep cleaning (which is recommended as a yearly care)
The incorrect care listed above, if continued, cause locs to catch debris and makes the locs hard over time.
Too Much Product Buildup :
At the initial loc stage, people use too much locking product or wax to lock the dreads and loose hair; it’s a common mistake. With time it builds up and makes the locs hard, coarse, and stiff.
Washing on time will be good for your scalp but also creates an encouraging environment for hair follicles to grow fuller, healthy hair. The residue-free shampoo is best in this case.
Accessories to help to get soften stiff locs :
It may be surprising to you, but yes, too many accessories can be the reason for stiff and rough patches throughout your loc. When after bead removal, if a stiff patch becomes permanent, it needs proper drying, treatment, and oil.
How To Soften Your Natural Dreads
Softening the dreads takes time and effort, but it will be hassle-free and become quick if you perform maintenance as scheduled.
Carrier oils are best as a base oil for hair and scalp treatment.
Why they are good: Carrier oils are rich in fatty acids and other nutrients. They can help to improve the overall health and appearance of dreadlocks by providing moisture, and nourishment, preventing dryness, and promoting growth.
Timing: Best applied after washing and drying your hair or as a pre-wash treatment.
Frequency: Can be used once a week or as needed.
Essential oils are best for extra scent and benefits.
Why they are good: Essential oils have antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. It helps to improve scalp health and prevent dandruff and other scalp conditions when you have locs.
Timing: Best added to carrier oils or other hair products before use or used as a scalp treatment before washing.
Frequency: Should be used in moderation, i.e., no more than a few drops at a time and not more than once or twice a week.
Some good essential oils for dreadlocks include tea tree oil (which can help prevent dandruff and other scalp conditions), lavender oil (which can soothe and calm the scalp), and peppermint oil (which can stimulate hair growth – read more about peppermint oil ).
Vegetable oils can be an excellent alternative to conditioners and styling products that provide moisture and nourishment to dreadlocks.
Why they are good: Vegetable oils are rich in vitamins, antioxidants, and other nutrients that can help strengthen and protect locs while improving their texture and shine. The best part is that vegetable oil also helps prevent hair breakage and split ends and promotes healthy loc growth.
Timing: Best used as a leave-in conditioner or styling product or applied before washing as a pre-wash treatment.
Frequency: Can be used daily or as needed to provide moisture and nourishment to dreadlocks.
When removing wax build up, vegetable oil is your best friend. It also reduces the chance of environmental debris getting stuck in your hair.
You can use all of the oils in the same order as mentioned at once on your dreadlocks as a daily conditioner. Curious to know the best oil to use on natural dreadlocks, click here.
If your dreads are dirty and stiff even with regular washing sessions, then you need to deep cleanse them. Baking soda and essential oils are best in this case. If you avoid deep cleansing, it can give your locs a matted hair and unkempt look.
To deep cleanse your dreadlocks using baking soda and essential oils, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- 1/2 cup baking soda
- 10-15 drops of your favorite essential oil (such as tea tree, lavender, or peppermint)
- 3 cups of warm water
Mix the baking soda and essential oils in a bowl.
Next, add the warm water to the same bowl. Mix everything until the baking soda has dissolved.
Once the mixture is ready, wet your dreadlocks thoroughly in the shower or sink. Make sure your hair is completely soaked with water.
Pour the baking soda mixture over your hair to saturate your dreadlocks completely.
Massage the mixture into your scalp and through your dreadlocks, working it in thoroughly.
Let the mixture rest in your hair for 10-15 minutes to penetrate it deeply to cleanse your hair.
Rinse your hair thoroughly with warm water to remove all the baking soda mixture from your hair.
You can follow up with a natural conditioner or apple cider vinegar rinse to further soften and moisturize your dreadlocks.
Repeat this process once a month or as needed to keep your dreadlocks clean and healthy.
This deep cleansing will help to remove buildup and dirt from your hair. The essential oils especially soften and moisturize your dreadlocks.
Thinking that 3 cups of warm water is not enough? Read below:
For every additional cup of water you use, add an additional 1/4 cup of baking soda to the recipe.
For every additional cup of water you use, add an additional 2-3 drops of essential oil to the recipe.
For example, if you’re using 6 cups of warm water instead of 3 cups, you would use:
1 cup baking soda (1/2 cup + 1/4 cup)
16-21 drops of essential oil (10-15 drops + 2-3 drops per additional cup of water)
By adjusting the recipe in this way, you can ensure that the baking soda mixture remains at the correct strength and that the essential oils are evenly distributed throughout the water.
Dreadlock butter is like a lotion or leave-in hair conditioner for your locs.
Dreadlock butter contains natural ingredients such as shea butter, coconut oil, and essential oils that nourish, hydrate and moisturize the dreads.
When you apply dreadlock butter to your hair, start at the ends with a small amount of product and work the way up toward the roots. Use your fingers to distribute the dreadlock butter on each of your evenly locs.
How often to apply and how long to apply: You can apply dreadlock butter once a week. If your locs are more damaged, you can apply it 2 to 3 times a week.
The best part is you can leave dreadlock butter as long as you want and for as little as 30 minutes to get its benefits.
One basic thing to do for How To Soften Stiff Locs is to rinse and wash locs with warm water (not very hot or boiling water). You may need extra shampoo to remove it from your hair.
Here’s LOC RE-TWIST | HOMEMADE LOC BUTTER | ALL NATURAL LOCS
Drink a lot of water for healthy locs. Also, you can use a spray bottle to mist your hair with water and then use your fingers to speared water on dreads to keep the locs hydrated and avoid stiffness.
Protein And Vitamins:
A healthy diet filled with protein and vitamins strengthens your body and helps it balance its hydration (pH). Great pH levels reflect through the hair’s health and its softness.
Wrapping it up:
Here ends my guide on how to soften stiff locs; you can incorporate these methods in your loc care to restore the softness and flexibility of your dreadlocks.
Stay tuned! We will upload the guide to soften loc extensions (faux locs), whether these are human hair loc extensions, synthetic loc extensions, or permanent loc extensions.