How Do I Care for Long Dreadlocks?

Kaiser Castro

Without the correct maintenance, your long dreadlocks can develop into brittle rods of hair. Dreadlocks can easily be managed with the right technique and the appropriate hair products. Once you find the right combination of care and products, it will be a good idea to stick with this routine on a long-term basis. Taking care of long dreadlocks requires maintenance of the roots, correct washing and conditioning, and ensuring that the hair is protected during the night.

Proper care is necessary to maintain long dreadlocks.
Proper care is necessary to maintain long dreadlocks.

Each dreadlock will have roots that are not locked up. You'll have to promote the locking of the hair by grabbing each dread and rubbing it into the scalp. Keep rubbing until the dreads start to gnarl and knot together. Finer hair may need more rigorous rubbing or the assistance of a dreadlock wax.

After knotting the roots, wait a number of days before washing your hair. Then take up the habit of washing your hair and scalp about once every week after that. Washing your hair too often will cause build-up from a dry and scaly scalp to occur. If you normally participate in a sport or an activity where you are sweating profusely, then rinsing the hair with water mixed with some baking soda will help to control any scalp problems. The baking soda will minimize sebum, residue, and promote a clean scalp.

The texture of the dreadlocks will cause lint and different debris to cling to it. Lint can easily be imbedded in long dreadlocks, making them dirty. Pay close attention to pieces of clothing that will give off lint, particularly those with frizzy textures. Before going into bed, ensure that you remove any lint on the long dreadlocks so that it does not become further embedded.

Your nighttime ritual should include attention, love, and care to your dreadlocks, as they can brush up on your neck causing discomfort, as well as snatch onto things while tossing and turning in bed. Tying down your long dreadlocks with a snag-free hair tie will help to prevent these obstacles. The longer your hair, the more chance it has of snagging onto things while you sleep. Covering your dreadlocks with a satin shawl or using a satin pillowcase will also guard them from friction.

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