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GHD: Caring for your dreadlocks – Part 1

(Source: Blackerotica, via raysymone)

Locks are gorgeous.  I love them, but I don’t want to wear them.  It’s just a personal choice for me.  I love my hair free and because of this I truly don’t know much about them.  I admire them from afar and often wonder about the upkeep but I do remain in the dark about them.  This is supposed to be a Natural hair blog about just that…Natural hair and there is just so much variety!  I plan on getting the necessary knowledge on all forms for you as well as for me.  Expect to hear more about Locks as well as other Natural styles during the remainder of the year.

I had to stop by the Good Hair Diaries again to get the 411 on Locks since she had a great article discussing their upkeep.  Enjoy!

 What are dreadlocks?

Dreadlocks or locks as I prefer to call them, are twisted and matted ropes of hair. They can form naturally through the matting process that happens when hair is not brushed or combed, or they can be intentionally formed with combs and locking products.

Cleansing your locks

Matured locks should be washed at least once week just like any other type of hair. Healthy hair needs a clean scalp to grow from. I would recommend using a moisturizing shampoo weekly focusing all your attention on the scalp. Please don’t rub and scrub the length of your locks with shampoo. Be sure to rinse the shampoo out thoroughly each and every time.

Hot Oil Treatments

Hot oil treatments after each wash is essential for preventing dry and brittle locks. It also prevents drying and flaking of the scalp which results in scratching the scalp. When we scratch our scalp we essentially damage it. Healthy hair can not grow from a damaged scalp. Treat your scalp and the length of your locks to a hot extra virgin coconut oil treatment. It not only smells absolutely divine, but coconut oil happens to penetrate the layers of the hair shaft making the hair stronger and shinier. Try any natural oil and I guarantee you will love the feel and look of your locks.

Drying your locks

This has to be one of the most important parts of caring for your locks. Matted and twisted hair has the ability to hold a lot of water. If the locks do not dry properly bacteria and mold could begin to grow. This will yield an unpleasant smell and may result in overall hair loss. Be sure to squeeze your locks with a dry clean towel after washing. Get as much water out as you can and either air dry or sit under a hooded dryer. Allow your locks to hang loose and don’t tie them up during the drying process. If you do develop a smell and suspect their might be mold in your dreads, try some of the following remedies:

  • Rinse your locks with original Listerine. The smell will not disappear immediately, but with repeated use the Listerine will kill the bacteria and the smell along with it.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar (my favorite choice) rinse can also be used at a 2:1 ratio with water. This rinse will also combat shedding and dandruff!
  • Witch hazel and water (2:1 ratio) will also get rid of the smell over time.

“Blessing your locks” (Touch-ups)

Some people prefer to allow their locks to grow and move as it pleases, and others like to get roots touched up every so often. It’s up the individual and their preferences. Be sure to use products that are especially made for locked hair. I do not recommend using gels since they flake and end up look unsightly for the most part. It is best to use products with ingredients that will naturally melt into the hair and wash away easily. I’m a fan of JO’M Beeswax with Shea Butter that has a light smell and melts away nicely with medium hold. I try to always use this product when dealing with clients.

Always be sure that your locks are not re-twisted to tight or styled too tightly. This can lead to traction alopecia and general hair loss. Be gentle with your hair!

I’ll be sure to post her Part 2 when it gets posted and I hope this has been as informative for you as it as been for me.  I had to discuss it after I had Biafra on Monday.  Her locks are lovely, aren’t they?

Stay informed Naturals,


Leave a Reply


  1. Barb
    September 27, 2012 / 3:36 pm

    I am in the process of taking down my waistlength Sisterlocks but I am having quite the time. The process is extremely tedious but I refuse to cut them so that I can maintain as much length as possible.

    Does anyone know what I can do to make it easier and faster to take down my hair?

    • January 4, 2013 / 10:53 pm

      I don't have a clue and I don't envy you that task. I have heard that if they are under 3 years old they can be combed out but that is my only knowledge on that. I apologize for not have more info.