Dreadlocks, the hairstyle that is associated with freedom.
Growing my dreadlocks was not easy. Mostly because my hair is quite soft in texture. Although it’s curly-a 3b hair it took a long time to loc.
Worse still, I didn’t know the right products to use.
While dreadlocks are fun, stylish and good looking, they need maintenance. When you haven’t done proper research about it, you might not develop good looking dreadlocks.
When I finally did my research and learned what my hair needed, I was hit by another bombshell. There aren’t many products geared towards taking care of dreadlocks.
It’s sad to say the least, that the beauty industry has not focused much on the dreadlocks products.
There are very few options for the dreadlock funs. Anyway, the article focuses on a few of the best products to try.
- Starts and maintains locks and twists
- Long lasting hold
- No build up
Washing and Conditioning the Locs
Growing up, I believed that people with locks didn’t wash their hair. Turns out that was just a misconception. We wash our hair because just like any kind of hair they get uncomfortable when dirty.
In fact, since the locks are thick, they tend to hold onto build-ups easily.
Because of the buildups, locs like any other hair requires you to use a clarifying shampoo. Notice that many shampoos that you use on your regular hair will leave residues in the dreadlocks.
This residue then builds up to form whitish color in the locks. Unfortunately, some shampoos posing as dreadlocks shampoo deposit residue on the locs.
Today we are showing some of the best shampoos to use.
1. Bb Tropical Roots Clarifying Shampoo
When you are looking for some of the cheapest shampoos, this product must come to mind. It’s, however, not only cheap it’s effective. It has a composition of Aloe Vera, oil and rosemary. Within a short while of using the shampoo, you will notice a difference in the dreadlocks.
They will be shiny, healthy-looking and shiny. Dreadlocks sometimes feel as though you haven’t washed them when you have. This shampoo works almost the same way as the clarifying shampoo. It thoroughly cleans the hair.
2. GIOVANNI Tea Tree Triple Treat Invigorating Shampoo
This shampoo is designed for all kinds of hair. I like that it works to cleanse the hair without leaving residue behind. In fact, it works as one of the top dreadlocks shampoos. The first time I used it, I felt as though I had been massaging my scalp.
With peppermint, your hair remains clean and cool. You will experience no drier and flakier scalp. Yet it doesn’t strip the hair of its natural oils. The good thing is that it will even work with hard water.
It encourages the shine and health of the hair. The shampoo is a blend of all the natural ingredients with which it unclogs the pores of your scalp. It can even work like a clarifying shampoo. I love the scent of freshness that it leaves on my hair.
I can assure you that the moment you begin using it you will be hooked.
3. Knotty Boy Dreadlock Shampoo Bar
Lucky for us that we at least have the knotty boy dreadlocks shampoo. This residue-free shampoo is particularly designed to help in washing dreadlocks. With its blend of peppermint, tea tree, and rosemary you have the product soothing your scalp.
It also nourishes and maintains the healthy growth of the dreadlocks. This is a different kind of shampoo since it comes in the form of bar soap. The natural ingredients particularly work to get rid of the itchy sensation.
It’s suitable for all hair types even though it poses as a dreadlocks shampoo. It also works for body cleansing. On the downside, there’s no indication as to whether it’s a sulfate-free shampoo.
Sulfate shampoos are a no no when you have dreadlocks because it strips the hair of their natural oils. It contains sulfate even though the manufacturer claims that it’s a nontoxic shampoo.
4. Bewild dread head Dreadlock Soap
Are you someone who has a sensitive scalp?
This shampoo/soap is yours for use. It contains no oils and perfume so you have no problem using it. The other thing is that it cleanses your hair perfectly and without leaving any form of residue.
The fact that it has no oily ingredients is ideal. This makes sure you don’t form buildup or weigh down the hair.
Unlike most other shampoos that don’t ease the dreading process, this one helps in maintaining the dreadlocks. It further enhances and maintains the tightness. Therefore, it’s the best shampoo for anyone starting out with the locks.
For those whose hair is already locked this will help you develop smooth locs that are easy to style.
5. Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle Shampoo & Conditioner
Sometimes buying the set makes your work easy but especially when both items are quality products. It cleans your hair as it protects your scalp. It’s made using the botanical ingredients that are just enriching.
It works for all kinds of hair and it doesn’t leave residue behind as it cleanses your hair. If you have mild dandruff this item will help to get rid of it. This works because it has a high level of tea tree oil.
It contains no sulfates that would rather rip your hair of its natural oils. I like a shampoo that lathers whether you have hard or soft water and this is that shampoo.
6. Avalon Organics Clarifying Lemon Shampoo
When you are buying your favorite shampoo, you need one that will act as a clarifying shampoo. It gives your hair a thorough clean while revitalizing it. Its work is to remove excess oil and product buildup.
It works great especially since its plant-based and it has essential oils. If you are feeling like the hair is dull and losing its original color, this is the shampoo for you to use. It will even smooth your split ends.
Tips When Buying the Shampoos
While there are shampoos designed and called dreadlocks shampoo, don’t be fooled by such terms. They are never all that good sometimes. Avoid using the regular shampoo meant for normal hair for your dreadlocks.
When buying the shampoo, you should avoid everything that will cause residue or product build up. Sulfates, silicone, and dyes are some of the ingredients to avoid in a shampoo.
Oily shampoos aren’t the best for you if you have dreadlocks. So, stay away from them.
While you may use apple cider vinegar and baking soda as a shampoo for your normal and regular hair, you shouldn’t use it on your dreadlocks. Baking soda is harsh to the hair and will strip it of its oils.
For a long time, I didn’t know that I could condition my dreadlocks. In fact, most of my stylists disregarded the need for conditioning the dreadlocks. Today I know that I must condition my locks.
Contrary to most beliefs, conditioning isn’t only meant to ease the combing process. You can use it to moisturize the hair as you nourish it as well.
So, dreads like any other hair, depend on the conditioner to make the healthy soft and strong. In fact, dreadlocks dry out faster than even the regular hair. This is why you need to condition it even more.
Even then, we must avoid anything that will cause residue build up. This includes moisturizing shampoos and shampoos with emollients and humectants. So, this is to say then that you don’t have to use the regular conditioners for the process.
The problem with most of those conditioners is that they are designed to suit the regular hair but never dreadlocks.
Products to use in conditioning locs
- Aloe Vera
For both the skin and hair, Aloe Vera has been voted for as one of the most effective products. For dreadlocks, it’s effective in moisturizing the hair and enhancing the locking experience.
For effectivity, mix the aloe gel with lemon juice. The fact that the Jamaican Rastafarians have used the product for ages is an indicator that it’s a great product. Within a short while, you will notice a very big difference with your hair.
- Coconut milk
This is another one of the most popular products for both the skin and hair. Remember, we aren’t talking of the liquid inside the coconut, rather the one you make from the coconut flesh. Not only is the milk nourishing, but it’s also moisturizing.
You can soak your hair in this milk for about an hour after which you can rinse it. Do this frequently to experience results.
In this case, we are particularly talking of shea butter. While they are effective, they can easily form build up as butter is heavy. So, if you are going to use the butter be careful to use other methods that resist build up.
- Avocado oil
For ages, avocado has been in use to also nourish the hair and I must say that It’s effective. If you can, therefore, find a leave in conditioner made of avocado oil use it. I like that it won’t stick on the surface of the hair.
7. Knotty Boy Dreadlock Conditioning Spray
If you are going to buy and leave in conditioner, make sure it’s light and easy to seep into the locks. Over time it will help in the replenishment of the moisture that the locks lose. It further makes you develop the smooth and frizz-free locks.
Forget about the dry and fragile locks because with this product you will strengthen your locks every day.
The good thing is that it contains no residue. Remember though to be patient through the process.
8. Argan oil conditioner
Another one of the purest all in one hair care treatment conditioner. This conditioner is particularly made with argan oil. It enhances the growth of their hair as they rejuvenate their scalp.
It works as a form of deep conditioning product and will add moisture as well as volume to the hair. It keeps you safe from allergic reactions but more so keeps your hair healthy.
If you haven’t yet made the locs yet and you plan to make them use it. It’s best to use it so that it strengthens the strands for what is to come. Dreadlocks tend to thin over time, this product will make sure it doesn’t thin. It will keep them free of the split ends.
I like that it’s made using a blend of natural oils
Can You Deep Condition Your Dreadlocks?
Yes, you can. It works just the same way you do with your natural hair. If possible, deep condition your locs every once in 2 weeks. Just make sure you use the right products that suit those with locs.
For a long time, I suffered from dry locs. I didn’t know how to maintain the locks so my locks became dry, fragile and frail. On researching, I found ways to revive my locs and they have never been the same.
But before you venture on this journey with me, I want you to confirm that its true you have dry locks. You see natural hair doesn’t always look shiny especially when it’s locked. The major problem is often discoloration by the sun.
Once you know that you have a problem with dryness, here is what you should do.
You can use the conditioner options suggested above more frequently. In addition, you may opt for the following home remedies
- Hot oil treatment
Hot oil treatment apparently works for all kinds of hair including dreadlocks. What I like most about it is that it will infuse moisture to your hair. You can do this once in a month.
Just saturate the locs and scalp with jojoba oil, avocado oil or coconut oil then sit under a dryer for 20 minutes. Next, rinse the hair and dry it out and you are good to go.
- Jojoba oil
This one will moisturize your scalp. It takes time but eventually you will see a difference in your dry hair. Nevertheless, when applying it, avoid the roots as that will keep the hair from locking.
Apart from the products here are the things to do to ensure you counter the dry locks problem
- Before buying the products, always check the labels
Your aim when buying dreadlocks products is to make sure that the hair doesn’t suffer from product build up. Therefore, buy only shampoos and conditioners that are residue-free.
Ingredients like mineral oil, alcohol and petroleum will dry your hair.
You should avoid wax as they contain ingredients that damage the locks eventually. Avoid paraffin wax and beeswax as they damage the hair.
The problem with wax is that they create build up and mix it with dirt into the locks. So, if you have to use it, ensure you use the clarifying shampoo for the cleansing of the hair.
- Don’t color
While color is amazing at the time when you have just applied it, they have adverse effects to you locs over time. Coloring the hair means subjecting it to different chemicals. These chemicals are the ones we say have adverse effects on your hair.
Although it doesn’t affect all people it can really affect your hair.
- Twist and retwisting dreadlocks
The only way to keep your locs clean, neat and sleek is when you twist and retwist them every once in a while.
So, generally twisting is used to refer to the first time you twist the dreadlocks. What follows then is the retwisting. When you twist your growth after a few weeks of twisting, that is referred to as retwisting.
Before we go into the products you should use for the process, here are the stages of dreadlocks
- First: baby/starter
This locs are usually short although I did start mine at medium size. For the baby locs, the stage will last up to six months. Just make sure you don’t make the locs too thin as they will continue to thin as they grow and this may lead to breakage.
- Second: budding
The locs hear become puffy or fuzzy. This hair requires care as it starts to matte. At this stage, therefore, you should retwist the hair often to keep it tidy and help in its growth.
- Third: teen
Just like a teenager, the hair begins to look good and you can see that it’s locking finally. It has further grown a great length so you can style it as you wish.
Nevertheless, it’s still short to lie on the scalp thus there are just a few styles to use.
- Fourth: mature
For those whose hair lock easily your maturity stage will begin soon. In one year, the maturity level is felt. The locs, in this case, are firm and they are long enough to lie on your scalp.
For this level, therefore, you can wash the hair regularly as you shampoo it.
- Lastly: rooted
This is what some stylists call locked hair. It’s the adult stage which occurs a few years later. The locs look slender and they are heavier than they normally felt. This is the final stage and you can let them grow way past your waist if you like.
The major concern at this level is to keep the locs hydrated moisturized and healthy.
Product to Use
9. Locksteady Tropical Dreadlock Tightening Gel 4oz
For those like me who like to use the gel for retwisting here is one of the must-have gels. It’s an aloe-based gel which is to say it will keep your hair nourished as it enhances the quick growth. No wonder the gel is best suited for anyone who is just starting out.
This is your great wax free alternative. It helps to lock your hair but also keeps it shiny. It further has products like hemp seed and vitamin E to maintain the hydration of the hair. Other ingredients like sucrose make it easy to hold the hair in place.
The other thing is that it does all this without the formation of residue and that’s why most people love it.
10. Jamaican Mango and Lime Resistant Formula Locking Hair Gel
When talking about dreadlocks, you can’t go anywhere without talking about Jamaican products. This is because Jamaica is the home of Rastafarians you know.
This product is loved by most because it gives you the hold of the wax. It’s further not too thick and heavy and it doesn’t lead to buildup. The mango and cocoa butter meanwhile nourish your hair. You not only develop rich hair but also moisturized one.
Other ingredients like lime and green tea work to give you soothed roots. You will develop an antiseptic and antioxidant quality. In the end, you will have the bacteria resistant quality.
Do You Really Need Wax for Dreadlocks?
This is a hot debate today; more and more people are questioning its use in the dreadlock’s community. A few of us still use it but do you really need it? Let’s find out.
Wax is generally the product that is produced by bees then this helps them to construct the honeycombs. Similarly, the wax made for dreadlocks has the same properties as beeswax.
It is first insoluble in water, it’s further solid in average temperature and it’s also hydrophobic.
This product is being produced to date to help those with Caucasian hair who want to make dreadlocks.
But here’s why you should steer away from it.
Wax is hard to wash off because of its hydrophobic properties. This is why your hair forms build ups when washed. Notice that of all the common wax formulas we have them containing beeswax, microcrystalline wax, and oils. All these are insoluble in water.
So, while people believe that the wax is the reason why you form the knots and tight locs, the wax isn’t responsible for the locking. It just keeps the hair locked in while it’s wet.
The downside is that your hair becomes harder than it should when you use wax. They in fact appear unnatural. The reason why you have the unnatural tightness is that you develop the wax build up. This may lead to dreads rot.
Let’s sum it up by saying that wax is a form of residue. And remember we earlier stated residue is the enemy of locs. Wax just glues your hair together it doesn’t cause locking.
Luckily you can remove the wax from your locs and begin to use the good gel for your locking.
The oils to use
Oils are your natural way of nourishing and moisturizing any kind of hair. This includes the dreadlocks and treated hair. The oils are made of natural plant ingredients and they nourish strengthen and help your hair grow healthy.
Although we had discussed a few above, let’s check the others
Olive oil: from cooking to the skin and even your hair olive oil is a savior. The oil although heavy in consistency, it penetrates each strand of your hair. It’s particularly a great sealant for anyone with low porosity hair.
Avocado oil: this is also one of the best oils you can ever use on your hair. It will moisturize the hair deeply and strengthen it. You can use it as it is or just add it to your regular shampoo.
Argan oil: this oil is a powerhouse of fatty acids and this simply means that it works well to make your hair moisturized. The oil is further great at taming frizz and it will smoothen the hair thus making it more manageable.
Chamomile oil: another one of the great relaxation oils. It keeps your dreadlocks nourished the same way it does with your skin.
Other oils include coconut oils and essential oils that you can mix together before applying on the hair.
Must have sprays for the locs
11. Dollylocks 8oz Coconut Lime Dreadlock Tightening Spray
When you tell me to use any plant-based product, I’m often more trusting. You need a tightening spray at the end of the day. This product comes to serve your needs to tighten the locks fast. It will strengthen the locks that you are just forming while nourishing the scalp.
Your hair will look and stay fresh when you have the product. Your scalp is nourished and it stays fresh and hydrated. In the end, this is the method to get rid of dandruff and moisturize the scalp. I like that you can rest easy knowing that the hair will tighten itself
How to Maintain the Locs
With all that said, you need to know how you can maintain the locs to make sure it is free of buildups and yet healthy.
- Stay away from residue
The first thing that will destroy your hair is the residue. Protect the hair by making sure that the products you use don’t leave residue on the hair. Unfortunately, most of the shampoos and conditioners you use cause residue.
Notice that while you love scented shampoos, if you after washing the hair can smell a very strong shampoo used, it has left residue on the hair. The residue causes an itchy sensation and buildup that means you develop unhealthy hair.
- Cover your hair as you sleep
When your hair is very clean, it will pick the lint and fuzzy’s. this is a major problem when you are sleeping. Therefore, you should use a satin or silk scarf.
- Drying the locks
When you wash your hair, make sure you dry them well. Don’t leave the water in the locs as that will make them smell so bad.
- You can deep condition the locs
While the locs as we have seen suffer from build up every so often, you can deep condition it.
12. SheaMoisture Jamaican masque
This castor oil will work as your conditioner that repairs the scalp as well as the hair itself. For anyone like me who has lost the hair shine, frequent use of this product will make all the difference. With its raw ingredients, it will nourish your hair while moisturizing it.
However, if you are going to deep condition the hair, make sure you use heat to open the cuticles and let the oils penetrate the strands for proper moisturization. This brings us to the next point.
Moisturizing the locs
Just like other hair types need moisture, so does your dreadlocks need moisture. Of course, don’t over moisturize. Use the right oils and leave in conditioners to moisturize.
- Do not over wash the hair
Your hair at this point is prone to build up which means that you shouldn’t use too much product. This will lead to buildups. Wash it but don’t wash the hair as regularly as you do with your regular hair.
Don’t take any hair products in the market. Choose products that are designed for those with dreadlocks.
How many times should you wash the hair?
You should wash the hair once in two weeks to avoid all the buildup possibility.
Causes of my dreadlock’s discoloration?
The reason why your hair discolors is often because of the UV rays. Also, the products you use on it.
Other things that cause discoloration includes:
The level of dryness
To stay safe therefore you must learn to reverse such conditions.
What things will ruin my locks?
If you wash them frequently you are definitely calling for them to form too much build ups.
Not moisturizing: are you just tired of the whole moisturizing process? This is one thing that will keep your hair not healthy and dry.
Coloring the hair by yourself: while most people love to color their hair, you should seek the help of a colorist as opposed to DIY. If you do it yourself you become susceptible to breakage and dryness.
How to prevent breakage?
The way you prevent breakage is by avoiding dryness by all means. The only reason that will lead to breaking is dryness and ultimate brittleness. So, treat your hair by moisturizing it frequently and stay away from over styling.
Is it bad to use protective methods?
No, it’s not you can use the protective styles. This will keep your hair lasting longer with the style but don’t over style.