Saturday, January 28, 2012

Natural haircare for dreadlocks.

I have compiled a few recipes that I use, aside from my Lush Squeaky Green shampoo bar, to maintain my hair. They're all natural and super easy, and they can be used on hair that doesn't have dreads! :D

How to wash your dreads.
Contrary to popular belief and stereotypes, dreadlocks are not ‘dirty’ or smelly, and you CAN wash your hair. That said, avoid washing your tentacles for at least three weeks. I hate getting my hair wet when I shower, so investing if you don’t already own a showercap is a good idea. Dorky headwear is better than wet dreads!
 I will always maintain that you should avoid regular shampoos and conditioners, but you should be wary of them even more so when you have dreadlocks. Regular shampoos and conditioners are chock full of harmful chemicals and synthetics that strip natural oils from hair and leave residues and build up on the hair. This build up can leech into dreads and cause all kinds of trouble, like scalp irritation, itching, or even dread rot!

The best way to wash your dreads is with a dual system of baking soda soaks and apple cider vinegar rinses. Both of these ingredients are easily found, cheap, at most supermarkets.

Baking Soda Soak.
You will need:
- A big bowl or tub. A clean sink would work fine.
- 1/3 to 2/3 cup Baking Soda
- Around 3 litres of warm water
- Fifteen drops each of your preferred oil. (See below about beneficial herbal oils)

How to:
- In a bowl/tub, add the baking soda.
- Pour in the warm water, stirring to break up any clumps and combine well.
- Lean back(you may need assistance and a chair), and submerge your dreads, all the way to your scalp.
- Pick up a good book/comic/zine and lay back for ten to twenty minutes, allowing your dreads to soak. Swish your head around if you wish, but it’s not that necessary.
- Finish up with an Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse in the shower.

Beneficial herbal oils:

Lavender: Helps with mustiness or mould issues from improper drying
Tea Tree Oil: Very strong antiseptic, kills germs, helps with dandruff (use sparingly too much will cause dryness and worsen scalp itch.)
Rosemary: Excellent for dandruff
Peppermint (use only a very small amount): Gives a cooling tingling feeling, soothes itches, and clears sinuses (recommend using only a few drops.. try 1-5 till you see how strong you like it)
Thyme: Reduces oiliness
Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse!
I seriously love Apple Cider Vinegar, it has so many amazing uses; cleaning and refreshing dreadlocks is just one of them! They’re usually done at room temperature, to seal cuticles and maintain a beautiful, natural shine. The hidden benefit of this is if you have colour treated hair, there is less colour run off and a more vibrant colour for longer. Awesome!
Many people wonder about the smell lingering, but the vinegary smell fades as the hair dries.

You will need:
- 1/3 to 2/3 cup Apple Cider Vinegar- you can find it in the vinegar/oils section in most supermarkets.
- 2 cups of room temperature water.
*Optional* For a little extra conditioning, stuff a bunch of rosemary into the bottle of vinegar. The oils infuse throughout the vinegar for a lush smell and natural conditioning.

How to:

- Add ACV to water
- Leaning over a sink or the bathtub, position a bowl under your locks to catch the rinse
- You may need someone else to help you, but pour the rinse as close to your scalp as possible, aiming to catch as much rinse as possible in the bowl below.
- Rinse again with the run off for a second helping of ACV goodness.
- Squeeze off excess water and dry hair thoroughly. 


A friend of mine gave me a super amazing recipe for a lovely spritz that dreadlocks just love- I’ve made it so many times, it’s the best stuff ever. You can also spray it on wet hair and scrunch under the hairdryer for textured, beachy waves ^_^

Happy Dreadlock Spritz
You’ll need:
- A spray bottle
- 2 tbsp sea salt
- 1 cup warm water
- A couple drops of your favourite essential oil. Orange blossom, bergamot and geranium are an amazing combination! Ylang ylang, sandalwood and jasmine is beautiful a recipe for dreamy, sweet smelling hair. Beneficial essential oils can be used, too :)

How to:
- Dissolve salt in the water. Add essential oils.
- Put in the bottle, spritz over dreads lightly to refresh and revitalize your locks :)

Happy hair-doing!




    Thanks, though my boyfriend is much too lazy to do this himself I may be able to convince him to let me help him occassionally haha or at least buy a natural shampoo. So are your dreads alright to be conditioned? I've told my bf to avoid it for the moment since they're new.

    Also, if you're interested I've started using this cruelty free shampoo that is absolutely amazing, it's from Giovanni, I only found it by looking up "cruelty free" on TradeMe (NZ buying site). It feels amazing and my hair has been much better, if you ever don't feel like making stuff up you should try it. It's kinda thick though so don't know how it would be on dreads :S

    1. No no no DO NOT condition deads. She mentioned this in the article but just to refresh you, conditioners over moisturize dreads making it harder to lock in early stages and in later stages it will leave a residue in the dread that can lead to dread rot aka mouldy dreads.

    2. And do not use any shampoo that isn't designed for dreads (knotty boy dread soap is amazing for dreads) for the same reason as the conditioner.

    3. Hey man, consider checking out article about shampoos, specifically knotty boy

  2. Great tips, thanks! I don't have dreads but I'm always looking out for natural hair care tips :)

  3. Any comment on adding asprin to the wash, I suffer from dandruff and have heard it works wonders

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