Many people regularly get their dreadlocks washed at the salon, But,

what if you couldn’t make it in one time?  You need to know how to wash dreadlocks at home.  Yes it’s hair, it needs shampoo and some kind of conditioner but  washing dreadlocks is a little more complicated than that.  You need an eye for detail or they will not look clean.

Looks can be deceiving:  I have learned over the years that it is not just people that carry this trait. 

Dreadlocks left to cling to each other over a two-week period appear clean too,  if you throw some shampoo on and ignore the shaft and roots.   However, when you go to fix the stray hairs, all the gunk that collected from the last wash comes to the surface.  Here is how to ensure you give your dreadlocks the best wash:

  • Before you start washing your dreadlocks, separate all of them from each other.
  • Look closely at the scalp.  If you have any kind of dandruff, you need to get a comb with fine teeth and rub your scalp.  It is often better to do this gently because it can start bleeding if your scalp is sensitive.  Try to get all dry scalp out of the hair and off the scalp.
  • The new growth at the scalp will be straighter.  You have to make a small amount of shampoo/water solution and apply it where the roots meet the older dreadlock.  Give this section a good rub.  Repeat this on all the dreads. 
  • Wet the dreadlocks thoroughly.  Apply a small amount of shampoo in your palm and rub your palms together before applying it to the dreads and the scalp.  
  • If the hair does not make suds, rinse the shampoo off and do it again.
  • Using the balls of the fingers, rub your scalp.  Use your fingers to squeeze and remove any dirt that may have clung to the hair.  Rinse.
  • Repeat once or twice more to make sure the hair is clean. Apply your conditioner.  Nowadays, I prefer a spray conditioner only because many people don’t  remove the cream conditioner all the way.
  • Towel dry the hair by squeezing each dread without rubbing.  
  • When the hair is damp, twist (maybe add your oils) and leave to dry. 
  • Wash head wraps, change pillowcases and sheets. 
  • Sleep with something silky on the head.

Call (613) 789-2179 For An Appointment If You Are In The Ottawa, Ontario Area.

A hairdresser’s secret is to rinse the hair before applying more shampoo if the first one does not sud.  Applying more shampoo over it is just a waste.  Most people will try to avoid having to do any of this but in case there is an emergency, it is best to know how to wash dreadlocks at home.

By Paula Barker, Silkie Locks Hair Design