People behave differently based on how they were 

brought up and when I make dreads for a new client, one of the questions that come up is when to wash dreadlocks for the first time. Over my career in hairstyling, I have spoken with clients who wash their hair anywhere from 2 – 3 times a day to “occasionally” and these were people with normal hair.  


How often people wash their hair is a peculiar thing and I

am known to ask those who wash 3 or more times a week if they are in construction or landscaping?  Why would someone in an air- conditioned office at least 8 hours a day need to wash that often?  Habit, that’s what, and it is a hard one to break.  Once they are taking a shower, they wash hair and all.

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The effect of washing your hair each day is crazy when you do a hairstyle change like making

dreadlocks.  The scalp, because it got used to being stripped of its natural oils on a daily basis, goes into over production of oils to make the scalp normal.  Now, with your new dreadlocks, you are being told to hold off washing your hair for 3 weeks so the style can set.  Imagine the talk among the hair follicles when you let a whole day pass without washing?  Imagine a week later the scalp has all these layers of oily skin sitting on backlog.  The hair follicles keep piling them up and you keep scratching and itching!  This happens when you wash any head too much by the way.


After making new dreads and the client asks when to wash it for the first time, the answer is 3 Weeks. This longer time only to let the dreads set because the water and the scrubbing  will remove them.  When the dreadlocks are firm, you get to wash as often as you want so you have no need to ask when to wash dreadlocks for the first time, although I do recommend once a week.  

By Paula Barker, Silkie Locks Hair Design