Hair Care Tips for Dreadlocks

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Dreadlocks come from Caribbean Rastafarian culture, but they've also gained popularity with Americans. After the initial four to six months of growing and setting your dreadlocks, you need to care for them properly to ensure the best look with the least amount of effort. Because it's a hairstyle born from the need for easy, carefree hair, you'll find caring for your dreadlocks surprisingly simple.

Wash Regularly

It's a myth that dreadlocks never need to be washed. If you don't wash your dreads, they'll become dirty and matted. The technique for washing is much different from washing a typical haircut. Instead of scrubbing shampoo through your hair, lather up and allow your hair to soak up the shampoo. Then, squeeze your dreads out the way you would a sponge, with clean water running over your hair. Choose shampoos that have natural ingredients and won't leave a soapy residue in your hair, warns

Air Dry

Never use a towel to scrub your dreads. It will leave them frizzy and messy. Instead, gently pat your dreads with a towel and allow your hair to air dry. You don't need to use a hair dryer or other heated styling tools on your hair; they'll be ineffective and can actually cause damage to your hair.

Ditch the Comb

When you make the decision to facilitate dreadlocks in your hair, you can ditch the comb as part of your efforts. A comb or brush will become tangled in your hair and could leave your dreads matted and frizzy. That's why the best way to style your dreads is with your hands and fingers only. Any other styling tool is unnecessary and may even undo some of your hard work in growing and setting your dreads.

Oil Your Scalp

Dreadlocks have the tendency to make your scalp feel dry, especially if you have dry skin. Oiling your scalp weekly can help reduce some of the dry scalp symptoms you may encounter, such as itching and flakiness. You can use store-bought hair oil or coconut oil purchased from a health food store. Dab oil along your scalp and then use your fingers to rake it down through your hair to keep your dreads shiny.

Sleep Tight

Sleeping with your dreads free may be comfortable, but it can rough the dreads so they're frizzy and unkempt. Tie your hair up in an elastic band before you go to bed to help reduce some of the friction from your pillow on your dreads. If you can't sleep with your hair tied up, invest in a silk pillowcase that allows your dreads to slide over the pillow with less friction and less frizz.