While dreadlocks are a cool hairstyle that doesn’t require a lot of maintenance, hygiene becomes an issue especially if you regularly use heavy styling products such wax.
When used they can result in a significant amount of build-up that you’ll have to clean in the long run.
In this article, we’ve gathered different methods on how to get rid of build-up in dreadlocks.
What Causes Build-up in Dreadlocks?
One of the major causes of dreadlock build-up is shampoos and conditioners. These products contain saponified oils obtained from vegetable or animal fats.
For this reason, they are difficult to clean with just water. They also stick on your dreadlocks and attract dirt and lint.
If you thought you could get away with homemade shampoos, conditioners, and soaps, too bad for you.
These products aren’t on the recommended list either. This is because they are made with lye or fats that react with metal ions in water and transform into free fatty acids that are a nightmare to remove from your hair.
The second major cause of dreadlocks build-up is poor maintenance.
Dreadlocks hairstyle doesn’t excuse you from washing your dreadlocks. If you don’t wash your hair, your scalp will continue producing sebum; you’ll accumulate dandruff (if you have some), and dirt resulting in build-up.
Another cause of buildup is the styling product you use. Some of these products, such as wax, may be hard to remove. For this reason, wax should never be used to start, style, or maintain dreadlocks because it leads to caked build-up that will attract dust and lint with time.
How To Get Rid Of Build-Up In Dreadlocks
Now you know the factors that cause product build-up on dreadlocks, it’s time to discover how to remove the build-up from your locs.
As we’ve already highlighted, the primary cause is conditioners and shampoos that are almost impossible to remove; the first step would be to stop using them.
There are great alternatives, such as clarifying shampoos. Unlike a creamy formula, a clarifying shampoo is designed to remove heavy buildup and leave your locs clean and healthy.
How to Remove Product Buildups on Your Dreadlocks Using Natural Solutions
If you’d like to remove the buildups the natural way, here are some solutions we have for you:
- Apple cider vinegar in warm water- dilute the vinegar in warm water and use the solution to wash your locs. Most users claim this to be the best method if you have caked buildup. The acidic properties of the vinegar will help dissolve the buildup without ruining your hair.
- Baking soda with water- this method works the same as the apple cider method above. The baking soda, in this case, will help dislodge and dissolve the residues.
- Lemon juice- you can use lemon juice itself or diluted in water to help remove buildup from your dreads.
You need to be careful when using these natural remedies. Avoid getting them in contact with your eyes. Avoid them if you have blisters, sunburns, scabs, or open wounds on your scalp or have sensitive skin.
Homemade Recipe on How To Get Rid Of Build-Up In Dreadlocks
To prepare this recipe, you will need these ingredients:
- ½ to ¾ cup of baking soda
- 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
- 1 to 1 ½ cups of witch hazel
- 20 drops of orange essential oil
- 20 drops of lavender essential oil
- A large bowl (not a metallic one) or inflatable basin to soak up your dreads
- warm water
Use whatever essential oils you like or have. The ones in the list of the ingredients require are just an example. However, make sure the essential oils you use are fragrant and soothing.
How to Prepare This Recipe?
- Add baking soda, half the drops of the two of your favorite essential oils (lavender/orange), half the witch hazel into the bowl.
- Add warm water to the bowl halfway through. Stir all the ingredients until they all blend in.
- Soak your dreadlocks in the mixture for about 20-30 minutes
- Rinse your dreads
- Empty the bowl and pour the apple cider vinegar, the remaining essential oils, and the rest of the witch hazel. Add warm water to the bowl halfway through.
- Soak your dreads for 20-30 minutes
- Rinse your dreadlocks thoroughly and dry them properly
If you follow this homemade recipe to the later, you should be able to clean your dreads leaving them smelling fresh and feeling like new.