Despite the attractive low-maintenance factor that accompanies dreadlocks, it still remains essential to take proper care of your hair in order to ensure healthy, strong growth.
Here are a few simple care and maintenance tips for moisturizing dry dreadlocks.
Why are your dreadlocks dry?
As your hair grows and becomes longer, you may find that the tips of your dreads are drier than the hair at the roots. It’s normal, especially if you take into consideration that the hair furthest away from your scalp is older than the newly, outgrown hair. The hair on the tips have most likely been rubbing against your clothes, the pillowcase, and has experienced more heat from the hair dryer than on your scalp.
Most likely, the cuticles are open and moisture escapes rapidly, which is why it’s important to use oil for dreadlocks in order to replenish the moisture lost through everyday living. However, it’s also important to know which oils are best suitable for dreads and which ones you should probably use less frequently.
Vegetable oils to moisturise dreadlocks
Vegetable oils are composed of fatty acids triglycerides and produced via extraction or pressure from grains or fatty fruits such as avocado.
Vegetable oils are waterproof and form a protective barrier around your hair. Simply put, they’re hydrophobic which means they deter water. This allows your hair to retain softness and moisture in a healthy, non-build up kind of way.
Since vegetable oils can be applied to brittle hair in between washes, after cleaning your dreads, or even as a hot oil treatment once a month, they’re must-have oils for moisturizing dry dreadlocks to keep in your home.
The following vegetable oils can be used for moisturizing dry dreadlocks, either mixed together or individually:
• Almond oil
• Olive oil
• Avocado oil
• Sunflower oil
• Jojoba oil
• Grapeseed oil
What about coconut oil to soften dreadlocks?
Although coconut oil is versatile and can be used on colored, bleached, weak or porous hair, it’s also important to keep a close eye on your hair when introducing coconut oil. It has an amazing ability to penetrate deep into the cortex and bind the hair proteins to strengthen the hair, coconut oil can also cause more drying and breakage when introduced for extended periods of time or when your hair doesn’t need the added moisture/strengthening.
Alternatively, you can also introduce sunflower or grapeseed oil if coconut oil seems to be causing more damage than actual moisture.
Can you use essential oils for moisturizing dry dreadlocks?
Essential oils do not contain fat, which means they cannot moisturize or soften your hair, but they do offer useful healing properties.
If you’re experiencing an itchy scalp or whether you suffer from dandruff, you’ll understand how difficult it is to get rid of either. However, with a few drops of antiseptic, essential oils added to your hot oil treatment and massaged onto your scalp, you’ll be able to keep your dandruff or itchy scalp under control.
Essential oils to add to your shopping list:
• Tea Tree
• Bay Laurel
• St Thomas Bay
How to make and apply a hot oil treatment?
- Using a bowl, add the oils of your choice. Remember, the more hair you have, the more oil you should add.
- Warm the oils up by using a bain-marie method (“a container holding hot water into which a pan is placed for slow cooking.”)
- When the oils are warm enough, remove the bowl from the water.
- Apply the oil on dry hair, from the roots to the tips. Don’t be afraid to press on the dreads to ensure that the oil penetrates through.
- Massage your scalp gently.
- Wrap a plastic bag then a hair wrap around your hair and leave for 30-minutes to a night.
- Wash your dreads with a residue-free shampoo.
Tip: Add a few drops of Tea Tree, Geranium, Bay Laurel, Palmarosa, Cade, St Thomas Bay or Patchouli essential oils to the bowl if you suffer from dandruff or an itchy scalp.
Moisturizing dry dreadlocks after washing
It’s important to keep your dreads clean and healthy by washing them once a week with a residue-free shampoo, followed by:
• Removing excess water with a microfiber towel.
• Apply vegetable oil to the damp, brittle areas of your dreads, focusing on the tips.
• Pressing on the individual dreads to ensure proper penetration.
Tip: Avoid adding vegetable oils to your scalp as it could result in dandruff.
How to moisturize your dreadlocks in between washes?
Keeping your hair soft and moisturized in between shampoo washes is important for a healthy scalp and continuous hair growth. Remember, proper care and maintenance of your dreadlocks will ensure less breakage and happier hair follicles.
- 1/3 vegetable oils of your choice.
- 2/3 water/flower water such as patchouli, orange blossom or lavender water.
- A few drops of essential oils for fragrance.
Shake well and spray on your dreads, paying attention to the tips. Place in the fridge.
Coconut oil will strengthen your dreads
Should you use conditioner or moisturizing creams on your dreadlocks?
The simple and quick answer is no. As tempting as it may be to add conditioner to your dreads, it’s highly frowned upon as it will leave a residue that’s extremely difficult to get rid of. Despite a thorough wash after applying conditioner, you could end up with a smelly odor coming from your dreadlocks.
Remember to wash your hair once a week with a residue-free shampoo and apply vegetable oils to damp, brittle hair. Incorporate a dreadlocks hot oil treatment monthly for added softness and for moisturizing dry dreadlocks. Most importantly, flaunt your dreadlocks fully.