Dreadlocks FAQ

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Washing Dreadlocks

It really depends on what soap you are using. There are 3 types of soap

1. Regular Soap- you can get this at the grocery store or drug store, Wal-Mart, you name it. The problem with these soaps is that they leave residue behind on the hair. (Refer to what is residue for a complete description) residues are left behind from the scents, holders, and moisturizers of the soaps and they build on the hair up over time. Well it’s not a problem if you have normal hair, actually it helps the hair because it keeps it from getting into tangles, but it is very bad for dreads because it keeps them from tightening. The residue will also build up and suffocate the scalp, keeping it from breathing and will cause dandruff

2. Residue Free Soap – This shampoo is harder to come by. Soaps for sensitive skin are usually residue free. You can sometimes find them at drug stores, and they always advertise that they are residue free, so don’t worry you will know! I get mine from DreadHeadHQ, because you can get it for half price if you order 6, and its really hard for me to find residue free shampoo where I’m living.

3. Dandruff Shampoo– Some people make the mistake of using this type of shampoo all the time. The reason it is bad to use this shampoo all the time is because, like regular shampoos, it leaves a residue behind. Not a scent residue but a medicated residue. This residue builds up just like the scented residue and keeps the dreads from tightening and the scalp from breathing so it causes the dandruff to form. So it’s actually working against you when it is supposed to be helping you. It is best to wash your dreadlocks in this shampoo when you have an itchy scalp, wash it once or twice to make the itches go away and the continue using your residue free shampoo.

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Absolutely not! Actually you should wash your hair and dry it before you dread it because it will dread faster, and easier.

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I recommend not using conditioner for about a week before you dread, because it can make the dreading process easier.

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You should make a habit of washing your dreadlocks every 3 days, but really, you can wash them as often as you like, but you should wash them at least once a week.

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I’ve heard that if you soak the dreads in rubbing alcohol for 30 minutes and cover the dreads in a plastic bag and then repeat in one week then it will kill the lice and their eggs. I haven’t had lice before so I haven’t tried this so I don’t know if it works for sure, but it’s worth a try, because dreads are part of you and you do not want to give them up easily.

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Some shampoos can be really bad for dreads because they leave residue behind on the hair, which can lubricate the hairs and cause the knots to fall apart. Residue is not a problem for normal hair because normal hair is straight and free flowing, whereas dreads and braids are a little harder to rinse well because they hold residues much easier because of the way it is tightly packed together. The residues can also cause itching and irritation on the scalp because they build up and the scalp cannot breath.

Conditioner will always lubricate the hairs and loosen the dreads, because that’s what it’s supposed to do.

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It’s a good idea to use a shampoo that doesn’t leave anything behind when you have dreads. It is more important to use a shampoo that doesn’t leave anything behind when you have dreads rather than when you just have normal hair because dreads hold a lot of stuff that usually falls out of normal hair when you brush it. The stuff will build up in the dreads and will cause the dreads to break down, loosen, and fall apart.

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Some shampoos are bad for dreads because they leave residues behind. Residues are worst for dreads than they are for normal hair because when you have dreads they hold a lot of stuff that usually falls out of normal hair when you brush it. The stuff will build up in the dreads and will cause the dreads to break down, loosen, and fall apart. You can usually tell a shampoo that has residue in it by the way it smells. If it smells like flowers, tea tree, or if it is advertised as smelling sweet than you know it’s packed with residues.

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Residues are anything that is left behind by a shampoo, conditioner, perfume, or scent. Residues built up and break down dreads.

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DreadHead makes a great residue free shampoo that removes other residues along with not leaving any residues of its own behind. At the moment it is the only residue free shampoo we know of that is sold on the internet.

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The main thing you should stay away from with shampoos is strong scents. Whenever there is a strong scent present there are loads of residues left behind. It a shampoo is advertised for its scent you know its bad.

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Washing helps tighten your dreads by removing dirt and other things that are left behind in dreads. When theses things are present the dreads are unable to tighten because these things are blocking them. As soon as you remove them the hair is able to knot up where the residue was.

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Backcombing

When the dreads are new you will wax them about twice in the first week and not wash the dreads. In the second week you will wash the dreads once and wax them twice. In the third week you should start to wash your dreads twice a week, you will still wax your dreads twice in this week. And you will do the same in the fourth week. Once the dreads are about a month old you will want to wax them after you have washed them, make sure your dreads are dry before you wax them, otherwise you might get a mildew smell. Once your dreads are about 3 months old you will only want to wax them about once every week or two, it is always best to wax your dreads when they are clean.

Twisting

While your dreads are new you will want to wax them about twice a week and not wash them. Once the dreads are about 2 weeks old you should wash them and once they are dry apply the wax. Once your dreads are locked up you will only want to wax them about once every two to three weeks to condition them and make them look healthy.

Twist and Rip

You should wash your hair about once every 2 days. You can rub your hair in the shower to make the knots or you can wait until the hair is dry. You will not want to pull the knots apart when they are wet, because it will damage your hair root beds. Once you have finished pulling the knots apart you should wax each dread section and palm roll or twist them, depending on the length of your hair.

Dread Perm

You should not wash your hair for at least 48 hours and longer if you stylist says to wait longer. Once the perm setting time is over you can wash your dreads about once a week while they are new, because they will be delicate. You should wax your dreads after each washing, but wait until the hair is dry before waxing because you will have a mildew smell if you don’t.

Brush rubbing

You can wash your dreads as often as you like and you should wax about once every 3 days while the dreads are new. And once the dreads are about two weeks old wax once every week or two.

Neglect

Your choice…. Everyone has their own ideas of how they want it done.

Dread Braiding

You can wash as often as you like. Actually I recommend washing everyday, because the more you wash the more loose hairs will come out of the braid and turn into knots. You should palm roll and wax after every washing but make sure your hair is dry before waxing because if you don’t you will get a mildew smell.

Silky Dreads

I recommend only washing about once a week because the more you wash the more delicate the dreads will become. You will probably wax once every day or two to hold loose hairs down.

Industrial Dreads

It depends on which method you choose when you make the dreads. Check out the sections above for your method.

Loomed Dreads

You can take these out and wash as often as you want. You will probably want to wax them once every 2 or 3 days to hold the loose hairs down.

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You can use spritzers’ and spays to make them smell better. But whenever you add anything to your dreads that leaves a scent behind you are adding residues to your dreads. You can get rid of the residues when you wash if you use a shampoo that removes residues. It is best never to use scented oils on your dreads because they will loosen then a lot.

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The reason the smell is there is because your hair is not clean, it could be that you haven’t washed for a while or you may have some residues that have built up and are now molding. It could also be mildew from letting the water sit in your dreads to long. If you feel the reason may be a cleanliness problem that one is easy to solve, just make sure you wash your hair at least once a week. If you feel it may be a mold problem the first thing to do is try and wash it with a residue removes shampoo, it might take 3 washings to determine if the problem is severe. If the problem is severe you should dilute some bleach and rinse your dreads with it. The measurement is 1-gallon water to a teaspoon of bleach. If it is a mildew problem wash your dreads in a residue removing shampoo and make sure you squeeze all of the water out of your dreads when you are finished washing them.

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The best way to get rid of bacteria is to wash the dreads in a residue removing shampoo. If the problem is severe you should dilute some bleach and rinse your dreads with it. The measurement is 1-gallon water to a teaspoon of bleach.

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The first thing you should try is to wash the dreads in a residue removing shampoo. If the problem is severe you should dilute some bleach and rinse your dreads with it. The measurement is 1-gallon water to a teaspoon of bleach.

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Of course you can wash them, they’re just hair.

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