Dread care is essential in not only forming but sustaining healthy locs. Anytime you feel that your dreads need to be washed, just wash them. Try not to wash them for at least 2/3 weeks after they are first made or after a maintenance session to allow them time to fuse together. After that you don't have anything to worry about when you wash.
How often they will need maintenance really depends on your lifestyle. Washing them regularly and keeping them clean is essential. Just use a good normal shampoo you don't need anything gimmicky, just be sure to focus on the roots with a gentle scalp scrub with your nails, and allow the shampoo to just run down to the tips and then rinse thoroughly.
Just always remember to use your common sense to keep your dreads as clean as possible. If you work in a kitchen or on a construction site for example, you will feel you need to wash them more often then if you work in an office.
What do I do with an itchy scalp?
An itchy scalp or dandruff is common to have at some time or another. It's normal. A few drops of Tea Tree in a water spray bottle will provide some relief. If its persistent it may be time for maintenance to deal with all the loose hair which tickles the scalp. You can also try Nizoral, a medicated antidandruff shampoo and the only product I ever recommend. You can alternate use with your normal shampoo a few times a year. I am not a big believer in ACV washes, they can be very abrasive and strip the hair from much needed natural oils.
What if I have nits or lice?
If something weird has crawled into your dreads, laid eggs and is having a party in there - don't go into denial because you're afraid you might have to chop your dreads off… DEAL WITH IT IMMEDIATELY. Lice is highly contagious and you'll give it to others - Not a good way to make friends! You will be able to save your hair if you deal with it swiftly with the appropriate medicated shampoos. The mousse options are perfect for dreads and much better than the oil based ones.
Most small lumps will work themselves out as the dreads tighten and smooth out. Bends appear if the dreads tighten really fast or are often wet (swimmers/surfers) The most permanent way is to use a crochet hook but some loops and lumps add character though..
The section and therefore the amount of hair in the dread determines how thick the dread will be. The only option you have once your dreads are made and matured is to join dreads together or add more hair to form an extension.
Palm rolling (rolling the dread back and forth between your palms) will help with the fuzzy hair that can come out of the body of the dread. Separating them all individually after your hair is washed and dry is literally the best thing you can do for your hair in between maintenance sessions. Keeping them clean and free of grime helps and washing regularly will speed up the process as well, There are no fast tracks. Patience is key.
The fastest way to tighten roots is to use the clockwise rubbing method. Keep in mind that having a few cm’s or so of straight hair at the roots is natural. When dreads are new you may have more loose hair at the roots, but as the body of the dread tightens the roots will tighten much easier. The roots are always the last part of the dreadlock to dread and actually never fully dread because the hair continues to grow. Besides the root rubbing method you can also palm roll your dreads to help hair at the roots tangle and dread.
Should I loop/interlock my dreads through at the root?
Absolutely not – NOT NEVER EVER!! This is a technique that is severely damaging to all hair types! The dreads will start to weaken, thin and split at the root and as the dread grows you will have indents, knots and loop marks down the dread as scars from this useless method. Don’t do this ever. This is the lazy way to fix your dreads!
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