By Terez Howard
Dreadlock maintenance includes having the proper dreadlocks products in your beauty cabinet. Your hair type, length and styling choices will help you to determine which products are right for your natural hair. While there is great room for variance, all ladies with locs need dreadlocks products to keep their natural hair and scalps clean.
These dreadlocks products include dreadlock shampoos, conditioners, styling products and possibly dreadlock tools, such as a latch hook or interlocking tool. Loose natural hair requires the best natural hair care products, and locs are no different. You want the absolute best dreadlocks products for your locs.
Keeping locs clean should be a No. 1 priority. Locs can first be kept clean by promptly removing lint prior to washing. This will prevent lint from getting permanently trapped in locs.
When you are searching for good dreadlock shampoos, opt to include residue-free shampoos or clarifying shampoos, on your dreadlocks products list. That means the shampoo should not leave anything on your scalp or in your locs after it is rinsed. It actually cleans the scalp and natural hair without leaving anything behind, like scent or conditioner. Residue-free dreadlock shampoos encourage knotting and help locs dry quickly. A residue-free shampoo should be used at least once per month.
These dreadlock shampoos come in two forms, soap or liquid. The basic difference is that a shampoo soap, like gentle black soap, is heavily concentrated, with no water added. A liquid shampoo, on the other hand, is not as concentrated as the soap because it is watered down.
You can shampoo mature locs as frequently as every day. But in the early stages, you will probably will not shampoo daily because most locs are fragile at this time. If you start your locs with palm rolls or twists, many wait one month until the first shampooing. In general, healthy locked ladies wash about once per week or bi-weekly. Also, be sure to rinse any dreadlocks products thoroughly out of your natural hair.
Some use them, and other don’t. Conditioners are meant to smooth the cuticle (outer layer of hair strands) and can slow the locking process. In the baby stage of locs, you should not use any conditioners.
If you decide to use conditioner once your locs are mature, I recommend using conditioning mists and sprays because these are lightweight and should not leave a heavy degree of build-up and residue. Conditioning dreadlocks products keep mature locs from looking dry and dull.
My current favorite styling product is water. It moisturizes, absorbs and holds crinkles and curls well when dry. Essential oils, such as jojoba oil and tea tree oil, help the scalp and natural hair to stay moisturized but are also absorbed quickly. A little goes a long way.
Stay away from thick waxes, butters and greases which can attract dust and dirt and produce build-up in the locs and scalp.
Other Dreadlocks Products:
- A nylon dread cap. This can be used when dreadlocks are in the baby stage and unravel easily in the shower. The cap will protect them and still allow shampoo and water in to get the locs clean.
- A lint-free towel. When you towel dry your locs, you will need a lint-free towel to absorb wetness without leaving unwanted lint behind.
- A latch hook or interlocking tool. These dreadlock maintenance tools are used to tighten the new growth at the roots.
- Hooded dryer. Once locs are mature, it might take forever to get them dry. A hooded dryer can speed the process.