By Terez Howard

Few things look worse in locked hair than lint. What causes lint to build up in locs? It could be a particular product causes your hair to absorb lint like a sponge. Pillow fibers might cling to your locs at night. Your towel lint might be having a party in your hair. Whatever the cause, you want to get rid of it.

What are your options?  Commercial products and/or home remedies.  I suggest using whatever you feel most comfortable with and perhaps doing a combination of the two for particularly stubborn lint.

Commercial products that remove lint

A good clarifying shampoo might be all your hair needs to remove lint build-up, especially if you don’t have much to contend with.  Here are a few products that get locked hair lint-free:

Clarifying Herbal Rinse By Adiva Naturals – This product dissolves build-up that occurs on locs. It removes residue, including lint, from locked hair.

VO5 Clarifying Shampoo – This shampoo clarifies the hair and has been known to help lift lint from locs.  However, some have reported having allergic reactions to this shampoo.  I would suggest applying it to a small section of hair first to see how your body responds.

Natural remedies to get rid of lint

Apple cider vinegar rinse – An apple cider vinegar rinse works as a natural hair cleanser by gently removing build-up.  The rinse can produce a shine because apple cider vinegar naturally closes cuticle scales found on the hair shaft’s surface.

Create an apple cider vinegar rinse by combining:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Pour the mixture over your hair as a final rinse after you shampoo.  You might have to do an apple cider vinegar rinse a couple times before you see results.

Baking soda – This is a powerful way to remove lint from your locs.  Baking soda works as a clarifier, leaving your locs squeaky clean.

Make a baking soda clarifier by combining:

  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 cup hot water

Pour the mixture over your hair, squeezing it into the hair and focusing on troublesome locs.  Massage it into the hair for 1 to 2 minutes and rinse thoroughly.

Bentonite clay – No, it will not build up in your locs.  Just be sure to rinse thoroughly.  Bentonite clay pulls chemicals and metals out from our bodies, like a magnet.  When applied to locs, bentonite clay pulls dirt, lint and product build-up from our hair.  When you apply bentonite clay, be sure your locs are freshly shampooed.

Mix equal parts of the following in a non-metal bowl with a non-metal spoon:
(If you use metal, you will activate or de-activate certain properties in the bentonite clay)

  • Bentonite clay
  • Apple cider vinegar

It is normal for the mixture to sizzle.  If you think the mix is too thick for you, use a few drops of lukewarm water.  The consistency will be creamy.

Place the clay directly on your locs, and leave it there for about 20 to 30 minutes.  Rinse your hair thoroughly.  The lint will come to the surface and easily be removed.

Tweezers – Use tweezers to perform surgery on your locs.  Carefully remove lint from wet locs with the tweezers.  (Some prefer using a pin or a straightened paper clip).

Make sure you actually have lint to begin with!  If the stuff on your locs disappears when wet, you have build-up.  If the fuzz remains, it’s lint.  Go for the tweezers.  Be careful you don’t thin your loc out.  If it becomes too weak, you will have to cut it.

How you can prevent lint from getting trapped in your locs

  • Wear a scarf at night, when cleaning or doing other chores that might get your hair into close contact with cling-happy fabrics.
  • Use dark-colored towels when drying your locs.  Light colored towels can shed lint into your locs.
  • Avoid products with petroleum in them, hair butters and creamy conditioners because these substances attract lint and other unwanted residue on your locs.
  • Stay away from hats and scarves that shed, like angora or wool.
  • Check your locs from time to time for lint.  It is easier to remove lint off the surface of your locs, rather than having to remove embedded lint.

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