How to Care for Black People's Hair with Dreadlocks: A Step-by-Step Guide

Expert tips and tricks for keeping your dreadlocks looking their best while maintaining a healthy scalp.

May 3, 2023

The Essential Guide to Maintaining Healthy Dreadlocks for Black Hair

Dreadlocks, also known as "locs," are a popular hairstyle that has been worn by black people for centuries. This hairstyle requires a lot of care and maintenance to keep it looking healthy and neat. Dreadlocks are made by twisting sections of hair together, creating a rope-like strand that eventually locks and becomes matted. The result is a unique and beautiful hairstyle that requires specialized care. In this article, we will discuss the basics of how to take care of black people's hair with dreadlocks.

1. Keep your scalp clean

The first step in caring for your dreadlocks is to keep your scalp clean. It is essential to shampoo your hair at least once a week to prevent build-up of oils and debris that can cause scalp infections. However, be careful not to over-shampoo your hair, as this can cause dryness and breakage. Use a mild shampoo that is specifically designed for dreadlocks or for African hair.

2. Moisturize your hair

Moisturizing your hair is essential in keeping your dreadlocks healthy and looking good. Black people's hair tends to be dry, so it is important to use a leave-in conditioner or oil to keep it hydrated. Use a natural oil such as coconut oil, castor oil, or olive oil to moisturize your hair. Apply it to your scalp and massage it in, then work it through the length of your hair.

3. Don't over-manipulate your hair

It is essential to avoid over-manipulating your hair when you have dreadlocks. Manipulating your hair too much can cause it to break or become damaged. Avoid over-brushing your hair and minimize the use of combs and brushes. Instead, use your fingers to gently separate your dreadlocks and remove any knots.

4. Protect your hair at night

It is important to protect your hair at night, especially when you have dreadlocks. Use a satin or silk scarf or pillowcase to protect your hair while you sleep. This will prevent your hair from drying out and breaking while you sleep. Additionally, consider sleeping with a headwrap or durag to protect your hair and maintain its shape.

5. Avoid using harsh products

It is important to avoid using harsh chemicals and products on your hair when you have dreadlocks. Chemical treatments such as relaxers and perms can weaken your hair and cause damage. Additionally, avoid using products that contain alcohol, sulfates, and other harsh ingredients. These products can dry out your hair and cause it to break.

6. Keep your dreadlocks clean

Keeping your dreadlocks clean is essential in maintaining a healthy scalp and healthy hair. Use a specialized dreadlock shampoo to cleanse your hair and scalp. Additionally, you can use a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water to cleanse your scalp and remove any build-up of oils and debris.

7. Don't pull your hair too tight

It is important to avoid pulling your hair too tight when you have dreadlocks. Tight hairstyles such as ponytails, buns, and braids can cause your hair to break and become damaged. Instead, wear looser hairstyles that don't put too much tension on your hair. If you need to wear your hair up, use hair ties that are gentle on your hair.

8. Visit a professional

If you are new to dreadlocks, it is important to visit a professional stylist to help you get started. A professional stylist can help you create the right size and shape of dreadlocks for your hair type and texture. Additionally, they can teach you how to properly care for your hair and provide advice on products and styling techniques.

Taking care of black people's hair with dreadlocks requires a lot of effort and care. However, with the right products and techniques, you can keep your hair healthy and looking great.