Like Me on Facebook!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Do's and Don'ts Part I

As my locs are growing and maturing, I am learning more and more about hair, and the do's and don'ts of hair care. Before I started my dreadlocks I did a ton of research on them. Even with that said, there are still new things that I am learning about them everyday. Some of these things I REALLY wish I had known from the get go. That being said, allow me to bestow upon you some of the tips that I've picked up along the way.


This is what some dread heads refer to as "hands in head syndrome." When you're sitting in class listening to your professor talk about, god knows what, and you have your hands in your head twisting your locs, STOP IT. When you're sitting in your living room watching reruns of the Cosby Show, with your hands in your head, twisting your locs, STOP IT! Stop it? STOP IT! How about when you're out with your friends, just eating some lunch, with your hands in your head, twisting your locs? Okay seriously ewwwwww, stop all that noise because that's just unsanitary, and your friends probably think you're gross for doing that one.

In all seriousness though, I cannot stress this point enough. Twisting your hair too much (especially if you aren't keeping your hair moisturized, and strong) will lead to thinning of the hair at the roots, as well as breakage. If this gets bad enough your locs CAN and WILL break off. You don't want that.

This particular lesson I learned the hard way. I was constantly twisting my locs to the point where I ended up having to combine some of my thinner ones for fear of them popping off. I have a handful of double tongued dragons on my head. They look something like this:
Double Tongued Dragon!
Oddly enough that one is my favorite loc...

1B. KEEP YOUR HANDS OUT YA D*** HEAD!! (re-twisting)
When it comes to getting your whole head re-twisted because you have some new growth, or you just want to keep your hair looking fresh, I personally wouldn't advise getting it retwisted too often. Other than having the aforementioned issues with thinning/breakage, you will slow the process on your dreadlocks locking as well as maturing.

2. Moisturize Your Locs
When I first started my locs I was DEATHLY afraid of getting them wet. I would carry an umbrella everywhere, wear hats just because it was cloudy, triple bag my head with shower caps whenever I went to wash myself. I really didn't want to have them undo, and have to start from scratch (yeeaaaaaahhhhhh...foolishness?)

In actuality, moisturizing your dreadlocks on a daily or semi-daily basis is actually a lot better for them. This is especially important in the summer, when it gets really hot. Other than avoiding a nasty dry hair look, moisturizing your locs will keep the hairs strong. Breakage won't be a problem if you are moisturizing often. Along with moisturizing your hair, you will be taking care of your scalp. This will stop your head from itching. You don't want to constantly scratch your head, effectively producing flakes, as well as undoing your locs (especially if you started/maintain your locs by twisting them). We've all seen that girl slapping the mess out of her head because she just got her hair done and doesn't want to scratch it. Don't be that girl. It's not a good look.

I advise buying a little spray bottle and filling it with water and some oils of your choice. Vitamin E, olive oil, peppermint oil (only a few drops or you could do damage to your scalp), rosemary, jojoba oil, tea tree oil, coconut oil, these are all good choices. You can use one, or a combination of them. Use your discretion. You want to have more water in the bottle than oil otherwise it won't squirt out of the bottle, and/or your hair will be over oiled and dripping. Again, not a good look. Spray your hair sometime during the morning, and go about your business. DON'T SATURATE YOUR HAIR. A couple of sprays here and there is all it takes.

3. Never Re-Twist Locs When They Are Dry For the same reasons you shouldn't idly sit and constantly twist your locs, you should never re-twist them when they are dry. This causes thinning and breakage.

If you don't like to wash your hair right before re-twisting it, have your spray bottle handy, and wet your hair section by section as you re-twist.

4. Sleep Caps Work Better Than Durags

(sleep cap) I know it looks girlie, fellas, but bare with me here.

Especially when you have really short locs. Even if you aren't tying the durag too tightly it will still leave an unsightly crease in the back of your head making your dreads there look sort of awkward. If you tie the durag too tightly than you will end up pulling the hair at the nape of your neck. This will thin your hair in that area. If you tie it too loosely, then you risk it falling off over night, then you wake up with a head full of frizzy dreads, and possibly have some lint in there. Having a sleeping cap makes those problems go away. You just place the cap over your head, and rest easy. If you really want to, you can just buy a satin/silk pillow case to sleep on as well. Then the sleep cap won't even be necessary.

5. Hair Ties and Rubber Bands
Avoid the use of rubber bands in your hair, just as a general rule. Rubber bands will pull the hair straight out of the nape of your neck as well as your hairline in the front of your head. Be aware of how tight your head bands or hair ties are when you put them on. As your locks get longer, you're going to want to get them out of your face. The first thing you'll reach for is a head band or hair tie, completely unaware of how tight it might be against your head. Wearing a head band or hair tie that is too tight will give you the same issues a rubber band will give you.

It is a wild misconception that people with dreadlocks cannot wash their hair. We can in fact wash our hair. Maybe not as often as people with other hair styles, but we can wash our hair. In the early stages of dreadlocks it's very common that people will go at least a month or longer without washing their hair in order to get it to start locking. There is nothing wrong with that. Keep it properly moisturized and that won't be such a big deal. 

However, as your locs start to mature, washing the more frequently is more than okay. It's good to clean your dreads and let them breathe rather than clog them up with dirt, locking agent residue, and lint.

Be very gentle about washing and rinsing your hair. Maybe you want to lower the pressure when you do it. This is especially important if you have twisted hair, as opposed to braidlocs, two strand twists, or latched hair. Saturating the hair, and roughly washing it can make your dreadlocks untwist. If you want to be especially careful, you can put something like your sleep cap, or cut pantyhose over your locks, and wash them through that (still very gently). They do make specific clarifying shampoos/conditioners for locs, but honestly you can use whatever you want more or less.

You don't want to end up like this guy:
or maybe you do? To each their own.


  1. Thank you for the tips & advice I started my dreads a year ago so this is very helpful

  2. Is it okay if I use just plain oil sheen to moisturize? And I use a durag when I sleep and I have that awkward issue in the back.

    1. Be careful with oil sheens, most are nonwater soluble and will clog pores leading to hair loss. There is a great hair and scalp oil by Phyto called huile de ales that is water soluble. They also have a scalp treatment oil called phytopolliene that us antifungal, antibacterial, and antimicrobial great to do once a month on a dreaded scalp.

  3. LMAO! I started my locs May 9, 2012, and I came across this post a few months ago, and have found it again. I love your sense of humour, great post!

  4. What is the best solution for thinning?

  5. This dude is quite awsome , with some quite awsome post lol, the last picture killed me , and nice save with the "mor maybe you do" hahaha , this will be verry helpfull.

  6. Is it ok to use Jamaican Mango and Lime "No more itch" grow spray as an moisturizer? Im tryna use the best product for my dreads, just started them 2 weeks ago.

    1. Or you could just make your own its cheap and very easy to do.

  7. Keep your hair clean. Hair tangles when dirt and sweat build up, wash your hair after exercise, swimming etc. Brush your hair and remove all tangles before washing it. Wash your hair going in a downward motion. Use a good quality shampoo, your stylist can advise you what product is best for your hair. When lots of water is added at once to very dry hair, hair can swell up and tangle. Gradually wet the hair and brush gently before you completely wash it. This is more common with less expensive extension hair.

  8. Had long Dread's before cut them off starting fresh and noticed a difference in my hair texture after 4months hair finally looking I oil it and massage them every night is that tooo much???