How to Wash Dreads

Washing dreadlocks isn’t just about keeping them clean; it’s a vital part of maintaining their health, appearance, and the vibrant spirit they encapsulate. Our journey with dreadlocks is more than just a style; it’s an expression of our inner selves and a bold statement against the ordinary.

This article, “How to Wash Dreads,” gives you clear instructions on cleaning your dreadlocks properly to keep them looking great and healthy. It’s perfect for anyone, whether you just got your dreads or have had them for years. Inside, you’ll find out how often to wash your dreads, what kind of shampoo works best, and the right way to dry them. Cleaning your dreads correctly is super important to avoid any smell or loosening. You’ll learn about choosing the right shampoo that doesn’t leave unwanted stuff in your dreads and making sure you get all the soap out when you rinse. By following the straightforward tips in this guide, you’ll know how to care for your dreadlocks. This will help them stay nice and healthy, showcasing your unique look.

How Often to Wash Dreads

Finding the right balance in washing your dreads is key. Too often, and you might weaken their structure; too rare, and you could end up with buildup that affects both the health and appearance of your locks.

Frequency Matters: A good rule of thumb is to wash your dreadlocks every 1 to 2 weeks. This interval helps maintain their cleanliness without over-stripping natural oils that keep them healthy.

Listen to Your Scalp: Everyone’s hair is different. If your scalp feels itchy or your dreads seem heavy and dull before your scheduled wash, it might be time to clean them a bit earlier. On the flip side, if they’re thriving with less frequent washes, adjust accordingly.

Adapting to Lifestyle: Your washing routine may also need to adapt to your lifestyle. More active individuals or those in dustier environments might need to wash their dreads slightly more often.

Understanding your dreads and how they respond to washing will help you establish a routine that keeps them at their best.

In the next section, we’ll explore how to wash dreadlocks at home, ensuring you have all the knowledge and confidence to care for your dreads without compromising their beauty or integrity.

How to Wash Dreadlocks at Home

Taking care of your dreadlocks right at home is not just practical; it’s a way to bond with your unique hairstyle. Keeping your dreads clean while ensuring they stay healthy and strong requires a bit of know-how. Let’s break down the process into easy steps to make sure your locks stay fresh and fabulous.

Getting Ready to Wash

Soak Your Dreads: Begin by soaking your dreadlocks in water that’s warm but not too hot. This helps open up the hair cuticles, readying your locks for a thorough cleanse.

Shampoo Time

Pick the Right Shampoo: Use a shampoo that’s made for dreadlocks, meaning it won’t leave any residue behind. Apply a small amount on your scalp first, working it in gently to avoid tangling.

Focus on the Scalp

Scalp First: The secret to clean dreads is focusing on the scalp. Use your fingertips to massage the shampoo into your scalp with soft, circular movements, cleaning away dirt and oils without pulling at the roots of your dreads.

Rinsing Out

Rinse Well: Make sure to rinse out all the shampoo from your dreadlocks. Keep going until the water runs clear, ensuring no shampoo remains in your locks.

Drying the Dreads

Remove Excess Water Gently: Press the water out of your dreads carefully. Pulling too hard can damage them.

Dry Them Out: Let your dreadlocks air dry fully, or use a blow dryer on a low or cool setting to speed things up. Make sure they’re completely dry to avoid any musty smells.


Tidy Up Loose Strands: You might find some hairs have escaped your dreads after washing. Use a small hook to weave them back in gently.

Moisturize: Once dry, lightly apply a dreadlock-friendly oil to keep your locks moisturized and looking their best.

By following these easy steps, you can keep your dreadlocks clean and in great shape right at home. Not only does this save you a trip to the stylist, but it also strengthens your connection to your locks, celebrating each twist and turn as a part of your journey.

Next, we’ll dive into answering some common questions about dreadlock care, like if it’s okay to wash your hair with dreads and whether using shampoo is a good idea, ensuring you’re fully equipped to keep your dreads looking their best.

Can You Wash Your Hair with Dreads?

Yes, you can and should wash your hair even if you have dreadlocks. Keeping your hair clean is essential to maintaining healthy dreads. Some people might worry that washing could loosen their dreads, but not washing could lead to buildup and odor. The key is using the right technique and products to keep your dreads tight and clean.

Can You Wash Dreadlocks with Shampoo?

Definitely, yes. However, not just any shampoo will do. It’s important to use a shampoo that is clear of residues that might cling to your dreads and cause buildup. Look for shampoos specifically designed for dreadlocks or use natural, residue-free options. These shampoos clean your scalp and hair without leaving anything unwanted behind.

How to Keep Dreads Clean

Keeping your dreadlocks clean isn’t just about washing them; it’s about regular maintenance to prevent buildup and ensure they look and feel great. Here are simple steps to maintain clean, healthy dreads:

  1. Choose the Right Shampoo

Opt for residue-free shampoos that are gentle on your dreads. These ensure your locks stay clean without accumulating gunk.

  1. Rinse Thoroughly

Make sure every wash is followed by thorough rinsing to get all the soap out. Leftover shampoo can attract dirt and lead to buildup.

  1. Dry Completely

Never let your dreads stay damp. Always dry them thoroughly, either naturally or with a blow dryer on a cool setting, to prevent mold or a musty smell.

  1. Regular Maintenance

Aside from washing, regularly palm roll your dreads to keep them tight and tidy. Address loose strands promptly to maintain their neat appearance.

  1. Protect Your Dreads

When you’re not washing them, keep your dreads clean by protecting them from dust and dirt. Use a dread cap at night and in dusty environments.

  1. Use Natural Oils Sparingly

If your scalp or dreads feel dry, apply natural oils like coconut or jojoba oil, but do so sparingly. Too much oil can attract dirt and lead to buildup.

By following these simple care tips, you can ensure your dreadlocks remain as vibrant and expressive as they are meant to be, reflecting your unique spirit and style. Keeping your dreads clean is not just about aesthetics; it’s a crucial part of maintaining the health and longevity of your locks, allowing them to be a true expression of your individuality.