Florida A&M University Student Writer
(BLACK PR WIRE/FAMU-TALLAHASSEE) – With the natural hair craze taking the world of Black hair care by storm, the ever so popular hairstyle of dreadlocks has returned with full force, but not only among African-Americans. No longer heavily associated with negative connotations, individuals with dreadlocks can be found from all walks of life and among all races.
Now more than ever it is important to know how to properly take care of dreadlocks. That is why we have created this guide to help you maintain your healthy locks. At first the process can be a little time consuming, but once you get the hang of it, your locks will be grateful.
1. Wash Weekly
Dreads need to be clean to lock well and be healthy. So in order to make sure that dreads are as healthy as possible, a weekly wash is recommended. There is no need to buy a dread-specific soap; any non-residue shampoo will work well.
The most effective way to wash dreadlocks is by washing the scalp only at first, and then rinsing the soap through the dreads. Placing 1 part shampoo in an applicator bottle and 12 parts water will not only allow direct shampoo to scalp contact, but will also minimize the overuse of shampoo.
The element of conditioning is vital to maintaining shine and the overall healthy look of dreadlocks. An apple cider vinegar rinse is the best way to get dreads looking the best they can. Mix ¼ cup to 1 cup of apple cider vinegar with 16 ounces of water. After shampooing apply the vinegar rinse. Message the rinse into the scalp and let it sit for a couple of minutes.
The hair and scalp have a natural acidic pH. In any situation where there is an imbalance of pH, caused either by the hair products used or a natural imbalance, the apple cider vinegar used will restore it.
The rinse should be used twice a month, but since everyone’s hair is unique the user should use his or her own judgment when considering increasing usage.
3. Deep Conditioning
It is imperative to take preventative measures to ensure that there is little to no breakage to the dreadlocks as possible. Using natural oils such as sweet almond oil, coconut oil or olive oil will allow dreads to be deep conditioned. The locks should be lightly coated with oil after towel drying hair, and then covered with a plastic cap, or plastic bag. During the winter months, when weather can be harsh and drying, deep conditioning after every wash is recommended. People who stay in warmer climates can do this step once a month.
4. Daily Moisturizing
Three days after washing, locks should be moisturized daily. Using a moisturizing mist is the most effective way to ensure locks are receiving adequate moisture. One can either buy a pre-made mist or make one themselves.
Fill a ¾ spray bottle with aloe vera juice, and the remaining ¼ with one of the natural oils mentioned earlier. Then add a maximum of 5 drops of rose oil, lavender oil, peppermint oil or lemon oil to add a nice smell. Shake your spray bottle before using it, because the oil will be floating on the surface of the water. Store the spray in the fridge after use.
5. Protective Night Care
Just like with any other hairstyle, sleeping with a night scarf (a silk wrap to avoid breakage) is so important. Locks tend to shed a lot and protecting your edges and your scalp is crucial. A silk night cap helps keep the moisture in your hair and scalp, as well as protect your hair from pillow friction. Make a practice of never going to sleep without protecting your hair.
6. Enjoy Beautiful Dreadlocks
Enjoy your beautiful, healthy dreadlocks and all of the compliments you will get.
The HBCU Writer's Project is designed to allow students attending historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) the opportunity to exhibit their writing skills and have their works published on a national news wire website. Submissions are authored by individual student writers, and are not officially endorsed by any educational institution. For more information on the HBCU Writer's Project, contact 1-877-BlackPR or email firstname.lastname@example.org.