Dreadlocks are one of those hairstyles that yield diversity to various looks from updos to Mohawks and cascading waves.
Although you don’t have to suffer through the trial of detangling hair with this style, having locs doesn’t mean that haircare should be put on a back burner. You still need to schedule regular visits to your stylist and pay close attention to proper maintenance.
We caught up with Celebrity Hairstylist Felicia Leatherwood, who is the talent behind many of Jill Scott’s hairstyles, for a few tips on properly caring for locs.
Leatherwood says it’s important to have locs “blessed” (touched up) at least once a month but it’s what goes on between salon visits that’s really important to the hair’s health. “In between that time, it’s important to oil the scalp but make sure the locs aren’t left with moisture,” she says.
Allowing hair to fully dry after a shampoo is key because locs are thick and can hold moisture so there’s a risk for bacterial buildup to occur, she says. That’s why it’s important to give hair ample time to completely dry by either air drying or sitting under a hooded dryer. If not, you could be stuck with a smelly mildew odor.
Thinning could also occur as a result of bacterial buildup on the scalp. Leatherwood recommends using Listerine to rid hair of the scent. “It won’t go away overnight but it will definitely improve,” she says.” That’s what Listerine does, it fights germs and bacteria.”
An anti-fungal shampoo such as Nizoral, apple cider vinegar and which hazel can also help rid hair of the unpleasant scent.
-Oil The Scalp
Leatherwood also says it’s a rule-of-thumb to oil the scalp after each wash for moisture. Jojoba, olive, rosemary, ylang ylang and other essential oils are great options to keep scalp from becoming dry and flaky which helps to prevent breakage.
What other tips do you recommend in caring for dreads?