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washing dreadlocks guide

washing new dreadlocks or old

tip:cold cold water will eliminate dandruff and dread itch! wash with slightly cool water, but rinse with cold as you can stand.

new dreadlocks


always use either a non residue soap or the baking soda deep cleanse. many recommend washing with a stocking over your head and being very gentle not to disturb knots, this may make sense in backcombed hair that tends to unravel easily. many say its not nesacary, i never did myself, and i went natural and found my hair was more knotty not less after every washing. so the use of stockings is highly debatable.

mature dreadlocks

mature dreads don't require such gentle methods, just wash as you feel you should. mature dreads are more forgiving to conditioners and residues too, but residues once building up in the dread will be harder to remove so they are still best avoided.

methods of washing

1: flat palm method- gently rub the head with a flat palm in a circular motion (no it doesn't matter which
2: finger scrape method- with fingertips/nails scrape the scalp around and between dreads and under the roots careful to not scrub the dreads themselves much
3: no scrub deep cleanse- using the baking soda deep cleanse simply pour the solution over your head (keep eyes closed tight) and leave it in to soak a good while. 10-30 minutes depending how dirty the hair/scalp.

after all washing techniques simply rinse the soap/baking soda through the dreads and rinse very thoroughly

soap, shampoo, other selection

1: just cause its non residue doesn't make it great. look for soaps without sls's (sodium laurel sulphates or any ingredients that don't sound natural)
2: dreadheadhq and knotty boy soaps are ok, the only thing they make that is worthwhile and not harmful, however due to theyre lies and practices of pushing harmful products many ethical dreadheads prefer to boycott them entirely.
3: dr bronners 18 in 1 magic soaps are great for most people, but should be diluted 18-1 , however in some water types it may not rinse well.
4: the baking soda deep cleanse cleans better then most soaps, eats away at any build up dry skin and leaves you feeling extra clean, plus is cheap, you most likely have it in your kitchen, and is a natural part of the environment so is not polluting.

don't use dread wax!

dread wax is pure residue, it builds up and never comes out unless you take extreme measures to remove it
wax buildup traps dirt and moisture which leads to mold and in nearly all cases dreads being cut prematurely due to grossness.

more information

dreadlock products forums
dreadlocks maintenance forum
baking soda deep cleanse cleans
dreadwax information and removal
all dreadlocks forums
the dreadlocks site


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dread gurus
Comment by ☮ soaring eagle ॐ on May 3, 2014 at 7:46pm

be aware tho that most palm oil comes from slave not sure most  but alot thats 1 reason dreadlockshampoo wont use it there are safe sources but u really need to research deeply

Comment by michelle on May 3, 2014 at 7:35pm
Coconut and palm are healthy I think from googling for dreads...ill throw in extra sea salt as a measure perhaps as well

dread gurus
Comment by ☮ soaring eagle ॐ on May 3, 2014 at 10:34am

id be more concerned that it would be too conditioning

heathers more of a soap expert then i am

Comment by michelle on May 3, 2014 at 12:25am
hi... i enjoy making soaps for my own use here in australia.
my daughter has dreadlocks and i want to make her some.
here is my usual soap making recipie

120 gm lye
200gm coconut oil
200 gm palm oil (environmentally sourced of course)
water / goats milk

would this be okay for her hair...or will this cause any residue ?
she wants a shampoo that contains no residue...and i want to make her a gift for her birthday.
i just want to know if you think my recipie will be okay.

i realise you also use beer instead of water and the kaolin clay as a extra substitute..i am sure that would be lovely as well...

look forward to you reply.

crafty crafters
Comment by SimpleSpiveys on January 12, 2014 at 9:26pm

In case anyone is wondering, there's a gigantic bag of baking soda sold by arm & hammer, I found it at BJ's wholesale club and it was around $6. I was pretty annoyed buying those little boxes all the time only to have them clump up. The resealable bag is so much better.

Comment by Tracey Coker on September 21, 2013 at 3:20pm

Also, I did see your recommendation about using them on mature dreads first.  I am boiling up a batch but the great thing about this stuff is that I can also use it to clean other stuff and also as a laundry concentrate so nothing lost....Thanks!

Comment by Tracey Coker on September 21, 2013 at 3:17pm

Absolutely!  I have tons.  Actually, what I do is I save the nuts that I use for my laundry.  it is recommended you use about 5 nuts per load and you can use them an average of 5-7 times.  The start to get a little soft so I put them in a jar.  I know they still have "life" so I figured I would use them for something.  Well, I just boiled them to make the "shampoo" and they got sudsy so they sure did have more life!  These things are awesome.  

Yes, send me your address.  I'll get some out to you on Monday.  

dread gurus
Comment by ☮ soaring eagle ॐ on September 21, 2013 at 3:05pm

others have discussed them and im not sure if anyones tried them or not its worth a try but id feel better trying em on mature dreads 1st

any chance u could send me a few to try

enough for a few washes

Comment by Tracey Coker on September 21, 2013 at 2:24pm

I saw this topic on another thread but this one is more recent so I wanted to ask here...

I have about 2 pounds of soap nuts/soap berries because I wash my laundry with them.  I have been *trying* to do research on whether or not they are good for dreads - mostly the residue issue.  They look like they would be perfect for dreads as most blogs are saying they control dandruff and balance the scalp and prevent infections.  I have also seen a few comments about how they have made people's hair knotty (which in our case is a good thing) but these were all complaints from women who want silky smooth keratin treated hair.  So I will take that comment as a PLUS.  

I am not a scientists plus I have dreads that are only about 2 weeks old so I want to get input from anyone who has any after reading this article.  Based on this information on them I am willing to give them a try and make the "shampoo" but if I am missing an important aspect of their organic makeup that would NOT be good for dreads, I would like someone to STOP me!  :)  

If all sounds good I will report back with my results.  Here is the link (althought there are tons of info sites on these little balls of awesomeness):

dread gurus
Comment by ☮ soaring eagle ॐ on September 20, 2013 at 7:02pm

whaty do u wash with

vip supporters
Comment by Karen Guy on September 20, 2013 at 6:00pm

to clarify- I have NOT noticed the same problem with my or my son's scalp. referring to my earlier comment below.  Thanks

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Comment by Karen Guy on September 20, 2013 at 5:58pm

So I kissed my little goodbye on the head today only to get a smelly almost sour wiff of her scalp.  Not wanting to have my daughter be thought of as the little girl with smelly dreads, deepening peoples misconception of dreads please offer some advice.  I have read through many of the old topics and just not sure what it could be coming from.  She washes about 2-3weeks & I often help her and really scrub her scalp, because I know she isn't doing it so well.  She swims 3x/week with a swim cap and dances also 3x/week, so lots of activity. She is 10 and her dreads are about 2mth along now. Any & all advice welcomed.  My son & I are also on this journey, but I have noticed the same issues with either of us.

crafty crafters
Comment by Kelsi Kirby on September 11, 2013 at 4:19pm

dr. bronner's all the way! :)

Comment by Jacob Jones on May 15, 2013 at 12:26am

So, we know how to wash. How about some tips on what You might do in the early stages before u have any locks or even twisting to Dry your hair after shower, hair wash/rinse. I shower every day because i work outside building houses. I get dirty. After washing, just flop it back out of face and drip dry? Or go straight to bed? What Ya got for me. This seems to be the info i am lacking.

Comment by Zach Zimmel on April 24, 2013 at 5:08pm

Baking soda it is!~

bands and musicians
Comment by Barbie Batwings on February 28, 2013 at 4:37pm

Is it still fine to use an ACV rinse after the baking soda cleanse on new dreads?

crafty crafters
Comment by Tamir Klein on February 27, 2013 at 10:31am

soaring eagle: since i joined the site I have been washing my hair with backing soda at least once a week. The problem I am faced with I feel many of my dreads are still pretty "wavy" and I'd like them to get nice and knotty like some I have. How do you recommend I go about doing this? Thanks for the info!

dread gurus
Comment by ☮ soaring eagle ॐ on February 26, 2013 at 9:59pm

well looks like its strickly for africa n haitr type and they sell wax  any site that says wax should be used in dreads  i wouldnt trust they also recomend retwisting wich leads to balding so it looks like just any other dread products scam but with as natural a knottybot=y not a dreadheadhq knottyboys more natural yet sr=till ruins dreads dreadheadhq is toxic garbage

now yea naturals h better appeals to the natueraklness in you but waxres and crap still ruin locks wouldnyt risk it

Comment by michell loera on February 26, 2013 at 9:46pm

Just wondering if anyone has bought shampoo from this site.. seems legit. I was thinking of getting the mystic rain dreadlock moisturizing conditioner.  My scalp has been a lil itchy latley and ive been having some drandruff.. Just wondering why my scalp is itchy.. it never used to be.Ive also been using the liquid dreadlock shampoo recommended of this site

dread gurus
Comment by ☮ soaring eagle ॐ on November 20, 2012 at 1:39pm

tamir u should have been washing al along but not woth regular shampoo go wash now with baking soda then buy a dreasd shampoo like

beka  it is dry dead skin  u gotta make the bs srtronger or if its strong enough use a high pressure setting on a handheldmassage showerhed

sweat vinager/ impossible unless you drink it by the gall9n

acv you pour on your head then rinse

sweat comes from inside u

u cant sweat vinager unless you drink vinager

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