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