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Friend has mold in dreads, what to do?

Jon Browne
@jon-browne
4 years ago
13 posts

Hello. Just a week or so ago, my friend found mold inside one of her dreads. The dreads are three years old. She cut one whole dread off near the root and was able to see mold locked in the center of the dread. I had suspected this for the past month or so. I knew that smell, but she thought it was one of her metal dread wraps. Anyway, I can still smell mold somewhere in her dreads, but I don't know exactly which one, or how many. I don't know how to go about this. I don't want to be the one to say she has to chop off a dread, but for the sake of stopping the mold, there has to be something she can do. So before I talk to her about it again, I need something to suggest that she do. Any advice folks? Thank you.


updated by @jon-browne: 01/13/15 09:50:17PM
Eric Blaine Finley
@eric-blaine-finley
4 years ago
16 posts

tea tree oil, mabe

Baba Fats
@baba-fats
4 years ago
2,730 posts

Eagle may know better methods, but very strong concentrations of clove oil can kill mold pretty well. I am pretty sure white vinegar does it too. But Eagle would know better exactly what to do. It's not something you can fix with 1 wash. It takes a few sessions to be sure all of the mold is dead.

The main thing is to find out what they did to allow mold to grow there in the first place. What do they wash with? How often? Was wax or any other product used?

the Barrellady
@the-barrellady
4 years ago
1,302 posts

Don't know how the mold set in your friends 3 year old dreads, but here are a couple of preventatives: Don't go to bed with wet hair, make sure dreads dry in between washes. I use a micro fiber towel, like a shamwow, to suck as much water as possible out of my dreads. I have heard that the essential oil Lavender will help keep mold at bay in dreads.

Here is a link to essential oils and the help they give us for our dreads: http://www.dreadlockssite.com/forum/topics/essential-oils-for-dreads-and-scalp-health?xg_browser=iphone

Good luck to your friend....Peace

Jon Browne
@jon-browne
4 years ago
13 posts

Well, I guess what she found might not have been mold. I had some white, fuzzy, fibrous stuff in my dread where I had a bead. I knew that wasn't mold and she said she picked out the same thing. So what she found could have just been some kind of fabric. But I definitely smell mold/mildew somewhere in her dreads. It could be multiple locations. It could be in just one area. I don't know. And now, she's saying that her scalp hurts and showed me a red area that was scabbing. Could that be caused by mold in hair? She sprays a tea tree/water solution on to her hair daily and washes and dries her hair correctly. We even did a deep clean with baking soda/tea tree/patchouli and apple cider vinegar. I still smell mold, and I don't know what to do at this point. It's to the point sometimes where I can't get close to the back of their head because it smells like mold. I feel really bad and I don't know how to help. She either has to cut them off, or live with mold in her hair, which I can assume is a health hazard.

Baba Fats
@baba-fats
4 years ago
2,730 posts

Here's a link for a post here about getting rid of mold. It should be helpful:

http://www.dreadlockssite.com/forum/topics/getting-rid-of-mold-in-your-dreadies

Does she root rub or twist? Or does she use a scalp spray and not wash it out within ~2 hours? Root rubbing will easily cause a sore scalp and either a rash, or even scabs. Salt will over dry her scalp and cause serious itching, which can even hurt and cause bleeding.

I doubt the mold would cause that. But if it's starting to grow next to her scalp, it's possible she's got an infections.

Don't jump to the infection idea right away. First treat the mold in her hair, and find out if she does any maintenance to her roots. Once the mold is killed, and she stops messing with her roots, see if it clears itself up over a few weeks.

Mold is a serious healthhazard. People with mold in their house are more likely to get lung infections and develop asthma. Having it around your head 24/7 will increase all of those problems

DreadBruja
@dreadbruja
4 years ago
44 posts

don't forget to wash all pillowcases, headwraps, bandanas, etc! Spores will cling to that and regrow!

Laura Earle
@laura-earle
4 years ago
233 posts

Oh noes. :( I've heard that soaking your hair in Listerine (since it's an antiseptic) helps combat mold, but you might want to do some background research on that.

Jon Browne
@jon-browne
4 years ago
13 posts

Now I'm afraid that I might get mold too. We do sometimes switch pillows. So far my hair doesn't smell. It does kinda itch, but I can't tell if it's more than usual.

Regardless, last night right before I fell asleep, I could notice the smell of mold around her hair again. It had kinda died down the past few days, but it was quite intense last night. I can even still smell it on the pillow. We tried a baking soda + clove + tea tree wash with an apple cider vinegar rinse about a week ago. It seemed to only mask the smell of mold. I'm going to recommend that she continue doing this wash once a week or so to kill the mold. I'm not sure at what point she has to come to realize that she has to cut them out. I can't be the one to tell her that either. I'm trying to help and so far she gets defensive when I smell her hair. It's not my fault. I can't help the intense odor of mold coming from her dreads. I feel really bad. I'm trying to pinpoint the location of the mold, and it seems like it's near the tips of one or more dreads. I can't find their exact locations and they are not visible to the eye.

I'm almost at the point of giving up trying to help her. She doesn't look for the mold on her own, and I don't think she'll want to let me do it for her. She seemed reluctant to even do the wash. I'm like dude you have mold in your dreads. I feel like she is in denial that there is even mold in her dreads. Nobody else has brought it up to her.

Jon Browne
@jon-browne
4 years ago
13 posts

I've been finding some white, fuzzy substance in the loops of my dreads. When I smell the loops directly, I can kinda smell that "moldy" smell, but I'm not sure. I have a feeling that the white stuff is just dead skin that got trapped in the dread. When I wash my hair, I usually end up squeezing and wringing out a decent amount of this white/brown/grey wax. I have never used wax in my dreads and I have only used residue free shampoo and baking soda. I haven't washed my dreads fully in about a month. They still smell and feel fine aside from the loops that have the dead skin trapped inside. I've been picking out as much as I can without tearing apart the dread. I'm afraid that I'm breaking hairs and pulling them out of the dread, but I need to do something about this waxy, sebum material.

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