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Dreadlocks Care

womens long black dreadlocks

Growing and Caring for Black Dreadlocs

Dreadlocks are a very trendy way to wear black hair but many people are unsure of how to grow this hairstyle of how to care for it.

Dreadlocks get better with time and for many people this hairstyle is a form of self-expression, creativity and dedication.

Any type of hair can be made into locs but people with fine straight hair might prefer to cultivate smaller, thin locs so they have more of them.

How to Grow Dreadlocks

If you want to create locs, first you must wash your hair and use a stripping shampoo to remove the natural oils.

Avoid sticky products like beeswax unless you want dirty, stringy hair.

Salt water from the sea or made up at home with some vinegar added can help your hair loc faster without having to use wax.

The easiest way to grow locs is to not comb your hair any more. Thick hair will take between three and six months to loc. Fine, straight hair types might take a year.

Rastafarians grow their locs in this way and some end up with small ones, one big one or locs of varying sizes.

If you don't have a lot of hair to begin with, a loctition can loc your own hair and add loc extensions to give you an instant loc mane.

You should separate your own hair from the extensions daily so your hair doesn't wrap around the locs. Dread extensions should be worn for three or four weeks at a time only.

Another method to grow locs is to twist the hair in a two strand twist or three strand braid. The root section needs to be retwisted every few days or every week to keep it tight.

Many dreadlock wearers use oil, wax or cream to help hold the dreadlock in place until the hair holds the style on its own.

Don't use beeswax though, because it makes the hair greasy and attracts lint, dirt and even bugs.

How to Care for Your Locs

A lot of people think that dreadlock wearers never wash their hair but this is not the case and it is an important part of dreadlocks care.

Don't wash the hair for the first month though, else the locs won't start matting properly. You can use a herbal spray during this first month to clean the hair so the scalp gets cleaned and doesn't get itchy.

After the first month you can use a shampoo but make sure you rinse the hair well afterwards so that you won't have bits trapped in the loc which will cause flaking and itching.

The most important thing to know about dreadlocks care is to keep rolling them in order to tighten the roots.

Make sure your hands are clean before doing this and examine the roots before twisting. Remove any bits of debris before twisting the hair.

Canned air is a good way to clean your locs. The nozzle is like a fine straw so you can push it into a loc and blow the air through.

Don't spend too long on any section because the air is very cold and can freeze the hair.

Cover your locs on windy days, when cleaning your house or in dusty places. Keep your home as clean and dust-free as possible.

Using an allergy filter does half the work for you. You should keep your locs as dry as you can when you aren't washing them because wet locks can suffer from mildew or mold.

very long locs

Lint is easier to remove from dry locs than damp ones.

Adding Color

If you want to color or bleach your locs, this is possible but it is recommended that you visit a salon.

It can be hard to remove every last trace of dye from inside the locs and any not rinsed out properly can cause hair damage or breakage.

Style Inspiration

How to Control Loc Lint

It is a good idea to cover your locs as often as you can with a non-shedding fabric like satin or silk. Don't use blankets and other shedding fabrics for bed linen.

If you wear knitwear, put a scarf over your head before you put the sweater over it.

If your locs are not covered, be careful where you lay your head and sleep in a scarf or cap because little bits of lint can be tricky to remove, especially since you can't see the back of your head properly.

Dark colors help to minimize lint visibility if you do get bits in your hair.

Rinsing your hair every day with a salt water and vinegar solution will help to tighten your dreads and minimize the space available for lint to form.

You can remove lint from clothing with a tape roller to remove surface lint before it can attach itself to the locs.

womens long dreadlocks

Bugs or Lice in Dreadlocks

Bugs and lice can inhabit any type of hairstyle and dreadlocks are no exception.

If you have bugs, it is best to cut the locs off since you can't know the severity of the infection or how long you have had it.

You also need to clean bed linen with a lice killing spray or soap to avoid re-infection.

If you don't want to cut your locs, you can try a commercial lice removal product or make your own by mixing a cup each of peroxide and vinegar with half a cup of rubbing alcohol.

Soak your scalp and hair with this mixture until it is saturated and put a plastic cap on.

Leave it on for five to eight hours, then remove the cap and wash your hair and scalp.

Make sure you rinse thoroughly to remove the peroxide, so your locs don't lighten.

If this does not work, you might need to cut your locs off and start the loc process again. This can be a pain but is better than having lice!

How to Remove Locs

Locs cannot be unraveled so if you don't want the style any more you will have to cut your hair.

Many people find that they become very attached to their locs and never want to remove them, which is fine as long as you take good care of them.

Locs are a very unique, special way to wear the hair and well cared for locs can look really stunning on both men and women.

Mens Black Locs
Black Dreadlocks
Black Mens Dreadlocks

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Updated October 22, 2012

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