There is a saying about dreadlocks; if you ask to touch my locs, then be damn sure that your hands and soul are immaculately clean.
For some people, dreadlocks are an exotic or attention-grabbing fashion. And for others, growing and nurturing dreadlocks are a realistic representation of culture and spiritual beliefs.
One must take pride in their physical appearance and their hair, especially if you twist or coil your hair into dreadlocks.
No matter why you wear dreadlocks, it's essential to take good care of them to keep them healthy. Some dreadlock care products are more beneficial than others.
And one of the most beneficial products you can use to take care of your dreadlocks is aloe vera. Aloe vera keeps your dreadlocks healthy, well moisturized, and full looking.
Before discussing the benefits of aloe vera for dreadlocks in-depth, let's first talk about dreadlocks and why they need specialized care.
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The Ancient Importance of Dreadlocks
Dreadlocks, also known as locs, are an ancient form of hairstyling like any other form of hairstyling. Some history experts believe that the first documented mention of dreadlocks occurred in ancient Indian writings over 4,000 years.
What can't be denied is that dreadlocks are an afro-centric form of hairstyling worn by African royalty and ordinary people alike, including the ancient Egyptians, going back millennia.
Slavery's abolishment in the United States in the 19th century saw the cultural and psychological rise of African Americans mimicking European hair textures with chemicals and hot combs.
The Civil Rights struggle of the 20th century and Rastafarianism's tenets taught African Americans the pride of reclaiming their hair's natural aesthetics.
Rastafarian spirituality and beliefs say that dreadlock aesthetics are like the symbol of a lion's mane, peaceful and humble when calm and powerfully striking if provoked.
Wearing dreadlocks is never limiting to the wearer's race, politics, or beliefs – anyone can wear them. It's essential to understand their history, the connotations of pride and spirituality aligned with dreadlocks, and why it's vital to take care of them.
And one of the best ways to take care of and nurture your dreadlocks is with aloe vera.
Aloe Vera and Dreadlocks
Aloe vera is a relative of the cactus plant that has been revered for its miraculous recuperative, dietary, and medicinal properties since the beginning of recorded history.
The aloe vera plant's pictograph carvings were found in Egypt dating back over 6,000 years, although its use probably began much earlier.
In ancient Egypt, aloe vera was the "plant of immortality." Aloe vera was buried with pharaohs after their death to take into the afterlife.
Modern science has shown that aloe vera can heal wounds, skin rashes and burns, and stomach problems like ulcers.
The aloe vera skin and gel, but not the intermediary layer called the latex, can be eaten. It is a proven antioxidant.
Aloe vera is consistently being studied by modern science to find treatments and cures.
Is it any wonder that an ancient plant can offer benefits to dreadlocks? Many shampoo and hair products contain aloe vera as an additive, but your dreadlocks will gain the best benefits of aloe vera from direct application.
The Benefit of Aloe Vera on Dreadlocks
When washing your locs with traditional shampoo products, it can rob your dreadlocks of needed minerals, moisture and make them dry.
Aloe vera helps dreadlocks seal in and retain moisture, minerals, and a healthy natural luster. These attributes also keep your dreadlocks from drying out.
And applying aloe vera to your dreadlocks keeps your scalp moisturized and prevents itchiness.
Aloe vera gel helps dreadlocks maintain aesthetic fullness and thickness.
Because aloe vera is a natural moisturizer, your dreadlocks will never suffer from frizz or breakage again.
Dry dreadlocks can break in places and develop strand-like frizz.
The natural enzymes inherently found in aloe vera destroy the fungus and dead skin cells that create dandruff.
And as aloe vera keeps your dreadlocks healthy, it keeps your scalp and pores healthy, which will cut down on shedding.
Now that you understand the substantial benefits of aloe vera for your dreadlocks, here is a list of products you should reconsider using on your dreadlocks.
Semi-Beneficial Dreadlock Care Products
How you groom your dreadlocks is up to you. However, you should know what you are putting in your hair. And how and when to apply it, and whether it is beneficial for your dreadlocks.
Many people who start their dreadlocks by twisting them incrementally over months use beeswax to hold the twists and coils in place, nurture the developments of dreadlocks, and for the luster they provide.
However, beeswax is a hydrocarbon with a high melting point. That means that once you apply beeswax to your dreadlocks, they are challenging to wash out.
Beeswax is waterproof. So, once beeswax affixes itself to the interior of your dreadlocks, it keeps moisture out and accelerates the drying out process. Beeswax also keeps your dreadlocks from retaining their natural minerals.
As beeswax accumulates within your dreadlocks, drying them out and weigh them down, making them heavier. The more beeswax you apply to your dreadlocks, the heavier and dryer they will become, resulting in breakage and frizz.
You may need to use specialized oils and chemicals to strip beeswax from your dreadlocks entirely.
Traditional Styling Gels
Traditional hair products, like styling gels, can be used on dreadlocks with varying degrees of success. However, such products were not specifically designed for use on locs.
Traditional hairstyling gels contain parabens, an artificial preservative found in many hair and cosmetic products. Parabens may interfere with hormone production.
Traditional styling gels also contain many other artificial additives, colors, and proteins. Too much protein in your dreadlocks can cause brittleness, dryness, and breakage.
Unhealthy Additives and Ingredients
If your hair care products feature an endless list of ingredients with unpronounceable names, then you should think more than twice before applying it to your dreadlocks.
Aloe Vera and Healthy Dreadlocks
You can apply aloe vera to dreadlocks before a shower or afterward as a conditioner.
And the more that you use aloe vera, the healthier your dreadlocks will become.
Want to learn more about dreadlocks? Check out Lion Locs now.
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