Washing your dreadlocks can take a while, but it’s nothing compared to drying them. Your locs are like sponges — they soak up moisture and take forever to dry. Many of us have to schedule hair-washing days to ensure we have time to dry our dreadlocks after washing!
It’s also many people’s least favorite part about their dreadlocks, but we must dry the right or risk our hair becoming unhealthy.
However, we’ve found some techniques over the years that you can use to dry your locs more quickly after washing.
Related: How to Care For Your Locs
Dry Your Locs Without Damaging Them in Eight Steps
If you want to dry your locs quickly and safely, you’ll need some microfiber towels and a hairdryer to get started.
We recommend washing your locs early in the day to ensure they are dry before you go to bed. And remember, even though your locs might seem dry when you feel them, they can still be damp inside!
Squeeze Out the Water By Hand
After washing your dreadlocks and ensuring no shampoo or product is left in them, you’ll want to section your locs.
Then, take your hands and squeeze the water out; you want to start at the root and work your way toward your scalp. This action is not like wringing your hair out; that can damage your dreadlocks.
If you twist your dreadlocks while squeezing water out, you risk stressing your scalp and breaking your hair. Instead, pretend your locs are a stress ball and squeeze!
Squeeze Your Locs With a Microfiber Towel
Next, you’ll want to wrap a microfiber towel around your locs and squeeze them again — the microfiber material will help absorb more water from your hair.
Unlike cotton towels that can leave lint in your locs, microfiber ones leave nothing behind. In addition, they can absorb much more water than other materials; they’re perfect for drying your dreadlocks!
You can use any other cloth in a pinch, but you’ll want to get a few high-quality microfiber towels; they will make your life much easier — trust us!
Wrap your Locs With a Microfiber Towel
Now, if you have some free time, you’ll need another microfiber towel. If you’re in a rush, go ahead and skip to the next step.
With another (dry) microfiber towel, wrap it around your locs and leave it alone for around an hour; this allows the microfiber cloth to absorb excess water in your locs.
You can also use a towel turban or bath towel, but you risk getting lint in your locs — Plus, they don’t dry nearly as well.
Related: When to Wash Starter Locs
Roll Your Locs
If you don’t have time to wrap your locs and let them sit, the next best option is palm rolling. It’s easy to do, effective, and can help get excess water out of your dreadlocks quickly.
Just make sure you start at your roots, squeeze gently, and don’t twist while you squeeze!
Shake Your Locs
If you still notice any water dripping from the tips of your locs, there’s still too much moisture in them. It’s time to shake your locs!
So put on your favorite tunes and start headbanging! Or use your hands to “flick” your locs back and forth — we think the first way is more fun, though!
Remember that long dreadlocks can get extremely heavy when wet, so don’t hurt your neck when shaking them. Also, ensure plenty of room around you so you don’t damage your locs (or anything around you!).
Let Them Air Dry
By now, your hair should be more damp than wet. You have two options: Let them air dry or grab a hairdryer.
If it’s warm outside, we recommend letting them air dry. Wind can help speed up the process, too.
But if the weather isn’t cooperating, you’ll need to blow dry your locs to eliminate that extra moisture.
Related: How to Moisturize Your Scalp
Or Use a Hairdryer
You’ve probably heard that blow drying your locs is not good — and that’s mostly true. However, when the weather doesn’t make air drying feasible, you can use a hairdryer for a few minutes; don’t use high heat, though!
The warm setting will help your locs dry more quickly, but the cool setting will help reduce frizziness at the cost of more time.
If you have another microfiber towel lying around, you can use it to form a tunnel with your locs in the center. Then, blow air from the hairdryer into the towel at an angle — this distributes the warmth more evenly.
However, if you don’t have one available, you can use a diffuser attachment that likely came packaged with your hairdryer. Similar to using a microfiber towel, this helps concentrate the hot air where you need it most — on your locs!
Spread Out Your Locs
Finally, if your locs are still wet when it’s time for bed, you can spread them out over a (preferably silk or satin) pillowcase. Turning on a fan can help even more.
Don’t cover your locs the night after washing! Stagnant air and a bit of moisture put you at greater risk for mildew and dread rot — and we don’t want that!
Looking for more loc tricks and tips? Learn about caring for your locs and get the products you need to keep them healthy!
Our Final Tips for Drying Your Locs
You should now know how to dry your dreadlocks without damaging them, but we still have a few tips left!
- Wash your locs early in the morning; you never want to sleep with wet locs.
- If you wear beads or other accessories in your locs, move them around, so water doesn’t get trapped under them.
- Loc oil is great, but it does help retain some moisture — skip oiling on wash days, but keep using your favorite loc oil on other days!
- If you have loc extensions, know that they drake longer to dry.
- Don’t tie up or style your locs while they are drying.
Happy, healthy locs start with the right organic loc products — get yours here!