Nothing beats a full head of beautiful dreadlocks. But if you're looking to speed up your hair growth, then patients are critical. Although there are several things, you can do to encourage new hair growth and achieve the long luscious locs you've always wanted.
Growing healthy dreadlocks takes time and patience. While there are plenty of 'hair growth solutions' out there, we prefer to stick to more natural methods that are well-tested and low-risk.
Below are five great tips to help you grow long and healthy dreadlocks faster. Hopefully, these tips will work for you too.
Related: History of Dreadlocks
The Stages of Human Hair Growth
Before we get to the tips for growing your locs faster, here are a few fun facts about the hair all over your body, including the hair on your scalp. Your hair follows a three-phase cycle - anagen, catagen, and telegen.
- The Anagen Phase is when your hair is in active growth.
- The Catagen Phase is the short transitional phase that shows the ending of active growth.
- The Telegen Phase is the resting phase before your follicles rapidly divide and you're back in active growth again.
Not all of your follicles go through these phases at the same time. So, at any given time, some of your hair is always actively growing while others are resting.
How Fast Can Your Locs Grow in a Year?
We're told that human hair can grow about ½ inch every month. As compared to loose hair, particularly afro-textured hair, locs seem to grow far faster. It isn't really true that loc'd hair grows faster; it just maintains all of its growth. Hair that is normally shed in the growth process and hair that breaks off at the ends due to manipulation are all retained within the loc. Your locs get to hold that whole ½ inch every month!
With care and an avoidance of harmful practices, your locs could potentially grow up to six inches in one year. That's significant! And because mature dreadlocks hang straight down, your locs aren't likely to suffer from the shrinkage that most afro-textured hair does.
Most of you won't see six inches of growth every year consistently. But it's interesting to note that human hair tends to grow more in the summer and a little less in the winter, according to a 1991 study. All the reasons aren't known, but it may have to do with our increased activity during the summer causing more blood circulation, or it may be due to greater hormonal activity as our bodies try to keep us cool. All that is known is that your hair grows a little faster in the summer months.
Following are five tips for growing your dreadlocks faster.
1. Increase Circulation to The Scalp
Like all parts of the human body, your hair needs a steady supply of nutrients to grow and flourish. Luckily, there are loads of easy ways to improve your hair's blood flow to keep your locs happy such as:
Having your scalp massaged regularly will stimulate the blood flow to your head (and your dreadlocks), pumping nutrients to the follicles while causing them to grow quicker. And one of the best things about scalp massages is that you can do it yourself. The next time you're sitting around the house watching Netflix, gently massage your scalp using your fingers for 5-10 minutes per day, leading to faster, healthier hair growth.
And without a healthy flow of blood to carry those nutrients to the hair, your dreadlocks could end up starved and less able to grow.
Exercising daily is another way to increase the blood flow to your hair follicles. Yoga is especially useful for getting more blood moving to the head, just think of the downward facing poses like the following:
Eating a healthy diet and eating foods high in iron can improve your circulation, while hot spices like cayenne or chili peppers can cause your blood vessels to dilate, letting more blood get to where it's needed. Below is a list of a few foods high in iron.
- Baked potatoes
- Beans and lentils
- Fortified breakfast cereals
- Whole-grain and enriched breads
- Dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach
2. Remain stress-free
This is not just good hair growth advice, but good life advice as well.
When dealing with something stressful, your body creates extra adrenaline and cortisol (often called ‘the stress hormones’). These hormones are great at resolving a stressful situation. But if you get stressed over an extended period of time, your body struggles to regulate these hormones, leading to higher levels of another hormone, DHT.
Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) causes hair follicles to shrink and enter a resting phase, where the hair production slows down. And that’s something you don’t want when trying to encourage your dreadlocks to grow faster. To get the best possible hair growth, you should do everything you can to reduce or eliminate stress from your life.
3. Use natural oils to boost and strengthen your hair
There are many drugs and chemicals on the market that claims to help with hair growth. But there's also plenty of natural alternatives that have been used for several centuries.
Castor oil is full of beneficial fatty acids and proteins. It’s rich in antioxidants that support the keratin in the hair, and it has plenty of ricinoleic acids, which can help improve blood circulation in the scalp.
Unfortunately, it’s also thick and sticky, so some prefer to mix it with coconut oil to make it easier to use.
But take care: some people may have an allergic reaction to some of the ingredients. So firstly do a quick test on a small area of skin beforehand and wait a day or two to see how your skin reacts.
Do you want to grow your dreadlocks faster? Try our high-quality, organic loc-care products. Visit Lion Locs today!
4. Physical Protection
You can utilize all the Hair growth tips in the world, and they will do nothing for you if your dreadlocks can’t survive once they’ve grown.
Protecting your dreadlocks from damage and breakage is simple if you follow the below steps.
Step 1: Wrap your locs up using a scarf or silk cover when sleeping, can help to reduce friction and prevent them from drying out.
Step 2: Find a reliable conditioning treatment that will help to lock in your hair’s natural oils.
Step 3: Try using a shower cap with plenty of space to keep your dreadlocks dry and safe while in the shower or a swimming cap while swimming in the pool.
5. Be Patient
When it comes to Growing any hair, it takes time and careful maintenance. However, dreadlocks can take longer, so be patient and don't take risks that may damage your dreadlocks.
Specifically, avoid the following:
Number one on our avoidance list is using a hair-growth drug that isn't well researched or tested. With so many companies claiming their product speeds up hair growth (especially online), the buyers' health is not being a top priority.
Number two is over-grooming or frequent re-twists. Excessive twisting can cause the thinning and breakages to your dreadlocks, so most people recommend having at least a 4-week window between each session.
The last thing to be aware of is overloading on vitamins and supplements. Some help grows hair faster (and many are relatively safe), but you should always talk to your doctor before you start taking anything new.
Maintaining Your Dreadlocks To Be Healthy While Growing
Maintaining dreadlocks is very different from managing other natural hairstyles. They don't need to be brushed and don't require regular trimming. Like other natural hairstyles, despite popular belief, dreadlocks need to be kept clean, as clean locs lock up and tighten faster than dirty locs. You may notice that dreadlocks look better and better over time. As locs continue to mature, they become tighter, smoother, and require less maintenance.
Your maintenance routine is critical to sustaining healthy and thriving dreadlocks. Locking down a consistent regimen that suits your hair type is vital. If you're wondering where to start, follow the steps below to achieve your loc goals.
Dreadlocks require less moisturizing then loose hair. But it still needs regular attention, try moisturizing your dreadlocks anytime they feel dry to promote dreadlock health and growth. Dry hair breaks easily, and brittle locs are the last thing you want. So by using a light leave-in moisturizer or moisturizing oils, you can avoid breakage.
Oils like coconut and olive oil will protect your locs from drying out, and using diluted tea tree oil will help clean your locs with its antifungal properties. While Jamaican black castor oil will keep your scalp moisturized and healthy, able to grow longer, stronger locs.
Wear a Headscarf in Bed
Dreadlocks collect lint and other fuzzy substances even if they are very clean. This happens more frequently while you're sleeping, so wrapping your locs with a satin scarf or bonnet is crucial. It also prevents breakage and dry locs during the night. Ensuring your bedding isn't shedding a lot of lint will help.
Deep cleaning your Dreadlocks
No matter the state of your dreadlocks, you will still have to cleanse your locs two or three times per year, depending on your personal needs. The good news is that Its really easy to do. Just soak your locs in an inflatable basin filled with a solution of apple cider vinegar, water, and bicarb. This will clear any product build-up from your locs. So, it’s a great way to keep build-up at bay and keep those locs gorgeous and clean. The conditioner will soften your hair and make it more difficult to loc. So, wait until your locs are better formed before using conditioners (if at all).
Tip: Wait to deep condition your locs, until you've passed the starter phase of your dreadlock journey.
Washing Your Dreadlocks
Washing your locs is a vital part of any maintenance routine, although its recommended that you only wash your locs every 2 - 4 weeks. Use a good clarifying shampoo and avoid rich creamy conditioners, as they tend not to rinse out very well. Clean dreadlocks are shiny, healthy, and more prone to fast growth than dirty or dull hair. But beware that you don’t shampoo too frequently. Overshampooing can lead to dry out your scalp and lead to flaking, itchiness, breakage, and thinning locs.
Tip: Don't vigorously wash starter locs until they have time to mature.
Don't trim the loose hair on your locs
You will notice as your dreadlocks develop the appearance of loose hairs on your locs. Some people dislike the look, as they feel it gives off a messy, unkept aesthetic. If you are one of those people, please don't cut or trim the loose hairs. Doing so will only cause more to appear as your dread starts thinning. Leading to breakage if you do it regularly.
Instead, consider palm rolling your locs. This will neaten the outside of your locs gently, creating a smooth cylinderacle shape.
Using a microfiber towel
As appealing as big soft cotton towels can be, they are not great for drying dreadlocks. They not only add to the lint build up in your locs, but cotton towels also cause friction and lead to hairs detangling from your locs. So invest in a microfiber towel (or even a large t-shirt will work in a pinch).
Massage your scalp.
Many people underestimate the benefits of a scalp massage and what it can do. A gentle massage can stimulate hair growth by causing better blood circulation to your scalp. If you can dedicate at least 5 minutes a day to massaging your scalp, your benefits are well worth it.
Avoid dying your dreadlocks.
Although it can be fun to try different colors in your hair, coloring your locs is a damaging process that involves soaking your hair in harsh chemicals to obtain the desired shade. Those chemicals will weaken your strands and make them a lot more prone to breakage, although no coloring process is more damaging than bleaching your hair.
When it comes to maintenance on your dreadlocks, you must find the right balance. If you groom your locs too often, you run the risk of damaging your roots. However, on the other hand, not performing enough maintenance leads to loose hairs that could weaken your dreads and cause them to break. It's suggested that you do the following:
- Retwist your dreads every 4-6 weeks.
- Crochet maintenance and interlocking need to be done every 2-3 months.