If you’re lucky enough to have a gorgeous crop of dreadlocks growing on your head, you will want to care for them tenderly! While some people may look at dreadlocks as just a hairstyle, people who have taken the time, effort, and inspiration to grow them know that’s not the whole truth. Locs are a lifestyle, and they’re a beautiful part of their identity for some people.
So again, if you’re lucky enough to have a lovely mane of locs, you should make caring for them a priority. Depending on the look you’re after, caring for your locs can be time-consuming and expensive, or easy and low-maintenance. Or maybe, you find your loc routine somewhere between the two.
Here are 5 top tips for taking care of your locs and ensuring they grow healthy and strong.
1 Don’t Pull Them Too Tight
Once your locs gain some length, it’s tempting to pull them back into a ponytail frequently to keep them out of the way. But over time, this pulling can result in a receding hairline or the loss of your edges. This is also true of buns or any hairstyle that pulls the locs, causing tension at the root for an extended period of time. Of course, you don’t have to only wear your locs out and loose; you can wear buns and ponytails. Just be mindful of how tight you’re pulling your locs and how long you’re keeping your locs in that hairstyle.
Another way you may pull your locs too tight, even when they’re short, is by re-twisting. Re-twisting is the process of neatening the new growth at the roots by twisting. In an effort to keep their locs neat, many people over-twist - too tight or too frequently or both. This is a recipe for disaster. You don’t see the damage immediately, so you keep doing it. But over time, you’ll notice your locs thinning at the root. They may even begin breaking off.
You can, of course, restore health to your locs, but it will be a process. It would be far better never to cause that level of damage in the first place.
2 Protect Your Locs At Night
If you’re a stickler for neat, tidy locs, you will have to establish a habit of tying your locs up at night. You can wrap them in a satin scarf or gather them in a satin bonnet, but either way, your locs will be kept smooth. This is a great way to maintain the look of freshly groomed (re-twisted) roots.
Covering your locs at night will also protect them from friction with your pillow. The fabric of your bed linens can absorb moisture from your locs, leaving them dry and brittle. If your locs are sufficiently long, they can get tangled in your bedsheets and be yanked about or pulled while you sleep.
Finally, covering your locs at night will protect them from collecting lint from your bed linen. Lint is a real issue for locs because it’s everywhere and your locs love to hold onto it. Once your locs have lint in them, it isn’t easy to remove. Enough lint, gathered over time, can discolor your locs and detract from their best look.
Related: 4 Ways to Moisturize Your Locs
3 Keep Your Locs Clean
Some people talk a lot about odor in dreadlocks, but it isn’t a big issue at all. I have had locs for more than 17 years, and odor has never been a problem. The idea that dreadlocks are unclean, hence smelly, is an untruth. Whether your hair is loose or in locs, it will smell great if you keep it clean, but if you neglect it, it will not smell good. This isn’t an issue for dreadlocks alone.
So, how do you keep your locs clean? Wash them with a good clarifying shampoo to avoid product build-up. Avoid creme conditioners, as they get inside your locs and are difficult to remove. Additionally, wash your fully-formed locs as frequently as you need - once a week or every two weeks, depending on your lifestyle. After shampooing, make sure you dry your locs thoroughly.
Are you looking for a company that understands the beauty of dreadlocks? We’re it! Visit Lion Locs to see our product line.
A Word About Loc-Care Products
The market for loc-care products is vast, and they all boast that they’re the solution to gorgeous locs. But most aren’t. Look for products with organic, clean, and high-quality ingredients from companies that understand locs.
Using too many poor-quality products will result in product build-up. This is when the residue of the products you use make their way inside your loc and stay there. If there is enough build-up, your locs will become limp, dull, heavy, and possibly smell. Product build-up can also cause discoloration of your locs. Choose the products you use with great care.
4 Keep Your Locs Moisturized
Certain hair types are prone to dryness. If you have that hair type, you will need to go the extra mile to keep your locs moisturized. With many leave-in conditioners on the market, specially formulated for dreadlocks, you can do this. Or you can create your own leave-in with rose water and vitamin E in a spritz bottle. There are many DIY recipes on the internet for you to research to moisturize your locs. Of course, by selective in which you use.
5 Take Care of Your Scalp
Finally, remember to take care of your scalp. A dry, flaky scalp won’t contribute to the beauty or health of your locs. Massage your scalp regularly with a lightweight, natural oil, like coconut oil, vitamin E, or castor oil. You may even make up your own concoction of carrier oil with a blend of essential oils.
Some of the essential oils known to benefit your scalp and locs are:
- Lavender Oil, for hair growth.
- Peppermint Oil, stimulates your hair follicles.
- Rosemary Oil, for hair growth and increased thickness.
- Cedarwood Essential, hair growth and reduction of hair loss.
- Clary Sage Oil, works with lavender oil for hair growth and strength.
Related: How to Get Your Locs Thicker
Dreadlocks can look amazing - profoundly leveling up the look and style of the wearer. But they need to be cared for properly to look their best. It doesn’t take a lot of effort or expense, just a little wisdom. Follow the above tips to see your locs grow beautifully for years to come.
Do you want high-quality products for your locs? Our products consist of organic, natural ingredients and the best essential oils available. Visit Lion Locs to learn more.