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Man with dreadlocks walking along a beach without a shirt.

The Ultimate Guide to Keeping Locs Fresh

So, you're finally growing out that gorgeous mane of dreadlocks you have longed for. Your locs are healthy, tight, and you love caring for them. You have managed to debunk many common misconceptions about dreadlocks, and your hair is clean, fresh, and beautiful. But life does happen, and sometimes it is challenging to keep your locs fresh. Hot weather, swimming, workouts, etc., are all times when your locs can get sweaty between wash days. So, is it possible to continue to live a fun and active life while maintaining your locs? Yes, it is, and we'll show you how. 

Related: Swimming with DreadLocks: What You Should Know 

Hot Weather and Dreadlocks

Summer is a great time of year. You can naturally want to enjoy the longer days by filling them with fun activities and adventure. But depending on where you live, being out in the sun can mean sweat, and lots of it. When your hair was loose, it was okay to shampoo very often whenever you went swimming or worked out, but now that you have locs, it isn't so convenient to shampoo too often. 

If your locs are young, washing too frequently will cause them to fray and prevent them from becoming tight and firm. But even if your locs are mature and there's no more danger of loosening them, locs take time to dry. If you wash your locs two or three times per week because of activities, you'll have to use heat to dry them that often or sit around with damp locs for hours (not a good idea). This is why shampooing your locs too often isn't wise. 

Contrary to popular belief, dreadlocks are NOT prone to smell, be dirty, or any of these unpleasant myths. Can locs smell? Yes. The same as with loose hair - if it is neglected, it won't look or smell its best. 

In hot weather, it is possible to care for your locs, so they continue to look just as amazing as they look in the winter.  

Protecting Your Locs from Sweat

If your locs get sweaty, you will need to rinse them. But they don't have to get sweaty just because you get sweaty. Here are a some ways to protect your lovely locs from getting damp in the first place. 

Cover Your Hair

It might seem counter-intuitive to suggest that you cover your locs to avoid sweat, but it can be just the thing. Lightweight, breathable fabrics can make attractive and functional hair wraps. These can protect your locs from your sweaty body, as well as from excessive sun exposure, debris, and other air-born pollutants. 

Tie it Up in a High Bun

You might not be able to prevent your scalp from sweating, but you can keep that sweat from progressing down the shaft of your loc. When the weather is hot or you're about to work out, draw your locs up in a high bun. Not only is this an extremely attractive way to wear your locs (men and women), but it's also functional. This hairstyle will keep your locs from resting on your sweaty neck, shoulders, and back and protect your clean locs. 

Related: Dry DreadLocks: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments  

Are you looking for a company that understands how important your locs are to you? We’re it! Visit Lion Locs to see our great product line. 

Don't Wear a Beanie

In some circles, beanies and dreadlocks go together. But when trying to keep your locs fresh, reconsider how often you wear the beanie. As beanies aren't known for their 'breathability,' they will likely prevent your locs and scalp from getting the fresh air they need. Not only will your scalp get sweaty, but your beanie may get a little stale-smelling, and so will your locs by association. 

This may not be an issue in the winter. But for the summer, consider other ways to cover or keep your locs from getting in your way.

Woman with lovely locs standing in the sun.

Cleaning Your Scalp and Locs

So you tried everything, but your locs are still sweaty. Or maybe they aren't sweaty, but you've been swimming, and your locs are soaking wet with salt or chlorine water. It isn't a good idea to leave any of these in your locs for a prolonged period. Here are a few things you can do to restore your locs to their usual gorgeousness. 

Shampoo Your Hair

If you timed it right and your activity lines up with your usual wash day, then great. Shampoo your locs with a good quality clarifying shampoo and thoroughly rinse it. Once you're done shampooing and perhaps used a leave-in conditioner formulated for dreadlocks, you'll have to dry them. 

Depending on the thickness of your locs, they can take hours to dry. Most people use a blow dryer, which we only recommend using on an infrequent basis. Direct heat is damaging to your locs. The other option is air-drying. This may take a while, but it is the least damaging option. However you choose to dry your locs, ensure they are thoroughly dry before you go to bed. It isn't healthy or hygienic to leave your locs damp over a long period.  

Witch Hazel Spritz

If you still have days before your next wash day, a witch hazel spritz can do the trick

Combine in a spray bottle:

  • 2 Tblsps of alcohol-free witch hazel
  • 2 cups of distilled water
  • 10 - 20 drops of your favorite antibacterial/antifungal essential oil (like tea tree or peppermint) 

Spritz your scalp and massage it gently. 

Oil Cleanse Your Scalp

Once the sweat on your scalp has dried, it will leave behind toxins you will want gone. Consider massaging into your scalp a scalp-friendly oil like grapeseed, almond, or castor oil (with a carrier oil) along with several drops of peppermint or tea tree oil. Not only will the essential oils remove the toxins, but this process will help maintain moisture levels on your scalp.    

Related: Dreadlock Trends in 2022

Keeping Your Locs Fresh in All Weather

Keeping your locs fresh isn't just a summer weather issue. You will encounter challenges all year long. Here are a few tips for keeping your locs fresh in all weather. 

  • Keep them clean with regular washing every two or three weeks (depending on your locs and lifestyle).
  • Groom regularly. Ideally, after you wash your locs, you'll groom them.
  • Remember how important moisture is to your locs. 
  • Nourish your scalp with healthy oils and high-quality products. Massage your scalp to ensure abundant blood flow.

We say this often, but dreadlocks are a low-maintenance hairstyle, not a no-maintenance hairstyle! If you want locs you can be proud of, you'll have to give them love and attention. 

Are you looking for high-quality products for your locs? Our products are made of organic, natural ingredients and the best essential oils available. Visit Lion Locs to learn more.

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