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Natural bee wax.

What Ingredients Are Bad For Locs?

If you have read our prior blog postings, you know we stress that dreadlocks are the world's most natural hairstyle.

Think of your dreadlocks as if they were spaghetti noodles. 

Unless you manipulate them with a fork and add some oil as they cook, they will stick and cling together. And once a mass of spaghetti noodles stick together, it's a real hassle to separate them.

You don't need to apply hair products to your hair to get dreadlocks.

Your hair follicles will naturally lock up and become dreadlocks via the freeform method. Just stop combing or brushing your hair, and they will naturally become dreadlocks.

But it is the 21st century. So, of course, you want to apply shampoo, conditioner, and essential oils to your dreadlocks. And you don't need to use such products daily.

We just stress that you should only use natural and organic hair products.

Many hair and cosmetic products contain synthetic and harmful ingredients. Usually, these ingredients have hard-to-pronounce names, so your eyes glaze over when looking at haircare product ingredient lists.

Even some hair products with natural ingredients, like wax, can be damaging to your dreadlocks.

There are many ingredients that are bad for your dreadlocks. Here are three.

Only use Lion Locs' natural, organic, and parabens-free dreadlock grooming products.

Related: Removing Dreadlocks 101

Natural or Synthetic Wax Products

Contrary to popular belief, one of the worst ingredients that you put into your dreadlocks is wax. 

And that includes all-natural organic beeswax and synthetic petroleum-based wax.

Some people use wax to help their dreadlock hair follicles cling together and lock up more. As our previous spaghetti metaphor showed, it isn't necessary.

The point is that applying wax to your dreadlocks will inevitably produce more drawbacks than benefits.

The more you use beeswax on your dreadlock strands, the more it will get trapped in your dreadlock follicles. Beewax clumps in your dreadlock interior and blocks water. And wax rots.

Let's go a little deeper into the issue point by point.


Organic beeswax can take two months or more to biodegrade under natural circumstances. 

However, most hair wax grooming products contain synthetic forms of wax. Synthetic wax contains petroleum by-products. 

Petroleum is used to make gasoline, diesel, and a multitude of synthetic products.

Petroleum-based synthetic wax hair products can take years or decades to biodegrade fully.

Now, think about the interior of your dreadlocks as an internal matrix of interconnected hair follicles locked together like scaffolding or latticework. Every time that you apply wax to your locs, tiny amounts of wax will cling and lock to those follicles.

And the more you use wax on your dreadlocks, the more those tiny wax particles will grow. And because the wax is now inside the interior of a dreadlock, it is not exposed to the atmosphere and won't biodegrade naturally.

The wax you put in your dreadlocks won't ever biodegrade. The wax in your dreadlocks will stay stuck in there until you remove them. There are a few ways to remove wax from dreadlocks, but none of them are easy.

The point is that once you apply wax to your dreadlocks, it won't come out, even with vigorous washing.

And that will cause a lot of problems.

Debris Magnet

Have you ever dropped a clump of wax on the floor?

The wax in your dreadlocks will become a magnet for dirt, dust, and all kinds of debris. And all of that debris will always stay in your locs because they are stuck to the wax.

Non-Water Soluble

Dreadlocks do not melt in water. You will scald your scalp before you melt the wax with hot water.

In cold weather, the wax and your dreadlocks will harden. 

And as the wax sticks to your dreadlocks, it will prevent your hair from absorbing water and minerals naturally.

Encourages Dread Rot

All-natural and organic, and synthetic wax decomposes.

And if it is stuck in the interior of your dreadlocks with no moisture and dirt buildup, it will accelerate the proliferation of dread rot or hair fungus. 

We can list a lot of reasons why wax is bad for your locs. Just trust us - you don't need it.

Any Petroleum-Based Derivative 

Silhouette of a oil pump.

Petroleum-based derivative ingredients are not just found in synthetic hair wax products. You will find them in all synthetic cosmetics and hair products. 

Petroleum by-products are not a natural product to put in your hair. Ever noticed the long list of ingredients on hair products with unpronounceable names? 

These ingredients are given hard-to-pronounce names to keep you from understanding their true origins.

Benzene is carcinogenic and toxic.

Toluene is sometimes listed as phenylmethane or methylbenzene. Toluene is toxic, carcinogenic, and a skin irritant.

Being exposed to toluene in minute amounts can cause severe organ damage or failure and too many other medical issues to list.

Women in the oil refining industry must take extra safeguards against toluene exposure because it is scientifically proven to cause congenital disabilities in unborn babies and even spontaneous abortions.

If the people who refine petroleum by-products have to put on hazmat suits to put it in a hair grooming bottle before you buy it, why would you put it on your dreadlocks?


  Image of a hair spray bottle in the foreground with a hairdresser at work in the background.

Parabens are a synthetic chemical preservative that is used to extend the shelf life of numerous cosmetic and hair products and delay decomposition.

Unfortunately, parabens have been scientifically proven to seep into the skin, increase estrogen levels in men and women, and damage human cells.

Parabens dry out hair follicles, damage them, and can cause baldness, which defeats the purpose of putting them in hair care products in the first place.

You will only find the best in organic, all-natural, and vegan dreadlock grooming products at Lion Locs.

Related: 5 Top Tips on Taking Care of Your Locs

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