Contrary to popular belief, dreadlocks are not the result of improper hair care. Just like perming or straightening the hair, dreadlocks are a style choice. Originally documented as a spiritual decision for the person involved, dreading is prevalent in many cultures. Dry scalp and dandruff can plague even the most mature dreadlocks, but luckily it is a relatively easy problem to fix. Removing the dead skin may take time, however, because the scalp needs to heal properly.

Things You'll Need


Making Your Scalp Behave

Think about how often you are washing your hair. If you are not washing, it’s time to start. Having dreadlocks does not mean you stop washing your hair.

Check the shampoo you’re using. Many shampoos contain harsh chemicals that dry out your scalp and cause buildup. If you require a medicated shampoo, continue to use it as your doctor recommends. Otherwise, look into purchasing a brand made especially for individuals with dreadlocks.

Add oil to your scalp on a regular basis. Tea tree oil seems to work best. Massage the oil into your scalp to loosen up buildup and get the oil into dry skin. Before washing, scratch your scalp all over so any excess dry skin buildup can be washed away in the shower.

If your hair has excessive buildup, try using a baking soda cleanse (recipe below). Let the cleanse sit on your hair for 10 to 30 minutes before rinsing with a vinegar rinse. Choose the vinegar you wish to use in your rinse based on the amount of buildup you have. Apple cider vinegar is weaker while white vinegar is stronger.

Baking Soda Cleanse

Put 1/3 to 3/4 of a cup of baking soda (depending on how strong you need it) into a gallon pitcher.

Add 10 drops of tea tree oil, 20 to 30 drops of rosemary oil, and 20 to 30 drops of lavender oil to the baking soda.

Fill the pitcher 2/3 to 3/4 of the way with water. Reach into the pitcher with clean hands and mix, breaking up any clumps. Once the clumps are gone, finish filling the pitcher with water then pour the mixture on your scalp.