Creating dreadlocks allows you to go for several weeks without washing your hair. Not washing your hair may cause your scalp to become dry and itchy. A number of over-the-counter and home remedies are designed specifically to alleviate an itchy scalp caused by dreadlocks.
Simmer 1/2 cup of dried rosemary leaves in 2 cups of water for about twenty minutes. Allow the concoction to cool, then separate the leaves from the liquid with a strainer. Dab the liquid onto the itchy parts of the scalp, but avoid saturating your dreadlocks. Repeat as needed.
Mix 1/8 cup of white vinegar into 1 1/3 cups of water. Shake well and pour into a spray bottle. Spritz the vinegar and water mixture onto your scalp, carefully avoiding soaking your dreadlocks.
Ask your stylist where you can find products such as Twist Butter and Hairobics oil, which will keep your hair and scalp moisturized. You may be able to find these items online.
Jamaican Mango & Lime makes a root spray specifically designed to combat dreadlock scalp itch. This medicated spray can be purchased from numerous online websites and may be available from your local hairdresser. If your hairdresser does not have it on hand, ask if he can order it for you.
If you absolutely must wash your dreadlocks, use a residue-free shampoo. The DreadHeads HQ online company (dreadheadhq.com) produces a residue-free shampoo that you can buy directly from their website for around $10.
Evaluate the products you have been using. Some products tend to leave waxy buildup that can lead to scalp itch and irritation. Avoid using your regular products, and look for improvements in your overall scalp health. If you notice improvements, consider switching to natural products, which may be found at your local hair salon. Natural products are more expensive, but they are healthier for your hair and less likely to create irritating buildup.
Massage your scalp. Using your fingertips, gently massage your own scalp to increase the blood flow to your skin. Increased blood flow will lead to healthier skin and less itch over time. Do this as often as you can.
Shampooing dreadlocks is not recommended during the first six to eight weeks.
Avoid high concentrates of vinegar, as this could burn the scalp and cause it to itch more.
Jennifer Hudock is an author, editor and freelancer from Pennsylvania. She has upcoming work appearing in two Library of the Living Dead Press anthologies and has been published in numerous print and online journals, including eMuse, Real TV Addict and Strange Horizons. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing from Bloomsburg University.