Your hair-care regime will change the moment you begin to dread your hair. Line up all your current products in a row and see if they pass the test.

Things You'll Need

Resist the temptation to shampoo a new set of dreads for at least two weeks. Your scalp will eventually acclimate to the new schedule. When your locks are secure, consider a wash every four days to two weeks, depending on how your scalp feels.

Choose a low-lather shampoo that will leave no residue or film behind. Wash your hair with tepid to lukewarm water. Hot water may melt any wax you’ve used to secure your twists.

Look for shampoos that tend to the new needs of your scalp. Many people with dreadlocks experience dry and itchy scalps, as well as dandruff. Consider products made by other “dread heads.” These products will be formulated to cater to your specific needs.

Skip the conditioner. Its emollient nature may loosen your locks.

Consider slipping a nylon stocking or hair net over your head before you wash. This will help keep all your locks in place and keep them from unraveling.

Shake your clean head, then squeeze excess water from each lock to begin the drying process. Blot water with a bedsheet, as towels may leave bits of fuzz in your hair.

Let your hair dry completely, then begin the wax and twist process again. Comb each lock back toward the scalp to achieve the matted texture needed to optimize the twist.


  • If your locks really need a good cleaning, wash small groups at a time. This method will keep them from getting tangled or unraveling.