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How To Wash Your Dreads Without Unraveling Them

Dreadlocks are a unique and stylish hairstyle that requires utmost care when it comes to washing. Shampooing dreads in a proper way is essential to keep them clean and healthy. But washing dreads in a way that doesn't cause them to unravel or lose their shape needs a little effort and the proper knowledge. In this blog, we'll explore how to wash dreadlocks at home without compromising their integrity.

Understanding Dreadlocks

How to wash dreadlock hair

Before we dive into how to wash dreadlocks, it's essential to have a basic understanding of what dreadlocks are. Dreadlocks are formed by allowing hair to mat and tangle over time. The process involves hair strands interlocking to create the characteristic cylindrical shape. Learning how to wash dreads without messing them up is vital to prevent them from unraveling or breaking apart.

Choose the Right Shampoo for shampooing dreads

Selecting the right shampoo is the first step in preserving your dreadlocks while cleaning them. Look for a clarifying shampoo that doesn't leave behind any residue. This type of shampoo will ensure that your dreads remain clean and fresh without the risk of buildup that can cause them to unravel.

Regarding a good dreadlocks wash, there's a common misconception that you require specialized products to cleanse your hair effectively. You don't need a specific product designed exclusively for dreadlocks; you need a shampoo that won't strip your hair's natural oils and moisture. Choose a gentle, sulfate-free, pH-balancing shampoo like Loving You by TLP. Loving You is designed to gently cleanse your hair using natural ingredients like African Black Soap, Rhassoul Clay, and Sea Kelp. It reduces inflammation, dandruff, and itchiness.

Apply shampoo to the scalp

If you are wondering about how to wash your dreads, it's essential to begin with the correct shampooing technique. Concentrate the shampoo application on your scalp, targeting the areas between your braids. Gently massage the product to remove any accumulated buildup within your dreads effectively. This method ensures that your scalp remains clean and healthy, promoting the longevity and vitality of your dreadlocks.

Use a Gentle, Circular Motion

When shampooing dreads to your dreads, use a gentle, circular motion. Avoid excessive scrubbing or vigorous rubbing, as this can lead to fraying and loosening of the dreads. Work the shampoo into your scalp and let it naturally flow through your dreads. Be patient and thorough, covering all areas of your scalp.

Moisturize with conditioner

After washing dreads it's essential to replenish moisture. A conditioner like Touch Of Love by TLP can help nourish and hydrate your locks. However, be cautious not to overdo it – leaving the conditioner on for an extended period may lead to frizz and fluffiness. To strike the right balance, apply conditioner as recommended, then rinse it thoroughly to keep your dreadlocks in excellent condition without compromising their structure.

Touch Of Love is infused with aloe vera for its remarkable healing properties. This blend also features eleuthero powder, known for its anti-inflammatory benefits and promotion of hair growth. Additionally, slippery elm contributes to effective detangling and relieves various skin conditions, including psoriasis.

Rinse Thoroughly

Rinsing is crucial if you want to learn how to wash dreads without messing them up. Thoroughly rinse your dreads, making sure that all shampoo is wholly removed. Leftover shampoo can accumulate and cause dreads to become stiff or unravel over time. Use lukewarm water for rinsing, as hot water can weaken the hair shafts.

The Drying Process

Knowing how to dry your dreads is just as important as knowing how to wash dreads. Excess moisture in your scalp can lead to mold or mildew that can harm your dreads' health. Here's how to dry your dreads properly:

1. Pat Dry: After rinsing, gently pat your dreads with a clean, dry towel to remove excess water. Avoid vigorous rubbing or squeezing, which can cause friction and frizz.

2. Air Dry: Allow your dreads to air dry naturally. Use a clean towel to squeeze out any remaining water, then let them air dry. It's best to avoid blow dryers, as the heat can weaken the structure of your dreads.

3. Palm Rolling: As your dreads dry, you can palm roll them to help maintain their shape. This involves rolling the dreads between your palms to encourage them to tighten up.

Detox once a month

Now that you know how to wash dreads at home, you must also remember to detox your hair once a month. Nice Thing by TLP is a natural hair detox. This product removes buildup and toxins from your hair and scalp without upsetting your scalp's pH balance. The scalp detox also provides a nourishing boost, infusing essential nutrients, vitamins, and hydrating agents into your scalp and hair strands, enhancing elasticity and strength. Plus, it boasts the goodness of Celtic Sea Salt, promoting blood flow and eliminating toxins, along with Basil Oil to seal thinning hair strands and stimulate hair growth and your scalp's overall health.

How Often can you wash dreads?

The ideal washing frequency for shampooing dreads can vary depending on several factors. If your dreadlocks are in their early stages (within the first month), washing them every three to four days is recommended. During these initial washes, you should anticipate a significant amount of loose hair strands coming free, so don't be surprised if you need to re-incorporate them into your dreads post-wash.

As your dreadlocks mature, you'll notice reduced fluffing and fewer loose hairs, allowing you the flexibility to wash them as often as you prefer. However, regardless of your dreadlocks' age, it's essential not to go beyond a week without washing them to maintain their cleanliness and overall health. Finding the proper routine for washing dreads is a personal journey, and it's essential to strike a balance that suits your lifestyle and the needs of your dreadlocks.

Maintenance Tips

To ensure your dreads remain intact and look their best, here are some additional tips:

1. Morning Care:

Morning care for your dreadlocks is essential to keep them looking their best. It is crucial to refresh, revitalize, and nourish your dreads. Use a daily hydrating and moisturizing spray like Bounce Back by TLP to give your dreads a fresh lease of life. Bounce Back is a well-balanced blend of Aloe vera gel, various oils, and skin-soothing Marshmallow root extract. Adopting this routine can help maintain the health and appearance of your locks.

2. Regular Maintenance:

Schedule regular maintenance sessions with a professional locs expert. They can help re-twist or tighten your dreads as needed.

3. Avoid Harsh Chemicals:

Stay away from harsh chemicals, such as chlorine, which can weaken your dreads. If you swim, consider using a swim cap to protect them.

4. Protect Your Dreads at Night:

You must consider using a silk or satin pillowcase to reduce friction and prevent your dreads from becoming frizzy during sleep.

5. Be Patient:

Dreadlocks take time to mature and tighten. Don't be discouraged by initial frizz or loose hair; it's all part of the process.


Shampooing dreads to maintain clean and healthy dreadlocks doesn't have to be a challenge. You can wash your dreads without the risk of unraveling by choosing the right and natural hair care products, gently washing dreads, and carefully drying them. With regular maintenance and patience, your dreadlocks will remain a stunning and enduring hairstyle that reflects your unique style.

Remember that everyone's hair is different, so finding the perfect routine for your dreads and how to wash dreadlocks at home may take some experimentation. Be attentive to their needs and adjust your care accordingly, and you'll enjoy beautifully maintained dreadlocks easily.

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About The Author: Paula Bland

Paula Bland - Natural Hair consultant

The founder of TLP, Paula Bland, is a medically qualified Nurse Practitioner, Hair aesthetician, and psychiatric Nurse Practitioner known for her highly effective hair consultation. Paula has a non-traditional approach to hair care and advocates a chemical-free, natural, and holistic approach. The Love of People is her brainchild, and its products reflect her approach to hair health and have helped women with naturally curly hair manage their curls in a chemical-free and organic way.



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