How to Maintain Dreadlocks as They Grow

How to Maintain Dreadlocks as They Grow

Dreadlocks are becoming more and more popular now across not only America, but the whole world. However, despite common beliefs (people think your hair needs to be dirty), you don’t actually need to make your hair actually dirty, but you don’t have to be brushed and trim them regularly. They actually DO need to be kept clean, but the washing process is a little bit different than washing undreaded hair. Also, you need to know that they’ll look sort of tangly and messy at first, but don’t let that discourage you. Over time, they’ll get more mature and they will smooth out, which also means they need washed and maintained less.

How to Start the Dreading

There are numerous methods on how to achieve dreads, but one of the most common is actually palm rolling or twisting the hair. The downside is that this can be very meticulous and needs to be redone frequently, as it’s harder to wash them without untwisting them. They are harder to maintain for a month than some other methods. However, it’s still possible. Does this mean you don’t wash your hair? No, but you do spend more time in between washing, as compared to some other regular maintenance that people are used to. Wait a couple weeks between each washing and this will actually help your hair dread and lock better.

When it comes to twisting, you can literally continuously work on things like re-twisting dreads that start to come undone, and just keep it up. You can do this literally in any downtime throughout your day.

Residue is your Enemy

You need to make sure that you use a product which is not only organic and natural when you do wash your hair, but one that will keep the natural oils in your hair without adding extra residue. Residues that are often left by common name brand and popular brands of shampoos and conditioners are actually pretty harmful and without careful use and supervision, this residue can actually rot your dreads from the inside and out. This means not only will your dreads be terrible, but they’ll also start to mildew and can even mold from the inside out (gross right?). It also makes them a lot more susceptible to breakage.

Can I Use Rubber Bands?

As a matter of fact, yes you can. You can actually use rubber bands when you first start to maintain dreadlocks and first start them. This is a great way to keep your hair secure so the dreads and twists don’t come undone, and can actually help to keep them from breaking. Another thing to consider is getting a loose hair tool as well as some special products that are dread-friendly, many of which can be found online and some can be purchased at stores in order to maintain it. Just look in the hair section, or the ethnic hair items section in order to find them.


Growing and maintaining dreads isn’t impossible at all, and as a matter of fact, it’s actually pretty easy if you do it right. You can get some products out there that are available over the counter, and even get ahold of dread-friendly technicians (hair dressers that specialize in maintaining, creating, and even washing out dreadlocks without cutting them), and get your dread on!