How Often Should You Wash Dreads?

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How Often Should You Wash Dreads?

To maintain a healthy and attractive dread, you should wash them at least once a week but then there are considerations to be checked.

Dreads are one of the most delicate natural hair types to wash due to their thickness. It is prone to getting damp and smelly probably due to sweat or getting dusty for my black folks living in sandy regions.

 Washing your dreads the right way, and with the right products will help keep your dreads in good shape for as long as you desire. As you read on, you will get to know more about the best way to wash your dreads.

How many times should you wash your dreads? 

On a general note, every dread keeper is required to wash their dreads at least once a week. However, certain individuals would need to wash theirs more frequently, say 2 to 3 times per week. So here is how it goes

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1. For Sweaty Dreads keepers

If by nature you sweat profusely, or your daily/work activities cause you to sweat more than an average individual, then you will need to wash your dreads frequently. You should take up a 2-3 times hair wash routine weekly.  

However, there are adjustments for individuals with newly made dreads. We’ll get to that as you read on.

2. For Dreads Keepers who reside or work in dusty regions

As one who is trying to maintain a neat healthy dread, it is not advised to stay in a dusty environment for long. This is mainly because of the residual particles it leaves on your dreads. But then what can you do if that’s the area you live or earn your living? 

So just like my sweaty dread friends, you will also need to wash your dreads regularly to keep them shiny and neat.2 to 3 times per week will also be good for you. 

3. For newly made Dreads

Now, here is where care needs to be taken. For my friends with newbie dreads, you won’t have to follow the same routine as those with matured dreads.

Yours will need special care both in scrubbing and drying. For those who don’t sweat profusely, you could wash your dreads once per week or even stay longer, but you shouldn’t go beyond 1 month. 

However, if you fall into the category of those who sweat profusely or stay in very dusty environments, then you will need to wash at least once per week. 

If you just locked your dread for the first time, you might want to wait until the 4th or 6th week before carefully washing them for the first time. But if you sweat a lot then you should wash on the 4th week.

General Rule of Thumb for Dreadies

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So here is a general rule of thumb for every dread keeper.

  • Never go to bed with wet dreads. Make sure to dry your hair carefully and properly before bed. 
  • Avoid leaving your dread to dry all day through natural air, make use of a good dryer.  It’s part of the cost involved in maintaining healthy attractive dreads. So invest a little more in it.
  • Tuck your hair into a hair cover, a silk hair cover is most recommended. This will help avoid lints in your dread.

When Should You Wash Your Dreadlocks?

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Certain factors indicate that it’s time to get your dreads washed. When you notice that your dreads are:

1. Damp & Smelly

It is normal for your dreads to get damp which eventually causes them to ooze out unpleasant. This is mostly due to sweat. So when you notice your dreads are beginning to smell, then it is best to wash them immediately, especially if you are conscious of public embarrassment like me.

2. Feels oily

When your dread feels oily, then it’s time to wash them. The oily feel could come from applying excess oil, or from your other maintenance product.  Whichever may be the case, it is advised to wash your dreads to keep your dreads locked for longer periods. 

3. Feels itchy or has Dandruff

When you notice Dandruff on your hair, it shows that your scalp needs moisturizing nutrients to get it back to shape, same with itchy and dry dreads. So, when you notice any of these factors, then it’s best to wash and condition your dreads properly.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is there a need to wash my newly made dreads?

Yes, there is a need to wash your newly made dreads. But here’s the thing, newly made dreads are mostly fragile at the early stage, so you might not have to wash them as often as you wash mature dreads. 
Washing them so often like 2-3 times a week will cause them to loosen, and you might get frustrated especially if you notice up to 40% of your hair is popping out. However, you should wash your new dreads at least once per week.

Can you wash dread with regular shampoo?

If the regular shampoo is sulfate-free, then Yes, you can use a regular shampoo to wash your dreads. But then most regular shampoos usually contain sulfate. 
There are shampoos specially formulated for dreads, one such is “Dry shampoo”. You can check it in good saloons or multi-purpose stores.

What should you wash your dreads with?

You should wash your dreads with sulfate-free shampoos, silicone-free conditioners, warm water, Apple Cider Vinegar, or Baking soda powder.
Here is how to use the Apple Cider and baking soda, you can choose either of them. Mix any of them with water and then rinse your hair with them before going ahead to shampoo and condition your hair. They stand as resistant to residues or product buildup.

It’s Your Turn

Washing your dreads regularly is key to maintaining fresh and awesome-looking dreads. For newbie dreads keepers you will need to watch your washing frequency until your dreads get matured. And for my sweaty folks, you might need to wash at least 3 times a week. 

So what category do you fall into, and how regularly do you intend to wash your dreads henceforth?

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Faith is a seasoned writer and economist. Proud of her ethnicity and delights in helping black women become the best version of themselves. When she isn't working, you can find her with family, reading, engaging in DIY home crafts. You can connect with her on social media at faith.c.ojigbo.