Dreadlocks have become a popular hairstyle in recent years. They’re stylish and unique, and they can really add some flair to your look. But how do you wash them? Washing dreadlocks is simple, but there are a few things you need to keep in mind.

If you have dreadlocks, washing them can be one of the most dreaded tasks. If you’re not careful, you’ll end up with a tangled mess and have to cut them off – but if you do it right, your dreads will look great for years to come.

Washing dreadlocks is a delicate process that requires patience and care. It’s not like washing your hair – it takes time, effort, and practice.

How Do You Wash Dreadlocks

Washing dreads either too often or infrequently isn’t ideal. 

There are two categories of dreads: 

New dreads: Wait at least a week before washing your dreads if they are brand-new baby dreads. After that, wash them whenever your scalp becomes oily. If you get dreads, pay attention to the sebum production. It can be once a week or even less.

However, feel free to gently wash your dreads if you suffer from an itchy scalp. After a wash, fresh dreads can get a little messy and frizzy, although this is normal for the initial stage.

Washing mature dreadlocks: Dreads that are mature need to be washed at least once each week. When you regularly take a shower, cover your dreads with a shower cap to prevent dampness.

You can use some shampoos once a week, twice a week, or even monthly. For optimal results, the hair expert advises treating your dreads with an apple cider vinegar or baking soda treatment before shampooing. For instance, rinsing with apple cider vinegar helps to remove oil, buildup, and debris from your scalp and hair, making shampooing easier.

How to wash dreads

The steps to wash dreads are the same whether you have young or older dreadlocks:

  • Dampen your dreadlocks and scalp;
  • Use the apple cider vinegar or baking soda warm rinse or just soak them in the solution for a few minutes;
  • Pour shampoo into your hands, add some water and create a rich lather;
  • Apply some lather onto your scalp and gently massage it with your fingertips;
  • Apply lather you created with your palms onto your dreads. Start from the roots and gently squeeze each one of them until they feel clean enough;
  • Repeat the lather application, scalp massage, and dreadlock washing process one more time;
  • Rinse thoroughly;
  • Apply conditioner – use your hands to distribute the conditioner evenly on every dreadlock. Leave the conditioner for a couple of minutes;
  • Rinse again;
  • Squeeze water from your dreads and wrap them loosely in a soft towel;
  • Avoid using hairdryers.

Why Do Dreadlocks Need To Be Washed?

Washing your locks is essential for keeping them healthy and clean. If you don’t wash them regularly, they’ll get dirty quickly, making them look messy and greasy.

If you have dry scalp or dandruff, washing your dreads regularly will help reduce these problems as well because they’ll remove excess oil from your scalp that causes flakes and irritation in your hair follicles.

Are You Supposed To Wash Your Dreads?

Washing dreadlocks can be challenging, but following some tips is important to avoid damaging your locks. Most Dreadlock wash products are designed to be gentle on hair and won’t harm the locks. Start by rinsing your dreads thoroughly in cool water.

You may want to use a shampoo specifically designed for dreadlocks to help remove built-up oils and dirt. Next, use a mild soap or detergent to rinse off the soap.

Apply pressure while washing your hair to help expel water and dirt faster. Finally, towel dries your locks gently and brush out any knots or tangles.

How Often Do You Wash Dreadlocks

Most dreadlocks users don’t wash their locks as often as they should. Dreadlocks are made up of hair, sweat, oils, and bacteria. The combination can create an unpleasant smell and a build-up of oils that can lead to scalp problems.

To keep your locks looking their best and avoid scalp problems, it’s important to wash them at least once a week. You can use a gentle shampoo or soap in the shower and rinse thoroughly.

If you have very dirty locks, you may need to shampoo more than once. Avoid using too much water or harsh detergents; this will damage your locks.


Washing dreadlocks can be a challenge, but with the right techniques it can be manageable. I’ve outlined some of the most common methods for washing dreadlocks and shared my tips on how to get them looking their best. Whether you are just starting out and are unsure of how to go about it or you have been washing your locks for years and would like to improve your technique, this article should help you get started.

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