For many people, choosing to have dreadlocks is not just a hairstyle, but also a way of life. It is sub-culture that defines the very essence of a man. Like any item that identifies a person, be it a vehicle or home, preservation is of the utmost importance; and dreadlock maintenance is no exception.
One valuable piece of information to remember when taking care of your dreadlocks is that they do not require less work than other styles, as most people assume; so you shouldn’t go taking them lightly.
Once you have your dreadlocks established and have abstained from moisture for the recommended five weeks or so, it’s important to keep your dreads clean! With hair naturally meshed together, it is easier for insects, dirt and even smells (i.e. cooking or cigarette smoke) to become trapped within. Choosing the right shampoo for dreadlock maintenance will vary from person to person depending on length of dreads, ethnicity, and the environment where one lives and works. Most prefer using a neutralizing or mint-based shampoo every one to two weeks to balance an itchy scalp. This will also leave a fresh, crisp scent with their locks. Try to go for all-natural based products. These tend to stand out in the hair-care aisle at your local store, keeping you from being stuck looking at “hair stuff” for hours at a time.
If your natural hair tends to be courser or dryer than the next person, try to use a natural oil-based conditioner as well. Massage the scalp for a few minutes to open up cuticles in the shower and allow your own biological oils to create a one-of-kind leave in conditioner. You probably won’t be able to market it, but it will be all yours.
Don’t go crazy when you’re drying your dreadlocks either! Remember; try to treat them like your favorite vehicle, gently, yet in control, so that you can show them off to your friends later. Ring each lock out individually if you can, starting from top to bottom to remove as much moisture from the center of the dread as possible.
After your dreadlocks have been cleaned, conditioned, and dried a huge part of dreadlock maintenance is, of course, keeping the dreads together. Dreadlock enthusiasts have long disputed over the use of wax when sustaining locks. For someone with a very physical career, such as construction or product production, wax can present a better hold for these locks. Of course, that comes with the downfall of sweat from your head merging with the wax and creating a really unattractive goop substance. Most dread wearers prefer to gently twist their locks with natural oil, such as jojoba oil. This can provide a cleaner look and as much hold as any wax-based product.
The last reminder of dreadlock maintenance is that when sleeping, or in a harsh air environment (extreme heat, cold, dryness, or humidity) you should always try to cover your dreads with a silk, satin, or fine fabric scarf or material. These can be found at any fabric store, and in very masculine, solid colors. The worst thing that could happen to dreads is breakage under stress from the loss of moisture from Mother Nature’s best creation: you.
If you keep your dreadlocks maintained, you will be protecting an asset that may be just as, if not more important as the other elements of a man’s identity. They’re with you all the time; why not keep them on “lock” down?