Although dreadlocks are a low maintenance hairstyle, this doesn’t mean that you won’t need to put in any effort to maintain them. To keep them looking healthy, you need to keep them moisturized. And the best way to keep them moisturized is to find the best moisturizer for dreadlocks in the market.
Keep reading to find out which moisturizers I rate highly, as well as how beneficial it is to keep your locs hydrated.
I will also take you through how to properly moisturize your hair.
Why is it important to moisturize dreadlocks?
To achieve healthy and growing dreadlocks, you need to ensure that your locs are always moisturized.
Unlike loose natural hair, it may take a fairly long time for you to notice breakage in dreadlocks.
You can be sure that by the time you are noticing the damage, it is usually almost irreversible.
By this time your locs have really thinned from gradual breakage.
Thinning and eventual breakage is usually caused by a continuous lack of moisture in your hair.
Dry dreadlocks are a sore eye, they usually look so rough and neglected.
Better put, they look “dead” and feel brittle.
This is why you need to embrace moisturizing your locs as soon as possible.
Incorporating it into your weekly hair regimen will make it less tedious for you.
You’ll soon notice that keeping your locs moisturized will makes them strong and healthy in no time.
They also grow longer with very minimal breakage.
Why you shouldn’t use oils on their own
While oils such as olive oil, jojoba, coconut, and avocado oils are great to use on dreadlocks, they do not moisturize the locs by themselves.
What oils do is lock in moisture.
To properly moisturize your locs, use both oil and water or a water-based leave-in conditioner.
Mix them together in a spray bottle and use it on a need-to basis.
The water will moisturize your locs and the oil will seal in the moisture to keep your hair hydrated for several days.
So if you’ve only been using oils to moisturize your hair and assuming that you are good to go simply because your hair feels soft and manageable, now you know you’ve been doing it all wrong.
You’re not alone, many people do it the wrong way.
Best moisturizer for dreadlocks
The moisturizers reviewed below will keep your hair hydrated, nourished and get rid of scalp itchiness.
They’ll also strengthen your hair strands without causing build-up.
If you’ve been looking for the best moisturizer for dreadlocks, please note that it doesn’t constitute only one type of product.
I’ll talk about a leave-in conditioner, oils, aloe vera, rosewater, and glycerin.
I hope you pick a combination that suits your hair needs.
Taliah Waajid Protective Styles Bamboo and Coconut Milk Leave-in Conditioner
Taliah Waajid has an amazing line of hair care products and this Bamboo and Coconut Milk Leave-in Conditioner is one of the most hydrating moisturizing conditioners in their line.
One of its main ingredients – coconut milk – is known for its deep moisturizing effect and nourishment.
Even days after applying the leave-in conditioner, your locs will still feel moisturized.
This product also strengthens hair and promotes hair growth which is exactly what you want for your locs.
However, to gain significant hair growth, you must use it as often as possible.
Results are basically based on consistency.
It is a paraben-free formula meaning it’s safe to use without worrying about it damaging your locs.
If you also suffer from scalp itchiness after styling due to the wax build-up, this leave-in conditioner is excellent for soothing.
- Deeply hydrates to prevent dryness and breakage
- Conditions and softens every hair strand
- Adds shine to dull-looking dreadlocks
- It greatly improves hair elasticity
- Helps to strengthen the hair
- Some users find the citrusy scent way too strong
Heritage Store Rose Petals Rosewater
Rosewater is great at keeping dreadlocks moisturized and conditioned.
This keeps your locs soft, frizz-free, and supple.
Heritage Store Rose Petals Rosewater has the most amazing smell.
You will most definitely love the smell of your hair and the confidence the scent gives you.
What’s even greater about this product is that it’s completely organic, all-natural, and gluten-free.
The processing is very simple – the rose petals are boiled, allowed to seep through, and bottled completely in its unrefined form.
The product only has two ingredients in it: hydro essential rose oil and vor-mag water.
Heritage Store rose water is also great for maintaining the PH of hair to prevent the growth of bacteria and fungi in your locs.
You can also use it to treat dandruff, itching, and inflammation on the scalp.
You can also add a few drops of your vegetable glycerin to maximize its moisturizing ability.
- Keeps locs moisturized
- Promotes circulation on the scalp to promote hair growth
- Balances pH on the hair
- Treats dandruff and itchiness
- It’s all-natural – doesn’t contain alcohol, sulfates, dyes, or parabens
- Has a nice scent
Organic Vegetable Glycerin by Sky Organics
Organic Vegetable Glycerin by Sky Organics is an all-plant moisturizer that is sourced responsibly and ethically.
It is purely vegan, organic, and is USDA certified.
What makes glycerin a good moisturizer is that it’s a humectant.
This means it draws in water (moisture) from the surrounding environment and seals it into the hair.
For best results mix the glycerin with some water.
This also reduces its thickness and the sticky mess it can create.
You can use your glycerin in plenty of other ways like adding to your body butter, homemade soaps, and lotions.
You can even use it as-is on your skin for extra moisture.
Remember to be cautious with the amount you use.
Glycerin mixed with oil can cause build-up.
Use a small amount only when needed.
- Softens brittle dreadlocks
- Deeply moisturizes the locs
- It’s all-natural, organic and plant-based
- USDA certified
- Glycerin is naturally sticky and thick which may be a turn off for some people
Green Leaf Naturals Organic Aloe Vera Gel Spray
Green Leaf Natural Organic Aloe Vera Gel contains 99.8% pure organic aloe vera that has been cold-pressed from certified organic aloe vera farms.
Aloe vera has long been used by locticians to promote hair growth and quicken the locking of the hair.
What they probably didn’t realize is how deeply moisturizing this product is.
It is a great moisture sealant and using it often will prevent hair dryness, frizz, and breakage.
Aloe vera also helps to repair thin locs and strengthen the weak hair strands.
The aloe vera gel is good for fighting itchiness, recurrent dandruff, and other scalp allergies that may as a result of styling and using waxing gels.
And since it is absorbed easily, it doesn’t leave behind any residue on your locs.
The product’s packaging is pretty convenient for traveling.
- Deeply moisturizes the locs
- Promotes hair growth
- It’s purely organic
- Doesn’t leave any residue
- Spreads easily and evenly
- Penetrates deeply into each lock
- It contains preservatives
Jamaican Mango & Lime Island Scalp Oil
Island Oil from Jamaican Mango & Lime is a blend of essential oils specially formulated for natural hair.
It’s also a great moisturizing oil for dreadlocks.
It helps to keep them healthy and radiant.
The oil is perfect for dull-looking and weak locs as it nourishes the scalp and the roots of each hair strand.
The blend of extracts and nutrients from the various oils in the product also strengthens your locs to prevent thinning and breakage.
I must say, it smells AMAZING.
The scent lingers on.
If you apply it frequently, your hair will always be smelling sweet aside from looking healthy.
It’s safe to apply on color-treated locs because it doesn’t contain harsh chemicals.
- Non-greasy and non-sticky
- Deeply moisturizes the hair
- Strengthens and nourishes the hair
- Has a nice scent
- The top lid is too small and can be easy to lose
Handcraft Blends Pure Apricot Kernel Oil
Handcraft Blends is a pretty reliable brand for pure oils.
This apricot kernel oil from the line is no different – it is in its purest state.
It is unfiltered and undiluted and contains no fillers or additives.
Being pure, it is rich in vitamins and fatty acids that do wonders to dreadlocks.
The oil is light and is absorbed extremely fast into every hair strand to strengthen and promote your locs’ growth.
It also adds shine to your locs to make them look healthy.
When applying, start with the ends of your locs and work down to your scalp.
You can also use it on your skin as a moisturizer and as a carrier oil for your blend of massage oil.
- Promotes hair growth
- Leaves the locs looking radiant
- It’s not greasy
- Easy to apply
- Can be used in many other ways
Sunny Isle Extra Dark Jamaican Black Castor Oil
Just by the soft flowy texture of the oil, I knew this was going to be a good moisture sealant for my locs and yes, it did not disappoint one bit.
I love how versatile this oil is – you can use it to moisturize your locs as well as to grow out your eyebrows and eyelashes.
It’s also perfect for regrowing thinning edges and treating extremely dry and damaged (thinning) locs.
If you are chasing length and volume, I would highly recommend this black castor oil for your locs.
Here’s one more great reason to love this oil: If you suffer from recurrent acne, it’s a proven treatment for acne.
Sunny Isle Extra Dark Jamaican Black Castor Oil is basically an all-round product, once you start using it, it will quickly become a must-have in your daily beauty routine.
- Promotes hair growth with regular use
- Strengthens and thickens hair
- Regrows thinning edges
- Blends well with other carrier oils
- Easy to use and apply
- Some users find the scent to be too strong
How often should you moisturize dreadlocks?
There is no set duration for how long you should moisturize your dreadlocks.
Since we all have different hair types that hold moisture differently, I can only say moisturize your locs as often as you can.
As soon as you feel that your hair is getting dry, get your spray bottle and spritz some moisturizer onto your hair.
You can try out one (or more) of the moisturizers reviewed here.
Ideally, you should moisturize your locs at least once every week but there is no harm in doing it every other day.
If your dreadlocks are long, you will need to do it more often than if your locs are short.
Also, if your hair is the type that dries up really fast, moisturizing every day would do your locs more justice.
How to make sure your locs stay moisturized
There are a couple of ways to ensure that your locs are moisturized at all times.
The first thing you need to adopt is eating a healthy diet.
Healthy foods and especially ones high in protein like salmon promote the growth of healthy hair as well as a healthy scalp.
Try as much as possible to incorporate foods high in fatty acids, vitamin D, and Omega 3 in your weekly menu.
This will sound cliche, but you need to take the recommended 8 glasses of water every day.
Yeah, moisturizing starts from the inside.
Keep your body hydrated and it will show on your hair, scalp, and skin.
If your locs are mature (passed the starter phase), you should try deep conditioning them once a week to keep them hydrated and healthy.
Take care not to overwash your locs in a bid to try and get rid of build-up.
Overwashing can quickly dry out your scalp causing you to flake and itch.
It can also dry out your locs, making them easily susceptible to thinning.
Weekly or bi-weekly washing is the most recommended once your hair has locked.
Washing starter locs too often can cause the locs to unravel.
Seal in moisture
After moisturizing using leave-in conditioner, water or aloe vera, use oils to seal the moisture into the hair and scalp.
Oils also make hair healthy, vibrant, and strong.
Go easy on the products
Do not be too generous with the oils and moisturizing products.
Some can cause serious build-up that can be damaging to your locs.
It’s best to use products that are not greasy, sticky, and too thick.
If you’re using sticky products such as glycerin, make sure you mix it with water.
Steer clear from harsh products
Stay away from harsh products and ones that contain alcohol, parabens, silicones, and sulfate.
Silicone is insoluble and hence prevents your hair from absorbing moisture.
Sulfates, on the other hand, strip off all moisture from the hair including its natural oils.
Wrap your locks
Lastly, cover your dreadlocks with a satin bonnet when going to sleep.
If you cant find a satin bonnet, sleep on a satin pillowcase instead.
Satin has been proven to maintain the moisture in the hair.
It also prevents the friction that can lead to breakage during all the tossing and turning at night.
The biggest maintenance for dreadlocks is keeping them moisturized.
And it isn’t such a complicated process, you only need to follow through and be consistent.
Start by eating right, drinking enough water, and invest in a good dreadlock moisturizer.
This review on the best moisturizer for dreadlocks can be a good place to help you get started.
Take your pick and start your healthy dreadlocks journey.