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How To Moisturize Scalp With Dreads

Dreadlocks are an excellent way to maintain your natural hair. You can try out different things with your dreadlocks. For instance, you can put them in an up-do, try out different colors, as well as different lengths. You need to maintain a consistent hair regimen for your dreadlocks to be healthy and thriving. For starters, do you know how to moisturize the scalp with dreads?

When to moisturize your dreads

Dreadlocks require little maintenance, but they still require some form of care to retain their aesthetics.

Maintaining dreadlocks is quite different from taking care of other hairstyles.

You will not require regular brushing or trimming.

If you have dreadlocks and you regularly clean and moisturizing your scalp, then you’re well on your way to achieving the desired results.

Healthy hair begins at the roots – which is made possible by maintaining a healthy scalp.

It is important for you to establish what your hair needs at different times.

Here are some of the signs that will make it quite clear that you need to moisturize your scalp:


Dandruff/flakes in your hair

Once you spot flakiness on your scalp, it is high time you moisturize. 

It’s a hint that you need to moisturize your hair and scalp.


What is dandruff?

Dandruff is a condition that makes the skin on the scalp flaky.

It is caused by an overreaction of the skin to yeast.

This leads to an overproduction of oils that causes irritation and flakiness.

Dandruff in dreadlocks is not only caused by dry scalps but also by using the wrong products.


What causes dandruff on dreads?

Dandruff has a variety of different causes. 

The following are some of the reasons why you have dandruff on your dreadlocks:


A build-up of oil on the skin

Increased production of sebum may lead to yeast build-up that brings about dandruff.

Over-secretion of sebum is caused by stress, digestion, diet, and hormones in your body.

Managing the overproduction of sebum can help in getting rid of dandruff.


Poor dietary choices

Eating foods that are high in sugars, yeast, and unhealthy fats change the hormones that stimulate the secretion of sebum.

It is recommended that you eat foods that are high in Vitamin D and omega-3 acids to maintain healthy skin.

Furthermore, some people are not capable of absorbing the proper nutrients easily.

If you suffer from a leaky gut, candida, or acid reflux, it is a clear indication that you are not absorbing nutrients fully.

You may end up having unhealthy oil production on your scalp.



Stress also constitutes a poor lifestyle.

Stress doesn’t directly affect dreadlocks.

However, extended periods under pressure may result in a weaker immune system and consequently reduce the ability to fight off yeast.


Genetics and hormones

Your hormones regulate the oil production of your skin and, consequently, the amount of yeast on your scalp.



Malassezia is a microbe that feeds on natural oils secreted by the scalp.

An overproduction of sebum results in a buildup of yeast.

Keeping your scalp at a level pH can significantly reduce the growth of yeast.


Acidic scalps

A normal healthy scalp should have a pH of 4.5-5, which will help to kill yeast and bacteria.

A healthy pH range can positively impact your scalp, therefore minimizing the chances of dandruff.


Irregular washing patterns

Some people do not like to wash their dreadlocks.

It is highly recommended that dreadlocks should be groomed regularly. There are people who either overwash or under wash their dreadlocks.

Overwashing your hair will lead to irritation and dryness in the long run.

On the other hand, under washing can lead to sebum buildup that brings about yeast growth.

Make sure that you find a cleansing frequency that works for your scalp.

The shampoo and conditioner you are using also play a significant role in the health of your hair.

You can adjust your washing frequency according to the sebum production of your scalp.

Washing once per week is enough to keep your hair healthy and moisturized.


Cold Weather

Living in a cold area can ultimately change the texture of your hair.

Make sure your hair regimen is consistent with the climate you are experiencing.

During the cold season, ensure that you moisturize your hair frequently. 


The dreaded ‘dull’ hair

When your hair is a bit dull or lacks the normal sheen, it’s an indication that it needs to be oiled.

You might be losing essential nutrients and natural oils.


When your dreads start to thin out

When you fail to moisturize your dreadlocks, they become brittle and break easily.

This means that failure to moisturize your dreadlocks will make them start getting weak.

how to moisturize scalp with dreads


How to keep locs moisturized

Moisturizing dreadlocks is vital for ensuring dry, brittle, and fragile locks become healthy once again.

Retaining moisture for dreadlocks is a challenge due to the sebum secreted at any given point.

The structure of the locks makes it difficult for the sebum to reach the tips of the locks.

Here are some tips to keep your scalp and dreadlocks moisturized:


Good diet

Be keen on the food you eat as it affects the health of your hair.

You will need to eat proper foods that provide the essential nutrients for good hair growth.

You can opt for foods such as eggs, nuts, lentils, sweet potatoes, seeds, and spinach.

You can also take supplements such as vitamins and flaxseed oil to boost your nutrition.

Make sure you consult a doctor to get the proper dose.

A good diet includes drinking a lot of water.

You would be surprised by the impact water has on an itchy scalp.

Drinking more glasses of water will help hydrate your skin and, consequently, your dreadlocks.


Wash hair regularly

Washing your hair is essential in maintaining a healthy hair journey.

Cleaning your dreadlocks will get rid of excess oils, dandruff, and dirt that may hinder proper hair growth.

Use a gentle shampoo to make sure your scalp is not irritated.

You can also add apple cider vinegar to your regimen to get rid of dandruff and reduce itchiness.

The vinegar neutralizes the PH of the scalp significantly.


Scalp gel

Utilizing a proper scalp gel can improve your experience with dreads significantly.

Gels with an aloe vera base are highly recommended for dreadlocks since they are made up of 80% water.

It has the ability to hydrate your hair from the roots to the tips.

The benefits of aloe vera for hair are endless.

Related post: Best moisturizer for dreadlocks


Wrap your dreads before going to bed

Bedsheets and pillowcases tend to absorb all the moisture present in our hair.

The beddings also lead to excess friction that may lead to breakage and fragility of the strands.

I highly recommended that you cover your hair with a satin bonnet or use a satin pillowcase to protect your hair.

Avoid heat exposure

Too much heat especially from the sun is not healthy for your hair.

The sun (plus wind) leads to the loss of moisture from your hair.

In case you are going mountain hiking or a walk on the beach, make sure you keep your head covered.

If you have had your dreadlocks re-twisted, do not go without a headscarf on your head.

The sun may be too harsh on your scalp.


Oiling is key

Applying oil to your scalp is vital so as to seal in moisture.

Water keeps your scalp hydrated, and the oil ensures that the water is retained.

You can use coconut oil, avocado oil, and olive oil to moisturize.

Mix the oils with a little bit of water then apply to the scalp for maximum effectiveness.

There are light oils such as grapeseed, jojoba, and argan oil that effectively retain the hair’s moisture.

Use only a few drops of oil to moisturize your hair; too much may be detrimental.


Avoid coloring

This is probably the best piece of advice I was ever given when I had dreadlocks.

Coloring your hair can lead to the breakage of your dreadlocks.

The chemical dyes in the color strip moisture and natural oils from your hair.



Your emotions can affect your hair growth.

If you are experiencing anxiety, stress, or any other strong emotions, it will manifest physically.

You can incorporate meditation, exercise, and music to restore the chemical balance in your body.

These activities are instrumental in relaxing the body and, consequently, helping you to achieve healthy hair.


Vegetable oils to moisturize dreadlocks

Vegetable oils are extracted by applying pressure on grains or fatty fruits.

The oil does not mix with water; it creates a film around the hair instead.

These oils soften your dreadlocks by reducing water loss (sealing in moisture).

The fatty acids and triglycerides in vegetable oils are responsible for softening the hair.

Here is a list of the best vegetable oils for dreadlocks:

You can either apply the oils directly or mix them and apply them as desired.


Coconut oil and dreadlocks

Coconut oil is highly recommended for damaged hair, which is either colored, weak, bleached, or porous hair.

It helps to bind hair proteins to strengthen the strands.

how to moisturize scalp with dreads

Coconut oil is very moisturizing and nourishes your hair.

Here are some expectations you should have if you want to use coconut oil for dreadlocks:


Your scalp will appear to be greasy

The oil isn’t absorbed fully or evaporates from the scalp.


It is very adhesive

Coconut oil attracts so many things from dirt to pollen.

You must wash your hair regularly if you want to use coconut oil for your dreadlocks.


A potent smell

Coconut has a certain scent that may not be pleasing to everyone.

Washing your hair once a week may save you a lot of oil, but this is not exactly a positive aspect.

Eventually, your scalp may smell rancid after usage.


It is heavy

The oil is extremely effective in retaining the moisture in your hair but may weigh your hair down.


Take precautions when using coconut oil as too much can cause damage to the hair.

Switch to grapeseed or sunflower oil if you see signs of drying.

They are lightweight oils that can be easily absorbed by the scalp.

Always practice moderation to restore your hair to beautiful, and shiny locks.


How to moisturize scalp with dreads

So how exactly do you moisturize your scalp and dreadlocks?

Let’s look at three ways to go about it:

  1. Moisturizing after washing
  2. Moisturizing between shampoos 
  3. Hot oil treatments


How to moisturize your locs after washing

Washing your hair regularly is vital for healthy dreadlocks.

You can opt to wash every week to maintain good hygiene.

After washing your dreadlocks, do the following:

  • After you finish cleansing your dreadlocks, use a microfiber towel to dry them until they’re damp.
  • Apply some vegetable oils, especially at the tips of the dreadlocks.
  • Press the dreadlocks so as to increase the penetration of the oils.


Moisturizing in between shampoos

In a bowl, mix 1/3 of the vegetable oil you prefer, some drops of essential oil such as lavender, and 2/3 of water.

Shake the mixture and put it into a spray bottle.

Spray the mixture on the dreadlocks on the lengths and tips.

Keep the spray bottle in the fridge.


Hot oil treatments

Hot oil treatments are excellent for dreadlocks:

  • Depending on the volume of your hair, pour the oil of your choice into a bowl.
  • If you have an itchy scalp, add essential oils such as lavender and peppermint oil.
  • Warm your oils for a few minutes.
  • Take the oil and apply it on the scalp, length, and tips of dry dreadlocks.
  • Massage your scalp gently
  • Take a shower cap and wear it on your head for half an hour
  • Wash your hair with shampoo



Maintaining healthy dreadlocks is not a daunting task.

With the tips outlined above, it’s just a matter of time before your hair gets back its luster and good health.

It is normal to have dandruff occasionally, but you can easily prevent it by doing some of the things recommended in this post.

Finally, ensure that you develop a regular hair care routine for your dreadlocks.

This will go a long way in ensuring that your dreads are always moisturized, supple, and healthy.

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