how to moisturize scalp with dreads

How to Moisturize Scalp With Dreads

This article discusses all there is to know about how to moisturize the scalp with dreads. Most times you may find that your scalp is sore, inflamed, and covered in red spots, mostly due to constant itching of your scalp until they turned into abrasions.

This is where I realized the importance of keeping my scalp and dreads moisturized and after searching for natural remedies, I was surprised by how many other people were in the same boat as me.

Not only will we be discussing how to moisturize the scalp with dreads but we will also be giving you a few tips that your scalp and locks need to be moisturized.


Signs That Your Dreads Needs Moisturizing


Before we dive into tips on how to moisturize scalp with dreads, let’s first look at the possible signs that your scalps need to be moisturized.


Your scalp is itchy and possibly inflamed


I’m almost certain that every person with dreads has experienced an itchy scalp at some point or another in their dreadlock journey.

It’s not normal, however, for your head to itch uncontrollably for weeks or months. Itchiness is a not-so-subtle reminder that we need to hydrate our bodies a lot more.


You have a significant amount of dandruff


A flaky scalp is another hint that your skin is becoming too dry.


Your hair is lacking luster


If your hair is dull or losing its sheen, it’s an indication that you’re losing vital nutrients and natural oils in your hair.


Your dreads are loosening up or thinning out


Dreadlocks that are not moisturized will become brittle and can break easily. Imagine what a plant looks like if you haven’t given it water for several days or weeks.

They will start to wither and die if they’re not given water. Dreadlocks are somewhat the same. If you don’t moisturize you’re locs often, they may start to get weak.


Climate Condition


Depending on where you live, the climate can have a huge impact on your dreads. Your hair regimen may need to be changed to reflect the climate you’re in.

In the winter months, your hair may require extra moisture since the weather is typically much drier than it is in the summer.


How to Moisturize Scalp With Dreads


Simple ways to moisturize your scalp and dreads; now that you have gotten a hang on 5he signs to show that your locks and scalp need to be moisturized, let’s look at some simple ways on how to moisturize scalp with dreads.


Drink more water


The single most important thing that has helped reduce the itchiness was to drink more water. I’m the last person to wilfully drink water but hydrating your body will in turn hydrate your skin.

Even if you drink a couple of extra glasses of water a day, you will certainly feel the difference.


Maintain a good diet


You are what you eat, they say. Eat foods that provide you with nutrients that promote healthy hair, such as spinach, nuts, seeds, fish, eggs, lentils, and sweet potatoes.

Taking supplements (like vitamins, fish oil, and flaxseed oil) can also help but consult with your doctor first about which supplements and doses are right for you.


Wash your hair once a week


Keeping your hair and scalp free from excess oils, dirt, dandruff, and buildup is key to maintaining a healthy scalp. Use a clarifying or residue-free shampoo only.

Every other week, rinse your scalp with an Apple Cider Vinegar rinse (2 tablespoons ACV diluted in 8 oz of water).

ACV helps to neutralize the pH in your scalp and reduces itchiness. Whenever possible, rinse your hair with cold water. Make sure your hair completely dries out after every wash.


Don’t use a shower cap when you shower


On the days that you’re not washing your hair, put your dreads in a bun and allow the shower mist to sprinkle your locs. If they accidentally soak up too much water, make sure they’re fully dry by the time you go to sleep.


Make a moisturizing spritzer and use it every day


I usually spray my dreads once a day, but occasionally twice. How often you spray them should depend on how dry your locs are but don’t go crazy with it either.

There are a lot of moisturizing spray options online, but it’s always better ig you know what ingredients are going in it. A simple moisturizer can be made from mixing distilled water and essential oils.


Make a soothing scalp gel for the itchy spots


Aloe vera is one of the best things you can apply to an itchy dry scalp. Aloe vera is made up of 80% water and it’s a great way to rehydrate your hair at the root.

I recommend you make your own gel by mixing 100% aloe vera (make sure there are no additives), distilled water and essential oils. Read about the benefits of using aloe vera in your dreads and try my favorite gel recipe here.


Cover your head when going to sleep


Our bedsheets and pillowcase absorb the natural moisture present in our scalp. Also, the friction between our heads and sheets throughout the night can cause breakage and lint to become stuck in the locs.

Protect your hair by covering it with a satin headscarf and/or by using a satin pillowcase. Apply a few drops of jojoba oil to your scalp before bedtime and then wrap your hair or put it in a bonnet.


Cover your head when you’re outside for too long


We know that the sun and air/wind causes water to evaporate. If you’re planning a trip to the mountains or beach, make sure to keep your head covered so the elements are not depleting your scalp of its moisture.

Use a headscarf or hat if you’re going to be in the sun right after getting your dreads re-twisted. All the exposed skin on your head can get sunburned easily which is not only very painful but will also cause dandruff when it starts healing.


Add oil to your scalp


When we apply oil to our scalp, it seals in the moisture that is already present. Water is what keeps your scalp hydrated, while the oil helps to retain the water.

Coconut oil, olive oil, and avocado oil are moisturizing oils, which means that they are more effective when mixed with a little bit of water first and then applied to the scalp.

Sealing oils, like grapeseed oil, jojoba oil, and Jamaican Black castor oil are lightweight oils that help seal the hair’s natural moisture. Whichever oil you prefer to use, make sure it’s only a few drops. Too much oil can lead to build-up.

On occasion, you can make a deep conditioning treatment by warming up a little bit of coconut oil or olive oil and massaging your scalp with it for a couple of minutes. Cover your head with a warm towel for one hour and then wash it off.


Stop using salt and baking soda in your locs


Everyone looks forward to reaching the mature dreadlock stage but it really comes at a price: patience and time. If your hair is very dry, avoid drying it out more with any locking sprays that contain salt.

It’s better to have healthy hair and allow it to dread properly, than ruining it in the early stages by trying to accelerate the locking process. Also, avoid mixing baking soda into your shampoo.

Baking soda is too harsh for your scalp when used excessively. It’s okay for deep cleanses only (about once every six months). Anytime you use salt or baking soda, follow up with an ACV rinse to neutralize the pH in your scalp.


Take care of yourself


Stress, anxiety, and other emotions can wreak havoc on our physical well-being. Releasing this tension in a healthy way, whether through exercise, music, or meditation, can help restore our body’s chemical balance.

Studies have found that meditation helps clear up psoriasis, eczema, and itchiness of the skin.


Simple Steps to Achieve a Healthy, Thriving Locs 


Given below are some simple steps to achieve healthy, thriving locs, this also helps to moisturize the scalp with dreads.


Moisturize your locs properly


Dry hair breaks easily, and the last thing you want is brittle locs. Use a light leave-in moisturizer that will quench your locs’ thirst, or water sealed in with lightweight oil.


Condition your locs


There is a risk, especially on new locs, that such products as conditioners can loosen/damage your locs.

While some individuals go ahead with conditioners, we recommend using apple cider vinegar as an alternative.

This rinse will leave your locs soft, conditioned, and will clarify product buildup from your scalp as well.


Deep Condition your locs


This step is NOT for new locs. Once your locs are mature, we recommend you deep condition every 1-2 weeks to keep your locs healthy, strong and moisturized.

While your locs are in the starter phase, deep conditioning runs the risk of detangling your starter locs.


Don’t over-wash your locs


While locs are more prone to odors and buildup than loose hair, over-washing can dry out your scalp and lead to flaking, itchiness, breakage, and thinning locks.

We recommend once every 1-2 weeks and don’t wash starter locs until they have some time to mature.


Dry locs thoroughly after washing


More often than not, the mildew smell that locs can develop is due to improper drying. Use a blow dryer on low heat or let your locs air dry. Don’t tie up your locs, bunch them together, or cover them with anything until they are fully dry.


Keep your locs healthy and happy with natural oils


Use natural oils to keep your locs and scalp moisturized and healthy. Oils like coconut and olive will protect your locs from getting too dry, and diluted tea tree oil will help clean hair with its antifungal properties.

Jamaican black castor oil will keep your scalp moisturized and healthy, able to grow longer, stronger locs.


Don’t overdo it with oils or products


Locs are made of matted hair and vulnerable to build-up if you go too hard with products of any kind.

Use less product than you think you need, and avoid styling products that leave a lot of residues. Stick with lightweight products and oils, and use them sparingly.


Wrap your locs at night with a satin scarf or bonnet


Your locs are strong, but they are still susceptible to breakage and damage from friction. Wrapping your locs in silk or satin will protect and prevent breakage during the night.


Don’t twist your locs, especially dry


Only twist when you are retwisting, and be sure to give your hair plenty of time (we recommend several months) in between retwisting or interlocking. Don’t retwist or interlock too tight- it shouldn’t hurt.


How to Maintain my New Starter Locs


When you first get starter locs, it’s imperative to care for them properly. Here are our top tips on how to maintain starter locs,

  • Avoid conditioners and detanglers; Any product that is meant to help detangle your hair can cause your starter locs to loosen and unravel.
  • Avoid manipulating your locs; We know, all you want to do is touch them! But leave them alone and they’ll be able to grow.
  • Shampoo infrequently at first; We recommend shampooing your starter locs every two weeks, but follow the instructions of your loctician.
  • Limit the number of hair products you use; In order to be as gentle as possible and to extend the time between washes, try to use fewer products during your starter loc phase.

It can be frustrating if you see one of your starter’s locs unraveling or if you keep needing to re-twist the locs. But trust the process and be patient.




Even though dreadlocks are a fairly low-maintenance hairstyle, it doesn’t mean they should be neglected completely. You should be moisturizing them every day, although not excessively. Thanks to this article on how to moisturize scalp with dreads you know-how.

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