There are several different locking processes. But it really doesn't matter how you start your locks - from free-form locks, to palmrolled dreadlocks, to twists, bradelocsor Sisterlocks (TM), proper maintenance of your dreadlocks is key.
When you begin the locking process, experts agree that locks should not get wet for the first 4-6 weeks that locks are started. The reason for this is that it is believed that the first 4-6 weeks of a new lock is the most critical stage. It is at this time that the hair needs to mesh together naturally. Any obstruction of the natural beginnings of the hair meshing together, can disrupt the locking of the hair.
But many others who have started locks disagree with this theory and wash their locks before 6 weeks and still have lovely locks. It's really about personal preference.
However, during this time (4-6 weeks) the scalp may become itchy.
To cleanse an itchy scalp while growing your dreadlocks, some goodproducts that do not clog the pores or cause bulid-up are Anti-Itch Scalp Oil and Organic Root Stimulator Herbal Cleanse.
Add a dab of either on a cotton swab and apply sparingly to the scalp.
It's best to have a professional maintain your locks in the begining once they start to fully lock. Your loctician will be able to show you how to keep your dreadlocks looking neat and well groomed.
To keep dreadlocks from looking dull, stay away from heavy oils like petroleum jelly, petrolaum or products with these ingredients.These man-made products cause buildup and cause lint and residue to attach to locks.
Don't use waxes either - although many may argue otherwise. Overtime, wax can cause buildup in thecenter of the lock and produce a gooey residue as time goes on. Many dreadlock wearers who chose the useof wax to begin their locks have regretted their decision.
However, if you are looking for another option to wax,some good products to use are oils that are close to the hairsnaturally oily state like patchouli oil or other essential oils like tea tree oil, rosemary oil or jojoba oil. Actually, teatree oil is a great choice as it removes the itchy feeling that may occur on the scalp.
Also try, Hairobics Hair Oil, Twist Butter, Dark and Lovely Naturally Tea Tree Oil Loc &Twist Butter and natural Olive Oil.
Stay clear of shea butter or beeswax as they can lead to buildup and leave behind a stickyfilm on the hair over time.
Keep lint at bay by tying your head at night with a loose fitting hair wrap made ofsatin or silk. Polyester is also a good option because it allows the hair to also breathewhen covered. Don't want to cover your hair? A satin or silk pillowcase is also a good choice.
To wash locks after they have matured, some experts recommend washing dreadlocks every 2-3 weeks, but this really depends on your lifestyle and tolerance level.
If you work out or have the need for water on your locks, washing your hair more often or whenever you feel the need is also an option.
Just be gentle on your hair. As you wash your scalp, massage gently with the tips of your fingers and try to retwistto avoid locks from meshing together.
A good shampoo for locks that maintains moisture and the PH balance of hair is Hairobics Therapeutic Shampoo, Neutrogena Clean Balance Normalizing Shampoo (Clear) and AVEDA Rosemary Mint Shampoo.
The Hairobics line, Neutrogena line and AVEDA hair products line are excellent products for locked hair.
Peppermint castile soap is also a good choice since it gently cleansesthe scalp but maintains the natural moisture balance in the hair.
Some people don´t believe in conditioning locs because they think it loosens the locs making the hair much too soft. However, Hairobics All Natural Leave-In Conditioner and Infusium 23 are excellent choices for not only dreadlocked hair,but all-natural hair textures because it opens up the cuticle, moisturizing and coatingthe hair shaft.
To moisturize dreadlocks daily adding more lustre without the buildup, consider anatural castor or mink oil.
These can also be great for retwisting roots along with other essential oils like one of our favorites - Patchouli. If you want to add a sleeker finish to retwisted roots, expect the front of the hair line try a gel that doesn´t cause buildup. A good choice is AVEDA Flax Seed Aloe Strong Hold Sculpting Gel and Queen Helene Gel.
These gels hold locks in place very well but also washes out easily without the buildup.
Top Dreadlock Guide! ~ Thankfully Cherie King has developed the top guide on growing and maintaining healthy dreadlocks. Her guide is thorough with how-to tutorials on creating and caring for your dreads. CLICK HERE for her exclusive Bradelocz Guide!