Anonymous asked: Will washing in cold water help young dreads mature faster? Some people think it's hokey pokey, some swear by it. Does it depend on hair type?
Cold water temporarily seals your hair’s cuticle- locking in moisture & shine, & technically making your strands silkier. It’s also slightly less effective for cleansing, as it removes less dirt & oil (but as a result, is less likely strip overly-dry scalps).
Hot water opens your hair’s cuticle, making your hair strands rougher (which encourages frizz & friction between strands). It’s also more effective for removing dirt & oil build up.
There is no right or wrong water temperature to wash your dreads in- every head is different. Take the above into consideration & choose whichever is most comfortable for you & gives you, personally, the best results.
teheehe asked: i have a question about the baking soda and ACV rinse. i was wondering if you could, instead of doing the baking soda first THEN the apple cider vinegar, if you could do them at the same time. Like in one step instead of two. also when i do the baking soda and ACV rinse i can still sometimes smell the scent from my shampoo, isn't it suppose to get rid of that kind of stuff?
In general: The baking soda is your cleaning agent, so you want it to do the most effective job it can to get all the gunk out. The ACV is an optional rinse afterwards that can help smooth & seal your hair’s cuticle, leaving your hair nice & soft without detangling effects. I’m not entirely clear on which of the following uses you’re talking about, so I’ll cover both.
If you are using BS/ACV for your weekly washing routine (pouring it over your head in the shower, letting sit a few moments, then rinsing): baking soda = shampoo, apple cider vinegar = conditioner. I know some people do mix it together, but I’ve heard that seems to be a bit less efficient (this seems subjective).
If you are still smelling shampoo in your hair when you are no longer using shampoo, I would say it’s time for a deep clean!
If you are using it for your deep clean (every several months/as needed, soaking your head in the solution for 10-30 minutes, then repeating): I personally feel the baking soda works better without the ACV. A little lemon juice gives a kick, & sea salt is a nice touch for tightening dreads & soothing your scalp. The ACV can be poured over your hair afterwards, then rinsed out. I’ve also heard it suggested (again, this seems subjective) that ACV may be too harsh for some people to leave sitting on their scalps for that extended time, which would make it unsuited to a soak for those individuals.
If you are still smelling shampoo after your deep clean, try soaking your hair longer, and/or make sure you are agitating it (as opposed to holding still). Swish your hair about, squeeze them, wring them out & put them back in the soak, etc. You want the baking soda to really get in there & do its job!
I would try a few different combinations, with varying ratios of BS:ACV, & see what ends up working best for you in particular.
sherlock-baggins-uss-enterprise asked: I have just put 1 dread in (yeah i know, i'm going slowly and testing my hair out), so I wondered can i still wash my hair?
Of course ♥
Do your best to keep your dread away from the rest of your hair while you wash. For example, wrapping it in a plastic baggie while you shower. You can also wear a shower cap during your shower, then wash just your loose hair in the sink afterwards, if that’s easier for you. I’ve done both, & preferred the baggie method.
It isn’t the end of the world if it gets wet, but you want to keep it away from any conditioning products you use, & you want your dread to be drying out thoroughly (which is usually difficult to accomplish if it is getting wet daily). Include your dread in your wash once a week (but still keep conditioning products away from it). Remember, you don’t need to wash the dread itself unless something weird comes in contact with it. Washing your scalp & letting the soapy water run through your hair does the job.
Additionally, if you are considering eventually dreading your whole head, now would be an excellent time to switch to a non-conditioning, minimal-residue shampoo (think daily clarifying!), & also to start adjusting your scalp to less frequent washings.
Contrary to weird modern belief (as of the most recent decades), your hair does not need to be washed daily. It’s actually not even good for it! 1-2 times a week is plenty. The problem is, frequent washing dries out your scalp & makes it produce more oil than necessary. That’s why your hair gets greasy so quickly! If you (slowly) let your scalp re-adjust, you can easily get back to only needing a wash 1-2 times weekly, & not getting greasy in between.
This is uber helpful later on with dreads, because they have lots of time to properly dry out. Clean, dry dreads won’t have wet cores all the time, which promote growth of bacteria, mold, & mildew- gross! It’s also useful when your dreads are babies, because washing in the shower can loosen delicate knots. Besides, your shampoo will last forever- bonus for your wallet!
Re-adjust by gradually increasing the time between washes. If you wash your hair daily now, start doing it every other day for a week. After another week or so, try every two days. So on & so forth. It’s a little rough at first (expect ponytails to be your best friend) but it WILL adjust, & it makes your life so much easier, haha ♥
kraytheili asked: Hello! To start this blog is amazingly informative and I love it :) Secondly, I've been researching/thinking about getting dreadlocks for about a year now, but I decided I'll hold off until I finish college, but my only issue is that I have VERY greasy/oily hair and face, and if I don't shower everyday it becomes a crazy hog pit. Is there any good way to mask how nasty my hair is getting while I try to go through the phase of getting my hair adjusted to less washing? It's such a vicious cycle!
Excessive washing ironically causes even more oil- even on people with naturally oily skin (myself included)!
Pulling your hair back in a ponytail or headband can hide it a bit (hats will make it worse in between washings). Otherwise, not really… but it can be less obvious if you adjust even slower.
For example. If you shower every morning now, start washing your hair every other morning. Do this for a few weeks, instead of just one. When your scalp is well adjusted to that, move on to every two days for a few weeks, so on & so forth. The great thing here is that you aren’t in a rush to get started! By the time you’re ready to start your dreads, your scalp should be adjusted nicely.
Also, if you have bangs…they’re going to get greasy faster. Because you touch them with your hands, & they touch your face, there’s no real way to keep them from getting oily. If you have to, continue washing your bangs as needed. I still wash mine every day or two! & of course, wash your face daily.
Otherwise, keep in mind the reasons you wash your hair less with dreads. Your dreads need to dry completely in between each wash, & your scalp needs to adjust to be less greasy (since the oils will keep it from knotting well). Can you dry out your hair 100% each time, even if it takes you sitting with a blowdryer for two hours? Then it isn’t really that big of a deal if your hair gets wet more often because you’re washing it. Catch my drift?
taye-bay-bay asked: I was told, by a guy who has had dreads for about 15 years, that if you wash your dreads during the first year, they won't lock up. Is this true?
I’ve washed my hair at least once a week for the past four years & three months (i.e., since I started my dreads). Does it look like my dreads locked up to you?
Dirty hair won’t lock as well, it takes longer because the hair is slippery & oily. Knots need friction to form well. More importantly, not washing your hair for a year is going to make you one nasty-smelling being.
You can do all sorts of shitty, outright stupid things to your hair, & given a long enough timeline, still end up with dreads. Sometimes they might even look okay (new growth doesn’t often suffer the same abuse as the hair originally started with).
The funny thing about being wrong is you can be wrong for a very, very long time. The length of time you’re wrong still doesn’t make you right.
People like that are the reason the rest of us get a bad reputation.
Anonymous asked: if my dreads are damp but not super wet can i sleep on them like that? my dreads are only a month old but i work super early so its easier to wash my hair at night and then sleep on them. ( p.s don't know if this matters but i have partial dreads so my head consists of my loose hair the dreads)
Not really, no. As an occasional thing I wouldn’t fret it too badly (like, “Oh man, I must’ve accidentally passed out!”) but making a habit of it is bad news.
Your hair is more likely to remain damp when you’re sleeping on it (much the way it would if worn in a bun damp). Over time, that prolonged period without being allowed to dry is going to leave you with a really funky smell, & you’re basically sending mold/mildew growth a gilded invitation.
You don’t wash dreads daily, so just plan when you’ll wash your hair. For example, are you off on Sundays? Then wash them Sunday morning. Do you have to wash them at night? Then wash them earlier so they have time to dry out, or wash them on nights you can stay up late. Problem solved.
etc-x-etcetera asked: I went into a hair salon, and I told them I was going to be getting dreadlocks and that I needed to buy a residue free shampoo. They gave me a clarifying shampoo called B&B Sunday. Have you heard of it before, and will it work for dreadlocks? They said it wasn't a shampoo to use daily since it dries out your hair.
Woo-oh, pricey! But yeah, it will totally work well.
For future reference, pretty much any daily clarifying shampoo from a drug store or beauty supply outlet will work just fine. There’s a washing-product breakdown in this article.
You don’t need to get that fancy unless you want to!
irishewwie asked: So I dyed the dreads. (Woot for Lish's great instructions. :) ) But I'm having a problem! I rinsed and rinsed that night till it ran clear. Took an actual shower the next day and washed the dreads with Drama Clean. And there was still color coming out. >.< So I rinsed and rinsed till it ran clear again. But it had run clear the night before. :/ So is this normal to keep getting color when rinsing?
Lish is a goddess :D
Yeah, a little bit will show up each time you rinse for the next few washes. It isn’t the same as actually having dye left in your hair- it’s more like the stain on your hair rinsing off. It happens with loose hair too. It should lessen after your first few washes, then your hair will still slowly lose colour & fade, but you likely won’t see it washing out.
It does help, for future reference, to shampoo your hair when you rinse the dye out the first time. & I always like to think cold rinses help hold it in a bit better, but that could be wishful thinking on my part ♥
baphometayin asked: My dreadlocks are 10 months old. I exercise a lot so I wash them every other day. Is that too much?
It’s a bit much for most people, but if you need it that often, you need it that often. Some people’s lifestyles warrant that.
As long as your dreads are completely drying out in between (not staying damp for hours on end, then getting wet again), don’t worry about it.
natashap6 asked: I've had my dreads for 3 weeks and have only washed them twice. I washed them a week after I got them and my hair loosed up so much it freaked me out, I palm roll my dreads every day because when I wake up there so flat. I just washed my hair again today, I didn't really want to but I knew it needed to be done. What should I do, I know my dreads need to be clean but washing them loosens all the the work I've put into them.
— Calm down.
— Remember to breathe.
— Realize that your dreads can be very delicate the first few weeks & knots may loosen somewhat, especially when washing, & this is normal.
— Keep washing your hair. Dirty, greasy hair is not going to knot well, so avoiding a wash to try & “save” your dreads is completely counter-productive.
— If you are currently washing in the shower, stop. Cover your head in a shower cap when you bathe normally & just wash your hair gently in a sink or bowl of still water afterwards (once a week is fine). Also keep in mind that you do not need to wash the dreads themselves, only your scalp!
Lastly, but most importantly, just be patient & stick with it.
Dreads are a long term commitment & you’re going to have to go through all sorts of weird phases initially. You don’t “fix” these things. Your dreads are evolving, & this is all on them, not you. You cannot control them, trying will make you freak out. “Initially” doesn’t mean days, or even weeks, by the way. It means months. The first year. You get the picture.
Everyone with baby dreads stresses that their dreads are loose, their roots are loose, their ends are loose, they think those things mean their dreads are falling out, they think they have too much loose hair, they think things aren’t happening fast enough, they think their dreads aren’t “perfect” or round, they don’t look just like so-&-so’s, blehblehblehbleh.
So if you feel all or even one of those things, welcome to the party! All of these “problems” are normal & you shouldn’t be stressing out because time- & only time- will fix everything. I know first hand you will probably stress anyway, & having someone tell you “be patient” doesn’t soothe you too much. But seriously. It’s true. So breathe ♥