September 25, 2019

How to Care for Your Client’s Dreadlocks

care for dreadlocks

You know how to cut and color hair, and how to copy the latest styles. You even know the science behind different hair types. But do you know how to care for your client’s dreadlocks?

Dreadlocks are not a new hairstyle, but you may not get the chance to deal with them too often. That could change, though, because dreads have grown in popularity in recent years. And they’re not just Jamaican Rastafarians anymore. Maybe because they’re so low maintenance and don’t require daily washing and styling. Or maybe they’re just a bold statement.

For whatever reason your clients love ‘em, if you’ve never worked with dreads before, or if it’s been a while and you need a refresher, this easy guide will give you what you need to know.  

How to Wash Dreadlocks

Contrary to popular belief, dreads do need to be cleaned and maintained. Dirty dreads won’t “lock” into place as easily and will eventually fluff up and lose their shape. Here are some tips to keep your client’s dreads clean:

  • Dreads should be washed every two to three days, but a weekly washing routine is common. If your client just washed his or her dreads, skip the shampoo to avoid loosening the dreads.
  • Use a residue free shampoo. Shampoos naturally leave behind a residue, which consists of chemicals, fragrances, oils, or a combination of all three. This residue can make hair too slick to dread. A buildup of residue over time can also cause dreads to grow mold or mildew, better known as dread rot.
  • Wash the scalp as normal. Let the shampoo and water cascade over the dreads and rinse them well.

Drying Dreadlocks

Drying dreads takes a few extra steps than regular hair. Start by squeezing the water out of the dreads, from the roots to tips. You can use a towel to dry, but it should be microfiber. Microfibers create less friction and won’t leave behind lint that could get caught in the dreads.

You can also use a hair dryer but keep the speed and heat settings on low. Or use a bonnet dryer that diffuse heat. Your client wears a bonnet that’s attached by a hose to a dryer.

Moisturize the Dreadlocks with Conditioner or Wax

If your client has an overly dry scalp, conditioner can help. Just massage some into the scalp before rinsing. Aloe vera and wax are also good moisturizers and they can help keep dreads tight.

But chances are, if a client with dreads makes a trip to the salon, it’s for a steam hydration treatment. This allows conditioner to penetrate the hair cuticles through the use of steam. It’s super hydrating for the scalp and hair, and only needs to be done every three or four months.

Caring for your clients’ dreads isn’t as dreadful as it may seem. The more you work with them, the more you’ll learn. Of course, if you want to learn even more about hair care, consider enrolling in Salon Success Academy’s Cosmetology Program. With our team of dedicated professionals behind you, you’ll be equipped to turn your passion for beauty into a full-fledged career. Call 877-987-HAIR (4247) today.

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