How to wash your locks

So you may have had your locks for years or months, and you're wondering 'how am I supposed to wash these guys without ruining them?' First of all, don't panic! It's actually quite common to feel that way. I know this as a lock stylist of 13 years because it is one of the most commonly raised concerns by my clients. Let me set your mind at ease. Your dreads are strong and resilient and will only get better after a wash. In fact, I strongly recommend washing them once a fortnight to keep them free of dead skin and oil build up. They will thank you for it in the long run as it will help them mature and keep your scalp healthy.

Did you know that Sebum, which is a natural oil produced all up on your head, is constantly secreted out of the scalp and onto the hair and it is something that will build up over time without washing. Sebum can leave the hair looking and feeling oily but worse still, can act as a food source for microfauna which in turn can lead to dandruff. In extreme cases an over production of Sebum can cause hair loss. I don't endorse many hair products for locks as I believe it is best to keep them free of anything that may leave a residue behind, however if you did choose to use any kind of locking gel or wax, product residue build up could also occur which collectively can dull the hair and weigh it down. The only con to washing young dreads is that they might get a little fuzzy as the hair is not yet locked, but this is not detrimental to your lock journey and can be remedied with a little extra crochet maintenance or some consistent palm rolling. Using Elemental Locks shampoo is really good solution to caring for your young or mature locks. It is residue free and soap free which means it wont leave behind soap scum if you are in a hard water area. If you're not sure where to begin, perhaps my step by step guide to washing your locks can help you out. Step 1. You need to get the product on your finger tips and, focusing solely on your scalp and roots, massage your scalp as normal. You do not need to lather the dreads up themselves unless you have dipped them in something and they really need it. Step 2. When you rinse, just let the water run down the locks and keep squeezing them to make sure they get a thorough rinse and that no product is left behind. You need to rinse it all out thoroughly to avoid leaving any product behind. Do this for at least 10 minutes! Step 3. After you've washed them wrap them tightly in a towel and then after 15 mins switch to a new dry towel to get as much of the water out as possible. Step 4. Once they are towel dry, you can run your fingers between your roots to make sure they are separated and no small bridges have formed joining the roots. If they have, you should try to tease them apart. Step 5. Palm roll! This works so much better while they are damp after a wash and will help the loose hair stay in place. Using the hard part of the pad of your hands concentrate on one lock at a time in one area and try to build up a little heat between your palms. This will encourage them to remain in formation for as long as it takes for them to mature and finally lock. Step 6. (OPTIONAL) Blow dry. We will probably be lucky this year and have another record high temperature heat wave summer, which is great when you want your locks to dry quickly. The rest of the year though, a good blow dry will do wonders. Angle your hair dryer down the length of your dreads and give them a good 20 minutes under the heat, if only to make the rest of your day a little more comfortable (because your locks will be less damp and not dripping down your back!) Another good thing to try would be the Cantu Root Rinse which is also available in the Elemental Locks store. I recommend my clients use this in between washes to keep the scalp and hair conditioned. It is a co wash containing apple cider vinegar, shea butter and tea tree. It conditions and cleanses the scalp without doing a full shampoo so is quicker and feels tingly and amazing. You can maintain a healthier moisturised scalp by alternating the two.

I hope that gets you started with washing your locks. If you have any questions or you think I have left anything out here, please feel free to drop me a message or a comment. I will try to make a video for you guys really soon.

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