How often should you wash?

by Natasha - MyDreadlocks.com Admin
(Montreal, QC)

Fighting the 'Dirty Hair Myth' is a daily challenge when you have dreads. The misconception is that locs rarely get washed. However, regardless of your hair type, it is important to keep your hair clean.

How many times weekly or monthly should dreadlocks get a shampoo? There is no solid answer because shampooing varies wildly from person to person. In fact, there are at least 7 factors to consider in terms of hair washing frequency...


  1. Active Lifestyle
    If you break a sweat every day during exercise, you'll need to wash your hair to get rid of mineral deposits like salt and potassium along with other sediment build up on your scalp.
  2. Hair Type
    Straight, oily hair will need to be washed a lot more often than super curly (sometimes called "kinky"), dry hair.
  3. Skin or Scalp Conditions
    Mild dandruff can often be handled by washing more often but severe scalp challenges need to be treated by a professional dermatologist or trichologist
  4. Hair Styling Product Usage
    This goes without saying but the more stuff you put in your hair, the harder it will be to get it out when wash time comes. Clarifying shampoos and apple cider vinegar can both help but try being proactive by reducing the amount of gunk-forming hair care products you use regularly
  5. Time
    Let's face it: The longer your hair, the more time it takes to clean. The same goes for thinner locs that tend to be more fragile. When there's events to go to, family responsibilities to take care of and paint to watch dry, lowering the priority of a regular hair care routine becomes an unnecessary habit.
  6. Personal Preference
    If your mantra is something along the lines of "Shampoo! Bah Hum-bug!" then you're not going to shampoo as often as someone who has been told repeatedly that regular, daily shampoos are the only option.
  7. Environment
    Where you live matters and so does the time of year! From your house to your neighborhood, it's important to be mindful of how the humidity, temperature and air particles effect your hair.

As you can see, you could easily find dreadlock wearers who wash their hair daily as much as you could find ones who do so several times a year. Remember, though: just because hair is cleansed often it doesn't necessarily mean it's clean (the wrong type of shampoo and/or poor technique can make for dirty hair) and if someone doesn't shampoo as often, it doesn't mean their locs are dirty either.

Which factor do you take into account when figuring out how often to wash your own dreadlocks?

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Jan 23, 2014
honey n coconut oil NEW
by: Anonymous

I have read many suggestions...and one of the suggestions I saw frequently was HONEY....along with COCONUT OIL....natural products ...yes and I have just mixed the two natural products a few days ago and applied them to my fresh starting locs...kinda of sticky ..but soften when used a plastic cap...later just a tab of spray moister and they seem very good, my locs are thick like I wanted them...naturally shaping...

I hope this helps get them going again, as I had locs before for about 10 years...they started breaking ..I cut them off two years ago..was very unhappy MISSED my locs...and needed to get them back...so...what do you think...I will do a picture very soon

Mar 26, 2012
when to wash your hair
by: Anonymous

When I'm asking myself is it time to wash my hair: I place a clean stocking over my hair for several hours or for the evening, while sleeping. Upon removing the stocking, I take a deep sniff and if I smell anything, go or bad, I'll make a decision to wash or not.

MH Los Angeles


Dec 07, 2010
Another factor to consider: type of shampoo
by: by Natasha - MyDreadlocks.com Admin

It occurs to me that my washing frequency changes based on the type of cleanser I use.

For example, I conditioner wash (cowash) and tend to use shampoo at different rates.

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