How to look after your dreadlocks

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Head stylist at ORS SA, Pamela Pelema gives us expert advice on how to nurture dreadlocks in preparation for winter.

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This protective hairstyle has loads of challenges when it comes to a hair-care regime.

Keep it odour-free

Your scalp, as with the rest of your skin, flakes on a daily basis to remove dead cells. Unfortunately, it is not practical to wash our hair every day. This results in a build-up of dead scalp cells in the form of flakes which could result in your dreads losing its fresh smell. Your hair also absorbs the odours around it. Another key contributor that influences the freshness of your dreadlocks is sweat: make sure you give your hair time to dry out after a gym session.

Receding hairline and bald patches

A receding hairline is the gripe for many of us, When pulled too tight, dreads move the hairline back over time. It is therefore imperative that you ask your stylist to not pull your hair too tight.

Another factor to consider is alternating your style at least once every second week to minimise the air being stretched in the same direction for prolonged periods. Many dreadlock wearers plait their dreads or continuously wear them in a bun. The weight also plays a role in a receding hairline, particularly when tied.

Tips to keep your dreadlocks smelling fresh, always:

  • Wash your hair once a week with a sulfate-free shampoo to moisturise the hair without stripping it.
  • Apply hair fertiliser daily to strengthen and nourish the hair
  • Apply a sheen spray to your dreadlocks three times a week for maximum shine.
  • Use an uplifting shampoo once a month to reduce flakes and relieve itching.
  • Treat your hair and scalp with a protein conditioner before each twist session for added strength.
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