Keeping it natural


Our new hair blogger Nangamso Phakathi shares some secrets she has learnt on how to take care of dreadlocks.

Meet Nangamso

Nangamso Phakathi is a co-blogger on the natural-hair blog Frochic. She says, “I’m a fun-loving mother of a little boy, soon to be two boys. I love life, magazines, chocolates and all things girly. I am passionate about blogging, especially on all things natural hair. I’ve kept my hair natural for about five years and I’ve had dreadlocks for nearly two years. I enjoy every minute of this natural-hair journey.”

She will share tips she has learnt by looking after her natural hair in her monthly blog for YOU.

My dreadlock growth

I’ve had dreadlocks for about 17 months and I’m starting to see some progress in terms of growth. Yippee! I must say locks need a LOT of patience. I feel as if they’ve been one length for a long time. However, I absolutely love them.

This is how they look when styled up.

Product build-up hassles

My biggest gripe right now is dealing with product build-up, especially at the nape of my neck. It looks so unsightly, like white specks or lint lodged between the strands. I think it happens when I shampoo and/or condition my dreadlocks and don't rinse out the product very well. Products with beeswax also cause build-up in the long run.

White residue at the nape of my neck is product build-up. It looks gross.

My plan to fix the problem

So I decided to do something about it. I’ve read about using baking powder (which can leave dreadlocks dry and dull-looking). An alternative is an apple cider vinegar (ACV) rinse. What I like about apple cider vinegar is it’s a great cleanser but doesn’t strip a lot of moisture from hair. I used to do a lot of ACV rinses when I had an afro, and it worked well.

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) rinse for locks.

I did the rinse on the weekend and this is how:

  • I bought apple cider vinegar at Pick n Pay for R13,99.
  • I mixed two cups of warm water with two tablespoons of ACV (it’s quite strong so don’t use too much) and poured it into my regular spritz bottle (it’s easier to apply with a spritz bottle).
  • Before I applied the ACV, I shampooed my locks with Tresemmé Naturals Nourishing Moisture Shampoo.
  • While my locks were damp, I sprayed the ACV mixture all over my hair, concentrating on the nape of the neck.
  • I rubbed each lock carefully between my hands; you can do this for about 10 minutes for your whole head.
  • I rinsed it out and conditioned my locks with Tresemmé Naturals Nourishing Moisture Conditioner.
  • Once I’d washed off the conditioner and rinsed my hair, I moisturised my locks with Organic Root Stimulator HaiRepair Vital Oils for Hair & Scalp. You could use any oil such as coconut or olive oil. It’s better to use oil on your locks rather than heavy-based hair creams.

The result after the ACV rinse

As you can see there’s some improvement even though not all the build-up was removed. I will regularly rinse with the ACV (maybe twice a month) and hopefully the build-up will disappear over time.

NB: Remember, do not overdo the ACV rinse. It can strip the moisture from hair and leave it feeling extremely dry.

Do any of you also have product build-up and how do you remove it?

- Nangamso Phakathi

Follow Nangamso Phakathi and her co-blogger Matlhodi Mashamba at or find them on twitter and Facebook.

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