Monday, 5 January 2015

What to buy for dreadlocks and where to get it

Not all dreadlocks shampoos are created equal

By now we know that normal shampoos heavily damage dreadlocks and why we need specialist dreadlocks shampoos. If not, see this article first.

Not all dreadlocks shampoos will give you what you need for great healthy dreadlocks that are light and full of vitality! Also, shipping to different places can cost a bomb. Its helpful to know what the best shampoos are in your area of the world. Here is a list of shampoos we do recommend!

If you know of a dreadlocks shampoo that you think needs listing, let us know. All shampoos listed here are free from SLS Parabens and unnecessary additives. 

UK and Europe

dreadlock shampoo

USA and Canada 

There are currently no known fragrance free options for these areas so we've added the best possible options available to them.

Vital Goods Black Soap - Click To Buy

Dollylocks Liquid Shampoo - Click To Buy

Australia and New Zealand

Dread Empire - Click To Buy


Next article - The fastest way to dry dreadlocks!

Dry Dreadlocks Fast

The fastest way to dry dreadlocks!

"this routing will amaze you!"
said - Everyone Always
It is important to not leave dreadlocks wet for too long. Increased duration of wet dreadlocks can lead to bad smells and mould, which resembles the smell of leaving wet laundry in a washing machine. Its very unpleasant.

The faster your dreadlocks dry, ultimately, the better condition they'll remain. This article will tell you the fastest way to dry even the thickest dreadlocks in as little 1.5 hrs with little to no effort needed.

The first thing to consider when reducing drying time is having a good dreadlocks specific shampoo. Normal shampoos cause all kinds of problems for dreadlocks, they build residues and increase the drying time. It might be helpful to read our post on how to get rid of residue.

Ok, lets get started, for this you will need:

  • a comfy sofa
  • a micro fiber towel
  • a 1200w+ halogen heater (£10-15 online or from poundland)
  • A plug socket
  • Some entertainment (tv or lap top is nice to pass the time)
  • A nice hot cup tea of coffee 
  • your phone and TV remote to hand

Step 1 - 'Whipping'

Now you've washed your dreadlocks, the first thing you'll want to do is shake out all excess water by 'whipping' or 'flicking' your dreadlocks either into the bath or against a towel. This will force all the excess water to the ends and out of the dreadlocks.

Step 2 - 'Space Prep'

Put the kettle on first, it will be boiled just in time!

You will need to gather everything together to set up a space to relax, so you don't have to move. Clear a space on the sofa to lye down and fold the towel over the armrest to hang down off the side of the sofa. This is where your dreadlocks will rest as you lye on the sofa.

Plug in your halogen heater and position it so that it points towards the side of the sofa. Make sure the towel covers the sofa from the glow of the heater. This will protect your sofa from heat and begin to heat the towel. The heater wants to be positioned approximately elbow to fingertips in distance away from the towel.

Pull a table close (arms length) to the sofa if there is one available. Then get everything you need so you don't have to move while you're relaxing on the sofa. Get your laptop, TV remote, phone and if you're going to watch a dvd, get it set up ready to hit play. At this point just as a personal preference, its nice to light candles and incense.

By now the kettle should be ready, make yourself a cosy hot drink. Place the drink on the table next to your set up and have one last whip/dread flick to relieve the remaining excess water as it will have run to the ends by now.

Step 3 - 'Enjoy'

This is the best bit, if you have dreadlocks fragrance sprays, now is the best time to add a layer of fragrance mist to your dreadlocks. As they dry, the scent will work its way through the dreadlocks.

Now you're ready! Take position and lye down on the sofa. Hang your dreadlocks over the arm where the towel is, so they are spread out and positioned between the towel and the halogen heater.

You're dreadlocks are now drying. Press play on your favourite TV show, movie or just enjoy the peace and quiet as you relax.

Once your dreadlocks are dry, if you have your dreadlocks fragrance spray, one last spray for your dreadlocks and they'll smell amazing as well as healthy and light!

Getting rid of residue in dreadlocks - What is residue?

Residue in dreadlocks is very simply build up from 'normal' (non-dreadlocks specific shampoo). This blog will tell you exactly how it got there, the problems it causes and how to deal with it!

Many people make a very common mistake when it comes to washing their dreadlocks. Without giving much thought, we quite often grab any shampoo available and wash our locks.

The problem with 'normal' non-dreadlocks specific shampoo's is that they are designed to coat your hair with all kinds of additional agents. The cosmetics industry is geared to such marketing, so you get shampoos with added moisture, added shine, reduce frizz and lathering agents. You also get additives to make your hair 'squeaky' clean as marketing tells us that makes it cleaner. We are also swayed by fragrances. We all have our favourite smells, these fragrances when added to shampoo, need additional preservatives to sustain their strength and shelf life.

All of these things over time create a build up of residue in the centre of your dreadlocks. This is a huge problem because no only do you get a white fluff that stand out, the increase of residue means your dreadlocks will take longer to dry. The longer your dreadlocks take to dry, the more likely mould will appear and your dreadlocks will begin to smell really bad!

The fact is all you need are cleaning properties from shampoo's. The only shampoos that really offer nothing but properly formulated cleaning for dreadlocks is dreadlocks specific shampoo.

How to get rid of residue if its already started going mouldy and smelling.

To get rid of extensive residue build up, you'll want to do a baking soda and ACV wash. This may need to be done a few times depending how bad the damage is.

Prevent residue from building up

Avoid using ALL products that are not specifically made for dreadlocks. Even the products that simply say 'natural' or 'organic' wont be formulated for dreadlocks and still contain ingredient only mean for un-dreaded hair. Sadly, you wont be able to buy anything in high street shops but wont be able to find anything in high street shops but here is a list of the best shampoos available that you can buy online.

Dreadlocks shampoos MUST be liquid and fragrance free. Never use soap bars as they are much harder to wash out, leave residue and take longer to dry your dreadlocks.
see - The fastest way to dry dreadlocks

*Click - Next Article*

What shampoo to buy for dreadlocks and where to get it

Washing dreadlocks with baking soda ACV

ACV Baking Soda - Deep Clense Wash

One thing a lot of people have been doing in replacement of dreadlocks shampoo, is the baking soda + apple cider vinegar wash. This post will give you everything you need to know about washing your dreadlocks with baking soda acv.

Often peoples desire and worry for making the right choice, leads to confusion and mis-information. A big reason why people tend to choose this over shampoo is because they hear people say "i dont use any nasty chemicals". Let us set the record straight. 

The proper chemical name for 'baking soda/bicarbonate of soda/sodium bicarbonate' is sodium hydrogen carbonate. It too is a chemical. There are shampoos out there that use nasty chemicals, also some that don't. Its worth reading what shampoo you can use. This is more a method for a quarterly soak rather than a regular wash.

This method is ideal if you've had dreadlocks for many years and excessive residue has built up. Its also a recovery for regular shampoos. If you use a specialist dreadlocks shampoo, this shouldn't be necessary. Baking soda wash is harsh on your scalp and can cause increased irritation when done excessively.

Some people will tell you not to mix the baking soda and ACV and to add the ACV after the wash to "balance the ph". Ph values are a scale of 0 - 10 not just balanced or unbalanced. Please follow our advice in the video and mix. Doing BS and ACV separately can seriously damage the hair.

To give some perspective, the hairs natural PH value of around 4.5 - 5.0 making is slightly acidic. Baking soda's pH value is 9.5 (alkali). ACV's pH value is around 3.0 - 4.0 when diluted making it more acidic than hair. You need to use hair products with a pH close to the pH value of the hair. If you don't this is where damage occurs. Balacing aside, is not mixing will expose hair to both high extremes in such a short space of time that its really bad for your hair and scalp. See the article 'Baking Soda Destroyed My Hair'.

The reason this method isn't used as a regular wash is as follows
  • It's pretty time consuming as you need to set everything up to avoid getting it on your scalp and only to soak your dreadlocks.
  • As mentioned, its perfect as a quick recovery from excessive residue build up but dreadlocks need regular washing to keep them from smelling.
  • Baking soda and vinegar, when mixed react to create sodium chloride (salt). This dries your scalp which is great for people with really oily/greasy hair by if your scalp is sensitive or dry, this will cause you many problems, become irritable and give you a very flakey scalp, particularly if done regularly.