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A Step by Step Guide on How to Wash Dreadlocks

Yes, I know, dreadlock is not the most popular amongst the hairstyles. They are made by sectioning hair and matted them together in a rope like, long strands.

Most of the time, if not all the time, people criticise them as unkempt and untidy because they thought they are not washed.

The usual questions people asked are, “how to wash dreadlocks?”, “do you wash them?” or any questions boiling to just one point and that is “can you wash it?”.

It is necessary that you wash dreadlocks, the frequency depends, yet as per expert’s advice, it should be washed once or twice a week, 12 weeks to 3 months after dreadlocks are made, to give it a chance to settle themselves without pulling excessive amounts of unfastened hair.

During this time, it is highly recommended that you focus washing the scalp as all excess oil is there, and this can avoid possible trauma to bodies of your locks.

Once established, you can choose the frequency to however you want. But washing more frequently is not suggested as you need to let your dreadlocks to dry out thoroughly.

Shampooing dreadlocks should be a good option to consider, and below is the step by step way to do it effectively:

girl dreadlook in bath

STEP 1 – Wet your dreadlocks

Run some water lightly all over your dreadlocks. You do not need to soak them, as the more water your dreadlocks absorb; the harder it is for the shampoo to penetrate.

If you want to achieve the best result, it is highly recommended that you use warm, yet not too hot, water.

STEP 2 – Shampoo it

Put a modest amount of shampoo to your palm; it is best to start with the little amount of shampoo first so you can manage how much will get into your hair. If you feel like it is not enough, then you can add some more.

Use shampoo that will not leave residue behind as it may cause build up instead of washing and cleaning it away.

You can try many different shampoos, as it gives protection to your dreads, will not leave any residue behind and it can speed up the drying time after you wash your locks.

STEP 3 – Work in to your scalp

Using both of your hands, distribute the shampoo in between the roots of your dreadlocks. It is best if you use your fingertips to provide your scalp with some good scrub to remove excess sebum and remove dead skin.

Do not neglect your roots as they need to be healthy and strong as that is where your dreadlocks are attached.

STEP 4 – Rinse

After letting the shampoo sit on your hair for a minute or two, you can start rinsing. Tilt your head downwards to ensure that the lather will run through your dreads as you start rinsing.

Squeeze the shampoo into your locks and make sure there is no residue left once you are finished washing.

STEP 5 – Drying

After washing is complete, you need to make sure that your locks are completely dried out. Squeeze each of the lock using a towel to remove any excess and absorbed water.

You can either use a hair dryer set to low or air dry to completely dry your hair. If there is too much water left, it may start to smell and may unlock, or it may be a cause of mold.

girl with dreadlook

The steps are very easy to follow; it is almost the same as washing regular hair. Although there are few things you need to be very careful about, especially on the drying part as there are a lot of risks when you do not complete it properly.

There are few people who neglect washing their dreadlock hair. Unfortunately, that is not the right way of keeping and managing hairstyle as such.

With proper maintenance and care, this should last for two years. Wet, shampoo, work in your scalp, rinse and dry are the five simple ways of washing your dreadlocks using shampoo.

Other means doing so, combination of water, vinegar and baking soda to name one, yet the most effective and efficient way for me is shampoo.

As long as you are choosing the right brand of shampoo in the market, then you can be satisfied with the result.


Washing dreadlocks is supposedly easy, as long as you know the proper ways and strategies are doing so. You can consider other options of washing hair, but by far shampoo is the most convenient, effective and efficient way.

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