How to Care for your Dreadlocks

When it comes to dreadlocks, cleanliness is everything. Remember, these are lots of hair knotted together. The power of smell can do lots of wonders. Focus on the scalp and use dreadlock shampoo.


Washing your dreads regularily is key to growing a healthy head of locks. Contrary to popular belief, shampooing your hair will actually help dreads develop faster and tighter, with the added bonus of smelling great!

Once you’ve waited 1-2 weeks after creating your locks, you can begin washing them once every week or so, depending on your need. When you wash dreads, you only need to be concerned with your scalp – don’t worry about soaping up your locks. Give it a good scrub with the Knotty Boy Dread Shampoo Bar or Liquid Shampoo, following the detailed instructions found on the Shampoo pages. Both are formulated especially for folks with dreadlocks, and are designed to rinse cleanly leaving no residue behind. (Most other shampoos are made with chemical conditioning ingredients that un-tangle knots – exactly what you’re trying not to do!) The water and shampoo rinsing from your scalp will be enough to cleanse the locks themselves.

Washing with Knotty Boy Dread Shampoo also helps prevent, cool and treat scalp irritation or itchiness that develops – a real lifesaver sometimes! See Troubleshooting below for more info on itchy scalps.

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You do not have to be visiting the salon to have your dreads tightened. There is a simple solution to get it done. You simply have you palm roll your dreads.


Did you know that palm rolling your dreads is actually a great way to keep them tight, keep them looking awesome and to maintain their shape?

This is actually how you make your dreads too – of course, using a bit of wax is suggested when you are first starting out.

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The thickness of your dreadlocks is dependent on the thickness of your hair. If you need to increase the thickness then you should part your hair in bigger sections.

The amount of hair in each dreadlock dictates how thick the dread will become. Therefore the only real way to increase their size is to use bigger sections. If your dreads are real new I would just recommend combing a few out and starting those ones over again using larger sections. If they are more mature you can combine two dreads by tieing them together with a rubber band or pro elastic at base and tip. This will encourage the new growth to merge together and eventually you may be able to snip off the part which hasn’t merged. You might also find a dread cuff helpful in binding the two dreads together.

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