Maintenance and Repairs
Dreadlocks are often believed to be the lowest-maintenance hairstyle possible, but that's actually not the entire truth. Especially in the first year, maintenance is crucial. Not only does it keep your hair looking neat, it also prevents matting and allows the scalp to breathe. If too much hair gets pulled loose from the dreadlock, it can cause the bases to thin out and can lead to weak spots or locks breaking off.
To keep your locks looking their best, I recommend a maintenance appointment every 6-8 weeks. However, once they are mature and strong, you can space out your maintenance appointments so it fits your schedule. I have some clients I see every 6 weeks like clockwork, and others I see once a year. Your maintenance schedule is totally up to you, but it is important that you have one!
If you have neglected your locks for a while, or they are uncomfortable on your scalp, you may be in need of repairs. Repairs are some of my favorite things to do, so if you're experiencing issues like these described above, don't be shy! I will be more than happy to repair your dreadlocks and get them back on a healthy journey. Keep in mind that extensive repairs can take multiple sessions. Obviously, the best repair is prevention, but I understand that sometimes things happen and we have to address issues that have already occurred. Keeping up on your palm rolling and separating, as well as regular maintenance, will help prevent issues from happening.
If you have questions about whether you need maintenance or repairs, feel free to get in contact with me and we can determine together the best course of action to get your locks looking their best!
At Home Maintenance
Yes, you can and SHOULD wash your dreadlocks. I recommend a schedule of every 7-10 days, but if your lifestyle requires you to wash more often, then that is fine as well. If your locks are brand new, I recommend waiting 2 weeks before your first shampoo.
For locks less than a year old, I recommend the Dollylocks shampoo bars. If your locks are more than a year old, you can switch to the Dollylocks liquid shampoo.
At least after every wash, but often more frequently especially if you wear your hair up a lot, you will need to separate your locks. Dreadlocks naturally want to clump together, and it is crucial you keep them separate to prevent major matting issues. If done frequently, it should be fairly easy. If they are left to their own devices for too long, it can become difficult and painful to separate them.
Sometimes, dreadlocks can grow together for several inches (known as a congo). If this happens, please do not attempt to separate them yourself. Congos should be repaired professionally.
On the flip side, if you like the look of forked dreads, the congos don't need to be separated. Keep in mind that one of the ends may break off in time, and you'll have one dreadlock anyway
Palm rolling is one of the easiest and most effective techniques you can do at home to maintain your locks. You can't over-palm roll, so do it as often as you like. Take each dread in between your hands and roll back and forth down the length to the ends.
Keep in mind palm rolling is a cumulative effect, and just doing it once will not give you any results. On very young dreadlocks, it may appear to make the frizziness worse. This is normal. Your locks are not falling apart, I promise! Palm rolling works from the inside out, so if you keep on it, the frizziness will begin to sort itself out.
I also film tutorials for at home maintenance on my Instagram and Facebook pages, so look for those if you want more tips!
It is possible to learn to crochet your locks yourself, and I can teach you how to do this safely.
For many people, they either don't have the time or don't feel comfortable crocheting themselves. I can crochet your roots in the salon safely and comfortably. I recommend coming every 8 weeks if your locks are babies, but if they are more mature, you can spread out your root maintenance however long you would like.
Root maintenance typically consists of tightening loose roots, pulling hairs that have escaped the locks, and separating any matted areas.
Much like root work, crocheting the bodies will pull in loose hair and tighten up any places where the locks are less solid.
I can also pull in any loops, bumps, or zigzags and create a more uniform appearance to your dreadlocks. If you have some advanced congos, I can crochet these together into one lock.
If your locks are fairly mature and/or you've been keeping up on palm rolling, there's usually a minimal amount of work needed here.
If you have any loops, bumps, zigzags, or forks you like and want to keep, let me know! These are not harmful to the locks and many people enjoy the personality that they give to their locks.
Repairs and advanced techniques include patching weak spots, separating severe mats, splitting or resectioning locks that are too big or uncomfortable, and relocking areas that have become loose. This is not standard maintenance, and depending of the amount of work needed, may require several sessions.
If you think you may need repairs, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with some clear pictures of the areas that are concerning to you and we can come up with a plan that fits your budget and needs.