Can You Use Conditioner With Dreads?

Think light when it comes to conditioning your dreads.

Photo: Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images

If you are looking for a wash and go kind of hairdo, dreads may be just right. Dreadlocks are low maintenance and super stylish. If you have dreads and your scalp is feeling a little itchy or the ends of your dreads are looking a little dry, try a light conditioner.

Something Light

If your dreadlocks appear dry and brittle, it’s time to add some moisture. Pure aloe vera gel is light enough to moisturize your dreadlocks without weighing them down or causing them to fall apart. Squeeze 10 to 15 drops of 100 percent aloe vera gel into a spray bottle filled with a half cup of water. Spray the diluted aloe vera solution onto your scalp and squeeze it into your dreads. Repeat the process whenever your dreads or scalp need some added moisture.

From Your Pantry

In a pinch, you needn't look far for something to condition your dreadlocks. Your pantry may hold what you need. Olive oil, sesame oil, even vitamin E oil conditions your dreads and your scalp. Prick a vitamin E capsule with a pin and moisten your fingers with the oil. Massage the oil into your scalp and your dry dreads. Olive oil and sesame oil can be used the same way whenever your hair and scalp need a moisture pick-me-up.

Dreadlock Removal

Heavy conditioners and dreadlocks do not mix. However, if you are planning to remove your dreadlocks, a heavy conditioner is the best thing you can use. It's a myth that you have to shave your head to rid yourself of dreadlocks. This is just not true. Soaking your dreads in a heavy conditioner such as hot oil will cause the dreadlocks to fall apart, making it possible for you to run a wide-toothed comb through your hair, removing the dreadlocks completely.


Whatever you do, do not use any conditioners or moisturizers that contain petroleum. Petroleum jelly is out of the question for conditioning. Petroleum products coat your hair and your scalp, and are extremely difficult to wash out. If cleansers can’t break through the petroleum coating, they can’t do their job. All too often, the result of using petroleum-based conditioners is dandruff, scalp problems and dreads that fail to lock properly.

Related Videos


Add to this Article



Just for you

What type are you?

Choose your Hair Concerns
or Register
Beauty School iPad App


How would you like to register?

Register with Facebook
  • It's fast, easy and hassle-free
  • One-click log-in and commenting
Register with
  • Use your email to create your account