Dry Scalp With Dreads

Product buildup can cause dryness.

Photo: Digital Vision/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Most hair care products aren't meant for people with dreaded hair. If you use the same hair products post-dread as you did pre-dread, you'll end up with the infamous dry scalp sooner or later. Luckily, you can reverse this curse without much time, cash or effort to enjoy a smooth, itch-free scalp.

Symptoms

If you find yourself itching and scratching, you've got a dry scalp. You can also see dandruff flakes if you've got a chronic problem that's gone on for too long. Bottom line: If you have a dry scalp, you'll know it, so don't fret about it if you don't feel anything.

Cause

Most shampoos contain lots of chemical additives, and even herbal or organic shampoos have fragrances, natural additives and other compounds that can dry out your dreads. Since dreaded hair is much thicker than non-dreaded hair, the hair retains the residue from your shampoo, which stays in your scalp and dries it out. Most commercial shampoos don't work well for dreadlocked hair, since they're intended for use in hair that can be washed totally free of residue.

Quick Fix

Switch to a dreadlock shampoo straightaway for relief from product buildup that causes dry scalp. Find a dread shampoo at hair salons that specialize in lock care, at beauty supply stores and online, and look for "dreadlock shampoo" or "for dreaded hair" on the label. Dread shampoos that contain tea tree or peppermint oil will cool and soothe an itchy, dry scalp. These shampoos will cleanse the buildup and wash out totally, for scalp relief.

Myths

You have as much right as anyone to have clean hair, even if you're rocking the Rasta look. Wash your dreaded hair when you feel that it's dirty and needs to be cleaned. Young dreads do need a week after the initial lock to form, so wait out seven days if you're a newbie. If you need to wash your body but want to give your hair a day off, use a shower cap.

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