Oils That Make Your Dreadlocks Grow

Dreadlocks can be stylish and chic.

Photo: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images

Dreadlocks can be a political statement, a religious commitment or simply a stylish 'do; but whatever your reasons for locking, there's one constant: Dreads take lots of tender, loving care. It isn’t possible to make your hair grow any faster than it does naturally, but natural oils can help prevent the breakage that stops your dreads from reaching the length you want.

Carrier Oils

Apricot kernel, sweet almond, avocado, jojoba and sunflower oils all make excellent base oils for mixing your own conditioning concoction. Each is either lightly scented or nearly odorless, so they won’t overpower your perfume or your own natural scent. Carrier oils tend to penetrate deeply into the hair, adding moisture to the cortex as they soothe the ruffled scales in the outer layer, or cuticle.

Moisturizing Oils

Dry and brittle hair not only is more likely to break, it looks frizzy and even unkempt. Soothing fragrant oils like lavender, sandalwood and rose can add moisture to locked hair. There's an ingredient called ylang-ylang in many commercial shampoos and conditioners; it too provides moisture. The more moisture your hair has, the less the individual strands get caught on each other, keeping your hair locked instead of snarled. Snarled hair is more likely to break. While fragrant essential oils cannot make your hair dreads grow faster, they can help keep them from breaking.

Dandruff Oils

Dandruff is the shedding of dead skin cells. Dry skin flakes fall from yo all the time but are too small to be noticeable. Dandruff is larger flakes with a faster rate of flaking. Overly oily skin can cause dandruff, as can a fungus called malassezia furfur. Dandruff can make dreadlocks look unwashed. Tea tree, patchouli, lavender and cedarwood oils are all believed to help tame this fungus, though more studies are needed. Clearing up dandruff won’t make your dreads grow faster, but it will help keep them looking clean and stylish

Warning

While some websites advocate simply leaving your hair alone and letting it lock naturally, oiling it occasionally to keep it from breaking, doing so is not only unsightly, it is unsanitary. Natural oils like coconut oil attract bugs and mold. Do not leave natural oils in your hair longer than a night’s sleep to ensure that your dreadlock care doesn’t cross the line from natural to neglected.

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