Got Dry Locs


Via Terez Howard

Photo Courtesy of Essence

Dry locs.  This problem plagues many happily locked ladies.  First, make sure that you actually have dry locs.  Natural hair doesn’t usually have a shine, but rather exhibits a slight sheen.  This sheen comes from the way light reflects of our locs.  For some, this sheen is greatly noticeable.   For others, sheen might seem virtually nonexistent.

A lack of sheen does not mean you have dry locs. Your locked natural hair becomes too dry when you use certain products or don’t properly care for your locs. It will feel brittle to the touch and will be susceptible to breakage. You might also have a naturally dry hair texture and need to give your dreadlocks extra attention.

The following recommendations are for mature locs only.


3 Products That Can Help Your Dry Locs

Healthy Locs Daily Conditioning Mist

Created by the Video Locktician, this conditioning mist is meant to be a daily moisturizer to dry locs, especially color-treated locs. It makes separating locs easy and doubles as a setting lotion for curls. It contains no drying ingredients, like petroleum, mineral oil or alcohol.

Naani’s Naturals Locked Down Dreadlocks Butter

This product for locked hair gives your hair luster and creates strong, yet flexible locs. It includes moisture-rich ingredients, like jojoba oil, olive oil and Vitamin E. These moisturizing ingredients, combined with its great aroma, makes it wonderful for dry locs.

 Knotty Boy’s Dreadlock Conditioning Spray

This product claims to smooth, soften and strengthen dry locs. This light conditioner will not loosen mature locs. Reviewers say that it reduces frizz and absorbs quickly. It can be applied directly to problem locs without having to immerse your hair in product.

4 At-Home Remedies

Hot Oil Treatment

Do a hot oil treatment once per month. This will infuse moisture into your locs without unraveling them. You can massage heated coconut oil or jojoba oil into your scalp for 5 minutes before sitting under a hooded dryer for 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse thoroughly once complete.

Pure aloe vera gel

Aloe vera contains proteins, amino acids, enzymes and other vitamins that moisturize your hair without nasty build-up. You can use this gel on its own, or you can buy the plant and extract the gel yourself for maximum effectiveness. You can also use aloe vera gel as part of a natural hair conditioner.

Jojoba oil

Jojoba oil, which is structurally similar to sebum, moisturizes the scalp while cleansing it at the same time. It works as a wonderful natural hair moisturizer. Apply this pure oil to your scalp and driest locs. Avoid your roots because its consistency will hinder your new growth from locking.

Coconut oil

Coconut oil is known to slow hair thinning and nourish dry locs. It can be massaged into your scalp to rid yourself of dandruff. Naturals have noticed stronger, softer locs after using coconut oil.

4 Things You Can Start Today To Make Dry Locs A Thing Of The Past

  1. Check your product labels. Products that leave a lot of residue will build up on your dreadlocks over the course of time and make your look grayish and become dry. Steer clear of drying ingredients like mineral oil, petroleum and alcohol. If you see these ingredients near the beginning of your product label ingredients, that means there is a high concentration of these ingredients. Toss them out today! Opt for gentler conditioners, like the ones highlighted above.
  2. Cut out waxes from your hair care regimen. Wax that contains petrolatum, such as is found in petroleum jelly or Vaseline, paraffin wax and beeswax are detrimental to locs. A petrolatum-ridden wax has a gooey, thick consistency, while paraffin wax and beeswax are extremely stiff and thick.
  3. When you apply these waxes into your dreadlocks, they build up and are nearly impossible to shampoo out. Dirt and odor become trapped in them, thus creating dryness.  Use a clarifying shampoo to cleanse your locs of waxy build-up.
  4. Include a daily moisturizer in your maintenance routine. If you have especially dry locs, a daily moisturizers will help. You can purchase a conditioning spray, like Healthy Locs Daily Conditioning Mist. A simple spritz of water mixed with a few drops of essential oil can go a long way. I suggest rosemary or lavender oil.
  5. Give the color a break. Color might look cute, but the chemicals in coloring agents could be zapping your hair of all its moisture. All locked ladies have different types of hair. While color might not affect one head, it can be detrimental to another. Challenge yourself to go 6 months without color. Then, compare the new growth with your older locs. Feel if there’s a difference. If you decide to keep coloring, make sure you rinse it thoroughly.



15 thoughts on “Got Dry Locs

  1. napfrocurlzgirl

    I used to run hither and yon, looking for the perfect product but I’ve yet to find anything that works as well as my own homemade hair butter. It keeps my hair moisturized from week to week without any maintenance in between wash days every Sunday. And, I’m saving TONS of money!

  2. thequeenbee

    In my research on sisterlocks, they say to not use anything on the hair until it truly locks–except water–I have always used conditioner on my natural hair, so how do they prevent dry hair if no products can be used? Watering hair is very temporary since hair almost immediately begins to allow water to evaporate.

  3. Natallia

    Hi,my name is Natallia. I’m all the way from Trinidad and Tobago. I have locs but they too are really dry especially since I’m in air conditioning on work all day. Also I’ve realized that my dreads have “little white stuff” something like lint in between my dreads. What shampoo and conditioner do you recommend for my hair and a really great moisturizer as well. Thanks in advance

  4. Robert Johnson

    I’ve bee using raw aloe Vera gel straight from the plant and I just noticed white flaky stuff on some of my dreads. I tried to rub and scratch it off my dreads but it’s hard and won’t go away. What can I use to remove it from my dreadlocks?

  5. Lori

    Hello my name is Lori, my hair has been locked now for the past 61/2 years and I have been noticing that it’s starting to feel really dry. I workout like 5 days a week but I don’t wash my hair every week either. I have been using Jamaican Lime for the past 6 yrs. I color my hair as well but not every 6 weeks. I stopped the coloring for now. What can you recommend for the dryness and what should I be using to twist my hair? if not the crème for locs. I am so confused.. Help

    1. Cead

      I use my own mixer of pure castor oil and coconut oil to twist my hair. I’ve been doing this for the past 3 years and i do not have any build-up whatsoever in my hair. A tip i also learned about getting excess residue and build up out of my hair is lemon dish washing liquid (I know what you’re thinking, did she just say dish washing liquid, but yes). I do not use it every wash but maybe once every 6 months just to get any build up i may have out my hair. Trust me try the LEMON dish washing liquid (it must be LEMON, since lemon cuts grease and oils) and you will witness for yourself how dirty and brown the rinse is from all the build up in your locs. I recommend doing 3 washes until you see the rinse water start to clear up. using natural simple oils will have your hair feeling free and not weighed down. I’ve been growing my locs since 2006 and tried number products and on my hair journey this is the best remedy that I have stuck to and my hair feels healthier than ever.

  6. Patricia

    I have been sporting my locks for the past 6/1-2 yrs now although my hair was very dry before I started to lock my hair I don’t know what to do to clarify this problem my hair dresser is using( Ossion Ultra Aqua )
    In a red jar with a grey cover

  7. worldkinks

    I moisturize with rose water and seal with one of these oils, whichever I have on hand. vitamin E, Jojoba oil, castor oil (Winter months) or Olive oil.

  8. NC

    Nice article! Under jojoba oil, it says “Apply this pure oil to your scalp and driest locs. Avoid your roots”. How is it possible to put it on the scalp while avoiding the roots?


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