Dread Detox: How To, How Often, Is It Good?

LovingkinkycurlsLocs2 Comments

Dread Detox

Do you feel like your dreadlocks have accumulated a lot of dirt and product build-up? A dread detox may just be what you need.

In this article we will explore:

  • What is a dread detox?
  • How to detox dreads
  • Is it good to detox your Dreads?
  • How often should you detox dreads?

What is a Dread Detox?

Dread detox is the process of deep cleansing dreadlocks to remove accumulated dirt, build-up, old skin cells, odors, sebum and anything else caught up in your dreads.

The most popular way of detoxing your dreadlocks is by doing a detox rinse.

A detox rinse involves soaking dreadlocks in a solution that contains an acid such as Apple Cider Vinegar and a base such as Baking Soda.

How to Detox Dreads

Step 1 – Gather the ingredients

For this dread detox recipe you will need:

  • ¼ cup of Baking Soda
  • ¾ cup of Apple Cider Vinegar 
  • 4-5 drops of Peppermint Oil (this is optional and you can use any other essential oils)

Baking soda acts as a clarifying agent by removing anything acidic from your hair. However, if used alone; baking soda may wreak havoc on your hair due to its high pH (around 8.3).

The normal pH of the scalp is 5.5 while that of the hair shaft is 3.67.  This huge difference in pH may leave your locs brittle and dry. [1]

This is why it should be mixed with Apple Cider Vinegar which has a pH similar to that of your hair, balancing everything out.

Apple cider vinegar is also antibacterial and antifungal, helping deal with scalp conditions such as dandruff.

It also contains vitamins such as vitamin B and C and minerals that promote hair growth.

Step 2 – Prepare the dread detox mixture

  1. Add warm water to a basin or sink 
  2. Pour in 3/4 cup of Apple Cider Vinegar
  3. Add Baking Soda. At this point you will notice the mixture becoming fizzy. This is normal
  4. To improve the smell of your detox rinse add 4-5 drops of Peppermint oil or any essential oil of your choice.
  5. Stir the mixture well.

Step 3 – Soak your dreads

  1. Get into a comfortable position. If you are using a basin, kneel down and lean forward into the basin. If you are using a sink, sit on chair that is against the sink and lean backwards.
  2. Soak the dreadlocks in the mixture. Ensure all the locs are fully submerged
  3. Gently massage the scalp to loosen and dislodge build-up.
  4. Run your fingers along the length of the dreadlocks to dislodge any residue
  5. Stay in that position for a few minutes. If you feel tired leaning you can lift your head gently to get a break.

Step 4 – Leave in for 20-30 minutes

  1. Once you feel the dreadlocks are completely soaked, drain excess mixture with a t-shirt.
  2. Wear a plastic cap and leave the mixture in your hair for about 20-30 minutes. This will allow the dreads to soak in the detox mixture and deeply cleanse the locs.

Step 5 – Rinse, Shampoo & Condition

Rinse out the your dreads and proceeds to shampoo and condition as usual.

Is It Good to Detox Your Dreads?

If you have any type of mature locs and you notice you have build-up and an itchy scalp despite cleaning the locs, then it is good to detox your dreads.

But if you’re in the starter and budding stage, it is advisable not to do a dread detox since the locs are still at a young age and exposing them to such treatment may cause damage.  

As shown below, a dread detox has numerous benefits making it good for your hair.

Benefits of a Dread Detox

#1. Deeply cleans dreadlocks

A dread detox is good for deep cleaning and removing any stubborn residue and build-up.

A dread detox reaches deep within your dreads getting all that unwanted stuff out.

Even if you shampoo often, it’s inevitable to accumulate build-up and residue that the shampoo alone might not help.

This is because of the structure of dreadlocks which makes it easier for the build-up to remain intact deep within the dreadlock even if you wash your dreads.

#2. Improves scalp health

A dread detox gets rid of a myriad of problems that affect your scalp. These problems include dandruff, bad odors, and an itchy scalp.

#3. Prevents frizz and dry hair

Having residue in your dreadlocks may cause them to become firm and hard and to experience a lot of frizz.

By getting rid of that residue, you can obtain soft-feeling dreadlocks

#4. Helps prevent hair loss and encourages growth

Detoxing your dreads leaves you with a fresh and clean scalp. A fresh scalp paves way for the growth of strong and healthy hair.

With all the scalp problems out of the way, the amount of hair you lose decreases. Thus your locs can grow to a great length.

#5. Prevent damage to your Locs

It’s no secret that letting your dreadlocks sit around with so many scalp problems is going to damage them.

Let’s take an example of dread rot, if it goes too far, you may end up having to cut your locs because of the damage the condition would have done to them.

But if you do a dread detox, you will save yourself from all the hassle involved with dealing with all that.

Hot Often To Detox Locs

A dread detox should be done anywhere from 1 – 4 times a years.

After reading about all the benefits of a dread detox you may get tempted to detox as many times as you can however doing it too often can damage your locs.


Detoxing dreadlocks is a great way to deeply cleanse your locs to promote healthy growth and keep off dread mold that may creep in once in a while.

We hope this article has given you more insight into what a dread detox is, how to do it and the benefits it has to your locs.  

BTW, did you know hair porosity plays a key role in hair growth? Take this simple hair porosity test to determine if your hair is HIGH, LOW or NORMAL porosity.

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