Dreadlock Maintenance

What is lock maintenance?

First, a stitch ripper is used to remove any visible threads from a previous service. A new thread is tied at the root to help gather up all of the loose and unlocked hair. The roots are felted with a thin hook in a similar manner to the initial locking process. When necessary, felting can be done to the body of any dreadlock in order to fix additional imperfections.

How often should I get maintenance?

There’s no set amount of time to get maintenance. A maintenance session will last anywhere from 4 months to well over a year. If a professional hairstylist or loctician insists you need maintenance every few weeks, you may need to question whether the results are worth your time and money.

Can I do my own maintenance?

Modlocks encourages routine home care such as palm rolling and separating but in terms of tightening the roots or correcting any unwanted imperfections, self maintenance can be tedious with minimal results.

Why do I always get loose hair around my hairline?

The hair around the hairline has a shorter growth cycle than the hair on the rest of your head. These hairs can be temporarily put back into the nearby locks but they will inevitably be the first hairs to sneak out again.

Can I cut the loose hair?

No. If you cut any new growth or loose hair the base of the lock will thin. A thin base will create a weak spot in the lock as it continues to grow. A weak spot has the potential to break.

Why is my scalp itchy?

Bouts of itchiness can come and go for many reasons.

1) Shampooing too frequently can dry out the scalp causing dry flaky dandruff.
2) Shampooing too infrequently can produce a buildup of sebum causing oily dandruff.
3) A reaction to a particular shampoo or hair product
4) Change of weather/seasons.
5) A symptom of related health issues (eczema or psoriasis).

What can I do about itchiness and dandruff?

In the case of new locks, your scalp might need some time adjusting to the permanent sections. This is normal. To alleviate mild itchiness, try changing your shampoo routine and/or using an anti-dandruff shampoo. To combat moderate to severe itchiness and dandruff, soak a cotton ball or fill a squeeze bottle with cold organic apple cider vinegar and apply directly onto the scalp. Some alternatives are natural products containing, tea-tree, mint or eucalyptus.

What are the little bumps on my scalp?

The little bumps (or welts) might be hives caused by an allergic reaction or tension bumps caused by excessive pulling and tension on the hair. If both of these have been ruled out, you may want to consider doing a lice check. See: What do I do if I get lice? To help soothe an irritated scalp try using wet baking soda, tea tree oil shampoo or apple cider vinegar (ACV). If the problem persists, consult a doctor.

What can I do if I get lice?

First make sure it is lice. Scalp itch can be caused by other factors like perspiration, dandruff, weather and product sensitivities. Tension bumps from a tight lock maintenance can be mistaken for lice bites. When your hair sheds, the roots can be mistaken for lice eggs (nits).

Here are a few suggestions of natural products that will kill lice and their nits and help prevent future infestations. Check online for various quantities, ratios and processing times.

1) Vinegar: white or apple cider vinegar (ACV) will kill lice and help to dissolve the sticky substance that helps nits to stick to hair.
2) Pressed oil: coconut, sesame, olive will smother and suffocate lice and help with combing.
3) Concentrated or essential oil (drops added to shampoos or other oils) tea tree, eucalyptus, rosemary, lavender, peppermint, oregano and anise are natural insecticides.
4) Salt (mixed with vinegar equal parts) will help to desiccate lice.

Do I have to shave my dreadlocks if I get lice?

You do not have to shave your head but you will likely have to cut your locks short and comb out any tangles. It’s easy to kill lice but it is not easy to pick them out of matted hair. Lice and nits are typically combed out with a narrow tooth metal comb which would make it nearly impossible to do with locks.

Can I curl my locks with a curling iron?

Absolutely. The trick to a good curl is to pin up the dreadlock while it’s still warm and let it cool down before letting it fall. The weight of the lock will gradually loosen the curl.