If your hair is locked, you must be well aware of buildup in your locs. Buildup in locs occurs when locked hair attracts dirt, lint, soap residues, shampoo, amongst other things. Because dreadlocks are bundled and locked strands of hair, it’s only natural that they attract and hold on to residues more than natural, straight hair. Over time, buildup in locs can make them rough, dry, and brittle. Some hair moisturizers and waxes can also lead to loc buildup. The good news, though, is, you can avoid and even remove buildup in locs with some easy methods and practices:
Choose your hair products wisely
The number one cause for buildup in locs is usually the products you use on your hair. Products such as shampoos, moisturizers and treatments containing ingredients such as Tallowate, Lanolin Oil and Wax, Silicone/Dimethicone, Mineral Oil tend to leave residue in locs, causing buildup and should be avoided at all costs.
So, the next time you go shopping for your loc products, the first thing you should do before purchasing is to flip the bottle around and check the list of ingredients.
Even water can cause buildup in locs
FYI, hair products are not the only culprit of leaving residue in your locs. Studies show that minerals in hard water coming out of your tap can also cause residue and buildup in your dreadlocks. Yes, even the water you are using to rinse your hair can be harmful to it. If this is the case, a water softener which filters the minerals found in hard water is recommended so as to avoid buildup in your locs.
Avoid exposure to lint and dust
If you are constantly exposed to dust, the trick to avoid buildup in your locs is to either constantly wash your hair or keep it covered by wearing head scarfs or caps. On the other, you can also avoid lint from beds, sofas and clothes by making sure you have a sleeping head wrap any time you are lounging in your house.
Establish a washing routine for your locs
Even if you follow all the practices listed above but don’t have a washing routine for your hair, your locs will still have buildup in them. Apart from all the external things that could cause buildup on locs, sometimes the problem comes from within our bodies. Our hormones can affect our hair. This is especially for women. The same way your skin changes around the time of your menstrual cycle so does the oil production in your scalp. Shampoo and hydrate your hair according to your body’s rhythms and cycles and avoid skipping out on days that may lead to dandruff and excess oil rolling or twisting into your locs.
Use an apple cider vinegar hair rinse
Twice or thrice a year, purpose to do an apple cider vinegar hair rinse on your locs to avoid buildup. An ACV rinse for locs (and hair in general) is when you rinse your hair with a mix of raw apple cider vinegar and filtered water for the purpose of releasing unwanted impurities from your hair. Impurities such as wax, oil residue, dirt, debris, scalp deposits and build-up from hair products will be stripped away with the use of this clarifying rinse.
You can make an ACV hair rinse at home easily by mixing equal parts of water and ACV in a bottle, soaking your locs in the mixture and letting it sit for 3-5 minutes then washing it all out.