How Often Do You Wash Dreadlocks? Is It OK to Wash Dreads Every Day?

One question that remains prominent amongst persons who keep dreadlocks and those interested in keeping locs is centered on washing dreadlocks. Often and again, you have people ask, ‘Do you wash dreads? And how should you watch them? Or how often should they be washed?’

This post will be answering your questions about how often to wash dreads, how to go about washing them, and lots more. Let’s get into it.

How long should you wait to wash your hair after starting locs?

The first principle you should know is that you need to leave your dreadlocks for at least one month after starting locs before you wash them. You need to allow your hair to get used to being dreadlocked before you do any washings.

Although one month might seem like a long time especially if you are used to washing your hair more frequently, you don’t have much to worry about.

If you used the right methods and products when preparing your locs, your hair is in a healthy place. 

However, if your scalp gets itchy or damp during this waiting period, you can use a hairspray called Love Ya Scalp daily to cleanse, rejuvenate, and dry your scalp without damaging your locs.

How often do you wash dreadlocks?

Once you’ve gone through the 4-week wait period, you can begin to wash your hair frequently to keep it healthy, keep the smell away, and make it glow.

Everyone can choose a hair wash schedule, depending on different factors like exposure to dirt and dust, sweaty scalp, and the nature of your hair. 

In the first three months of keeping your dreads, we suggest that you wash your hair once or twice a week while focusing on your scalp so that you don’t damage or undo the locs.

Once your locs are well established, we recommend that you wash your dreadlocks once or twice a week. This timeline helps to keep your dreads clean while avoiding stripping them off of their oil.

You can wash your dreadlocks more than once a week, especially if you sweat a lot or you engage in lots of activities. However, please note that excessive or too frequent washing won’t allow your dreads to dry totally between washes. Damp dreads can stink and also develop mold.

Whatever you opt to do, you shouldn’t wash your hair less frequently than once a week. 

Is it OK to wash dreads every day?

No! It is not okay to wash your dreads every day!

Some people believe that washing dreads every day keeps it clean and prevents stink, but this thought is largely untrue.

Washing your dreads every day doesn’t give them enough time to air and dry properly before the next wash. Also, excessive washing will rob your hair of all its moisture and can cause your hair to break and dry out.

Without the natural moisture from your scalp, your dreads will suffer breakage, split edges, fridges, and other similar damages.

You’re doing more harm to your hair than good when you wash them every day.

How long can you go without washing dreads?

The longest you can and should go without washing your dreadlocks is two weeks.

It is important to maintain a balance between washing your hair and allowing the hair to enjoy its natural oil. 

Although there’s an exception to the rule for persons who start their locs by neglecting them, you shouldn’t go more than six weeks in the beginning stage before washing your dreads.

If you leave your dreads for months without washing them, they will likely stink because of sweat, water, dirt, and other things they contact.

Also, leaving your hair for months will cause sebum to build up, especially if you keep using other oils while not washing your hair.

Best way to wash dreadlocks without messing them up

Now we know when to wash dreadlocks, when not to wash them, and how long you can go without washing, let’s talk about how to do it right.

Although washing dreads is almost the same as washing loose hair, the products are different, and some steps are different too.

Let’s begin with the things you need.

Required Items for Washing Dreadlocks:

Step by Step Process:

The process below is the same for washing mature dreadlocks, starter locs, and also freshly-maintained locs.

Step 1:

Fill one container with ten drops of essential oil and 3 tablespoons of shampoo. (You can increase the shampoo a bit more if you want many bubbles) Then, add one cup of water to the container.

Fill the second container with half a cup of apple cider vinegar. (You can use a mesh strainer to prevent sediments from entering the bottle). Then, pour 2 cups of water into that container.

Step 2:

Wet your head completely in the shower from your scalp to the tip of your hair. Then shake your shampoo container until it bubbles.

Pour all the shampoo over your scalp and massage your head with your fingertips or a scalp brush. (Avoid using your fingernails, and don’t let the shampoo enter your eyes)

After scrubbing your scalp clean of the dirt and other build-ups, rinse your hair properly until all the bubbles are gone. 

Step 3:

It is time to condition your scalp, but not with the traditional hair conditioners. This stage is where the ACV bottle comes in.

Pour the contents of the second container over your scalp and massage it gently into the scalp (not the dreads). Leave it in for about five minutes before rinsing it out.

Step 4:

Rinse your dreads again to get the shampoo and ACV totally out of your hair.

Step 5:

Squeeze your locs properly to get most of the water out, and then wrap your dreads in a clean microfiber towel. Allow the fresh air to do the rest.


  • Dreads take an average of 8 hours to dry, so it is important to wash them early and not before bed. Going to bed with wet locs can cause dread rot. 
  • Avoid using ACV all the time, especially if you wash your hair twice a week. Limit hair conditioning to once every two weeks, as ACV can loosen your locs a bit, which can be counterproductive over a long time.
  • Washing your dreads could make them puff up and look looser, but it is normal. You can roll them back into shape after squeezing the water out.
  • Avoid using normal hair shampoo or conditioners. Your products should be dreadlocks-specific.

Final Words:

Washing your dreadlocks is not a big deal, and there is nothing to dread about them. Your dreadlocks need proper maintenance to keep them clean and fresh, but you don’t need anything over the top. 

With the tips we have shared in this post, you can enjoy clean, beautiful, and healthy dreadlocks for as long as you care to!