How to Manage Dreadlocks/Braidlocs and Dandruff

Maturing dreadlocks with dandruff

QUESTION

Dear KiK,
I started my braidlocs yesterday and I was wondering what the best shampoo and moisturiser is for my hair? I also have dandruff. What can I use to get rid of it?

– Sophia

 

Maturing dreadlocks with dandruff

Maturing dreadlocks with dandruff

ANSWER

Hi Sophia,

Congrats on starting your braidlocks. You must be excited. Knowing what products to use can be hard but KiK has got your back.

For Cleansing Locs

  1. I recommend using a good clarifying shampoo to get rid of the dandruff and any other  build-up in your hair. This way, you don’t have to wash too vigorously which can cause unravelling, even of plaits.
  2. I then highly recommend following up with a moisturising shampoo. Most often, the problem with your hair is that it lacks moisture so you really need to ensure that your scalp is moisturised (and clarifying shampoos can be very drying).
  3. For clarifying shampoo recommendations, I did a blog post on clarifying shampoos so check it out by clicking HERE.

For Dandruff Treatment

You really can use any (preferably clear or diluted creamy) dandruff shampoo. For basic dandruff issues, an over-the-counter product containing zinc pyrithione (like Revlon ZP11 Dandruff Shampoo or Head and Shoulders Dandruff Shampoo) should be sufficient for basic/mild dandruff. Severe cases that do not respond to at home treatment may require a prescription from your trichologist. Don’t get too picky. The cheap ones usually work just as well as the expensive ones.

You could also add 1 tsp of tea tree oil to 32 ounces of your favourite shampoo. Even then, there is still something else to help with the itching and flaking. Tee Tree Oil significantly reduces itchy scalp and is a natural anti-fungal antiseptic that is very effective in treating dandruff. This can also be mixed with your regular oil and applied to the scalp.

use natural oils (preferably extra virgin coconut oil or Africa’s Best Ultimate Herbal Oil) on your hair and scalp but add several drops of tea tree oil first.

For Moisture to Reduce Dry Scalp Flakes

  1. Let’s start with wash day. I recommend doing a moisturising hot oil treatment to treat the irritated scalp. My favourite homemade combination is a mixture of coconut oil and olive oil. Sometimes I add castor oil. These oils strengthen the loc and moisturise your scalp. Do this weekly until your scalp stops itching or feeling dry then maintain this habit at least once a month to keep dry scalp flakes away.
  2. Moisturise your scalp after washing by locking in your moistened scalp’s moisture with a light oil like coconut oil. You can also add a drop or two of tea tree oil to the mixture.
  3. I recommend misting your scalp and locs with water every 2-3 mornings, then sealing in the moisture from the water with a natural oil. This helps to maintain moisture in your hair and scalp. Avoid doing this at night when you hair is wrapped as you want to avoid mildew. You need to cover your hair at night and you don’t want to go to bed with moist locks because you’ll wake up with musty locks.

Tip!
Apply your shampoon then let it sit in your hair undisturbed for at least a minute while shampooing then start massaging with the pads of your fingers again. This gives the shampoo more time to work and really break down the dirt and bacteria that may be in your hair or on your scalp. 

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