How To Moisturize Scalp With Dreads

Back view black man with tangled dreadlock hair

Dreadlocks can be a fun, low-maintenance hairstyle, but they can also cause dryness and itching on the scalp. The dense hair can make it difficult for moisture to reach the scalp, and dirt and oil can accumulate on the scalp. Fortunately, there are some tips and tricks to help you keep your scalp healthy and moisturized even with dreads.

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Why is my scalp so dry with dreads?

portrait young black woman with afro dreadlocks showing off her hair while in city

Dreadlocks can cause dryness on the scalp for a variety of reasons:

  • Lack of moisture: The dense hair of dreadlocks can make it difficult for moisture to reach the scalp, which can lead to dryness and itching.
  • Dirt and oil buildup: Dirt and oil can accumulate on the scalp, which can lead to dryness and irritation.
  • Tightening: As dreads mature, they can tighten and pull on the scalp, which can cause dryness and discomfort.
  • Scratching: Scratching the scalp can also cause dryness and irritation, and dreads can make it difficult to reach the scalp to scratch it.


What are effective methods to soothe and treat an itchy scalp when having dreadlocks?

  • Regular Washing: Use a gentle, residue-free shampoo to clean your scalp and reduce buildup.
  • Hydration: Apply light, natural oils or aloe vera gel to moisturize the scalp without weighing down the dreads.
  • Avoid Tight Styles: Ensure your dreadlocks aren't styled too tightly, as this can cause tension and itchiness.
  • Use Anti-Itch Sprays: Consider using sprays specifically designed for itchy scalps, which can provide relief without residue.
  • Healthy Diet: Maintain a balanced diet rich in vitamins and hydration, as it impacts overall scalp health.


What are top natural oils and products for dry scalp in dreadlocks?

  • Coconut Oil: Deeply moisturizes and conditions the scalp.
  • Jojoba Oil: Mimics natural scalp oils, helping to balance moisture.
  • Tea Tree Oil: Antifungal and antibacterial properties, great for soothing dry, itchy scalp.
  • Argan Oil: Nutrient-rich, nourishes the scalp and promotes healthy hair.
  • Shea Butter: Provides deep hydration; use in small amounts to avoid buildup.
  • Aloe Vera: Hydrates and soothes the scalp, with additional healing properties.


How often should I oil my scalp and locs?

close up black man applying hair treatment on his dreadlocks

Oiling the scalp and locs is essential for retaining moisture and preventing dryness and breakage. But how often should you oil your scalp and locs? The answer can vary based on hair type. For thicker hair, once or twice a week may be sufficient. For thinner hair, more frequent oiling may be necessary. Be sure to use a light oil and massage the scalp gently to avoid buildup.

Dry Scalp Dreads: How to Moisturize Your Scalp

close up black man taking care of his dreadlock hair

Moisturizing your scalp is essential for preventing dryness and itching, especially when you have dreadlocks. Here are some tips for moisturizing your scalp with dreads:

1. Use a moisturizing shampoo designed for dreadlocks:

 Look for shampoos that contain natural oils and ingredients that can help moisturize your scalp. Avoid shampoos with harsh chemicals or sulfates that can strip your hair of its natural oils.

2. Massage your scalp with a light oil: 

Light oils like jojoba or coconut oil are great for moisturizing your scalp. Use a small amount of oil and massage it into your scalp, focusing on the areas that feel the driest.

3. Apply a deep conditioning treatment to your scalp and hair: 

Use a deep conditioning treatment once a week to help moisturize your hair and scalp. Apply the conditioner to your scalp and hair, focusing on the tips of your dreads. Leave the conditioner on for 5-10 minutes, then rinse thoroughly.

4. Avoid using heavy oils or leaving oil on your scalp for too long: 

Heavy oils can cause buildup and make your hair look greasy. To prevent buildup, avoid using heavy oils like castor oil or olive oil on your scalp. Also, be sure to rinse out any oil that you apply to your scalp, as leaving oil on your scalp for too long can cause buildup.

5. Keep your scalp clean: 

A clean scalp is essential for healthy haircare and a healthy scalp. Washing your hair at least once a week or as needed to remove dirt and oil buildup. 

6. Protect your scalp from the elements: 

Sun, wind, and cold weather can all contribute to dryness on the scalp. Protect your scalp from the elements by wearing a hat or scarf.

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How does scalp exfoliation benefit hair growth in dreadlocks?

  • Removes Build-up: Exfoliating helps remove dead skin and product buildup, crucial for maintaining clean dreadlocks.
  • Stimulates Follicles: It aids in stimulating hair follicles, promoting healthier hair growth within dreads.
  • Prevents Dandruff: Regular scalp exfoliation can prevent dandruff, a common issue in dreadlocks.
  • Enhances Product Absorption: Removing dead skin ensures better absorption of moisturizing products into the scalp.
  • Improves Scalp Health: Healthy scalp environment is vital for strong and vibrant dreadlocks.

Scalp mask vs. scrub: which is better for dreadlock care?

  • Scalp Mask Benefits: Masks with essential oils deeply nourish the scalp, providing hydration and soothing effects.
  • Scalp Scrub Benefits: Scrubs physically remove dead skin and buildup, offering a deeper cleanse.
  • Oil Absorption: Essential oils in scalp masks can be more easily absorbed, promoting scalp health without residue.
  • Frequency of Use: Scalp scrubs might be used less frequently to prevent hair tangling, while masks can be used more regularly.
  • Dry Skin Treatment: Masks are better for persistent dry skin, offering longer-lasting hydration compared to scrubs.


By following these tips and tricks, you can keep your scalp healthy and moisturized even with dreads. It's important to remember that everyone's hair and scalp are different, so you may need to experiment with different products and techniques to find what works best for you. But with a little effort and the right techniques, you can keep your scalp healthy and happy, even with dreads.