Dreadlocks are often seen as a huge commitment as they are somewhat permanent. The upside of that is they allow you to embrace your natural hair and a routine that is both environmentally friendly and less taxing. There are many pros and cons when deciding on any hairstyle, but one thing that is often asked when discussing dreadlocks is, ‘do dreads make your hair fall out?’.
Well, let’s discuss this question further in this article.
No, dreads will not cause your hair to fall out. However, using improper methods or bad habits associated with dreadlocks such as pulling on the hair too tightly and using chemical dyes can lead to hair damage and hair loss.
Are Dreadlocks Damaging to Hair?
There’s a lot of misconceptions surrounding dreadlocks and many of them are negative.
For instance, there have been some claims that dreadlocks contribute to hair loss, poor hygiene, and damaged hair.
However, that’s not the case if dreadlocks are well looked after. Having dreads will not make your hair fall out and in fact, there are many benefits to having dreads.
Let’s take a look at them:
As the hair tangles together as it grows, it becomes far stronger. This can actually make it less susceptible to weather damage.
Opting for dreads can not only save you time and effort, but it can save your hair too.
Getting more body and volume into the hair can be a challenge, and you may use straightening and curling irons to achieve it.
However, excessive heat can have the opposite effect and leave the hair looking flat and tired.
Dreadlocks are a great way to get natural volume to the hair without the use of heat.
Exposure to chemicals can really damage the hair overtime.
Luckily, dreads are the solution to throwing out hair relaxers and hair dyes and they allow the hair to thrive in its natural state.
Common Dreadlock Mistakes
Do dreads make your hair fall out if you care for them incorrectly? Yes.
Unfortunately, it’s a common occurrence due to incorrect information online and the individual neglecting the obvious care that is needed to maintain healthy dreadlocks.
Here are the most common reasons for dreads resulting in damage and hair loss.
Pulling Roots Too Tight
Putting too much pressure on the roots by styling the hair into ponytails or buns can result in patches where the hair does not grow back.
Repetitive dread styling that pulls on the roots can make your hair fall out and lead to severe hair loss. This could mean that hair ultimately fails to grow back in several places. This is why you should opt for loose hairstyles instead.
You can use a headband if you need to keep the hair away from the face.
It’s been known for a while that touching the hair and scalp too often is bad for you, as it transfers oils and bacteria.
You should avoid itching the scalp as much as possible as this can lead to open sores and inflammation, which in turn, can lead to bald spots and scarring.
Locs Are Too Heavy
Heavy dreads can cause the roots to pull at the scalp, which can cause hair thinning and in turn make your hair fall out.
This is often caused by locs that are long or product build-up that weighs on the scalp.
This can be fixed by cutting the locs to reduce the weight or removing the build up with a deep cleansing treatment.
Using Wrong Shampoo
Some shampoos can leave residue and get trapped within the hair.
This is a disaster for dreadlocks, as it can lead to product build-up, itchy scalp, and hair that becomes looser.
If this happens, it is not the dreads themselves that make your hair fall out but simply the wrong use of product.
It’s therefore recommended that you use a sulphate-free shampoo instead.
Also consider using products containing tea tree, as this can be particularly useful at combatting an itchy scalp.
Using Chemical Dyes
It’s common knowledge that the use of dyes isn’t good for your hair. This is because it can strip some of the hair’s natural oils and leave it feeling dry and damaged.
With dreads, some of the hair dye may stay trapped within the hair as it’s tightly woven together, which can cause a lot of issues such as hair falling out.
It’s a good idea to stay away from chemical dyes if you have dreadlocks. You can always try using henna instead.
Possible Reasons For Hair Loss
We can’t ignore the possibility of hair loss with dreadlocks.
It happens to many people for different reasons and sometimes, it can be entirely out of your control.
Here are some of the most common reasons for why hair could fall out when you have dreads:
- Hereditary factors
- Nutrient deficiency
- Hormonal changes or imbalances
- Tugging on the scalp
How To Prevent Hair Falling Out If You Have Dreads
Dreads will not simply make your hair fall out if you are giving them the care that they need.
Maintaining the health of your dreadlocks may be a bit more complicated compared with having your hair loose. However, the advantages often outweigh the disadvantages, especially when you consider fewer exposure to chemicals and heat.
Embracing your natural hair can be great for the health of your hair and your confidence.
Following these tips can help you to prevent hair loss if you have dreads.
Wash Hair Once Every 7 Days With Clarifying Shampoo
There is a myth that dreads don’t need to be washed very often but that’s simply not true.
Hair gets dirty very often from bacteria, excess oils, and the environment, and if it’s not washed away then it builds up and causes all kinds of issues.
This jeopardises the health of your hair! You can avoid this by using a clarifying shampoo at least once a week to remove any residue.
Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse
An apple cider vinegar rinse can be great for the scalp, as it helps to remove unwanted impurities and leave your scalp feeling cleaner and healthier.
Using apple cider vinegar once a week can also help you to maintain the pH of your scalp, which will help to relieve a dry, itchy scalp that if often associated with dreadlocks.
Only Blow Dry Once A Week to Avoid Damage
If you want to blow dry your dreads after shampooing then that’s fine, but it’s best to keep it to a minimum of once a week to avoid heat damage.
Dreads shouldn’t be exposed to heat too often as this increases the chance of your hair falling out which could turn into gradual hair loss.
Use Essential and Carrier Oils
Using oils on your hair and scalp is very important if you have dreads.
They have anti-inflammatory and moisturising properties which helps with skin irritation, dry scalp, and even prevents infections caused by bacteria and fungus.
It’s important that you give your hair and scalp some much needed TLC to ensure that it remains clean and healthy.
Some essential oils that you could try are peppermint, tea tree, and lavender.
Make sure to always dilute them with a carrier oil before putting them on your skin!
Use Natural Moisturisers Such as Water And Aloe Vera
Natural moisturisers such as Aloe Vera are very gentle and kind to the hair and scalp as they are chemical free.
Aloe Vera is a well-known remedy for a dry, itchy scalp associated with dreads and many people find relief when using it.
It contains an abundance of vitamins, minerals, and it has anti-bacterial properties that can help to balance the scalp.
Aloe Vera is a natural conditioner and although it has many benefits you should use it in moderation – too much of it can cause detangling.
See a Dreadlock Specialist for Maintenance
If you are in fact experiencing that your hair is falling out, it might be beneficial to see a professional loctician for guidance and maintenance of your dreads.
If you experience product build-up or any other common problems, a loctician can remove that build up for you. This will result in healthier, cleaner locs.
As dreads do require extra maintenance, it’s a good idea to see a professional to avoid hair damage and hair loss in the future.
Do Not Use Conditioner
Using conditioner on your dreads is never a good idea simply because dreads do not require extra conditioning.
Conditioners separate and detangle the hair, which is the opposite of what you need!
Also, let’s not forget that many conditioners contain oils, silicones and fragrances that are too harsh on the hair and scalp. These ingredients can easily lead to build-up.
Instead, you should always opt for natural conditioners such as aloe vera gel, apple cider vinegar, and essential oils.
You can’t neglect your diet when caring for the health of your hair.
A balanced diet that’s rich in protein, vitamins and minerals is good for your whole body. In the long term, it can accelerate the growth of your dreads.
Lifestyle changes such as reducing stress, getting regular exercise, avoiding smoking, and avoiding processed foods can ensure that your hair is as healthy as possible.
We hope this article has helped settle your mind that dreads do not make your hair fall out.
If you do have dreads and you are experiencing hair loss, it’s important to visit a loctician or make a change your hair routine.