Are Dreads Dirty & How To Keep Hair Clean?

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Are Dreads Dirty

Are Dreads Dirty? For the short answer, it is NO! With proper care, dreads are not dirty.

I have had clients ask me this very question. For years, dreads have been regarded as dirty and dreadful.

But they aren’t. Dreads are gorgeous. They are tightly knotted hair that is low-key, a cool investment. They are also low maintenance and help hair grow faster with little shedding.

Once our clients know how to take care of their dreads, they are happy to try on dreads.

3 Reasons for “Dreadlocks are Dirty”

There are many reasons dreadlocks get dirty. Let us talk about some of the reasons for dirty dreads.


One reason why people carry dirty dreads is a lack of understanding. I often hear one general misunderstanding that dirty dreadlocks dread better than clean dreads. That is a myth.

Instead, it is clean dreads that dread easier. Getting false information will have drastic results on your dreads. Always seek professional help to understand how to care for dreads properly. 

Are Dreads Dirty

Unnecessary Products

I have heard of people using eggs in their dreads. They say it is a natural dreadlocking product.

It is not. Applying eggs to your dreads will leave a foul smell. It will also cause mold to grow. It is better to use products made for dread acre.

Are dreads Dirty

Chemical Changes

Some chemicals that are bad for dreads are hydrogen peroxide and chemical dyes. These chemicals create a dull look on your dreads, causing them to look dirty. Swimming in public pools can also cause your dreads to look dirty. It is due to the chlorine used in swimming pools. [1]

While chlorine is good for killing germs in pools, it is unhealthy for your dreads. Spending too much time in a swimming pool will cause your dreads to lose their shine and make them dirty.

Dread Detox after

6 Ways To Keep Your Dreadlocks Clean

Keeping your dreads clean has enormous benefits. Your hair will grow longer and healthier. Your dreads will also be shinier and soft. 

1. Washing 

Washing your dreads with shampoo is a great way to keep your dreads clean and healthy.

 I recommend that you wash your dreads with a residue-free shampoo. Residue-free shampoos are a must-have for dreadlocks.

They ensure that every dirt gets washed away with no residue left behind. These shampoo bottles carry words such as anti-residue or residue-free.

With every wash, they leave your dreads feeling squeaky clean and soft to the touch.

Dreads Detox

2. Deep Cleanse

Routinely deep cleansing your dreads is an effective method to keep them clean.

Baking soda and Apple Cider vinegar are two common ingredients used for deep cleansing dreads. Mixing these two ingredients with warm water is a fantastic solution for dreads.

This mixture helps absorb the excess oil and remove residue and product build-ups. They can be gotten at your local supermarkets.

If you’ve ever tried a baking soda and vinegar deep cleanse before, let us know in the comment section below! 

Are dreads Dirty-Clean Hair

3. Keep It Dry

Damp dreads encourage the growth of mold and mildew. That is never good. 

Do not leave your dreads wet or even damp after a shampoo, deep cleanse, or a visit to the pool. It is better to dry your dreads to avoid negative attractions.

If it is almost bedtime and your dreads are still damp, I suggest using your air dryer to speed up the drying effects.

Dreadlock Size

4. Avoid Excessive Moisturizing

Dry dreads are prone to brittleness and breakage. So, it is a good idea to moisturize your dreads.

But, there is no need to moisturize them daily. You should only apply moisturizer to your dreads 2 to 3 times a week.

Daily moisturizing is excessive. It will cause build-ups and lead to mold forming in your dreads.

5. Cover Your Dreads

Covering dreads helps to keep dirt out. Cooking, dust, or sand from the beach causes lint and dirt in dreads.

A great technique to avoid these elements is to use a head wrap. Headwraps such as durags, hair bonnet, or bandana are great cover-ups for your dreads.

Some people have jobs that include building up a sweat. I suggest getting multiple durags and switching the sweaty ones for clean ones.

Cover Your Dreads

6. Keep Scalp Healthy

Lastly, keep your scalp healthy. As your dreads grow longer, they become heavier and weigh a lot on the scalp. This can cause the roots of your hair to pull at your scalp.

It can also lead to headaches and neck pain. In some cases, it can lead to alopecia. It is best to wrap your dreads in a bun. It places the weight of the dreads on the back of your head.

Also, massage your scalp for a few minutes a day with hair oils. It helps to reduce the headaches and neck pain associated with heavy dreads. 

The Bottom Line

Dreads are only as dirty as the owners’ lack of dread care. If you apply proper care to your dread care routine, getting dirty is slim. Hope this article helped! If you know anyone with dreads, please share this blog post with them!

Author: Charity Nasike


Charity Nasike is a passionate wig wearer and basically has diverse knowledge related to wigs' care and maintenance. When she's not writing, she's either in the kitchen trying out new recipes or on social media advising fellow ladies tricks to apply on their wigs.

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