1 Dreadlock Problem No One Talks About

1 Dreadlock Problem No One Talks About


 Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar Unfiltered

Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar Unfiltered by Amazon

Everyone knows starting and maintaining dreadlocks is a never-ending adventure. Often, I get people coming up to me, exclaiming, “I love your hair! You have such beautiful dreadlocks.” Each time this happens, I can’t help but chuckle to myself a little.

If only they knew.

What’s That Inside My Dreadlock?

If you’re squeamish, consider this a warning. Parents, cover your children’s ears. This is not for the faint of heart. Let me preface this by saying that I have only rarely had this problem, but when it turns up, it’s the kind of thing you vow never to admit to anyone. You’re in the process of trimming your locks, when you, snip snip, glance down at the end of your newly-shorn lock and notice:

Mystery, strange-colored residue inside of your locks.

I share this with you so that you can know you’re not alone, and that there are ways to not only remedy, but also prevent this problem. Often it’s caused by letting your hair take too long to dry, or using too much beeswax when you were first forming your dreads, two things I have been guilty of. However, it can also be a combination of old fuzz from hats you wear, and possibly some dirt. Dreads pick up a lot. A special note: if you notice a musty smell from your dreads (for the record, I have not had that problem), then you most likely have mold/mildew.


The following are some solutions:

1. Consistently use a good clarifying shampoo, which will regularly clean out your dreads (see my Dreadlock Maintenance page for recommendations on quality dreadlock shampoo). I think I say this a million times on this site already, and I’ll keep saying it, but the shampoo you’re using makes all the difference in the world. Within a couple weeks of good, thorough washing, you should begin to see the difference if you keep consistently using a quality shampoo, such as the Rasta Jam Mango & Lime Tingle Shampoo, which I review in the Product Review page.

2. Try an apple cider vinegar rinse. It’s known that vinegar kills off mold, while balancing the PH levels of your hair. Use a tablespoon of vinegar with a quart of water that is just below body temperature (you don’t want to have it too cold and have your hair follicle close). You can pour it into a plastic spray bottle, and apply. Make sure you shut your eyes! Feel free to let the extra run-off run back into the bottle.

Don’t worry about the vinegar smell surrounding your head. Once your hair dries, the smell will go away. And an additional benefit is that it helps treat dandruff.

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4 Comments
  1. Hi Claudia! It’s recommended to spray your dreads thoroughly (as in, more than just a light mist). You don’t need to do method 2 too often to start, especially as you test how your particular dreads and scalp react to the treatment. Some people do it a few times a year or every other month to start, while others are fine doing it every other week. A lot of it depends on your type of hair. 🙂

  2. Is method 2, apple cider vinegar spritz, apart of your regular maintenance? If so, how often do you do it? How much do you spray? Just until the hair is damp? 
    I don’t want any residue or mold smell… No, thank you!

  3. Claudia22 Hi Claudia! It’s recommended to spray your dreads thoroughly (as in,
    more than just a light mist). You don’t need to do method 2 too often to
    start, especially as you test how your particular dreads and scalp
    react to the treatment. Some people do it a few times a year or every
    other month to start, while others are fine doing it every other week. A
    lot of it depends on your type of hair. 🙂

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