It’s frustrating when you invest countless hours into creating a full head of dreadlocks, only to discover that some of your locks have begun to break just days later. Growing full-length dreadlocks isn’t a fast process by any means, often requiring several months (or longer) to reach full length. So when a lock breaks, it’s disheartening knowing that you’ll have to wait for it to grow back.
Common Causes of Broken Dreadlocks
The good news is that you can prevent dreadlocks from breaking by following some simple steps, the first of which is to identify the cause. There are numerous factors that can contribute to breakage, although the most common is dryness. When dreadlocks lose their moisture content, they’ll become dry and brittle, making them more susceptible to breakage. Doing something as simple as turning your head the wrong way in bed could cause one of your locks to snap in half.
Another common cause of broken dreadlocks is hair being pulled too tightly. If you happen to pull too your locks too tightly when styling your hair, it may cause them to break. This problem is particularly common among newcomers to dreadlocks, many of whom don’t realize the strength (or lack thereof) of their hair.
Protecting Against Breakage
The single most important step in preventing broken dreadlocks is to keep your hair moisturized. As long as your dreadlocks have ample moisture, they’ll be difficult to break. It’s just that simple. So, what’s the best way to moisturize dreadlocks?
Using a high-quality shampoo and conditioner will help to moisturize your dreadlocks, but you should refrain from using too much product. Apply too much product to your dreadlocks may do more harm than good by coating them with a thick layer of residue. Follow this “less is more” approach by using just a small amount of shampoo and conditioner.
Another tip to help protect against broken dreadlocks is to cover your scalp with a cap at night. Sleeping in a cap will prevent moisture from escaping your scalp and hair, keeping in nice and moisturized until morning.
Dealing with Broken Locks
In the event that one of your dreadlocks breaks off, don’t panic because you may still be able to salvage it. Take the broken lock to a nearby beautician and ask them to reattach it. A good stylist should be able to attach the broken lock back in the appropriate place, making it look like it was never broken to begin with.