If your dreadlocks have started to get a bit smelly and stink like a damp dog, or they're starting to show signs of white gross stuff in them... it could be mould or mildew... it could be DREAD ROT!
If you find that your dreadlocks have started smell a bit mouldy, a smelly locker room gym bag, or even stink like a damp wet dog, it's quite likely you have mouldy dreads... affectionately known as 'dread rot'. It might only be noticeable after you've washed your dreads, but any mildew or mould type smell you can sense, is likely to be mould in your dreads.
If you haven't been doing so before, from now on, make sure that you are using a residue-free shampoo to clean your dreads. Washing your dreadlocks in a residue-free shampoo will help them to mature faster than a regular shampoo, it will help them dry more quickly and make sure that any new growth will continue to lock up.
If you have your hair currently loc'd right up... make sure that you thoroughly shampoo your dreads, rinse them, and fully dry your locks each time you wash them. If you use no shampoo whatsoever, and you don't allow your wet locs to dry completely, this can cause problems with mould and mildew growth.
After washing your hair, make sure you finish up with a good old Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse. Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse. Apple Cider Vinegar has so many amazing uses; cleaning and refreshing dreadlocks is just one of them! They’re usually done at room temperature, to seal cuticles and maintain a beautiful, natural shine. The hidden benefit of this is if you have colour treated hair, there is less colour run off and a more vibrant colour for longer. Awesome!
** We recommend Raw Roots Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse
People often wonder whether the smell of the Apple Cider Vinegar will hang around and linger, but the there's no need to worry, the vinegary smell will fade away as your hair dries.
Use a shower cap when showering but NOT washing hair. This prevents your dreads from locking in moisture that can lead to mould.
NEVER apply Wax to wet hair. This will trap moisture inside, this can create mould.
Finally... finish up by thoroughly drying your dreadlocks by giving them a really good airing... ideally with a hair dryer, going from the roots of your hair up to the tips of your locs. It is perfectly fine to palm roll your dreadlocks while they are wet as this can help compress them. If your dreads aren't completely dry, whatever you do.. don't style them, or go to bed. If the hair is damp for too long, it may start to smell or could even grow mould.