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How To Moisturize Scalp With Dreads: 10 Tips To Remember

Last Updated on: April 10, 2024

The first time I got dreads, my scalp was sore, covered in red spots, and inflamed. It was itchy, and I scratched vigorously, forgetting about the result. 

By the time I noticed, it was late. 

My scalp was already badly affected and I had to get rid of the dreads.

Little did I know that several other people also have the same issues. In a quest for solutions, I found out that moisturizing locs is an excellent maintenance routine for dreads.

In this guide, I’ll discuss everything you need to moisturize your locs and improve its health.

Signs Your Dread And Scalp Needs Moisturizing

Woman taking shower

Some common symptoms in your loc journey will indicate that you need to moisturize your locs and scalp.

They are:

1. Dry Hair: If your hair starts losing its sheen or is dull, it signifies that your scalp needs moisturizing. It means that your hair is losing natural oils and essential vitamins, protein, and amino acids.

2. Loose Dreads: When dread becomes loose, it is a sign that you need to moisturize your scalp. It is like a plant without water will lose its shape and eventually wither and die. Dreads that are not well moisturized will lose their firmness and break easily. 

3. Inflammation: I am sure that almost everyone with dreads has experienced scalp irritation and itchiness at some point. I believe it is something normal because the hair is adjusting to a new routine. However, if itching persists for weeks or months, it’s cue to get your scalp moisturized.

4. Dandruff: Dandruff (white flaky dead skin) is one of the signs that your scalp needs hydration. Dandruff makes the hair dry. 

Also, Dandruff can interfere with daily life by making you feel self-conscious or embarrassed by your hair. 

10 Tips For Moisturizing A Scalp With Dreads

Black woman with dreads

If you carry dreads and realize your scalp is dry, do not worry. I have also been there, overcame it, and wish to help you overcome it. Here are ten great tips you can use to moisturize your scalp with dreads:

1. Stay Away From Harsh Colors Or Treatment

Hair treatments like perms or chemical straightening can cause a lot of harm to your hair and make your scalp itchy and dry. Some home treatments can also expose your scalp to some damage, leaving residue and other substances on your head.

Hair treatment mainly dries the scalp’s surface when they are part of your daily routine. Blow dryers, curling iron, and hair straighteners can dry your scalp.

Another thing that causes soft skin or hair is permanent colors. Hair colors containing peroxide (a lightning compound) can instantly burn your scalp and cause permanent scarring to your follicles.

If you realize your scalp is dry, avoid using too many hair products that can cause further damage. Stick to healthy natural hair care products.

2. Switch Your Diet

Changing your diet is another way to ensure your scalp is healthy. The proper diet can be all you need to improve the appearance of your scalp. But a bad diet can aggravate dry locs and scalp.

Diets like polyunsaturated fats like omega-3 fatty acids and monounsaturated fats are diets you should consider. Lots of vegetables and fruits will also give you the hydration to deliver minerals and vitamins to the bloodstream.

For people looking to maintain mental and physical health, a Mediterranean diet is a popular choice. It contains whole grains, plenty of fish, and greens to make your skin healthy. The Mediterranean diet also reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and dementia.

Asides from eating right, drinking sufficient water is also essential. The US National Academics of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicines suggest about 11.5 cups daily for women and 15.5 cups per day for men.

3. Use Moisturizing Natural Oils

Coconut oil

Using a few drops of oils on your scalp can keep your dreads moisturized for a long time. A natural oil will provide a gentle and safe way to avoid dandruff and itching and maintain moisture.

There are many oils you can use, depending on the effect you want. I will group them into two broad categories.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a deep moisture treatment. It delivers hydration to your scalp and seals in moisture. It sinks into the root of your hair and the surrounding skin. Be careful when using coconut oil; excess can make your hair look greasy.

Vegetable Oils

Vegetable oils have natural origins like fatty fruits, healthy nuts, and whole grains. They might not be the best hydrating agents, but they create a barrier and prevent natural moisture from escaping.

There are several vegetable oils, and you can pick any of your choices. They include olive oil, avocado oil, grapeseed oil, sunflower oil, jojoba oil, castor oil, and almond oil

4. Cover Your Head Outdoors

We know air/wind and sun cause evaporation. If you want to visit the beach or mountains, take your scarves or head covers to keep your scalp moisturized.

You can wear a hat if you’re in the sun. If you do not cover your hair, it might get sunburned, and this will cause dandruff on healing.

5. Cover Your Head When Going To Bed

Bedsheets and pillowcases can absorb moisture from our scalps. There is a force of attraction between your head and the pillowcase, and this can cause fuzz and breakage to be stuck in the locs.

Preferably, you should wear a satin scarf to bed at night, but using a satin pillowcase also works. 

6. Use Aloe Vera Gel On Your Natural Hair

Aloe vera is one of the best things you can use to repair an itchy scalp. It contains about 80% water, making it a great hydrating agent.

I advise making brown aloe vera gel by mixing distilled water, essential oils, and 100% aloe vera. You can also make specially formulated aloe vera juice in a spray bottle and apply it to your locs every day.

7. Avoid Using Shower Cap When You Take a Bath

When you don’t want to feel like washing your hair, you can place your dreads in a bun and let the mist from the shower sprinkle the dreads. If the dread gets too wet, ensure you dry them thoroughly before sleeping.

8. Wash Your Hair Once A Week

Woman having a hair wash

Keeping your hair and scalp from dandruff, dirt, and oils is key to maintaining a healthy scalp. Use clarifying residue-free shampoo only.

Every other week, use apple cider vinegar rinse to rinse your scalp. Apple cider vinegar rinse contains two tablespoons of ACV diluted in 8oz water. Apple cider vinegar balances the pH of your scalp and reduces itchiness.

Whenever you get the chance, use cold water to rinse your hair. Ensure the water dries out thoroughly after every wash.

9. Make Your Moisturizing Spray And Use It Everyday

You should spray your locs at least once a day or twice. How often you use it depends on how dry your dreads are but don’t overdo it.

On the market, A moisturizing spray can be made by mixing essential oils, lavender oil, peppermint oil, tea tree oil, and so on with distilled water. There are several moisturizing sprays on the market, but I recommend that you make yours.

10. Avoid Using Baking Soda And Salt For Your Dreads

We all want our dread to last long, but it comes at a price, requiring time and patience. It is better to allow it to dread appropriately and have healthy hair rather than destroying it in the early stage by speeding up the dreading process.

Avoid using sprays that contain salt If your scalp is dehydrated. Don’t use shampoo containing baking soda or mix baking soda in your shampoo.

When used excessively, baking soda is harsh on the scalp. You can use it for a deep cleanse like once in six months.

Bonus Tip: Take Good Care Of Yourself

Man meditating

Anxiety, stress, and other emotions can harm our physical health. Letting out these emotions healthily, whether through medication, music, or exercise, can bring the body to a balance.

Studies show that meditation helps clear itchiness, eczema, and psoriasis. So, it would be best to add it to your schedule.

You will be surprised by the rapid improvement in your hair growth and health.

Watch This!

Frequently Asked Questions

Here, I’ll answer some popular questions people ask regarding how to moisturize the scalp with dreads.

How Do I Oil My Scalp With Dreads?

Massage the oil directly onto the skin and beneath your dreads to hydrate your scalp. Make sure to spread the oil evenly and consistently. Make sure to completely cover your scalp, including the nape of your neck and the top of your forehead. Then, massage the oil into your scalp for a while to encourage healthy blood flow.

Should I Oil My Scalp Daily?

No, it is typically unnecessary to moisturize your scalp every day. Doing so could result in limp, oily locs and do more harm than good. Instead, water as often as necessary for your particular hair type. For most people, two to three treatments per week are sufficient to maintain a healthy scalp with dreads.

How Can I Treat A Dry Scalp With Dreads?

Dreads can be fixed with various techniques for a dry scalp. The method of treatment you choose will mostly rely on the cause of the problem. To maintain your scalp healthy and hydrated, you may need to change your food, hair care regimen, and even sleeping schedule.

What Is Safe For My Scalp?

Dreads hold more residue than straight hair, so avoid using harsh chemicals or products with ingredients like sulfates or parabens while cleaning or hydrating them. Keep to natural oil instead such as vegetable or coconut oil. To maintain a healthy balance in your scalp microbiota, you can also utilize several oils, such as tea tree oil and rose water.

Is Coconut Oil Good For Locs?

You can maintain your dreads and scalp moisturized with a wide range of secure, organic oils. Coconut oil is among the most popular oils to moisturize your scalp. It penetrates your hair cuticle and skin more effectively than other oils and is inexpensive and widely accessible. You can also use castor oil, olive oil, jojoba oil, argan oil, vitamin E oil, avocado oil, etc.


A dry scalp is common among people with dreads, but it can be prevented and treated. If you realize that your scalp is dry, do not panic. There are several things you can do to restore it to normal. 

Follow the tips discussed in this article to make your hair shiny, elastic, and beautiful. If you practice these tips correctly, you’ll get results in no time.

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