Getting rid of residue in dreadlocks - What is residue?

Residue in dreadlocks is very simply build up from 'normal' (non-dreadlocks specific shampoo). This blog will tell you exactly how it got there, the problems it causes and how to deal with it!


Many people make a very common mistake when it comes to washing their dreadlocks. Without giving much thought, we quite often grab any shampoo available and wash our locks.

The problem with 'normal' non-dreadlocks specific shampoo's is that they are designed to coat your hair with all kinds of additional agents. The cosmetics industry is geared to such marketing, so you get shampoos with added moisture, added shine, reduce frizz and lathering agents. You also get additives to make your hair 'squeaky' clean as marketing tells us that makes it cleaner. We are also swayed by fragrances. We all have our favourite smells, these fragrances when added to shampoo, need additional preservatives to sustain their strength and shelf life.

All of these things over time create a build up of residue in the centre of your dreadlocks. This is a huge problem because no only do you get a white fluff that stand out, the increase of residue means your dreadlocks will take longer to dry. The longer your dreadlocks take to dry, the more likely mould will appear and your dreadlocks will begin to smell really bad!

The fact is all you need are cleaning properties from shampoo's. The only shampoos that really offer nothing but properly formulated cleaning for dreadlocks is dreadlocks specific shampoo.

How to get rid of residue if its already started going mouldy and smelling

To get rid of extensive residue build up, you'll want to do a baking soda and ACV wash. This may need to be done a few times depending how bad the damage is.

Prevent residue from building up

Avoid using ALL products that are not specifically made for dreadlocks. Even the products that simply say 'natural' or 'organic' wont be formulated for dreadlocks and still contain ingredient only mean for un-dreaded hair. Sadly, you wont be able to buy anything in high street shops but wont be able to find anything in high street shops but here is a list of the best shampoos available that you can buy online.

Dreadlocks shampoos MUST be liquid and fragrance free. Never use soap bars as they are much harder to wash out, leave residue and take longer to dry your dreadlocks.
see - The fastest way to dry dreadlocks

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