21 November 2012

Week 33: How d'you clean dem dreads?

If you've been keeping up with my journey over the last seven months you'll know that I don't use shampoo or conditioner on my baby locs so I thought I'd do a quick post on what I use to wash my hair instead.

Now you may be thinking, how have you survived for so long without shampoo? Well I was plenty skeptical at first but it's become quite normal now. I guess the main reason I stopped using shampoo was for fear of loc buildup from various ingredients that I still don't know much about. I also haven't yet used a shampoo or conditioner that actually delivers what it promises, even products specifically designed for afro hair weren't dazzling. What I use now leaves me with clean, healthy hair that feels light and manageable.

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
Baking Soda
Aloe Vera Gel

Once I wet my head with warm water, I apply a runny paste made with a 2:1 ratio of, ACV:Baking soda, through my scalp (going row by row to ensure complete coverage). I then massage and gently scrub my scalp until I'm ready to rinse (alt: leave on using a shower cap for up to 20 minutes before rinsing). I follow up by massaging the aloe gel onto my scalp (once again row by row) and spread it onto my hair. After massaging for a further 5 minutes I rinse thoroughly in very cool water and I'm done!

It's a bit of process but here's how I prep the aloe vera gel on those days where I have time for a bit of luxury cleansing:

You can clean your hair with the aloe alone or you might try adding it to your current shampoo. Goes well with a herbal rinse too. (simmer herbs in boiling water for 10-20 minutes, strain and use water when cooled)

Click the link for a video on a Rosemary Rinse

Aloe uses:
Face mask
Shaving gel (tried and tested)
Personal lubricant (who knew)
Edible ingredient (food & beverages)
Teeth cleaning
...to name a few

Oh and before I forget, I recently came across a short page of information and discovered that my cleansing method is considered to be a 'no-poo' approach. Never knew it had a name lol. Click here to have a read.


**Photography ownership is held with the blog account holder. DONOT use without permission. Slideshow made at photosnack.**


  1. Power to you girl !
    And your no poo prep. I am too lazy to keep that up.
    As you may know Dr Bonners Castile soaps works for me, in Lavender.
    I then either deep condition with Jamaican black castor oil protein conditioner. Or use the Jamaican black castor oil. As a hot oil treatment.
    I will use either of these methods at least once every 2 -3 weeks.
    It also means that I do not have to oil my scalp for a good few days after I wash it.

    1. I still haven't come across Dr Bonner's in person and I really like to look at the ingredients list. Do you do the hot oil treatment before or after shampooing? I know it's been said that castor oil is great for moisture because it's a humectant but I don't think I use it at the right time ;/

  2. I use it after my last shampoo and rinse. I apply it to my damp/ wet locs, cover with a shower cap and either sit under a hold dryer for 30 mins or wonder around the house for a few hours with the cap on. Before rinsing again with warm water.
    After this you can either palm roll or interlock. Let your locs dry naturally or with the help of a dryer. Your dry locs should feel soft and moisturised and so to your scalp.
    I can sometimes go for up to 3 days, after a hot oil treatment without requiring a hair dressing product. I also use caster oil to oil my scalp when and if I need it in between treatments.

    1. Oh I see so you do rinse it out. I don't have a dryer to sit under but I try to use a steamer when I can. Thanks for the tips this makes more sense to me now :))

  3. Dr Bonners can be found in most good natural food shops and chemists. Just google the name along with Castile soap. You should find a sea of info on it.
    To be honest I order mine via Amazon Uk. The food shop that does it by me is a bit of a trek.