20 February 2013

Washed Locs and a Product Update

I washed my dreads on Monday. Even though I'd left them to form for a month I was still wary of how my dreads would cope... Oh yeah, remember when I said I had dandruff a week after the salon? Well it was the aloe gel I chose to retwist with. Once it was dry it flaked. I wasn't too upset about it. I'd rather it flake off than stay gooey, matting into my hair. I'm no longer using it.

The aim was to wash my scalp thoroughly with minimal agitation to my hair. Natural Afrodisiac has a brilliant post on washing baby locs and one of her tips was to use a canter bottle instead of a pressure shower. She also recommends using rubber bands to section off the dreads. I saturated my hair making sure to pat the water in instead of letting it hit me full force. Then I squeezed the water through several times. I then filled my spray bottle with a bit of shampoo (more on that below), witch hazel, and lots of warm water. once I'd sectioned my hair into loose ponytails I held the bottle about an inch from my scalp and sprayed the solution through each row avoiding my hair completely. After that I went about massaging and scrubbing in small motions and left my hair saturated for around 10 minutes. Following that I washed out the spray bottle and filled it with plain warm water. Without the lid I poured the contents over my head several times until the shampoo mixture was all gone and squeezed my hair in a bath towel to get it mostly dry.

I started retwisting and palm-rolling from root to tip so they'd stay in for another month. For the locs that had unravelled a lot I comb coiled from the roots down to where some matting had started. I didn't use extra products to retwist them and after a less than comfortable night's rest I removed the clips the next day. I'm very pleased.  Now they shake whenever I move my head and some were even hanging in my eye before they shrank a little. Washing them still gave me that unravelled fro look even after waiting a month but I accept that, that's how they'll be until they choose to knit together properly. The thicker locs have unravelled a little already (day two) but I've retwisted them back and clipped them down until they were bone dry.

Moisture-wise they feel so soft and smooth. I started using shampoo just before Christmas and stopped using oil and water to moisturise them. I just found it wasn't working. I'd spray them with water and oil but they'd be dry and crisp within a few hours. I did a ton of research into products and looked into Damien Walter's YT series. He offers lots information on hair care which enables anyone to take from it what they require. I concluded that his philosophy for clean dreadlocks was to: cleanse, condition and moisturise consistently using a cleansing shampoo and moisturising shampoo. He expresses that there is no 'all in 1' product but that a good arsenal of relible products are essential.

So that's when I decided to find a good product. I wasn't confident about using conditioners just yet and several contained alcohol for some reason. I did feel confident that ACV rinses were a good substitute for "clarifying shampoos", which I haven't used in quite some time, so my focus went toward finding a genuinely "moisturising shampoo". I read up on the effects of proteins and sulphates and what to look for in any ingredients list. I found Creme of Nature's Kiwi & Citrus Ultra Moisturizing Shampoo. This is definitely my shampoo of choice. My hair feels clean and conditioned and I love running my fingers through it. The softness lasts for several days.

I took a ton of photos during and after washing. I'll put them in a following post since this one's already word heavy.


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