11 August 2013

Update: Locs After Swimming

Hey everyone, I recently responded to a question from a dear pen pal of mine, oceangrins. She wrote:

"So, I gotta ask, how did the sea water treat your hair? Did sand get stuck in your dreads? Was it easy to wash the sand and sea salt out?"

So yeah this month I went swimming in the ocean for the first time with locs. I'm pleased to say I seem to have suffered no adverse effects from the week I spent splashing around. I rinsed my hair after each session and left it in a half basket weave style until I got home.

During the week my hair was feeling particularly soft instead of dry like I'd expected and even the debris I was expecting didn't cause an issue. I imagine this was due to the fact that we only swam near rocky coastlines, avoiding sandy beaches completely, and aside from the water in that region being naturally clear to begin with, I think the lack of conventional products like gels or waxes enabled the residual salt to wash away more easily.

When I got home I decided to give my hair a good deep cleanse just to be safe. After rinsing my hair thoroughly I went on to spray it with a mixture of apple cider vinegar and baking soda (approx. 200ml : 1/4 tsp) and sat with a shower cap for around three hours before washing it all out with Cream of Nature's Kiwi and Citrus Ultra Moisturizing Shampoo. I then decided to re-colour my hair (temporary dye) and condition it with raw virgin coconut oil before letting it air dry.

My scalp and roots felt better immediately though it took a day or two for softness to come back due to the acidity of the apple cider vinegar.

Here I'd just taken out my style some days after getting back from my trip:

Apple cider vinegar and baking soda solution applied:

Quick clip of me washing my locs:

Rinsed thoroughly and shampooed in hot water with Cream of Nature shampoo:

Hair clean and lightly towel dried ready to be re-dyed:

Finished results - I decided to retwist just to get more length after all that shrinkage though I fell asleep in the clips (-__-) and they all ended up swooped to one side:




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  1. Wow, that's a lot... you're taking really good care of your dreads. Glad to hear the sand and sea salt didn't affect your dreads. I was so afraid the sand would get embedded deep into the creases and be hell to take out. Hmmh... I wonder if rolling around in the sand would make a difference. Or are dreads just resistant to that sort of things like water on oil. Anyway, thanks a bunch for sharing your process! :D

  2. But then dreads are so worth taking care of. Mine just starting to come into that enjoyable stage were I really love them, they suit my face and my wardrobe and are no longer just bits of hair I'm having to "deal" with or hide. It's been so long already and I have so long to go but since crocheting and reaching a comfortable length, things have become so, so much easier.

    Sand would definately get into the roots and considering it can't desolve in shampoo or ACV I'd say you did the wisest thing to not go beach swimming with them. That said I hate to think sandy beaches were totally off limits but I can't see how sand would desolve??

    You're totally not an inner city chick :D I don't think I've ever rolled around in sand and even with loose hair it seems a bit messy lol. I guess if you can, ask other people with dreads what they do to get rid of sand, I mean for example loc'd surfers much get around it somehow ;))))