Black Man With Long Hair and Dreadlocks

If you are a dreads aficionado, you probably already feel their weight.

Wearing dreads is cool, but doing it for a long time can become overwhelming.

All that hair compiles dirt, grime, oil, product buildup and who knows what more.

To make it better, your dreads are going to need a detox.

Yes, you heard it correctly.

You need to do a dread detox to dissolve all that unwanted waste that has gathered in your hair over the years.

It will help your dreads get clean and remove some of the weight from your head and make it more comfortable.

Since there are a few ways to do it, we describe everything in detail and analyze the most reliable dread detox methods.

What Is Dread Detox

A detox is a process that involves getting rid of all the nasty and unhealthy things compiled over the years. A dread detox is similar, but it concentrates on the dreads only.

With it, you can clean your locks deep to remove any unwanted or unpleasant buildup of dirt, grime, products, or anything that gets stuck in the locks over a specific time.

Don’t fool yourself; dreads are nasty things. They might look cool, but you can’t wash them like your regular hair, even high-top dreads.

So from time to time, you need to do something to clean them out and make your hair healthy again. A dread detox is the ultimate solution for doing it.

best dreadlock detox recipe

Is Detox Good for Dreads

Over time, your locks will pick up particles from shampoos, gels, hair waxes or anything you might put on your dreads. All of this will accumulate over time, making the dreads even change color to a brownish hue and slippery.

Not only that, but many build-ups come from our own scalps. A naturally occurring substance called sebum will gather over some time. Sebum is an entirely natural occurrence and acts as natural oil for our scalps and hair.

The way dreads are made will cause sebum build-up, which will remain there even after you try to wash it out. Most dreadlock styles for men will result in various grime build up and you will not be able to get rid of it even with a clarifying shampoo.

The only way to deal with it is with the help of a detox meant to remove all those unwanted stuff and refresh your hair a bit.

How to Do Detox Dreads (loc detox recipe)

The most popular method of detoxing your dreads is with an apple cider vinegar rinse.

Initially, you are going to need to create the mix by mixing the following ingredients:

  • A basin filled with hot or warm water
  • 1/4  cup of baking soda
  • A tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • About 5-7 drops of lavender oil (optional)

After your mixture is complete, set yourself in a comfortable position, which will take about half an hour to complete. 

Step 1 – Set the basin

Set the basin with the created mixture.

Step 2 – Soak the locks

Position yourself above it and place all your locks in the basin, so they are completely soaked.

Step 3 – Leave for around half an hour

Allow the locks to stay soaked for about 20 to 30 minutes.

Step 4 – Squeeze the mixture

After it soaks, use your hands to squeeze the mixture out of your hair. Rinse it from the root to the tip of your dreads.

Step 5 – Rinse the hair

Once you’ve removed enough, rinse your hair in the shower.

After the dread detox, you can complete your regular washing routine by using a clarifying shampoo, a deep conditioner, and a moisturizer. This process can work even for long curly hairstyles for men.

what to use to detox dreads

Things to Consider Detoxing Locs

Before you start your dread detox, there are a few things to consider which will allow you to get your hair in order and pair them with dreadlock beard styles if you want it.

  • Get quality apple cider vinegar: If you want a deep and thorough cleanse, we suggest getting a quality ACV that removes bacteria but has healthy enzymes and proteins to feed your hair.
  • A dread detox can dry out your hair: Always use a conditioner after detox to restore the moisture and the natural oils that will be missing.
  • Do not detox too often: Although beneficial, detoxing too often is ill-advised. It may strip your hair and scalp of all its natural oils. Once to four times a year is quite enough.
  • Rinse the mixture thoroughly: If you don’t want to end up with the apple cider vinegar smell on your hair, you better rinse the mix entirely and thoroughly.
  • Do not detox baby dreads: Starter locs shouldn’t be detoxed; they will lose their locks effect. You can begin detoxing in the “teenage” stage.

Top Dread Detox Recipes (loc detox at home ingredients)

Even though we already mentioned the most used dread detox method, which involves apple cider vinegar, it is not the only way to help out your dreads. Protective hairstyles can be achieved in two more ways: lemon juice or baking soda.

If you would like to try the lemon juice variant, you will need the following:

  • A large bowl
  • Water
  • Lemon juice
  • An oil of your choice

On the other hand, if you would like to go for the baking soda treatment, you will have to get the following:

  • A very large bowl
  • Oils of your choice for shine and softness
  • Baking soda


How long does a detox take for dreads?

You must soak your hair for about 20 to 30 minutes in the detox mixture you’ve created.

How often should you detox dreads?

It is not advised to do it too often. Once a year is enough, but the most you can do is four times a year.

How much does it cost to detox dreads?

It is not too expensive and depends on the mixture you decide to go with and the ingredients you use.

Is apple cider vinegar good for dreadlocks?

Yes, it is very much so. It helps to balance both your hair’s and scalp’s pH levels.

Does salt water clean dreads?

It does not really clean it, but it helps to tame them and helps to remove any frizz you may have.

How does lemon juice detox dreads?

Lemon juice is a natural grease remover that can help soften the hair, balance oils on the scalp, strengthen the hair follicles and even promote growth.


Dreads are considered one of the sexy hairstyles for men. They can quickly become the opposite if you don’t take care of them correctly. Your dreads deserve a detox from time to time and you must do it as accurately as possible.

We have included a few options you can try out and have provided a detailed description of the process. If you want to get the needed shine back to your locks, we suggest trying one of the proposed methods.

Vinnie - Barber

About the author: Vinnie – Barber

Vinnie is one of the members of the Beardoholic writers team. He’s also a barber and hairstylist for 15 years now and he has a kick-ass beard of his own, so he surely knows what makes a magnificent beard and hair and how to achieve them. He’s our go-to guy for all the latest beard and hairstyle trends and he always has a tip or two on how to grow and style a thick beard fast.

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