How Often to Wash Locs 2024: An Easy & Quick Guide

How Frequently to Cleanse Locs: Cleansing locs is crucial in preserving strong and lively dreadlocks. Yet, determining the ideal washing frequency to keep them clean, hydrated, and appealing can be puzzling due to the widespread misunderstandings and viewpoints on loc maintenance. Our goal is to offer dependable and amicable guidance on nurturing your beautiful locs.

The frequency of washing locs depends on several factors, such as the stage of your dreadlocks, hair type, and lifestyle. It would be best to balance keeping your locs clean and not over-washing them to avoid breakage or damage. As a general rule, washing your locs anywhere between once a week to once a month is recommended. But remember that everyone’s hair is unique and may require a different approach tailored to individual needs.

Understanding the stage of your locs and your specific hair type can help you establish the most suitable washing routine. By paying close attention to your hair needs, and moisture levels and using the right products, you’re on your way to maintaining fabulous, clean, and healthy locs.

Why Washing Locs is Important

Maintaining a clean and healthy scalp is essential for the overall health of your locs. Washing your locs regularly is crucial in promoting growth, preventing buildup, and keeping them looking their best.

One of the main reasons for washing locs is to remove dirt, sweat, and product buildup. A clean scalp allows for better airflow and circulation, promoting hair growth and preventing dandruff and itchiness. Washing your locs with a sulfate-free cleansing shampoo can help cleanse and moisturize them without stripping away those vital natural oils.

Another significant benefit of washing locs is that it helps restore the pH balance of your scalp, which is essential for healthy hair growth. Our scalp has a slightly acidic pH, which helps keep the hair cuticles closed and protects them from damage. Washing your locs can help maintain this optimal pH balance and promote healthier, stronger hair.

Frequent washing also helps locs look and feel their best. Over time, product buildup and dirt can make you locs feel heavy and cause them to lose their natural luster. A thorough yet gentle wash can bring back life to your locs, making them feel lighter, softer, and more manageable.

Additionally, if you’re active and sweat a lot, washing your locs regularly can help prevent odor caused by bacteria and sweat accumulation. It’s important to note that people with different hair types and lifestyles may need to wash their locs more or less often, so finding a washing routine that works best for you and your hair is vital.

How Often to Wash Locs: Factors Impacting Washing Frequency

Locs Age and Maturity

The age and maturity of your locs play a significant role in determining your washing frequency. For instance, during the starter stage, washing your locs less often is recommended, as excessive washing may cause them to unravel. However, as you locs progress through the nascent, teenage, and mature stages, you can gradually increase the frequency of washing. Mature locs can generally be washed once a month or more, depending on your personal needs.

Scalp Type

Your scalp type is another crucial factor to consider. People with oily scalps should wash their locs more often, perhaps once a week to prevent excessive oil buildup. On the other hand, if your scalp is dry, you may wash your locs less frequently to avoid further drying and potential irritation.

Lifestyle and Physical Activity

Your lifestyle and physical activity level also affect how often you need to wash your locs. For example, if you engage in regular workouts, your locs may collect more sweat and dirt, increasing the need for more frequent washing. In such cases, you can follow the general rule of washing your locs every one to two weeks, adjusting the frequency according to your needs and comfort level.

Recommended Washing Schedules

Finding the right washing schedule for your locs can make all the difference in maintaining healthy and clean hair.

New Locs

When you first start your loc journey, giving your locs time to set and mature is essential. To avoid unraveling and promote the proper formation, it’s recommended to wait at least a week or two before washing your new locs for the first time. Remember that every person’s hair is unique; paying attention to how your locs look and feel after your initial wash should help guide further decisions on washing frequency.

Here are some tips for washing new locs:

  • Use a gentle shampoo designed for locs or sulfate-free cleansing shampoo.
  • Focus on cleansing your scalp, as well as your hair.
  • Be gentle when handling your locs, especially during the first few washes.

Mature Locs

How Often to Wash Locs

Once your locs are more mature (usually after a few months), you can start to wash them regularly. While your hair type and lifestyle significantly determine the ideal washing frequency, a general rule of thumb is to wash your locs every one to two weeks. This allows your scalp and locs to replenish the essential oils to stay healthy without risking excessive buildup. However, active people might need to adjust their washing schedules accordingly.

When washing mature locs, keep the following in mind:

  • A sulfate-free cleansing shampoo should continue to be used, promoting moisture retention.
  • Be thorough when rinsing, ensuring no shampoo or product residue is left behind.
  • Avoid retwisting your locs too much; over-manipulation can lead to hair breakage and thinning.

Signs It’s Time to Wash Your Locs

Itching and Discomfort

A common sign that it’s time to wash your locs is when you experience frequent itching and discomfort. An itchy scalp might indicate that you’re dealing with product buildup or excess sebum production. Continuous scratching might even cause irritation and potential breakage. Washing your locs when itchy will help alleviate discomfort and ensure a healthy scalp.

Buildup and Odor

Another indication that it’s time to wash your locs is the presence of visible buildup and an unpleasant odor. Dirt, sweat, and excess oils can accumulate within your locs, leading to undesirable smells and a heavy, coated feeling. If you notice any of these signs, it’s essential to give you locs a good wash, removing any impurities and helping them feel refreshed and clean.

Washing Techniques for Different Loc Stages

It’s crucial to have a suitable routine to care for your locs at different stages of growth. This friendly guide will explore two essential washing techniques for new and mature locs. By understanding the proper washing techniques, you’ll be able to maintain the health and integrity of your precious locs. So, brace yourselves for some great washing tips for different loc stages!

Gentle Washing for New Locs

New locs are in their initial growth stage, so handling them with extra care is essential. Here are some gentle washing tips to follow for new locs:

  • Use a residue-free shampoo, preferably one that is designed explicitly for locs.
  • Dilute the shampoo in water to ensure a mild, gentle cleanse.
  • Use a spray bottle to apply the diluted shampoo mixture to your scalp and locs. This allows for a gentle, controlled application.
  • Avoid vigorous rubbing or manipulation of the locs while washing. Instead, focus on the scalp and gently press your locs between your palms during rinsing.

Effective Washing for Mature Locs

Once your locs have matured, they are fully locked and more durable. It’s time to adapt your washing routine to maintain their health and cleanliness. Here are some valuable tips for washing mature locs:

  • Use a specially formulated shampoo for locs, ensuring it is free from residues and harsh chemicals.
  • You no longer need to dilute the shampoo but do not overdo it. A little goes a long way.
  • Gently massage the shampoo into your scalp and locs, focusing on areas with dirt buildup or odor.
  • Introduce a deep conditioning treatment once or twice a month to provide your locs with essential moisture and nutrients.

Feel free to use more pressure when washing mature locs than new locs, but always remember to be cautious and gentle with your hair. Following these washing techniques for different loc stages will keep your locs looking and feeling their best.

Maintaining Healthy Locs Between Washes

How Often to Wash Locs

Firstly, it’s essential to keep your locs moisturized. Moisture retention is key to preventing breakage and promoting growth. You can use a light oil like coconut or jojoba oil. To apply, put a small amount of oil on your fingertips and massage it into your locs, focusing on the ends.

In addition to moisturizing, you should also protect your locs at night. Sleeping on a satin or silk pillowcase helps reduce friction, which can cause breakage and frizz. Alternatively, you can wear a satin or silk bonnet to bed.

Another crucial part of maintaining healthy locs between washes is scalp care. A clean and healthy scalp promotes loc growth and longevity. You can keep your scalp clean by using a mild cleanser designed for locs, like the Suave Sulfate-Free Cleansing Shampoo mentioned in All Things Hair. Gently massage the cleanser onto your scalp and use a soft brush to help lift dirt and oil if needed.

Finally, maintaining a consistent schedule for washing your locs is a key factor in their overall health. Depending on your lifestyle and the maturity of your locs, you might want to wash them every two weeks or once a month, as mentioned in Dapper Mane.


How long can I go without washing my locs?

I’d generally recommend you wash locs every one to two weeks to avoid buildup and keep them healthy. However, there are some exceptions to this rule and it ultimately depends on personal preference and hair type.

How often should you wash 4 month locs?

For 4-month-old locs, it is generally recommended to wait around 4-6 weeks before washing your hair. After that, you can wash them every one to two weeks to avoid buildup and keep them healthy. However, it ultimately depends on personal preference and hair type. 

Should you wet your locs everyday?

No, it is not necessary to wet your locs every day. Overwetting can lead to mold and mildew growth and can weaken the hair. It is recommended to moisturize your locs when they get dry or brittle, but only as needed, every few days or once a week.

Is it okay to wash dreads with just water?

Technically, you can wash your locs with just water, but it is not recommended because it doesn’t remove dirt or buildup. To clean your hair, you’ll need a surfactant, the primary ingredient in just about any shampoo.

If you liked this blog article about the topic: How Often to Wash Locs, don’t forget to leave us a comment down below to tell us about your experience.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *