HOW TO KEEP FAUX LOCS FRESH ALL YEAR 2022

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Crochet Faux Locs dreadlock smell and loc odor header graphic with beautiful black african American model with jumbo locs on her head.

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Do your locs or dreadlocks smell or scalp itches?

If you are like any of us here at Crochet Faux Locs, then you are not fond of smelly stinky dreadlocks! If you notice any of these signs, it might be time to clean those locs.

SIGNS YOUR LOCS SMELL:

  • Friends tell you your locs smell or people stop sitting near you!
  • Itchy or dry scalp
  • Your dreads don’t feel clean after wash day
  • You notice buildup or mold & mildew growth
  • They just don’t feel like they should.
Dreadlocks mean the world to their holders. We understand the meaning of dreadlocks.

“IT’S SIMPLE TO HAVE GREAT SMELLING SYNTHETIC AND NATURAL LOCS WHEN YOU FOLLOW THE SIMPLE LOC JOURNEY GUIDE”

It can seem like no matter how hard you try, Keeping those locs fresh and smelling clean can seem like an endless uphill battle. Luckily for you, we created this entire article to finally show you how to get rid of that awful stench and that unforgiving itch!

Black male with smoke and smelly dread twisted locs.

WHAT IS THAT AWFUL SMELL?

It doesn’t matter if your locs are naturally grown, made with human hair, or decorated with premium synthetic fibers; at some point, your locs will potentially have some odor if you are not balancing out a stable hair care regimen.

The worst part is we become so custom to our smells that we sometimes don’t even realize how bad the odor has become!

DIFFERENT CAUSES OF LOC ODOR

The smells that build up in your locs are a combination of many different factors. Here are some of the most common contributors too nasty smelling dreads:

  1. The use of hair care products and deadlock shampoos that contain unnatural fragrances. It’s best to stay away from unnatural products that have any fragrance or perfume, as this will only add to your smelly dreads. 
  2. Improper washing and inadequate cleaning. If you’re not doing it right, what is the point of don’t it at all? Jump down the page to learn the correct way to wash and condition your hair and scalp.
  3. Sweat. It’s no secret that when you are in a humid spot, you will begin to perspire. If this happens too often, you may need to adjust your hair care routine to compensate for the extra perspiration. 
  4. Mildew & Mold Growth. The growth of mildew is most commonly associated with improperly drying you’re locs to the point of a buildup of moisture.
  5. The buildup of dirt, dandruff, and sebum. Your scalp naturally releases oils to help moisturize your natural hair. When this builds up, it blocks your pores, leads to breakage, and can cause a catalyst for the collection of smell and dirt!
  6. Environmental Odors. Those twisted locs act as a giant net trapping everything you walk through. Stay away from stenches that could get absorbed in those wanderlust locs!
  7. Direct Contamination. Believe it or not, we touch our hair a lot throughout the day. If you are touching greasy, oily, dirty things and touching your locs, you are going to damage the natural PH levels and directly contaminate your dreads and plaits!
  8. Bacterial growth. When we throw off our PH levels and our scalp and hair conditions, we bread bacterial growth that will begin to smell once enough of it has developed. 
  9. Any smoke, including campfires and cigarettes. We mentioned earlier that your dreads act as an odor net absorbing smells places you have walked through. This is directly noticeable when you have come in contact with campfires, cigarettes, or gunpowder. 

Any mixture of these items listed above could be the root cause of that awful smell coming from your locs. 

So let us show you how to and quickly neutralize these issues!

Dreadlock and synthetic loc balance graphic for maintaining black girl crochet faux locs hairstyles.

MAINTAINING REAL AND SYNTHETIC LOCS

Getting rid of any smell or odor in your locs will come down to you understanding your natural hair balance. 

Optimal PH Levels for your scalp should be (4.5-5.5)

{BALANCE METER GRAPHIC}

  • By balance, we mean understanding how much haircare your hair needs to stay in the green zone! Overdoing the hair regimen or not caring enough can throw your numbers off entirely and send your locs into a downhill stumble. 

FIRST, not all dreads are the same. 

Some people have natural dreadlocks that have been growing for many years. Others have skipped the wait and intelligently attached natural or synthetic locs to extend their length!

No matter what method you used, the loc maintenance focus is very similar. 

{important tips}

Here is a quick rundown of some simple tips to get you started:

  • Focus the majority of the cleaning at the roots, and then work your way down the locs! Synthetic locs do not need to be washed regularly unless they develop an odor. 
  • It is vital to cleanse your scalp of any buildup or debris with a safe and natural dreadlock shampoo to avoid irritating your scalp. 
  • Pre-soak any dreadlock hair extensions in an (ACV)apple cider vinegar rinse before installing to remove any chemicals added during manufacturing.
  • Always dry your locs entirely after washing to avoid the growth of mildew.
  • If you don’t plan on washing your locs when you shower, try wrapping them in a satin bonnet or shower cap.
Nuetralize odors and refreshen dreadlocks - crochet faux locs

NEUTRALIZE THE ODOR AND REFRESHEN YOUR LOCS

The second you notice an odor is a moment to act. The longer you postpone the cleanup, the harder it will be to neutralize the smell.

HOW TO GET THE SMELL OUT OF LOCS

The first method to remove that smell is to clean those locs and your scalp correctly and efficiently. You will need a trusted cleaning hair product. 

WE RECOMMEND TRYING THESE PRODUCTS:

When it comes to washing your locs, you need to use something natural, sulfate-free, and that will really break up and buildup and thoroughly clean your hair and scalp! To be clear, some of these links below are commissioned earned through the amazon affiliated marketing program, and we are required to let you know, “As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.”

TEA TREE SPEARMINT LIQUID DREADLOCK SHAMPOO

$30.95

DOLLYLOCKS 12OZ TEA TREE SPEARMINT LIQUID DREADLOCK SHAMPOO

Dollylocks is an amazing company with amazing products. They have a full lineup of dread care, hair care, and hair maintenance hair products! This tea tree spearmint liquid shampoo is great for getting into those locs and washing away any stench that’s hiding away! When using these products with your synthetic crochet locs, rinse out thoroughly and avoid using copious amounts to avoid stripping the strand fibers completely. 

NAG CHAMPA LIQUID DREADLOCK SHAMPOO

$30.95

Dollylocks 12oz Nag Champa Liquid Dreadlock Shampoo

When it comes to those smells that have been building for a long time, you might want to try this Nag Champa Liquid. Nag champa is an is a fragrance of Indian origin. It is made from a combination of sandalwood and either champak or frangipani. When frangipani is used, the fragrance is usually referred to simply as champa. 

Crochet faux locs best ways to wash dreads and locs of odors and smells - crochet faux locs

THE BEST WAY TO WASH AND CLEAN DREADS & SYNTHETIC LOCS

Here we will give you a step-by-step tutorial on how to care for those dreaded hairstyles properly. These concepts of cleaning you’re locs work no matter if you have starter locs or mature locs.

PREP
Grab all your microfiber towels, scrubbers, cleaners, rubber bands, residue-free shampoos, conditions, and leave in sprays before starting a dread wash to refreshen you’re locs.


(
TIPS: If you don’t have adequate time planned to allow your hair to fully dry, then do not start the next step.)

FOLLOW THE CLEANING PROCESS STEP BY STEP

  1. FIRST RINSE
    I save water by cleaning my hair at night around the time I usually would shower after work. I begin by completely quenching my hair full of nice warm water. I like to soak my locs.
    (Tips: It is much easier to wash your locs with a removable showerhead)
  2. SECOND PRODUCT
    I grab a bottle of Dollylocks Nag Champa and squirt a little product on my hands. I then lather the product in my hands to create a nice foam. I then gently and methodically run my hands through the parts of my hair. Some people prefer the spray bottle method of applying water-downed shampoo. This method is acceptable as long as you get targetted areas adequately.
    (TIPS: You want to clean your hands-free of detergent or shampoo thoroughly.)
  3. THIRD LATHER
    Once most of the shampoo has rubbed off on my roots, I begin to gently agitate any buildup along my scalp. I try to be gentle and aware of how my locs separate and the attached hair fibers.
  4. FOURTH (SYNTHETIC VS DREADLOCKS)
    This is where you need to use your best judgment. I have natural interlock dreads. For those of you with loc extensions, you will want to avoid using unnatural products in your locs to prevent damaging them.

    At this point, your roots should be lathered up. I apply a copious amount of Dollylocks shampoo in my hands and begin to individually wash each loc strand from the source to the hair tip.
    (TIPS: You can do this with synthetic crochet faux locs. Just be gentle not to disrupt your wrapped strands.)

Rinsing dreadlocks on a black man in the shower.
    1. FIFTH RINSE COMPLETELY
      Once you have done the due diligence of scrubbing away all the debris, it’s time to rinse out all of that icky stinky soap that has trapped all the dirt. Take your time rinsing the locs until the water flowing through your hair is free from any residue or soap.
      (TIPS: Start at the top and gradually make your way down each loc to help speed the process up. )
    2. SIXTH OPTIONAL CONDITIONING
      Many dread heads like to add conditioner to their locs to help revitalize them and keep them looking healthy and fresh. I don’t personally do this, but I would recommend trying it if you have dry, frizzy locs.
      (TIPS: Instead, I add essential oils to my hair. Some of my favorites are tea tree oil and peppermint.)
    3. SEVENTH AIR DRY TO THE MAX
      After adding all your special personalized oils and conditioners, it’s time to dry those locs out. If you have the time, spreading your locs out on a towel to air dry does the trick. This prevents the locs from being squished or backcombed into a messy knot.
      (TIPS: If using a blow dryer or hair dryer, keep the heat on low to avoid damaging your dreadz, and always double-check your synthetic locs are made with heat-resistant fibers.)

 

Now let those locs completely dry, and you shouldn’t notice any more smell coming from those brand new loc styles!

DO YOU NEED TO CLARIFY YOUR DREADS?

Clarifying dreads is the next level of cleaning your dreadlocks. 

 

DISCLAIMER: THIS METHOD IS NOT FOR SYNTHETIC FAUX LOCS

 

Clarifying is the method of deep cleaning your locs that strips away any oils, dirt, debris, or foreign contents that are left on your dreads that just won’t come off. This method doesn’t use regular shampoos but instead uses a wide variety of clarifying shampoos, Organic Raw AVC and white vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice

This deep cleanse is recommended to do once every two months to help keep your locs clean and fresh during their natural hair growth. 

HOW TO CLARIFY DREADS

If you want to learn how to clarify your dreads successfully, then head on over to our Loc maintenance page for the entire full-length step-by-step guide tutorial. 

DO YOU GET FRIZZ?

Did you clean your locs a little too hard? When you mess up your dreads they might look frizzy? Check out our loc frizz article on all the best ways to handle that mess? 

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions & Answers

Dreads and locs can be refreshed with a simple retwist or a nice relaxing bath with essential oils. Combine both for the best look and feel!

Following the guide above about getting rid of the smell of locs will also help get rid of mildew.

Smaller locs, and tighter braids are going to require more attention to detail. Because of the tight weaving and braiding techniques used, locs hold less water and are more challenging to cleanse properly. Follow the guide above with more directed attention to problem areas like near the roots.

When you start to see the growth of sticky, smelly white or gold fungus patches, you likely have mildew or mold growth.

Properly cleaning your hair and scalp on wash day will help prevent and remove any smell that has accumulated on your scalp.

Dread rot is a horrible smell that is very noticeable no matter how you wash your locs. If your dreads have dread rot, you will need to try clarifying them or think about removing them and starting your loc journey again.

Dreadlocks are sanitary if they are kept adequately cleaned and maintained.

Dreads should be washed at least once or twice every two weeks and clarified at least once every two months.

Not only does everyone think dreadlocks are sexy, but having all that hair can show a simple of power and strength and make you feel like the true King or queen that you are!

The best way to wash dreadlocks is in the shower with a removable shower head. Take your time and plan your wash days correctly to give you enough time to tend to your hair. 

CONCLUSION

Getting rid of that nasty smell coming from your dreads can seem, complicated but just remember what we discussed in this article, and you will have no problems handling those dreads. Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter and updates about new content or products we will be offering later this year.

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