Can You Wash Wool Dreads? Follow Three Ways!

Dreads are one of the fancy hairstyles that help you stand out from the crowd. But, if you decide to wear dread extensions, you should know that they get dirty fast. Since you can’t comb them to pull the debris out, they store a lot of dust and product residue that after a while cause them to mold. To prevent this from happening, you have to take good care of your dreads.

Can you wash wool dreads?

Given their structure, wool dreads are hard to care for. You can’t wash them in the manner you use to wash your own hair or traditional wig. There are special requirements you should follow to ensure you don’t cause damage to your dreads. The good news is that you can wash your removable locks both by hand and in the machine. Neither of the methods implies elbow grease and hassle.

Can you wash your dreads without removing them?

If you don’t want to waste time on removing and reapplying your dreads, you may think of washing them while installed on you head. While it’s not a crime doing this, it can hurt your scalp and damage the dreads. When you get your head under water, the dreads absorb a lot of moisture and shampoo which make them heavy. The excess weight will pull the locks out, applying tension on your scalp and causing pain.

The dreads also have to suffer, because they stretch out as they are pulled. In result, they get thinner and longer with each wash. To prevent your dreads from losing shape, you are better off to remove them before the cleaning session. However, these risks apply only to dread owners who always leave the dreads on while washing them.

If you don’t have this habit, your dreads will be affected insignificantly from washing them once a month without getting them removed. That is, if you really don’t have time to remove and reapply the dreads, feel free to make an exception in your cleaning routine. But, make sure not to turn it into a habit.

How to wash your hair with wool dreads installed?

Grab a bottle of residue-free shampoo and squeeze it onto your scalp. Gently massage the shampoo into the scalp, without making your way down to the dreads. While rinsing with lukewarm water, the shampoo will travel across each and every dread to its end. Girls On the Moon Dreadlocks suggest to keep rinsing for 3-5 minutes to guarantee all shampoo leaves the intricate locks.

How to wash wool dreads by hand?

Washing the wool dreads by hand implies little to no effort. Rubbing the dreads is highly not recommended, because it can pull apart the wool fibers, providing a messy look. That’s why, you will go no further than immersing the dreads in a large bowl or tub with soapy or shampooy water and leaving them to soak.

Those from DREADSHOP advise you to let the dreads soak for 1-2 hours to allow the solution penetrate each fiber and loose tough dirt. Make sure to use warm water, because hot water can shrink the wool. Once the time has passed, rinse the locks with lukewarm water and dry them.

How to machine-wash wool dreadlocks?

Can you wash wool dreads in the machine? Yes, you can do it as long as you follow some precautions and rules. If your washing machine doesn’t have a wool cycle, adjust the settings manually. Make sure the temperature is not higher than 86 F and the time setting sits around 45 min-1 h. Moreover, put the dreads in a wash bag to prevent the wool strands from breaking free and getting in the washing machine’s engine.

How to dry the wool dreads?

Wool dreads take a lot of time to dry, because they are highly absorbent. Usually, dreads’ drying takes longer than their cleaning. In normal conditions, you may have to wait for a couple of hours for the locks to dry completely. Luckily, you can speed up this process with the help of some tricks.

1. Wrap in a towel

Although it seems the fastest way to drive moisture out of the dreads, avoid wringing them out. This can stretch and tear the locks. A safe way, according to DreadLocKulture, is to wrap the dreads in a microfiber towel and press to facilitate absorption. Squeeze repeatedly to force as much moisture as possible to transfer to the towel.

2. Use paper towels

You can also use a bunch of extremely absorbent paper towels to withdraw moisture from the dreads. Wrap multiple paper towels around the locks and squezee without wringing. Just press with vigor and the water will voluntarily move from hair locks to towels.

3. Squeeze with your hands

If you don’t have towels handy, you can use your hands to sqeeze the dreads to, if not dry, at least wet condition. Begin by wrapping your hands around one end of the dreads, and squeeze while working your way down to the opposite end. Avoid twisting motions, as they encourage locks’ breakage.

How often you should wash wool dreads?

Since your dreads accumulate dirt and product build-up that is impossible to brush off, they require frequent cleaning. To prevent debris from stiffening and weighing down the locks, make a point of washing them every three days. This is the ideal timing for keeping your wool dreads permanently shiny, flexible and good-smelling. Washing them once a week will also do the trick.

Closing thoughts

Washing wool dreadlocks is possible, yet there are some rules you have to follow to prevent their damage. If you wonder how can you wash wool dreads, there are three ways. You can remove the dreadlocks and either hand-wash or machine-wash them. Both methods require warm or cold water, as wool’s contact with hot water leads to its shrinkage. For days when you are in a rush, you can wash your hair with the dreads installed. But, make sure you don’t make a habit of it, because water and shampoo weigh down the dreads, causing scalp discomfort and strand breakage.