When can I Wash My Starter Locs? Perfect Washing Time!

Dreadlocks hair has been popular ever since, but lately, it has been gaining more attention, especially for the new generation who want to try a new style and look. Its unique look and amazing process are some of the reasons why many people want to try these locs. However, getting someone’s hair into this kind of style requires awareness of its process, stages, pre-care, and aftercare to get the most out of it.

The overall process of locks can take from 18 to 24 months, including its maintenance at every stage. Thus, it requires basic knowledge to achieve the locs the wearers want. In the 24 months, there are various stages to note as those are the basis of maintaining the locs together. Therefore, exploring these phases will provide ways to care for and maintain the dreadlocks and answer some of the most common questions.

One of the most common questions about styling the hair with dreadlocks is “When can I wash My Starter Locs?” relating to the waiting time after the process of styling the hair. There is no perfect answer to that question as experts say that each individual is different from one another. Some hair might not be as strong and reliable to style with locs, and some are perfect for the hairstyle. Thus, it also depends if when is the ideal time to wash the locs.

However, there are general opinions about the waiting time to wash locs for each stage, which we will explore in this article.

Table of Contents

The Stages of Dreadlocks and When to Wash Them

” When can I wash my starter locs or budding, teen, or matured locs?”, the question that most first-time locs wearers would ask. Well, here are the stages of dreadlocks and the appropriate time to wash them.

Starter Locs or Baby Stage

The first stage of dreadlocks is what they call starter locs or sometimes known as the baby stage. It’s the part of the process in which the hair is freshly styled, and the most crucial since the tendency for the hair to unravel is high. Therefore, the recommended time to wash the starter locs is around 4 to 6 weeks or even longer.

However, it’s essential to consider factors like the environment, daily routine, and lifestyle. For example, four weeks is enough waiting time if the wearer’s habit and work involve tremendous sweating. It’s also advisable to consult experts to get the appropriate advice that complements the lifestyle and texture of the hair.

How to wash the locs during the baby stage? During this phase, washing the hair from your scalp carefully and slowly down the tip of the locs is ideal. Moreover, it’s advisable not to over wash the locs, especially during this phase.

Budding Stage

The budding stage is around 6 to 12 months of having the coils or locked hairs. During this phase, the locs are safe to wash, but it still needs comprehensive care as new hair will start to grow. Therefore, it’s essential to clean the locs consistently and adequately to avoid bumps and buildups that make your dreadlocks look fuzzy.

Additionally, in this stage, it does not only require consistent, thorough washing but also needs some re-twisting because of the growing hair. Therefore, it’s recommended to create a routine of re-twisting to maintain the clean and gorgeous look of the locs.

Teenage Stage

After the two pre-starting stages, the next phase is the most exciting part of wearing locs, as it will be evident. It’s usually around 12 to 15 months, wherein the locs will start to show off its gorgeous style. It will also be stable, making it easier for the wearer to decide whether to wash the locs frequently or not. However, the ideal and suggested wash times are usually once a month, but for those with oily hair, once a week can be the best option.

One of the common issues in this particular stage is the product buildup, so choosing the right shampoo and conditioner is also crucial. The products should be able to make your hair smooth but can hold them up.

Mature or Adult Age

After a year, the dreadlocks will enter the mature age wherein the locs are fully developed, but it will still depend on the texture of the hair. The locs are mature when they are firm and thick enough. Once the locs are on this phase, the washing time is flexible; it will now depend on the wearer. They can shampoo and condition the hair whenever they want.

Tips and Maintenance

Aside from the washing time of the hair, there are also other things to know if someone wants to try dreadlocks. Here are some of the tips to have an incredible locs journey:

Condition the Locs Carefully

One of the best ways to maintain great locs is by conditioning them carefully and correctly. Although there have been debates and negative opinions regarding this matter, it’s vital to keep the hair smooth and healthy. It will also help to clear product buildup on the scalp.

Dry the Locs Properly

The common issue with dreadlocks is that they can accumulate a foul smell when improperly dried. Therefore, drying the locs using a blow-dry or air dry is essential before trying them or covering them with a scarf.

Use Enough Natural Oils

Using the natural oils on the locs can moisturize and keep the hair healthy, providing nice-looking locs. However, it’s recommended to be aware of the amount of oil to put since too much oil can result in unwanted product buildup.

Wrap the Locs at Night

When sleeping, it’s hard to keep the locs from damages and breakage as they are caught under the head. Thus, the best thing to protect the locs is to wrap them with a satin or scarf.


Dreadlocks are great and cool to look at, but it will look fuzzy and smell dirty when it is not adequately maintained. So, getting to know the stages and the washing time for each stage is essential for first-timers.