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4 Ways To Get Rid Of Mold In Dreadlocks

Because of the tangled and matted look, dreadlocks are considered a dirty hairstyle. Therefore, there are many rumors about dreadlocks, that contain bugs, lice, or mold.

So, what is the truth? And what can you do if one day you figure out those annoying bugs are visiting your head?

This article will help you unravel these questions and provide you with essential information to keep your beautiful crown as clean and healthy as ever. 

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Do bugs live in dreads?

No, bugs don’t live in dreads as long as you properly care for them.

In fact, dreadlocks also require regular wash, so your hair is still as clean as other hairstyles. Your locks are no different from loose hair, and the chance to have bugs visiting your locs are equal.

In case you apply crazy things into your locs like peanut butter, cream, or beeswax without completely washing and rinsing it out, your hair might attract bugs or other insects.

In this case, it might be a bit harder to find the bugs under the thick coat of dreads.

Related: 3 Methods To Get Beeswax Out Of Your Hair

How do you fix itchy scalp when having dreads?

Itchy scalp might be because of various reasons, no matter whether you are having dreadlocks or not. Below, we would like to list some typical causes of an itchy scalp and the corresponding method to get rid of it.

Adjust the washing schedule

Check your washing schedule or ask for advice from a loctician to see if you are over or under washing your locks.

The scalp needs a balance washing schedule, so that it can be moisturized properly and kept away from being itchy.

Change the hair care product

Itchy scalp might be a sign of being allergic to hair care products.

If you use shampoos, conditioners, or any kind of product that is not suitable for your scalp, they can lead to irritation. The worse situation is inflammation on your neck and face, too.

In this case, you should rinse out the products better, or simply alternative with other brands.

Check out: The 22 Best Shampoos and Conditioners for Dreadlocks

Get rid of lice

If you unfortunately have lice on your dreads, it will definitely make your scalp itchy.

The perfect way to control and remove lice from your head is keeping your locks away from the lice source, like pet fur and people with lice on their hair. Or you can also use lice repellent shampoos or tea tree oil to take the lice away.

Control the dandruff

Dandruff is also a reason for an itchy scalp. Sadly, it’s a trick to entirely remove dandruff out of your hair because it’s sometimes about the genetic problem.

However, you can control it by using anti-dandruff shampoos, and improve your diet with more water and probiotics.

2 signs of mold or mildew in dreads

The sad news is your dreadlocks can have mold or mildew with a lack of proper care. The worse the condition is, the more smelly your dreads are. Below are some typical symptoms of mold or mildew in dreads.

Smelly and stinky odor

When your hair starts to smell bad like a wet dog even after washing, this might be the first sign of moldy dreads. The biggest reason for this sign is your locks are not dry completely and thoroughly.


You should differentiate the discoloration due to mildew, residue, or dandruff on your dreads.

When you can exclude the other two symptoms, the white dots, or called dread rots appear on the locks are mildew. However, the easiest and most noticeable sign of moldy dreads is still the bad odor.

How to get rid of mold or mildew in dreads?

If you already have mold or mildew on your dreads, you might think about cutting them off.

Well, it should only be the last resort, because you have more friendly options that will pull you out of this nightmare. Let’s check it out:

Dry your hair completely

The main reason for mildew to develop in dreads is not drying hair properly. Especially when you possess long and thick locks, it will be patient and careful to completely dry your dreads from the inside out.

Otherwise, the damp environment is ideal for mold and mildew.

Therefore, make sure to dry your dreads with a towel or a hairdryer totally after shampooing. Moreover, never tie your dreads up or go to bed with wet or damp hair.

Use clarify shampoos

Clarify shampoo with residue free will be perfect to remove all the build-ups on your hair, that allows the air to go through every strand.

Thereby, your locks are easier and faster to dry, and there will be low chances to appear mold on your hair. These shampoos with fragrant flavor will also help remove the bad smell on your moldy dreads.

Don’t use wax

Wax is a great item for dreadlocks. However, if your locks already have mold or mildew, wax is not good at all.

The reason is wax retains moisture and usually leaves build-ups on your hair. It can also attract dirt or dust, making your hair an ideal environment for bacteria and mildew.

Rinse your hair with baking soda or vinegar

Baking soda and vinegar are ideal to get rid of stubborn build-ups or the nasty smell on your hair.

Soak your hair with the mixture of either baking soda or vinegar with water, and/or with some additional tea tree oil drops several times until you feel the mold is completely removed.

Don’t forget to dry your hair after rinsing.

Related: How To Get Rid Of Fleas In Human Hair?

Final words

It’s not a big trick to prevent your dreads from being moldy and smelly. Treat your locks with proper care and products, and your strands are always clean and healthy.

If your dreads already have lice or mold visited, refer to our cost-effective tips mentioned above and patiently follow them. We believe that the result is going to be worth it.

Maybe you care: 3 Kinds Of Bugs Can Live In Your Hair



I’m Aida and this is my blog where I write mostly about beauty & make up related stuff, but I like to spice it up a bit with lifestyle and photography posts. Or with whatever that comes to my mind. Hope you will enjoy the reading enough that we will ‘see’ each other more often!

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