When your dreads start thinning at the root, it can throw you for a loop. You may be at a loss as to what’s causing it and how to fix it. In this article, we’ll tell you how to stop dreads from thinning at the root and provide several remedies to thicken them back up. Let’s get right into it!
Table of Contents
- 1 Why Your Dreads are Thinning at the Root
- 2 How To Stop Dreads From Thinning at the Root
Why Your Dreads are Thinning at the Root
Dreads thin at the root for several reasons, and knowing the specific cause can help you determine what you need to do to fix it. We’ll fill you in on why your roots are thinning out in this section.
Loc root maintenance can take many forms, including retwisting, crocheting, and interlocking. One thing that all of these loc maintenance techniques have in common is that they can damage the hair if done incorrectly or too often.
Every time you crochet, interlock, or retwist your hair, you put stress on your roots. The pulling and twisting will rough up your hair cuticles and make them more prone to breakage.
That’s why it’s not a good idea to go overboard with any of these techniques. Doing so will lead to broken strands and thinning roots over time.
You don’t want to maintain your roots too often, but at the same time, you don’t want to neglect maintenance. For your roots to remain strong and thick, you’ll need to join your newly grown roots into their respective locs.
If that doesn’t happen, your locs may weaken and eventually become thinner.
Wearing your locs in the same style repeatedly can lead to a condition called traction alopecia. Traction alopecia is caused by repetitive stress on specific areas of your scalp.
If traction alopecia is the issue you’re dealing with, you’ll likely notice thinning roots around your hairline and at the nape of your neck. You won’t likely experience it all over your head.
Your roots can only support so much weight, and the longer your locs get, the heavier they become. This issue gets worse when your locs are coated in buildup or when your parts are too small to support your locs.
Here are some situations where your locs might end up heavy:
- Your locs are so long that you can sit on them.
- You’ve had your locs for multiple years and have never done a deep cleanse or apple cider vinegar rinse to combat buildup.
- You use lots of styling products and have noticed buildup near your roots or down the length of your dreads.
Our hormones can drastically affect our hair’s growth and health. For instance, shortly after a woman has a baby, she may experience postpartum hair shedding due to a significant drop in the hormone estrogen.
In dreadlocks, increased shedding manifests as thinning roots. When hair growth patterns return to normal, the roots should thicken right back up.
Healthy hair growth depends on several vitamins and minerals, some of the most common include:
- Zinc – Zinc is a necessary nutrient for scalp tissue repair and growth. It also helps to ensure that your hair follicles produce sufficient sebum for healthy hair outcomes.
- Selenium – Selenium guards against fungal growth, which helps to prevent dandruff. It also stimulates your hair follicles to grow healthy hair.
- Vitamin D – Vitamin D helps create new hair follicles and promotes hair follicle growth.
- Iron – Iron aids in scalp blood circulation and helps transport oxygen to your hair follicles.
A deficiency in any of the above vitamins can reduce new hair growth and/or increase shedding. Both of these can lead to thinning at the roots of your locs.
How To Stop Dreads From Thinning at the Root
We’ve got the most common causes covered. Now, let’s jump into what you should do to thicken up your thinning roots.
Switch Up Your Hairstyles More Often
To guard against traction alopecia, avoid repetitive styling. Try your best not to wear your hair in a ponytail, two pigtails, or updos for days at a time.
Whenever you can, let your locs hang loose. Doing so will drastically reduce scalp tension and associated hair breakage. Over time, you’ll notice your hair growth rebounding.
Never Style Your Hair Tightly
Whenever you style your dreads, be careful not to pull them too tight. Tight hairstyles can pull out your hair at the roots and result in thinning hair.
Unfortunately, in an attempt to achieve elaborate, clean styles, many locticians pull their client’s hair too tight. If you ever get your hair styled by a professional loctician, tell them beforehand that you don’t want your style to be too tight.
Be Careful When Maintaining Your New Growth
Many want their locs to be neat, and this causes them to retwist, interlock, or crochet their locs way too tightly or too often. So, we urge you to abide by the following loc maintenance recommendations:
- Retwists should never be done too tightly and should be limited to once every 4 to 6 weeks.
- Space interlocking maintenance sessions out every 6 to 8 weeks.
- Crocheting should only be done when there are at least a couple of inches of new growth.
Part of locking your hair means accepting that your locs won’t always look sleek and neat. Once that’s accepted, waiting the appropriate amount of time between maintenance sessions gets easier.
Keep Your Locs Moisturized
When you first started your locs, you may have been told that you should dry them out to help speed up the locking process.
But doing so can do much more harm than good, being that your hair needs moisture to grow and thrive. Though you shouldn’t slather thick products on your locs, it’s still important to periodically give them a dose of light moisture to keep them from drying out.
It can be as easy as spritzing your roots and locs down with rose water and then applying a light oil to seal in the moisture.
With adequate moisture, your locs will be more resistant to breakage from routine styling and maintenance. After you begin to implement a proper loc moisture routine, your roots will gradually thicken.
Get Your Vitamins and Rule Out Hormonal Issues
Since vitamin deficiencies can be to blame for thinning dreads, it’s wise to ensure that you aren’t deficient in any vitamins, especially those responsible for healthy hair growth.
The vitamins and minerals mentioned earlier (zinc, selenium, vitamin D, and iron) can all be found in food. But if you can’t seem to get enough from food, supplements are available to fill in any nutritional gaps.
If you suspect that a hormonal issue is a culprit behind your thinning locs, you should reach out to your primary care physician.
They’ll be able to rule out any hormonal problems that could be in play. Once hormonal issues are remedied, your hair growth should return to normal, and your roots should become thicker.
Dread repair is helpful whenever a loc is hanging on by a thread and needs immediate intervention. The best fix for locs thinning at the roots is the sewing method.
This method entails combining a weak loc with a healthy loc close to it and sewing both locs together with regular sewing thread and a needle.
After sewing the locs together, gently palm roll the roots of the loc. Doing so will strengthen the weak loc and virtually eliminate the chances of losing a dread.
- Difference Between Dreadlocks or Braids
- How To Get Lint Balls Out of Dreads
- Beginning Stages of Locs
- Starting off Dreads With Two Strand Twists
We hope that this article helps you sort through the possible causes of thinning roots and enables you to fix them up at home. Good luck with your locs!