Use Leave In Conditioner Only When Needed:
Many people spray their locs with leave in conditioner every day. They don’t wake up and look at the nature of their hair before deciding what it wants for the day. Most leave in conditioners coat the hair strands to help them retain moisture so from one day to the next, unless you’ve shampooed, the leave in conditioner is still present from the previous day. On those days, refresh your leave in with a little water from a spray bottle to regain moisture and reduce buildup.
Rotate Your Leave In Conditioner:
Using the same product every day will not only allow excess product to buildup but, it doesn’t recognize different needs based on hair and weather. On a humid day, you may want a humectant. Before blow drying you may need a protectant. Different products do different things and using them accordingly provents you from layering the same ingredients on your hair repeatedly.
Dilute Dilute Dilute:
A spray bottle can be your best friend when a leave in from your loose hair days hates your dreadlocks. I use lots of things on my locs that would cause buildup when slathered full strength. Surprisingly, diluting a creamy leave in hasn’t reduced the effectiveness in my experience. I use this technique with both Oyin Handmade Honey Hemp Conditioner and KMS Moist Repair.
Only Layer With A Reason:
I make a point to only apply one leave in per application. My only exception to this is when I am freshly showered. Since I have Color Treated locs I use both a moisturizing and a protein conditioner at those times. There should never be a need to layer multiple moisturizing or multiple protein conditioners at one time. If your products aren’t working for you…. Find something that will.
If you use leave in conditioners with cones or oils or creams, a sulfate shampoo or scientifically designed sulfate free shampoo with comparable ingredients will remove cones better. Example:Sodium Lauryl Sarcosinate versus Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. They are related ingredients that both clean well but if you are sensitive to sulfates like me or just against there use, the alternative cleans well without resorting to soap or irritation.
Find a clarifying routine that work for you:
Clarifying is like stripping paint or starting over. A good clarifying shampoo will remove any residue left behind from products and the world at large. That said, you shouldn’t clarify every time you wash your hair as it can be drying. Find the interval that works for you. I like to clairify every 6 weeks or so… depending on how my hair looks, act and feels.
For more information on the types of conditioners, see: