How to Retwist Your Dreads to Keep Them Healthy

Whether you are new to dread locking or have mature dreadlocks, you know that keeping your hair maintained and healthy is a commitment. While you don’t need to continuously brush or comb your hair, the …

Whether you are new to dread locking or have mature dreadlocks, you know that keeping your hair maintained and healthy is a commitment. While you don’t need to continuously brush or comb your hair, the maintenance more than makes up for it. It takes time to ensure your locs maintain proper moisture, are growing, or that they meet any other hair goal you might have.

In this article, we will talk about re-twisting your dreads: why, when, and how often. We will even provide a step-by-step guide on how to re-twist your hair, no matter where you are in your loc journey. Keep reading for all you need to know about re-twisting to keep your dreads to keep your hair happy and healthy.

Why Do You Need to Retwist Dreads?

Re-twisting your locs allows the hair to grow in the proper direction. This trains your hair to loc faster, which can be very encouraging for start locs. Re-twisting dreadlocks is a great way to keep your hair neat and maintained. It’s an attractive style that allows you to visibly notice growth differences in your hair.

 How Often Should You Retwist Dreads?

To maintain the consistency in your locs and enhance their maturity, an appointment to re-twist is recommended every two weeks. This is for optimal care. Although sometimes this is not always achievable.

The faster your hair grows, the more often you will need to re-twist it due to its growing out of the base. The slowest growers can go up to two months between twists! However, this is not recommended for those at the beginning of their loc journey.

Starter locs should be re-twisted monthly, at most every six weeks. Mature locs or those that are interlocked can go as long as eight weeks between re-twists.

Can You Retwist Your Own Dreads?

The answer to this question is: absolutely. If you can’t make it to the salon or they are closed due to the pandemic or otherwise, you can learn to re-twist your locs yourself. Keep in mind it will take practice to get the twists right and even. If you are considering re-twisting your dreads yourself, you should get them done at least once in a salon first or watch a detailed YouTube tutorial for a visual.

Keep reading for instructions on how to prep your hair and begin re-twisting your dreadlocks.

How Much Does It Cost To Retwist Dreads?

Prices for re-twisting may vary depending on the length, thickness, and maturity of your locs. Prices will also depend on the location of where you get your hair done. Many locticians require a consultation beforehand so they can assess the condition of your hair.

You can expect to provide a down payment or deposit starting at these consultations around $50. Starter locs tend to be more costly to re-twist than mature locs. Due to the amount of variables, re-twisting starter locs can cost anywhere from $55 to $300, where mature locs can cost $35 to $150.

If you decide to re-twist your locs yourself, the only cost you will pay is for the products you use. The best prices for hair products will be at local beauty stores. Creams, gels, and other twisting products will cost anywhere from $7 to $15, depending on the brand and quantity.

This includes a re-twisting cream or butter, clips to hold your hair, and a blow dryer if you don’t have one already. If you opt to re-twist your hair more often, it may be worth the money to invest in a hooded dryer which makes the drying process less strenuous.

In terms of time, re-twisting locs can take anywhere between three to five hours. Experienced re-twisters may take less time. The upside to re-twisting is that you don’t have to do it all at once. If you need a break, re-twist your hair in sections!

How Do You Retwist Dreads?

First, you will need to prep your hair before re-twisting. This includes starting with clean hair by shampooing the roots and shaft thoroughly – once or twice for starter locs, up to three times for longer, thicker, and more mature dreads.

Next, you will need to condition and oil the hair to add moisture and seal the hydration. Ensure that you separate each loc to avoid them matting together. Rinse your hair thoroughly and let it dry for at least 2-3 hours. Apply a nourishing oil to your scalp and massage it through to distribute the oil evenly. Put additional oil on your locs afterwards.

Now you are ready to start re-twisting your locs.

For those with starter locs:

  1. Apply twisting butter or gel to new hair growth and finger twist your hair to the right. This will encourage your hair to grow in the proper direction.
  2. Clip down each loc once finished.
  3. Sit under the dryer or blow dry hair until fully dry. This will prevent mildew odor from developing.

For those with longer, developed locs:

  1. Begin at the nape and work upwards when applying twisting product throughout the section of hair.
  2. Take each individual loc and apply the product directly to the roots, using a comb to distribute it through the new growth.
  3. Using your thumb and pointer finger, pinch the base of each loc and twist it to the right until the new growth is tightened.
  4. Use a double-prong silver clip to secure the twist. Alternatively, you can twist the loc until a small bantu knot is formed at the base.

Aftercare tips:

Re-twisted locs should be moisturized every other day. You can do this by reapplying hair oil with your fingers or with a spray nozzle to get hard to reach areas. Locs should also be covered in satin or satin-like material while you sleep to preserve the moisture in hair, as well as keep it soft and smooth. A loc soc or satin haircap will also prevent your hair from unraveling.

How Long Should I Dry My Locs After Retwisting?

You will want to ensure that your newly twisted locs are completely dry to prevent odor and mildew buildup. Rushing through the drying process will require you to re-twist your hair much faster and stunt growth.

If you use a hooded dryer, your hair will dry quicker and more evenly. Some hooded dryers will have your locs dried in as little as an hour. With a blow dryer, your hair my take longer to dry since you will be constantly moving the air around your head. Drying can take up to an additional hour. You will want to make sure that you check your hair after you have unclipped it to ensure you didn’t miss any wet spots.

Best Products for Retwisting

Use the following list as a guide for products for re-twisting your dreads.

  • Twisting butter or gel (some recommendations below):
    • Natural Twist Butter with Shea Butter and Apricot Oil
    • Shine ‘n Jam Magic Fingers
  • Double prong clips to hold your hair in place
  • Hooded dryer or blow dryer to thoroughly dry the locs

Feel free to experiment with different twisting butters, gels, or creams. Keep an eye on which products hold your twists the best. You will also want to see which products hold moisture the best and create the least product buildup over time.

Given how long the drying process can take, a hooded dryer may be a good option for you. Do not feel pressured to buy a salon-grade dryer! Hooded dryers are available at major retailers like Walmart for under $50! Consider getting one of these to make the drying portion of re-twisting much more relaxing.

How Long Should I Wait To Wash my Locs After Retwisting

Everyone’s wash regimen will look different because no one’s scalp is the same. People who sweat more often will have to wash their locs more frequently to prevent sweat build up. If you use a lot of hair products or work out often, this could also affect your wash schedule. Depending on the build-up, you may need to wash weekly or every two weeks.

You can stretch time in between washes if you maintain your locs with rosewater or another moisturizing substance.