Dreads are one of the dopest hairstyles out there, and everyone can wear them. Whether you’re opting for long dreads, yarn dreads, rasta dreads, or any other style, you can guarantee a look that’s intricate and loaded with personality.
That said, the last thing you want is to notice that your dreads are thinning at the crown. This can not only cause worry but an undesirable appearance to your hairstyle.
If you’re noticing thinning around the roots, you’re likely wondering why. Well, this article is here to explain why your dreads are thinning at the crown. More importantly, you will learn how to stop your dreads from thinning at the roots.
Do Locs Trigger Balding?
Before we dive into how to stop balding dreads, we need to ask the critical question: What’s the deal? Do locs really cause baldness, or is something else going on? Well, if you notice that your dreads are less anchored, your hair is thinning and falling out, or you’re having inflammation or blistering on the scalp, your dreads may be to blame.
To put it simply: dreadlocks can trigger Traction Alopecia, a hair loss condition that occurs from too much tension. It is mainly caused by locs that are twisted too tightly, although certain hairstyles like high buns and ponytails can also trigger it.
A single dread falling out is nothing to panic about. Most people with dreadlocks will experience this once or twice throughout their “dreaded” lifetime. However, it is not normal for dreadlocks to continuously fall out. If you notice excessive shedding, breakage, and falling out, there is a cause for concern.
Ok, now you know that your dreads shouldn’t be falling out. They also shouldn’t cause baldness. So why are you struggling with this issue? There are actually many reasons why you might notice some thinning around the root.
- Traction alopecia – As described earlier, traction alopecia is a hair loss condition triggered by tension. Locs that are too tight or put into tight hairstyles, such as high buns and ponytails, can cause thinning at the crown.
- Central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia – This is a less common form of Alopecia that is more likely to occur in older black women. However, other genders and races can struggle with it. It’s a chronic condition with no causes determined. With CCCA, hair follicles are severely damaged and won’t grow new hair.
- Scalp infections – Certain infections like folliculitis, seborrheic dermatitis, and psoriasis can cause thinning. These conditions are almost always accompanied by itching, discomfort, redness, and inflammation of the scalp.
- Stress – Stress isn’t good for the body in any way and can lead to troubles like weight gain and headaches. It can also trigger hair loss. If a recent traumatic or stressful event has occurred, it may cause short-term thinning.
- Medications – Many medications can cause thinning, from blood pressure medicine to acne treatment. Most of the time, it is short-term.
- Wrong/Too much product – Certain products are going to damage your locs over time. For example, products that leave a buildup or residue will halt new hair growth. Dying or coloring your locs too regularly will cause them to dry out.
- Diet – Diet is important for your overall health. A diet that lacks iron and folic acids specifically can lead to thinning locks (amongst other skin and hair issues, such as dryness and brittleness).
- Tugging or pulling – Again, this all goes back to tension. If you’re playing with your dreads too rough and find yourself pulling or tugging on them regularly, you may be accidentally causing thinning.
- Genetics – Hate to say it, but yes – genetics can cause thinning of your locs. If baldness runs in your gene pool, you might have to bite the bullet and accept the fact that baldness might be in your future, too.
If you’re noticing thinning at the crown, the good news is, most of the time, you can grow it back. It all depends on what’s causing the thinning. For example, if genetics or CCCA are to blame, you likely will not be able to grow your hair back. But other issues, including stress, infection, and diet, can be remedied for new hair growth.
If your dreads are thinning at the crown due to genetics or CCCA, unfortunately, there is not a whole lot that you can do. You can seek out professional treatment if desired. The hair loss world is always coming up with new and improved ways to regrow hair, and there are many professional methods you can try.
However, if genetics or CCCA is not the case, you can try one of these many methods to stop dreadlocks thinning at the crown.
A scalp infection is going to cause you plenty of trouble. Not only will it lead to thinning at the root, but you may also suffer from excessive itching and discomfort. Do yourself (and your dreadlocks) a favor by getting medical treatment for your scalp infection. After treatment, you should be comfortable and notice new hair beginning to grow at the crown.
Some people prefer the “natural” way of achieving dreadlocks. Others will ask a friend to help. The best way to get locs? Get them professionally done. Professional dreadlock stylists will ensure that your dreads aren’t too tight, the leading cause of baldness at the root.
Getting your dreadlocks up and out of the way is essential, especially for those with excessively long (and awesome) dreads. However, pulling them back into tight hairstyles like buns and ponytails can cause tension, leading to thinning at the crown. Opt for looser hairstyles. You can also put them in a shower cap for bedtime.
A common misconception is that you don’t need to wash your dreadlocks – ever. Unfortunately, this is terrible advice that you should remove from your memory ASAP. While you don’t need to wash locks on a daily or every other day basis, you shouldn’t go months without a wash.
Wash your dreadlocks at least once or twice a month using a dreadlock-safe shampoo like this. A mild shampoo will ensure no excessive buildup or residue, which can halt new growth. A washed scalp will also encourage new growth, essential for your dreadlocks.
When washing your locks, make sure to be gentle. Remember – tension is the enemy of a healthy scalp and thick, lustrous locks.
Chemically processing and coloring your dreadlocks is a great way to spruce up your style and add some personality to your look, but it shouldn’t be done all the time. Harsh products will wreak havoc on your hair from top to bottom.
At the same time, you should avoid excessively thick products like heavy creams and oil-based products will cause residue and buildup. This can block new hair from forming, leaving you with thinned hair at the crown.
Think about your diet. Do you have a generally healthy, nutrient-dense, and well-balanced diet? If not, it might be time to think about switching up your diet. Opt for a “hair growth-friendly” diet. It should be rich in iron and folic acid, although vitamins B12, C, D, and E are also essential.
Some of the foods to add to your diet include:
- Berries (Strawberry, blueberry, blackberry, etc.)
- Greens (Spinach and kale)
- Fish (Salmon is a top choice)
- Nuts (Almonds are the best option)
You may also consider adding a supplement to your diet that focuses on the vitamins and minerals needed for hair growth. The OLLY Ultra Strength Hair Softgels are a great option with thousands of positive reviews.
If you’re struggling with thinning at the crown, you may have to rethink your dread hairstyle. If you’re currently rocking longer dreads, thinner locks, or a combination of the two, you might consider going with thicker and shooter dreadlocks. This style will not present as much tension, which can reverse thinning at the root.
It’s true that you should avoid oil-based products when it comes to your dreadlocks. Those are too thick and cause a buildup of undesirable residue. However, the same isn’t valid for essential oils. Essential oils are thinner and work with your hair follicles to produce growth.
There are many different types of essential oils on the market. Some are more suitable for hair growth than others. Here are the top five choices to consider:
Apply essential oils to your locks after washing them. Massage them into your scalp for the best absorption. Bonus: massaging the scalp can help promote new hair growth. Combining essential oils with a nice scalp massage is a sure-fire way to stop thinning in its tracks and promote new hair growth.
Whether it’s a traumatic event that caused stress or you have an ongoing stress problem, it’s vital to take action. Stress can cause balding (and other health issues). Find ways to relieve stress, such as going for a walk, meditating, spending more time with family members, or listening to music. Find what works for you and stick to it.
Now you know how to stop balding from occurring. That’s great and all, but what about thickening them up? Are there any “special” ways to thicken thin locs? There are a few ways.
This method works best if you’ve got a few thin locks that you’re trying to “get rid of.” Basically, you will “sew” the thin dread into the thicker one using a needle and thread. You will need to leave the thread in your hair for a few months until the two locks matte together.
Yes, washing your locks is not only going to prevent balding, but it will encourage thicker dreadlocks all around. Wash your locks at least every two to three weeks. Use a dreadlock-friendly shampoo. When you’re done, opt for one of the many hair growth essentials, such as peppermint or rosemary.
If you’re retwisting your dreads too often, you won’t give them a chance to grow and firm up. This can lead to locks that appear thin and lackluster. The best advice? Leave them alone. Let your locks “do their thing” as much as possible. Only step in when you absolutely need to.
For those with newer dreads, you can comb out two thinner dreads and matte them together to create a thicker one. This will only work on new dreads as it won’t take a mass amount of time to comb them out and re-dread. Those with older dreads that have matured will need to use the sewing method. You can also use a rubber band to tie the dreads together until they matte, too.
Yup, it has to be repeated. The way your hair grows reflects your diet (almost always). Ensuring that your diet is rich in vitamins, minerals, fats, and proteins is a great way to give your hair a thick boost. It will also be far healthier, which means your hair will look and feel better overall.
You know by now to ditch tight hairstyles, but did you know you should avoid tight-fitting accessories, too? Things like hats, du-rags, and bandanas will not give your hair enough room to grow thicker and fuller. Only wear tight-fitting accessories when necessary, such as at work or while playing sports. Remove as soon as possible.
Balding is an unfortunate event that can occur with dreadlocks. It is mainly caused by traction alopecia, which occurs when too much tension is on your roots. You can combat thinning at the crown and encourage healthier, thicker locks by treating infections, avoiding tight hairstyles and accessories, improving your diet, and sticking to a proper wash schedule.