Thursday 1 August 2013

Lint, Dust and Fluff in Locks.

Ok, so the sight of anything alien, such as grey fluff in a lock is going to pretty scary, but rest assured it's nothing life threatening.

Lint, dust and fluff are everywhere. You can pick it up off of clothes, hats, towels, pillows.... you get the idea. It can sit on your locks just as easily as it can sit on any other surface. Then, just like on your clothes or other surfaces, the lint will easily wash off. Lint only becomes a problem when it's combined with a residue problem, in which case the lint won't just wash off, it can stick to the lock, building up inside the lock, in the tip or under a loop.

If you notice a grey deposit of fluff in or on your lock, do not fear, it can be very easy to overreact and worry, especially since the fluff can sometimes appear to be filling the whole inside of a dreadlock. Since lint is really just a visible symptom of residue you will deal with it in the same way with a deep clean. Deep cleaning will help to break down and remove the residue that the dust sticks to and then soaking and squeezing will help dislodge and remove the lint. If you have a particularly bad case it will take more than one deep clean. Little bits that are left over can be picked out with a needle if necessary.

You can help avoid general dust and lint by taking such measures as wrapping your locks when you sleep, using a microfibre towel for drying them and not laying on fabric surfaces while they're damp.

Residue Video:
Deep Clean Video:


  1. Hey Chris! I'm still a noob to the dreadlocks journey and have had mine for about two months now. I love them to death, but I've been worried about their condition, seeing that I work as a steel craftsman, and my job entails cutting, welding, grinding, polishing, and painting steel. I come home from work with a thin but razor sharp layer of metal dust on my skin, and I was wondering if these tiny metal bits would be doing microscopic damage to my dreads as they settle inside. Rust is also a concern.

    I generally do my best to cover my dreads up when I'm working (usually with a bandanna or tam) but, being in the Southern California desert, it gets to be deadly hot down here, and passing out from the heat is a serious issue. There are days when I simply cannot cover my dreads without risking my health. Do you think that the metal dust is going to be a problem for my dreads, or would the bicarb soak take care of the steel residue?

    1. Hello Paula, I cannot say that I've ever been presented with such a question! I'm really not sure what to recommend in this situation. A deep clean can help remove most things... but how much help it will be in your situation, I really couldn't say!

    2. I know this post is over a year and 1/2 old, hopefully you found a solution by now. But here goes: Maybe you can wear those gauze covers like some painters, factory or food workers to protect your hair from the metal dust. They allow your scalp to breath and don't trap as much heat. Also - and this is dropping straight off the top of my head, I've done no research - maybe you can glue a large magnet to the back of a hairbrush, and run it across your dreads at the end of your workday...? Like those business card refrigerator magnets that some business people distribute. Worth a try?

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