7 Ways to Moisturize Dry Locs

Your locs must be moisturized to be healthy— and you cannot have healthy locs if you have dry locs. To better understand why you must properly moisturize your locs, let’s imagine a box of spaghetti noodles. If you try to bend (read: manipulate) dry noodles what happens? They break. Now, think about the spaghetti noodles after they’ve been soaked in water. What happens if you try to bend them? They remain intact and strong.

This is a great example of how the elasticity (also known as hair’s flexibility) works. When hair is hydrated it is stronger but when it is dry it is in its weakest state. 

Thinning Locs due to dryness

Thinning Locs Caused By Dryness

Now, I’m sure you do not want your locs to be weak, so I’m going to share with you a few amazing ways to add moisture to dry locs.



7 Ways to Moisturize Dry Locs

I’m going to share with you 7 amazing ways to add moisture to your hair and get rid of dry locs. These are in no particular order, so try each one and see which works best for you!

1. Always Clarify Your Hair. The first step to moisturized locs begins with your shampoo. Don’t make the mistake of only using “moisturizing shampoo” when you’re experiencing dryness. You need to clarify (or remove) all of the old products from your hair to allow any future products to effectively work.

GRAB THE GUIDE: How To Deep Cleanse & Shampoo Your Locs

2. Use a Water-Based Moisturizer AND an Emollient Oil. Contrary to popular belief, oil DOES NOT moisturize your hair and there is no such thing as a “moisturizing oil”.  To add moisture to your locs, you need water. So, first you apply a water-based moisturizer and then you apply an emollient oil (emollient means it will retain moisture). My favorite hair moisturizing duo for locs are the rosewater-based  Moisture Infusion and Mane Radiance oil.

3. Get Regular Salon Hydration Treatments. Steam is one of the best moisturizing treatments for your hair. You should visit your hair care professional at least once every 3 months for a Hydration Treatment— it works wonders (especially in the colder months)!

RELATED ARTICLE: Preventing Dry Hair in Colder Climates 

4. Increase Your Water Intake. Every day you should be drinking at least half your body weight in ounces of water per day, minimum. Your body needs that much water to properly lubricant your organs, muscles, and hair because you’re made of 60% water!

5. Ditch the Shower Cap. Unless you’re trying to preserve a curly set, don’t worry about wearing a shower cap. Simply pin your hair up and allow some of the residual steam to penetrate your locs.

(NOTE: You should not wet or dampen your locs at night to avoid mildew and/or flattening your locs).

6. Wear a Satin Scarf. Did you know cotton pillowcases and sheets are one of the biggest culprits for dryness and lint?! To avoid these issues, it is best to always wear a satin scarf and/or sleep on a satin pillowcase.

RELATED ARTICLE: How To Protect Your Locs At Night

7. Use Aloe Vera. An aloe plant is made up of over 80% water which makes it one of the most effective ways to hydrate your hair naturally. Personally, I only use all natural aloe vera locking gel on my locs and my clients’ locs because of its amazing properties to help the hair lock while nourishing the scalp.

I hope that what you takeaway from this article is that oil does not add moisture to the hair and that you must moisturize your locs for them to be healthy. Give each of the 7 recommendations a try and let me know in the comments what is your favorite way to moisturize your locs!
7 Ways to Moisturize Dry Locs

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Jocelyn Reneé

Jocelyn Reneé is a Licensed Cosmetologist, Loctician and Textured Hair Educator. She was born and raised in the Washington DC area and is a graduate of the Aveda Institute Cosmetology Science program. With over 14 years in the Hair Care Industry, from Salon Assistant to Natural Hair Blogger to Professional; Jocelyn is passionate about cultivating healthy hair.

Blog Comments

What is your professional opinion regarding using lanolin to retwist starter locs? Im currently 4mos into this and my loctician uses her own homemade lanolin mixture. I can’t really find anyone else who currently uses it & not sure how i feel about it… Thank you.

Please forgive my assertiveness but that’s HORRIBLE for locs and the scalp! I am sure it will give a great shine to the hair and probably a good hold but it will be very hard to completely remove from the hair (which will cause buildup and lint) and the properties of the lanolin will likely suffocate the hair overtime and lead to breakage.

Thank you for your honesty! It looks like I may need to discuss an alternative with my loctician. If she’s not willing, then I will need to seek a different loctician going forward.

Does the same go for vegetable petroleum?

Yes, NO petroleum in locs. EVER.

Thanks for sharing

I appreciate you stopping by! I hope you’re also on my mailing list so we can stay in contact.

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