Do Locs Cause Baldness (Easy Ways to Tell)

One of the most iconic hairstyles of all time is dreadlocks. Unfortunately, if you don’t know how to look after your dreads properly, locs can cause long-term problems for your hair such as baldness, root damage, and scalp infections. Luckily, these side effects саn easily be prevented and reversed with proper care and management.

Loctitian dreads

So, do dreadlocks cause baldness?

Locs may cause baldness and lead to hair loss in some people. When your dreads begin to recede, appear to be thin or shed in noticeable volumes, it’s possible that you could be suffering from a hair loss condition called Traction Alopecia. This is often triggered by styling your hair in dreadlocks.

However, there are a few simple steps to maintain healthy locs and in this article, we reveal 10 great ways to prevent dreads balding so you can enjoy the hairstyle you love.

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Symptoms Of Dreads Balding You Should Watch Out For

If the question ‘do locs cause baldness’ is keeping you up at night, don’t fear as there are a few easy ways to tell:

  • Dreadlocks becoming visibly less anchored.
  • Inflammation of the scalp
  • Excessive hair loss after showering or brushing.
  • Thin patches of hair exposing the scalp.
  • Scalp blisters
  • Dreadlocks falling out.
  • Noticeable change in your hairline
  • Thinning of thick hair 

Tell-tale Signs Your Locs Could Be Causing Baldness

Tenderness in your Scalp

Have you ever worn your hair in braids and noticed it left your scalp feeling aggravated or inflamed in any way? Or perhaps you styled your hair in a high ponytail and felt your head began to hurt when you touched it.

Locs could potentially cause baldness if this is the case. A great preventative measure is to ensure your rubber bands are around 1/4″ – 1/2″ from your scalp and to prevent styling your dreads overly tight. 

Also Read: Cactus For Hair: 7 Incredible Benefits And How To Use


It is quite common for people to experience a little itchiness when they first start wearing their dreadlocks.

It could be a sign that your body is sending you that your scalp needs washing, or your hair is being too tightly styled.

Never leave any itching unchecked and listen to the signs your body sends you so you can prevent scalp damage to your hair. 

Noticeable Signs of Dandruff

Dandruff can be seen when white or grey flakes of dead skin start to appear on your scalp or in your hair. It may be another sign that your scalp and locs are in need of care. 

Other Causes of Hair Loss include:

  • Over process dreads– due to excessive color treatments
  • Pulling your dreads too tight– may lead to both balding and thinning of your locs.
  • Lacking iron and folic acid in your diet– this is proven to help produce hair follicles naturally.
  • Excessive stress– stress commonly affects dreadlocks as it stunts new hair growth forming from your hair follicles.
  • Natural aging – many people suffer from hair loss simply as a result of getting older.
  • Hormonal changes in your body
  • Scalp infections

Simple Dreadlock Maintenance

If you’re worried about your locs causing baldness, we reveal three easy methods to maintaining your dreads so you can have healthy, strong hair.

1 Dreading Hair Safely

The best way to ensure your dreadlocks are created properly is to get them styled by an experienced professional.

You could also get help from somebody who has personally worn locs for a long time and understands the risks involved and how to style them safely.

The ideal time to create dreads is when your hair is short as this offers more control over how the locs are formed. 

it may hurt a bit getting dreads done, but it shouldn’t be a continuous issue.

2 Sleeping with Dreads 

Dreadlocks take time to braid and the last thing you want to do is have it damaged after a night’s sleep.

A great way to prevent this is to tie it up in a loose bun or ponytail using an elastic band or headband. This will help to make your locs compact so you can enjoy a great night’s sleep. 

Also Read: 4 Amazing Benefits of Burdock Root Tea Rinse for Hair

3 Washing your Dreads 

Did you know that washing your dreads helps them to develop faster? The process helps to remove the natural oils from your hair which cause new knots to slip out.

Simply clean your locs and scalp using a mild detergent and try to opt for organic products.

This way your dreads will be kept naturally healthy and clean. This shampoo and conditioner duo from Jamaican Mango is specially formulated for dreads.

The shampoo gently cleanses your locs and massages your scalp while the conditioner strengthens your hair and prevents breakage. 

Also Read: Best Deep Conditioners For Locs In 2021

Do Locs Cause Baldness – 10 Great Ways to Prevent It From Happening

Can locs cause baldness and hair loss? In some cases, yes, but thankfully we reveal 10 simple ways to help combat possible balding from having locs and experiencing symptoms of traction alopecia:

1 Change Up Your Hairstyle

A great tip is to change your hairstyle every couple of weeks as this relieves the pressure on your scalp.

You could alternate between wearing braids and wearing your hair down. The best way to protect yourself against possible balding is to wear your hair in a style that supports it against the top of your head.

This in turn will reduce the strain on your roots. 

2 Avoid Harmful Chemicals 

Try to avoid chemically processing your hair or coloring your hair frequently if you have weaves or braids in your hair.

The chemicals found in these products are known to damage your hair, making it more likely to break and cause hair loss.

3 Keep A Balanced Diet

Your hair is made up of proteins so having a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals goes a long way for having healthy hair.

Try incorporating protein-rich food into your meals such as meat, fish, cheese or even almonds. 

4 Make Your Braids Thick

Thinner braids are known to pull more tightly on your scalp whereas thicker braids ease the pressure.

When you style your dreads in braids try opting for thinner sections to relieve any undue pressure. 

5 Invest In A Hand-held Scalp Massager

A scalp massager is a great tool to help promote scalp blood circulation, clean your scalp, and combat hair loss.

Simply massage your scalp at night before bed to enjoy soothing relief from any discomfort caused by your dreads.

6 Be Gentle When You Wash And Style Your Dreads

When you do wash your hair try to avoid rubbing your scalp and gently massage the products around your scalp.

Use the palm of your hands and apply the product gently preventing any friction on your dreads.

To complete the routine, simply pat your hair dry with a towel.

Try to avoid using a hairdryer every time as this too can lead to damaging the dreads from the heat.

Also Read: 5 Important Benefits Of Using Mango Butter For Hair

7 Always Protect Your Dreads Whilst You Sleep

A simple way to protect your dreads from breakage is by gently wrapping your hair in a silk head scarf.

This goes a long way in preventing unwanted hair breakage which can be caused by pillow friction whilst you sleep. 

8 Avoid Re-twisting And Styling Your Dreadlocks Tightly

One of the best ways to protect your locs from causing baldness and hair loss is to style your dreads gently.

Excessive pulling or overly tight braids can contribute to further hair loss. Try to wear your hair in various styles to relieve the pressure and allow your hair to breathe. 

9 Use Essential Oils 

One of the best products you can use to encourage hair growth is by incorporating essential oils into your haircare routine.

Oils such as Coconut, Lavender, Peppermint, and Tea tree oils are perfectly suitable for dreadlocks.

They’re rich in regenerating properties that increase your hair follicles and helps with promoting healthy hair growth.

10 Find A Good Loctician

A loctician is someone who specialises in dreadlocks.

Often fondly referred to as a dread doctor, they are experts when it comes to maintaining and styling your locs.

If you are concerned about locs being the cause of baldness, go see an expert. The loctician you choose will be able to assist you with the best techniques for your hair as well as caring for your dreads so you can enjoy healthy hair with minimal breakage.

Do locs cause baldness

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Dee Poulsen

Dee has been following the Curly Girl Method for over four years and is our in-house Curly Girl expert. She has a keen interest in natural haircare and has tried and tested her share of CGM products. She has a photographic memory of most sulfate and silicone-free hair products available on the high street and she's always happy to recommend you her favorites.