Why Are My Dread Roots So Skinny? 3 Ways To Fix

This post contains affiliate links. Please read our full disclosure policy here.

Are your dreads thinning at the crown? Do your dread roots look skinny? We reveal what you can do about it and give you a few handy tips on the way.

If you’re asking yourself why are my dread roots so skinny and if there is a way to prevent thinning hair, the answer is yes. You could be experiencing skinny roots as a result of your hair being damaged which can be fixed with a healthy lifestyle and a dedicated hair care regime. 

Skinny Dread Roots – 8 Common Causes

The roots of your dreads can become thin or skinny due to a number of factors. From general hair loss to medical conditions and diet, your roots may start to thin as a result of any of these common causes: 

Failure to Twist New Hair Growth

Some people may experience thinning dreads as a result of waiting too long to re-twist their locs causing the roots to appear thinner.

New hair grows straight and has to be physically twisted to create a dreadlock.

Waiting too long to twist the new hair to blend with the remaining dread may cause your hair to weaken, putting pressure on your roots. 

Traction Alopecia

Traction alopecia is a hair loss condition caused by tension applied to the roots of your hair.

As your hair weakens over time it often breaks or becomes damaged.

One of the biggest culprits of thinning hair is styling your dreads in a way that causes severe friction or tension.

Other possible culprits include wigs, weaves, tight braids, or even high ponytails.

Waiting Too long Between Maintenance

Lack of care may lead to thinning locs and skinny roots which will lead to further hair loss.

Retaining high moisture levels in your locs, minimizing breakage, enforcing proper protective styling, and keeping your ends clipped will go a long way to enjoying healthy strong roots and hair. 

Poor Scalp Health 

Your scalp sets the foundation for healthy dreads. It promotes growth and nurtures new hair forming.

If your scalp is inflamed or dry, it may combat new growth or lead to damaged hair causing your dread roots to become skinny. 

Cleaning your scalp properly and routinely moisturizing will help resolve this problem simply and effectively. 

Also Read: How To Use A Derma Roller And Castor Oil For Hair Loss

Re-twisting your Roots in the Wrong Direction

Did you know your hair grows in a circular direction? This is often referred to as a ‘hair whirl’.

The ideal way to maintain your roots properly is to follow your hair’s natural growth direction when re-twisting.

This could be in either a clockwise or counterclockwise direction depending on the individual.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that twisting your hair in the wrong direction can disrupt the locking process and may cause weak spots.

This in turn could lead to thinning roots and locs.  

Tension in your Hair

If you’re constantly pulling your locs into the same hairstyle or using hair accessories that are too tight this may lead to thinning dreads.

In severe cases, it could also result in damage to your hair follicles resulting in further hair loss and thinning.

Another common cause could be excessive tension at the roots, particularly with interlocking maintenance that’s performed too frequently.

Try to avoid tight styling and possibly styling altogether if you notice thinning in your dreads.

Sectioning at the Roots of your Dreads

Some people desire thinner dreads when first undergoing the styling process.

As your dreads grow over time it will increase in length and will inevitably put pressure on your scalp and roots from the sheer overall weight.

This may cause your dread roots to become skinny and progressively thinner over time as a result. 

Poor Nutrition and Diet

One possible cause of thinning dreads and roots is a poor nutrition and diet.

It’s important for your body to have a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals for healthy, strong hair.

Your hair іѕ made uр оf proteins. As a result, eating protein-rich food ѕuсh аѕ meat, cheese, fish or even almonds іѕ essential to maintain thе health оf your hair. 

Also Read: Do Dreads Hurt? (The Truth)

A Few Simple Ways to Remedy Thinning Dreads

woman with dreadlocks

Why are the roots of your dreads becoming skinny and is there any way to combat this problem?

The great news is that this can easily be fixed and even prevented going forward when a few easy steps are applied.  A few simple remedies include: 

Use A Satin Sleep Cap or Pillowcase

Using a satin sleep cap or pillowcase may help prevent thinning roots and dreads. The satin material will help to absorb the natural oils and moisture from your hair.

This helps to remove friction between your hair and your pillowcase which normally could result in hair breakage and thinning hair and roots.

Using a satin silk cap is also an ideal way to grow your edges.

Hydrate and Moisturize your Dreadlocks

It’s very important to keep your hair hydrated. This will help to combat thinning roots and promote healthy hair.

An amino acid hair treatment  is the best way to combat dryness and add moisture to your hair. Hydrated and moist locs will have less chance for getting thin and weak.

Also read: Can Oil Build Up In Natural Hair? (Easy Ways To Tell)

Avoid Styling Your Dreads with Tight Hairstyles

Popular hairstyles such as braids, weaves or even tight ponytails can cause negative effects on your hair. The tighter your hairstyle, the more tension is applied to your scalp often causing your roots to become damaged and frail. 

Massage Your Scalp

If you’re hoping to promote new hair growth and prevent your roots from thinning, massaging your scalp is a great solution.

This is known to increase hair thickness by stretching the cells of the hair follicles. By stimulating the hair follicles, you will be able to produce thicker hair. 

Try a scalp massager like this one. It won’t break the bank and can be used daily for optimal results.

Invest in Essential Oils

Oils such as Coconut, Lavender, Peppermint, and Tea tree oils are perfectly suitable for dreadlocks and offer a variety of benefits.

Some oils can help to restore softness and texture in your hair while others are ideal when looking to add a healthy shine to your locs. Castor hair oil, specifically Jamaican black castor oil, is ideal for promoting healthy hair. Peppermint oil consists of anti-bacterial properties that help to remove impurities creating the perfect environment for hair growth.

Tell-tale Signs Your Dreads Are Balding:

If the question ‘why are my dread roots so skinny’ is a constant thought on your mind, don’t fear as there are a few easy ways to tell:

  • Your locs have become visibly less anchored and secure
  • You have an inflamed scalp
  • There are signs of excessive hair loss after showering 
  • Your scalp is exposed through your dreads
  • Scalp blisters
  • Your locs are loose or falling out
  • There is a noticeable change in your hairline

Handy Tips for Easy Loc Maintenance

We reveal a few easy methods to maintaining your dreads so you can enjoy healthy roots and locs:

Take Care When Sleeping with Dreads 

The process of creating and twisting locs is time consuming and the last thing you would want is for your dreads to become damaged while you sleep.

A simple way to prevent breakage is to tie up your dreads in a loose bun or ponytail before a night’s sleep.

This will help to make your locs compact and to combat the damage caused when you sleep. 

Wash your Dreads 

The simple act of washing your locs helps the locs to develop faster.

This is partly due to the fact that washing helps to remove the natural oils from your hair which cause new knots to slip out.

This shampoo and conditioner duo from Jamaican Mango & Lime is specially formulated for dreads.

The shampoo is moisture-rich and gently cleanses your locs, removes build-up and helps minimize breakage.

The conditioner seals the hair cuticles to retain the moisture, adds shine to your locs, and helps to repair damaged ends.  

Use Strengthening Products

Why your dread roots are so skinny could be a result of damaged, brittle hair lacking moisture.

Including some of the following treatments have been known to reduce the damage to your roots and locs by repairing the follicles and encouraging healthy hair growth: 

skinny dread roots

Disclaimer: This site is not intended to provide professional or medical advice. All of the content on LovedByCurls.com is for informational purposes only. All advice should be followed at your own discretion. Ingredients may change at any time so always check the product label before using. Check our full disclaimer policy here.

Photo of author


Dee is the founder of Loved By Curls and in-house Curly Girl expert. She loves natural haircare and has tried and tested her share of CGM products. She's always happy to recommend you her favorites.