Dreads are created by matting the hair together with “dread wax” which is something many would dread to put in their hair. If you want to go on a quest to find some good alternatives for wax, here is some info that might help.
Wax comes in different consistencies and some work better than others, depending on your hair type. There is some wax that is more into the hard category and then there’s a wax that is with the creamy consistency, which I prefer over the harder kinds of wax.
The disadvantage to using these kinds of waxes though is not only their expense and availability (however, there are many online suppliers) but also you need to use a lot of wax in order to get your dreadlocks to stay together.
My hair is about 5-6 inches long and I find that what used to hold my loose hair before, now only keeps it together for about half a day.
At the beginning that wasn’t much of a problem because my dreads were still young and I had them to handle quite often. But now that they are getting longer, I find myself having to put in more wax just so my dreads will stay together at all times.
It may also be good to know that there are other kinds of wax out there that are even harder than the ones I have mentioned above. Although these do work pretty well, I find that the wax itself becomes a problem, as it is harder to get out of your hair. In fact, you can’t remove it at all unless you cut your dreads off.
Another problem with using dread waxes lies in how they smell. Many people use different kinds of fragrances and essential oils to give their dreads a nice smell.
However, these things do not mix well with wax and will eventually bring out a nasty stench! Or at least that’s what happened to me when I tried it…
In order to come up with good alternatives for dread waxes, I have searched the Internet high and low. And so far I have found some pretty good suggestions. So here is a list of what to use for dreads instead of wax.
Dread Wax Alternatives
This is actually one of the best types of wax you can use. It has a nice creamy consistency and it smells like honey. All you need to do is melt some beeswax and mix it with oil (preferably olive or coconut). The ratio for this should be about 7 to 3.
– Palmarosa Oil
If you have some of this essential oil lying around, you can mix it with coconut or olive oil and use that as a dread wax. This blend is perfect for the summer months since palmarosa has cooling properties.
– Castor Oil
Whether you buy it in its pure form or mix it with some other oil, this is a very good alternative to dread wax. It does not hold your dreads as firmly as the commercially available waxes do but what you can do for that is just put in more wax! The great thing about castor oil is that it has an anti-bacterial property which means it will help combat the smell of a pesky scalp fungus.
– Vegetable Glycerin
This can be bought at your local health food store and is perfect to use as a dread wax since it has a nice creamy consistency. Just use the same ratio you usually would for the beeswax, but add one more part of vegetable glycerin.
– Petroleum jelly
This has a soft consistency and can be used to hold dreads together with no problem. The only drawback I find is that it’s kind of hard to get out of your hair.
– Aloe vera
If you use this plant for other purposes than just its gel, you can also use the juice from aloe leaves as a dread wax. You can also mix this with some other oils and lather it on.
– Organic free-range eggs
If you’re not vegan, this is a very good alternative since eggs have been used for centuries as a natural conditioner for hair. There are many recipes out there that combine eggs with other ingredients but I haven’t tried any of them yet. If
If you use this as a scalp massage and leave it on for about 10 minutes, it will not only give your dreads a nice smell but also make them stronger and easier to manage. The downside of using honey though is that it takes some time before it’s completely absorbed into the scalp.
– Jojoba oil
This is pretty good for holding your dreads together but also feels really nice when you massage it into your scalp. And if you don’t have time or just can’t be bothered to make dread wax, this is a great alternative. It will definitely last the whole day and after taking a shower your scalp will feel moisturized as well.
– Beeswax and castor oil
This is the first recipe I tried and it turned out to be a very good combination. The beeswax gives you a nice hard hold while the castor oil nourishes your dreadlocks and makes them stronger.
– Aloe vera and jojoba oil
This is probably the best formula you can use as a dread wax. It gives you a stronghold and reduces dandruff as well as moisturizing your scalp. Unfortunately, it doesn’t last all day, especially if you’re planning on going swimming.
– Sugar water
This is actually one of my favorites because it’s all-natural and it works great. The amount of water you add to the sugar depends on how liquid you want your wax to be (more water = more liquid). This is perfect for summer because not only does it make your dreadlocks stronger while fighting dandruff, but also smells delicious due to the lemon juice.
– Citrus essential oil
This is a more natural alternative to commercial waxes. All you need for this dread wax are some drops of your favorite essential oils. Add them to some petroleum jelly or any other kind of hair gel and see your dreads life being made easier!
– Coconut butter:
I personally find coconut butter extremely hard to work with since it’s so thick and sticky, but if you mix it with some castor oil or jojoba oil, it works just as fine.
– Shea butter
She butter is a little bit trickier to work with than coconut butter since it has a more solid consistency. Just rub your shea butter between your palms until it’s soft enough for you to work with and then apply it on your dreads.
This is actually a product that you can buy as a cream for irritated skin, but you can also use it as a wax. It’s great if you have dandruff or dry scalp since doing scalp massages with bisabolol will make those issues fade away.
– Neem oil
Neem oil is a great alternative for people who don’t use any products that contain chemicals and fragrances. It’s a good herb to have around the house, especially if you’ve been dealing with dandruff before. Mix this with some water and castor or jojoba oil and spread it evenly over your dreads. The smell is a little bit weird, but your hair will get used to it after a while.
– Zinc oxide
This one isn’t for everyone since it has quite a strong smell. You can find zinc oxide in most drug stores and pharmacies so if you happen to have some of this lying around, just add a teaspoon to some cooking oil and apply it on your dreads. It will give them a thicker look and you’ll feel like that’s all they need.
– Activated charcoal
This ingredient is awesome since it absorbs excess sebum which prevents dandruff and makes washing your hair way easier. Mix 1 tablespoon of activated charcoal with some jojoba oil and apply it directly to your scalp. Just make sure you don’t have any open wounds since this can cause irritation.
– Guar gum
This is one of the most used ingredients in dread waxes since it’s extremely sticky and holds your dreads together really well. All you need for this recipe is some petroleum jelly, some guar gum and a little bit of water.
The recipe for this pectin wax is actually very similar to the one you can use with beeswax. To make it, however, you’ll need some apple juice instead of boiling water. You might have to experiment with the amount of pectin you add to the juice, but it shouldn’t take you long to get the perfect result.
Dreads are all up to personal preference, but these ingredients are the most used ones in homemade waxes. These homemade dread waxes are great at saving money and while being 100% natural. With so many options you are bound to find something that works great for you.
- Dread Wax Alternatives
- – Beeswax
- – Palmarosa Oil
- – Castor Oil
- – Vegetable Glycerin
- – Petroleum jelly
- – Aloe vera
- – Organic free-range eggs
- – Honey
- – Jojoba oil
- – Beeswax and castor oil
- – Aloe vera and jojoba oil
- – Sugar water
- – Citrus essential oil
- – Coconut butter:
- – Shea butter
- – Bisabolol
- – Neem oil
- – Zinc oxide
- – Activated charcoal
- – Guar gum
- – Pectin
- Final Words