Dread Wax

chunks of gooey dread wax stuck inside my dreadlock

A few days short of the one month mark, I tucked all of the loose ends in and pulled the tips up into the dreadlocks. I applied a light waxing to the dreads on the back of my head. A few days after I decided that I wasn’t going to use any more wax and would only rubber band my dreads.

Two months in, and a month after last applying wax I am glad I made that choice. Before I had to warn people about the wax if they wanted to touch my dreads, and they ended up with a coating on their fingers (yuck!). Within two days of being wax free my dreads sprang into life and formed all sorts of lumps, loops, and bends!

When I was doing some maintenance to the tips of my dreadlocks which had come unraveled, I found tons of disgusting dirty wax chunks inside! This isn’t only near the part which is starting to lock up, but the loose hairs near the end. Those ends have been washed many times and I see no reason why the wax would still be in there unless wax does not wash out with dreadlock soap from DreadheadHQ and water.

I’m sure there are plenty of stories where wax has not caused any issues. In fact I know people who used dread wax to start their dreadlocks and three years later they still haven’t had any issues with mildew or rot. However, dread wax is not needed to start dreadlocks so I think it is best to stay away from it entirely.


The issue:

Dread wax traps dirt and water into your dreadlocks and that mixture will rot and then smell. This is not healthy for you or your locks!


What to do:

If you have already used dread wax you will need to get it out!

If your dreadlocks are less than a month old, comb them out, wash with Dawn dish soap, and start over. Yes, I know that sound like a lot of work and possibly painful, but it is what I wish I had done.

If your dreadies are tight and not possible/difficult to comb out, wash them with Dawn dish soap. Really work the soap into them! Follow this up with 2 or 3 sessions of Wax B-Gone. Andrea Rosario mentioned how to apply this:

Dip two fingers in and then twirl a dread around those fingers, then massage it into the dread. You don’t have to be rough because it lathers so well and just gets right in there. I did gently part the tighter areas of my dreads to work it in farther. I wasn’t concerned about loosening them because I know that they were tight from wax, not from nice clean knots. I gave each dread its own little massage and made sure to get the roots and my scalp. It took time, but I got all seventy something dreads done and then rinsed rinsed rinsed with hot water.

Leave a comment with methods you used to remove wax!


  1. I love seeing your journey! They are looking great for 6 months along. It will be exciting to see how they look at 1 year. My dreads are about the same age as yours. My dreads also, unfortunately, started with wax, but I found that vinegar naturally strips wax and removes it even in the thickest dreads, so I didn’t have to comb them out. Lucky me! :-)

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