Having dreads isn't non-maintenance like many think it is. I wash my hair a few times a week and maintain my locs on a daily basis by palm rolling, light pulling on each dread, applying aloe and one or another home made scalp/dread freshener to perk 'em up. Basically, clean dreadlocks are happy dreadlocks.
Sometimes, though, the scalp can become unhappy. My theory is that scalp unhappiness occurs because with dreadlocks, you can't brush thru and stimulate blood flow under the skin like you can more easily with un-dreaded hair styles. Well, that along with things that can dry the scalp out, and you can be one uncomfortable dread head. By trial, error, and advice from others with dreads, I have a new "no poo shampoo" recipe!
Jamie's dreadlock wash recipe
1 liter (1000ml) bottled or filtered water
4 TBSP sodium bicarbonate (baking soda)
1 TBSP Dr. Bronner's liquid soap, peppermint
juice from 1/2 fresh lemon
Mix ingredients together. Divide recipe into a few small containers and store portions that won't be used right away in the refrigerator. Shake very well prior to use! Apply to entire scalp area and massage well. Rinse after a minute or 2 with cool to cold water - always do final rinse with cold water! Cold water closes the cuticle and leads to less frizzy and much happier dreads ... as well as pleases even the most upset scalp!
Another recipe I use is for a daily spray. I use it to wake up my dreads in the morning or refresh them midday, or when ever.
Jamie's daily dread tonic recipe
3&1/2 ounces fresh water
9 drops peppermint essential oil
2 TSP vegetable glycerine OR
1 TSP jojoba oil
Mix ingredients together in a glass 4 ounces spray bottle. Shake well before use. Spray onto dreads and more directly on scalp as desired, for good smelling and more touchable dreadlocks.
It's really hard for me to resist referencing Jack Sparrow when talking dreads so, why try? :)