Most people that use a sea salt spray on their hair do so for one reason only: to get their dreads to lock up faster. While this is an effective strategy if used in the beginning stages, it might cause more problems in the long run (we’ll talk about why in a minute).
Dreads are an amazing hairstyle but they require TIME and PATIENCE. You can’t have great dreads in the long-term if you don’t allow them to mature on their own in a healthy way. The best treatment for your dreads to form properly is to let them be!!
With that said, if you are struggling with loose dreads or don’t see them locking up too much in the first year, you can apply the spray (in moderation) to speed up the process.
Before I get to the recipe, I’ll answer some common questions first.
Is sea salt good for dreads?
The short answer is no. When used in excessive amounts, salt will cause damage to your dreads.
I know surfers and beach-goers who have experienced the quick results of their locs forming after taking several dips in the ocean. It’s perhaps the way that sea salt sprays became popular, I’m not really sure. But regardless, it’s important to note that salt (no matter what kind) is very drying to your hair.
What this means is that too much salt on your hair will cause your dreadlocks to become brittle over time. Applying sea salt to your hair on the
While you may not see the ill effects over a short period of time, eventually you will have to deal with dry locs that are susceptible to breakage and damaged ends.
If you spend a lot of time in the ocean, make sure to rinse your dreads well after getting out of the water, so your hair isn’t saturated with salt.
Does sea salt help form dreads?
Yes! Sea salt helps tighten loose dreads and can help tame the frizz while creating a cleaner appearance. The most important thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to use it, only apply it in small amounts.
Any salt may be used for your locking spray but sea salt is usually the top choice because it’s common and can be found at the store. Sea salt is derived from evaporated seawater and contains trace amounts of minerals. On the downside, it may also contain traces of microplastics and heavy metals that are found in the ocean.
The salt I would recommend you NOT to use is refined table salt. Table salt contains anti-caking agents and it’s highly processed. Remember that whatever you spray in your hair can leave residue in your dreads, so opt for a salt that is less processed.
My top choice for salt locking sprays is Himalayan pink salt. It’s a bit pricier than other salts but you don’t need to use much of it anyway.
How do you make a loc spray for dreads?
So, let’s get to the recipe!
You will need:
- Salt (any kind will do but I prefer Himalayan pink salt or sea salt)
- Warm water (helps to dissolve the salt faster)
- Essential oils (optional)
1. The first thing is getting an appropriate ratio of salt to water.
Use 1 cup (8 oz) of water for every 1.5 teaspoons of salt.
Using this same ratio, you can use:
1 tablespoon of salt per pint of water (16 oz).
2 tablespoons of salt per quart of water (32 oz).
4 tablespoons of salt per 1/2 gallon of water (64 oz).
8 tablespoons of salt per gallon of water (128 oz).
2. To retain a little moisture in your dreads, I recommend mixing a few drops of essential oils to the spray blend. Essential oils are a bit counter-productive because they have a lubricating effect but it will add some benefits (depending on which oil you use) and make the spray less harsh for your hair.
With this locking spray, remember that less is more! Using a smaller concentration of salt is actually better than using large amounts.
Also, avoid spraying it on your scalp because it will cause dandruff and itchiness!
IN YOUNG DREADS (under a year old), this spray can be used all over.
IN MATURE DREADS, use the spray on your tips and around the loose ends at the top.
How often should I use salt spray on locs?
To avoid long-term damage, I recommend you use the spray only as often as you wash your hair. If you wash your dreads once every 7 to 10 days, then spray it around your hair on the day you wash them, always BEFORE you wash them (so that you can wash it out).
This spray can be applied to dry hair – it doesn’t need to be damp. It can be used periodically in the beginning, but after your locs have started forming it’s unnecessary.
How long should I leave the saltwater in my dreads?
I recommend you leave the saltwater spray on your hair for one to two hours tops.
Never leave it on overnight or for several days!
What about lemon juice or honey?
There are many people that use lemon juice in place of salt or add it to the salt spray mixture. I highly recommend you DON’T do this!
Lemon juice is extremely drying to your hair. When combined with heat (such as the sun), the lemon juice (or any citrus juice for that matter) will naturally bleach your dreads. What it’s really doing though is causing your hair to become fragile. Just like chemical bleaching, citrus can cause irreversible damage to your hair if used for long periods of time.
You can read more about the pros and cons of using lemon juice here.
Honey is also a horrible product to add to your hair. Not only will it cause your dreads to become sticky, but it can also attract lint and bees.
Throughout my research to find the best lock accelerator spray recipe, I stumbled upon the same consensus: leaving your dreads alone is the best way to get them to form. It’s only a matter of time and patience as they’re freely able to lock on their own.
If you live in a dry area, moisturize your dreads instead of using salt or lemon to dry them further.
Dreadlocks are not a hairstyle you can achieve overnight. Your locs are a product of perseverance, which is what makes them (and the journey) truly unique.
Love your dreadlocks during whichever process they’re in right now. Nurture them now and watch them become everything you’ve dreamed of in the next couple of years.