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Dreadlock Lint or Buildup?

Dreadlock lint or buildup

 Is it Dreadlock Lint or Buildup? Here's How to Tell

Welcome to September! With summer starting to wind down and people beginning to get into the routine of work and school, you may be starting to think about cleansing a few things to get yourself organized for the rest of the year. Since it's on your mind anyway, why not go ahead and extend that into your haircare routine? While later this month we’re going to talk about some deep cleaning techniques for your dreadlocks, we first want to educate you on something that many people have a little bit of trouble with: lint versus buildup.


On the surface, lint and buildup can look exactly the same. It’s when you leave it alone and kind of just ignore the whitish grey stuff in your hair that can bring about potential problems. Whether its lint or it’s buildup, you really don’t want to have either one in your hair. However, depending on which one it is, you will have to tackle the issue differently. Keep reading to learn the difference between lint versus buildup in dreadlocks.

Pay Attention to What It Does When Wet


As a general rule of thumb, one of the better ways to determine lint versus buildup in dreadlocks is to get it wet and see what the suspicious stuff does. Can you still see it even after it’s been hit with water? If so, then you’re dealing with lint. On the other hand, if it disappears, then it most definitely is build-up.

Look at Where It Is

Love, Life, Locs

This is a little bit tricky when looking at lint versus buildup in dreadlocks because they really do look just alike. While this is by no means always the case, you can expect to have the most buildup near the base of your dreadlock whereas lint will more than likely be around the ends of your dreads. The reason for this is because lint comes from clothing, pillowcases, and random other fabrics that your hair comes in contact with that can cause friction.

Smell It

I know what you’re thinking. That’s a little much, right? Well, think of it like this. If you have exhausted all other options and you still can’t tell whether it’s lint versus buildup in your dreadlocks, just take a whiff of those bad boys. As you can imagine, build-up will carry an odor with it that is not present when you’re dealing with lint. Fortunately, if it is build-up, then it more than likely will start to smell on its own without you having to shove a dreadlock around your nose.

Getting rid of lint is easy, but tedious. If you don’t want to just cut that part off of your locks, you can take a set of tweezers and get to work. Yes, you will probably pull some strands out in the process, but it beats having your locks look dirty. Buildup, on the other hand, is a lot more work. We’ll talk more about it later this month. What are some of the ways that you deal with lint and buildup in your dreadlocks? Tell us about it in the comments!

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