How Long Do You Sit Under a Hair Dryer for Dreads?

Dreadlocks are not just a hairstyle but a personal expression of style and individuality. Whether you’re a new dreadlock enthusiast or have been maintaining them for a while, you may wonder how long you should sit under a hair dryer to dry your dreads properly. In this article, we’ll explore the optimal drying time for dreadlocks and provide you with essential tips to ensure healthy and well-maintained locks. How long do you sit under the hair dryer for dreads? Read on!

How Long Do You Sit Under Hair Dryer for Dreads

How long do you sit under a hair dryer for dreads?

To determine how long you should sit under a hair dryer for dreads, we can refer to the information from the internet sources provided.

The time needed to dry dreadlocks can vary depending on several factors, including the thickness, length, age of the locks, and how porous the hair is. Dreadlocks have a unique texture that resembles sponges, making them more challenging to dry compared to regular undreaded hair.

Recommended Time for Drying Dreadlocks

As a general guideline, sitting under a hair dryer for 30 to 60 minutes is typically sufficient to dry dreadlocks. However, keep in mind that this timeframe is an estimate and may vary depending on the factors mentioned above.

Adjusting Drying Time for Different Hair Types

To determine the most appropriate drying time for your specific hair type, consider the following:

Fine Hair

If you have fine hair, your dreadlocks are likely to dry faster. You may find that a shorter drying time of around 30 minutes is sufficient. However, always monitor the moisture levels of your dreads to avoid excessive dryness or damage.

Thick Hair

Thicker hair tends to hold more moisture, resulting in longer drying times. For those with thick hair, extending the drying time to 60 minutes or more may be necessary to ensure proper drying and prevent any residual moisture.

Coarse Hair

Coarse hair falls between fine and thick hair types in terms of drying time. Start with a moderate drying time of around 45 minutes and adjust accordingly based on how well your dreadlocks dry.

More: How to Soften Coarse 4C Hair With 10 Tips

Understanding the Dreadlocking Process

Before delving into the specifics of drying dreadlocks, let’s quickly recap the dreadlocking process. Dreadlocks are formed by allowing hair to naturally matt and coil together. This intricate process involves tangling the hair strands over time, resulting in the unique, rope-like appearance of dreadlocks.

The Role of a Hair Dryer in Dread Maintenance

Using a hair dryer for dreadlocks serves multiple purposes. Firstly, it accelerates the drying process, ensuring that your dreadlocks dry thoroughly. Moisture trapped within the dreads can create an environment conducive to mold and mildew growth, which can lead to unpleasant odors and potential damage to your locks.

Additionally, using a hair dryer can help shape and set your dreadlocks. The heat from the dryer can assist in tightening the dreads, providing a more polished and well-defined look. Therefore, incorporating a hair dryer into your dread maintenance routine is essential for both hygiene and aesthetics.

More: How to Dry Curly Hair Without a Diffuser

Avoiding Overheating and Damage

While using a hair dryer can be beneficial for drying dreadlocks, it’s crucial to avoid overheating and potential damage. Here are some tips to protect your locks:

  • Set your hair dryer to the lowest heat setting possible to prevent excessive heat exposure.
  • Maintain a distance of at least 6 inches between the hair dryer nozzle and your dreads to distribute the heat evenly and minimize the risk of overheating.
  • Take breaks during the drying process to allow your locks to cool down.

If you notice any signs of excessive dryness or damage, reduce the drying time or adjust the heat settings accordingly.

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Techniques for Drying Dreadlocks

Several techniques can be employed to dry your dreadlocks effectively. Consider the following methods based on your preference and available resources:

Air Drying

Air drying is the most natural method and involves allowing your dreadlocks to dry on their own without external assistance. This method is ideal when time permits and you have sufficient airflow in your environment. However, air drying may take longer compared to other methods.

Blow Drying

Blow drying involves using a hand-held hair dryer to dry your dreadlocks. This technique allows for more control over the drying process, enabling you to target specific areas or sections that may require more attention. Remember to use a diffuser attachment to distribute the heat evenly and minimize frizz.

More: Best Blow Dryers for Black Hair: I Bought & Tested All!

Hooded Hair Dryers

Hooded hair dryers provide a hands-free drying experience. Simply sit under the hooded dryer, adjusting the temperature and duration as necessary. This method is particularly useful for individuals with longer or thicker dreads, as it allows for more efficient and thorough drying.

Hand-Held Hair Dryers

Hand-held hair dryers are versatile and convenient for drying dreadlocks. They offer flexibility in directing the airflow to specific sections or angles. As with other drying methods, ensure you set the hair dryer to a low heat setting and maintain an appropriate distance to prevent damage.

Drying Dreadlocks After Washing

After washing your dreadlocks, it’s crucial to dry them thoroughly to maintain their health and prevent odor-causing mildew. Here are some tips for drying dreadlocks after washing:

  • Gently squeeze out excess water from your dreads using a clean towel. Avoid twisting or wringing the dreads, as this can cause them to lose their shape.
  • If time permits, allow your dreads to air dry for a while before using a hair dryer. This step helps remove moisture on the surface, reducing overall drying time.

Follow the drying techniques mentioned earlier, such as air drying, blow drying, or using hooded or hand-held hair dryers, depending on your preference and availability.

How to Check if Dreadlocks Are Fully Dry

Ensuring your dreadlocks are fully dry is crucial to prevent mold, mildew, and unpleasant odors. To check if your dreads are completely dry, look for the following signs:

  • The dreads should feel dry to the touch throughout their length.
  • There should be no residual dampness or coolness when pressing the dreads between your fingers.
  • The dreadlocks should appear and feel firm, with no signs of moisture or dampness.

If you notice any areas that feel damp or retain moisture, give them additional drying time before considering your dreadlocks completely dry.

Frequency of Drying Dreadlocks

The frequency at which you should dry your dreadlocks depends on various factors, including your hair type, activity level, and climate. In general, aim to dry your dreadlocks thoroughly at least once a week to maintain hygiene and prevent moisture-related issues. However, if you live in a humid environment or lead an active lifestyle that causes excessive sweating, you may need to dry your dreads more frequently.

Additional Tips for Maintaining Healthy Dreadlocks

Apart from drying, here are a few additional tips to help you maintain healthy and well-groomed dreadlocks:

  • Properly wash and condition your dreadlocks using products specifically designed for dreadlock maintenance. Regular cleansing removes dirt, oil, and buildup, promoting a clean and healthy environment for your dreads.
  • Avoid excessive manipulation of your dreadlocks, as this can lead to unnecessary stress and potential damage. Be gentle when styling or retwisting, and avoid constant pulling or tugging.
  • Protect your dreadlocks while sleeping by using a satin or silk pillowcase. These materials help minimize friction and reduce the risk of frizz and breakage.
  • Regularly moisturize your scalp and dreads with natural oils or moisturizing sprays to prevent dryness and promote healthy hair growth.


Properly drying your dreadlocks is essential for maintaining their health, preventing odor, and promoting a well-groomed appearance. By understanding your hair type, considering the length of your dreads, and paying attention to moisture levels, you can establish an appropriate drying routine. Remember to choose the drying method that suits you best, be mindful of heat exposure, and always ensure your dreadlocks are fully dry before styling or covering them. Now you know how long you should sit under the hair dryer for dreads. With the right approach, you can enjoy healthy, vibrant, and well-maintained dreadlocks for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I use a hair dryer on freshly made dreadlocks?

It’s generally recommended to avoid using a hair dryer on freshly made dreadlocks. Freshly formed dreads are more delicate and prone to unraveling, so it’s best to allow them to air dry naturally during the initial stages. Once your dreads have matured and become more secure, you can incorporate the use of a hair dryer for faster drying.

What temperature setting should I use on the hair dryer?

To prevent heat damage, it’s advisable to set your hair dryer to the lowest temperature setting possible. High heat can cause dryness, frizz, and even weaken the structure of your dreadlocks. Remember, a gentle and gradual drying process is key to maintaining healthy dreads.

More: How Hot Does a Hair Dryer Get?

Is it possible to dry dreadlocks naturally without a hair dryer?

Yes, it’s absolutely possible to dry dreadlocks naturally without using a hair dryer. Air drying is the most natural method and requires no additional tools or equipment. However, keep in mind that natural drying may take longer, so plan accordingly to allow enough time for your dreads to dry completely.

Can I speed up the drying process by using higher heat settings?

While higher heat settings may seem tempting to expedite the drying process, they can also cause damage to your dreadlocks. Excessive heat can lead to dryness, breakage, and even cause your dreads to become brittle. It’s best to prioritize the health of your locks and opt for low-heat settings or natural drying methods instead.

Should I use any products before or after drying my dreadlocks?

Using products before or after drying your dreadlocks can be beneficial depending on your hair type and specific needs. Before drying, you may consider using a leave-in conditioner or moisturizing spray to provide extra hydration and nourishment. After drying, you can use dreadlock-specific products like locking gels or oils to add shine and promote overall hair health. Experiment with different products to find what works best for your dreads, but always ensure they are residue-free and won’t cause buildup over time.

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Nala Hale
Nala Hale
Hi there! I'm Nala Hale, an African American woman who wears many hats. I'm a hair stylist, blogger, and proud mother of three amazing kids. In addition to my work as a stylist, I'm also the owner and content writer for, where I share my passion for beauty, fashion, and lifestyle with the world.