View Full Version : Dreadlocks/ Long Hair

01-24-2015, 16:14
Just curious what your opinions are on how to protect long hair/dreadlocks from getting ticks up there. I've tried using buffs before but find them somewhat uncomfortable so it's been mostly bandannas for me. Even so i've still found the occasional tick crawling around. (and don't be the one to say to just cut it :) )

01-24-2015, 16:24

For DIY Google Search: doo-rag pattern

For sale Google Search: doo-rag or do-rag

01-24-2015, 17:13
Keeping the hair covered by whatever feels the most comfortable. Not sure anything is better than what you have tried. I'd continue experimenting.

The other half of this is using repellents such as DEET on the skin and Permethrin spray for the outside of your clothes, including a light mist on the head cover.
Get the scoop on Lyme Disease and seek medical attention first signs of any symptoms.

01-24-2015, 17:26
I wear my pony tail in a bun under my cap when hiking.

Ticks aren't much interested in hair, long or short....they only land there temperately on the way to the scalp.

They might aim for your neck or behind ears if you pick them up that high on your body, but it's usually the lower body areas (lower than your neck) that they land and attach to.

01-24-2015, 19:45

01-24-2015, 20:05

Is that a vote for cutting it?


01-24-2015, 23:50
get a haircut and get a real job! (George Thorogood or his Dad)

01-25-2015, 01:42
I will be joining you with hair too long to take on the trail

01-25-2015, 02:22
I pull my long hair thru the open back of a baseball cap. If I need to, I put my jacket over the top of my long hair. The jacket hood works, as well.

Lightweight top with a hoodie?

"Scrunchie" instead of a rubber band?

Tie hair with a short hank of big fat yarn?

Do not knock up against brush or lay down on the ground, where there are ticks?

01-25-2015, 07:59
Keeping ticks off your head with dreds will be difficult. Dreds don't fit under conventional hats or even head scarves easily and will leave gaps in the fabric or brim insects will exploit. Braids have an additional problem which is ticks can easily get into the braid and be completely hidden from sight and feel, eventually working their way to the scalp at the base of the braid(s) to feed, which is likely you'll not be able to notice them when they get there.

Other issues include; laying your head down on the ground to sleep. Ticks don't sleep and can easily get into hammocks or tents from clothing or being on your body already. Propping your head against anything (tree trunk, rock, shelter wall) will be an issue, ticks like these surfaces too. Sitting in shade under saplings or trees can be an issue as ticks can drop on you. Sitting near grass, ferns, or any vegetation will be an issue as ticks like to jump from this kind of cover. Suffice to say, ticks have spent the past 15 million years evolving parasitic methods the host is not able to detect or defend itself from, which makes them particularly good at it. They will wiggle, jump, and crawl their way to areas of the body that are difficult to feel, reach, and be removed from.

You have about four options if you want to sport dreds:

1. Don't wear anything but a bandanna and take your chances with ticks. You will be cooler, but not well protected.

2. Wear a "Rasta" hat (http://www.ebay.com/bhp/dreadlock-hat). These hats will allow all the dreds to be under cover and will cover/seal most of the hairline. You can treat the hat with permethrin or DEET (or treat the hat with permethrin and use DEET around the area of your head where the cap ends that insects can crawl under). The issue of what you do when you sleep will be a difficult one depending on how you plan to sleep (ground or hammock) but either way ticks are active 24/7 and will be attracted to either the hair or the warm hat.

3. Do not use a hat, use several applications of DEET daily to avoid ticks. This will be difficult as you will have to be sure to reach every nook and cranny of scalp area under the dreds and most importantly, under the individual braids themselves. Sweat will erode this protection and reapplication will be necessary.

4. Unbraid the dreds and just go with the long hair (rebraid them after the walk) so you are cooler and more easily protected from ticks (and other biting insects). Long hair, while sometimes an annoyance, will be much easier to manage tick protection versus dreds.

Long hair can have similar issues, but because it is more pliable it can be more easily washed out, brushed out, and/or managed under conventional hats. Heat may be another issue, it may be very hot under the dreds with a hat. Body heat is regulated best through the head and in winter conditions it's probably not an issue, but summer heat and humidity may be.

Best of luck. Sounds like "Marley" will be part of a trail name....

01-25-2015, 11:38
Does combing hair with a "lice comb" help?

01-25-2015, 12:16
I had long hair when I did my thru attempt. Now I shave my head every week or two and I wish I had done that on my hike...it would have been a lot more comfortable and much less maintenence. When I got off the trail I got a haircut because I assumed I would need to do so for job interviews...then I was hired by way of a telephone interview and my first day on the job met a guy with hair as long as mine was and I regretted cutting it...but it grew back...within a year or so it was back to normal.

01-25-2015, 12:18
Insect Shield bandana

01-25-2015, 12:22
My buddy cut off the legs of pantyhose and stuffed his dreads in them and wore it Like an extra long do rag. He wore a bandana around his head at the base of the hose to seal it against his head. Seemed to work for him. He said it was the lightest option he had tried . He got the name ' heist' because of the pantyhose.

01-25-2015, 16:25
I would soak a buff in Sawyers. More importantly I'd be happy to have dreads!

01-25-2015, 21:31
Im brining a prescription of doxycycline with my for the ticks, if I get bit and find the rash you can take two pills and nip it before it starts. Then you don't have to get off the trail and find a doc to write a script. Also you don't have to take the whole cycle of pills. If you know you have a greater exposure risk like with hair and all. go get a script.

01-25-2015, 21:43
Im brining a prescription of doxycycline with my for the ticks, if I get bit and find the rash you can take two pills and nip it before it starts. Then you don't have to get off the trail and find a doc to write a script. Also you don't have to take the whole cycle of pills. If you know you have a greater exposure risk like with hair and all. go get a script.

With any prescription used in fighting a virus or infection a full cycle of treatment is always the smart way to go. Never comprise on your health.

01-25-2015, 22:08
Doxycycline can be used for prophylaxis. It is also used by the military and other as an anti-malarial.