Hey, NaturAllistas! We’re back to answer another customer question. This week, we’re going to dive into how to take care of locs. At NaturAll, we stand by the belief that consistency is key. In order to see real results with our products - from adding more moisture to your hair with our Hydrating Shampoo to increasing growth with our Jamaican Black Castor Oil Growth Serums - it is important to develop a routine for your hair and stick with it!
Have you thought about locing your hair recently, interested in the way people loc their hair or interested in taking care of your loc’d hair? You’ve come to the right place. Loc’d hair is an integral part of the natural hair community and is oftentimes overlooked. We want to shine light on this community, the history and the people. Our new Avokiwi Ultimate Locs 3-Step Recipe is perfect for our loc’d brothers and sisters, but before we get into the products, let’s get into the history and the origins of locs on how to start and how to take care of them.
We’ve either all seen them, worn them or know someone who has them. Locs are a versatile and unique hairstyle that is rooted in the history of the African diaspora. However, there are records of them being found in Greek history, as well as Hinduism and other regions of the world such as Australia. While they may be found worldwide, they hold a powerful and significant meaning within the african diaspora that allows for cultural expression in a climate that oftentimes negates its importance. Today, we can find our loc’d brothers and sisters all over the world; in Jamaica, the US, Colombia, the list goes on!
The term dreadlocks has ambiguous origins. Some believe it comes from the British who coined the term after seeing it styled by the natives of various countries they colonized. Others believe it was a term used by slave masters in the United States that saw many Africans arrive with matted hair that they described to be “dreadful”. Still others believe it originates from Rastafarians in the 1960s who grow their hair to look like that of a lion’s mane. Today, we have people who use the term locs as a means to take power away from the term dread. Others believe in giving the word a different meaning and use the term dreadlocks. It’s your prerogative to choose which term you prefer.
How do locs happen? Locs occur when hair coils onto itself and create fused units. Essentially locs are large sections of knots that group together and form controlled or freely occurring units. After careful retwisting and grooming of the old hair, the new growth will also come out tangled to join the rest. There are different methods of locking your hair;
- The Neglect Method is exactly what the name suggests, neglecting your hair and allowing it to loc on its own. This method works best for kinky hair as it tends to tangle on its own much quicker.
- The Wool Rubbing Method works best for looser curls. This method requires rubbing your hair with wool cloth almost everyday to get it to tangle.
- Two strand twists are another method of starting your locs. Two strand twists is the most popular and most recommended as it allows you to change the parting of your hair in the early stages and it’s easy to take out if you decide that you no longer want to have locs.
- Starting locs with braids is a less popular method. This is also similar to the two strand twist outs except it leaves your hair less frizzy and reduces shrinkage. The only negative outcome of this method is that the braid pattern might remain visible for years afterwards.
- The Comb Coil Method, is usually used by a loctician where they use gel or wax and twist your hair from the roots using a comb.
- Palm rolling can be used to start locs or to retwist your hair - make sure that you're rolling your palms in one direction instead of back and forth or else they will unravel because you are essentially undoing the rolling everytime
- Interlocking your hair is basically sewing your hair together
If you have decided to loc your hair, understand that it takes time, patience and dedication. We recommend watching youtube videos of other people’s journeys, asking a friend and reading blogs ( like this one!)
Different styles of Locs
- Traditional locs that are usually grown in freeform style
- Sister locs are actually a trademarked style by Dr. JoAnne Cornwell in 1993. They are thinner than regular locks and are about half or a third of the size of regular locks
- Micro locs are thin locs that resemble hair and are formed using two strand twists.
Misconceptions about loc’d hair
- It is easier to manage loc’d hair than regular hair
- This is false, locs need the same amount of time, dedication and care as your regular curls and coils. In some cases, especially in the earlier phases, they will need much more care because you are just getting started and you need to build a good foundation.
- They don’t need to be washed as often
- It is important to wash your locs to prevent dirt and product build up that will become very difficult to remove after a while. It is especially important to scrub your scalp in the beginning stages so you can learn how to wash your hair without detangling it. Make sure you establish a good wash day routine that works best for your hair and your journey
- They grow slower than loose hair
- Also false, they grow at the same rate.
- They will thin as they grow
- You will not have this problem as long as you take care of them
- I have to cut my hair to start locs
- This is only true for those who have permed or damaged hair and they want to start fresh, otherwise, you can definitely start locing your hair in its current stage
- I have to cut my locs off if I decide I don’t want them anymore
- This is also false. You can either trim them and begin to unravel them yourself, or visit a loctician to begin the process.
Stages of Locs
- The Baby Stage
- The starter stage usually takes up the first 3-6 months of your journey, depending on your hair type and texture, and it’s when you first start locking your hair. The process of locing your hair usually begins with simple twist outs , palm twists or comb coils or you can opt for more of a freeform method where your hair just grows and naturally coils onto itself. The key is to make sure your locs are not too thin or dry or they will break off!
- The Budding Stage
- The first 6-12 months of your journey is when your hair begins to matte on its own, this includes new growth as well. This is when you shampoo your hair a lot to avoid unnecessary clumping or build up, but do not over shampoo or your hair and scalp will be too dry. This is also when you start retwisting if you are looking to keep a certain pattern or look.
- 12-15 months Teen
You see development. Everywhere. Your locs are now maturing and you can really see the reason why you started. Create a healthy hair regimen in this stage, continue shampooing, moisturizing and retwisting but stay away from build up.
- 15-18 months mature stage
- Your locs are now….. Locs. they hang low now and are full enough to support themselves, and you don't have to retwist them as often. Organize your hair regime.
Taking care of your locs
- Moisturize your hair as often as possible. Water and oil are your best friend as they are lightweight and work to moisturize and seal in at the same time. We recommend using our Hydrating Oil Blend with Avocado and Kiwi with water in a mister bottle.
- Shampoo your hair every couple of weeks to prevent dirt and product build up. We recommend our Hydrating Shampoo. It is lightweight and cleans your locks without completely stripping it of important oils.
- Retwist your hair as needed, depending on the style you would like. Our Hydrating Twisting Paste was formulated specifically for those with locs.It is light and does not build up in your locs
Products to stay away from and what not to do
- Stay away from honey and Beeswax - yes these products will hold your locs in place, but they will also create long term damage.
- Stay away from over twisting your locs as this can cause damage as well.
- Don’t rely too much on your sebum oil to nourish your locs. Yes, Sebum oil is extremely important for all hair, but too much of it can cause build up and flaking. Make sure to properly wash your scalp and to use other oils on your hair as well.
- Stay away from cream based leave-in conditioners - they are way too heavy for locs and result in product build up. They should especially be avoided in the first year because they will make it difficult for your hair to lock on its own.
- Do not trim hair at the roots as these are the foundation of your locs.
- Never allow your locs to sit a long time after you wash them. This will result in mildew. Make sure to dry your locs in the 8 hours after you wash it
- Be careful when you’re bleaching your roots. Bleaching usually requires touch ups which can damage your roots
Check out our Avokiwi Ultimate Locs 3-Step Recipe if you are looking to start your loc’d journey or are looking to take care of your locs!
- Saturate hair with warm water. Apply a quarter-sized amount of Hydrating AvoKiwi Shampoo, work into a lather. Rinse thoroughly. Repeat as necessary.
- Use a fingertip amount of the Hydrating AvoKiwi Twisting Paste and warm it between hands to soften. Apply to frizzy areas to add extra hold and definition. Adding a little at a time, style as desired.
- Apply a dime-sized amount of our Hydrating Oil Blend dime throughout the hair, focusing on your ends to seal in the moisture.
Head Chef Tip: The Hydrating AvoKiwi Twisting Paste can be doubled as an edge control.