We’ve gotten so many questions about how to start locs. So I reached out to my blogger fave Shaina from A Thick Girl’s Closet so that she could give you beauties a head start on the process. She gets all kinds of questions like, how long has she had them, how does she maintain them, how does she curl them and so many more. So here’s Shaina’s take on all the things you need to know better starting your locs.
Text by Shaina Tucker:
Locs can be very misunderstood. Especially to those who may want to start the process but are unsure. My advice is to do your research. There are different ways to start and ultimately maintain your locs. The more you know and understand the more informed your decision will be. Also keep in mind everyone has a different journey. The tips I’m listing below are from my experience of having locs for the past seven years. Use these as a guide (it’s not the bible beauties), and always be open to altering things that work for you and your hair.
1. How do I start my locs?
Meet with a loctition or talk to someone who has locs. Everyone starts their locs differently. I personally started my locs with the two-strand twist. But you can palm roll, comb coil, free form or do sister locs. Each method works for different hair types and when talking to a loctition they can advise you on what method would work best for your hair. I think that starting your locs correctly will have better long term effect on your hair.
2. How often should I wash/twist my hair?
This is something you have to decide for yourself. Some people wash every two weeks others wash every four or longer. I find the more your hair matures the more time you put in between washing. When twisting your hair, always twist while your hair is wet/damp. You don’t want to twist on dry hair because it can weaken your hair in the long run. Don’t wash too frequently. You don’t want to have to constantly re-twist your hair that will unravel during the shampoo process.
3. What product should I use to twist me hair?
That are a plethora of products used for maintaining locs. Carol’s Daughter has some good products, Jamaican Mango & Lime have popular products as well. The one thing you want to avoid at all cost is beeswax. Beeswax is a huge NO NO. Beeswax doesn’t wash out properly which means it sits in your hair cause residue to collect for lint or dirt or any other particles floating around. Ultimately that residue can cause your locs to smell and trust you don’t want that.
4. I don’t want to go through that ugly period.
I hear this all the time from people. It is kind of unavoidable. And the truth is everyone has a different experience with the “ugly stage” also known as the budding stage. It’s sort of like a rights of passage, your hair is starting to figure itself out. It’s starting the loc’ing process. Some people have horrible budding stage. While others breeze through those few months. Some go through it for two months and others may go through it for six months. I have a few friends that during their first year of loc’ing it was like their hair could not get it together. But for me my budding stage wasn’t bad. If you really don’t want to show your budding stage invest in wigs and head wraps.
5. I always wanted to loc my hair, but I like to change my hair often.
This topic is simple, if you are not ready to commit to the process don’t do it. Yes it is possible to take out locs, but that is something I most definitely will not recommend.
6. I have a perm, I can start locs?
This is something that people will agree and not agree with. I don’t believe you have to cut your perm out however you will have to grow at least and inch or two of your natural hair. As your locs bud and mature the permed ends will fall off (don’t be alarmed it’s just a part of your hair’s natural process).
7. What about wearing locs at work.
This is an endless conversation. From my personal experience I’ve never had a problem with my hair in the workplace. But I am in a more creative environment. But my advice for you is to make sure you’re hair is manicured. Meaning keep your edges neat in between washes. When styling your hair make sure it’s polished and not too crazy.
8. No you cannot touch my hair.
I think this is something ALL natural girls deal with. People have this fascination with our hair but forget all about our personal space. This is something you’ll have to get use to, but it is a choice that lies with you. If you don’t want people touching your hair, don’t hesitate to let people know they can’t put their hands in your hair.
9. What is the difference between Sister Locs & Regular locs?
Sisters locs are very very tiny almost resembles unloc’d hair. The process of maintaining them is very expensive and requires someone who is trained in the process of maintaining sister locs. “Regular” locs are much more low maintenance. You can do them yourself or you can go to a salon and have them done.
I hope this helped anyone who is thinking about loc’ing their hair. Your loc journey will be one of patience and learning. You will experiment with your hair, with products and styles. Just like those who don’t have locs, you have to take care of your hair, wash it, keep it hydrated, and growth will come in due time. Be patient and love your hair even when you don’t want to. You will love it in the long run, especially when you get to look back at old pictures from the beginning.
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