The Complete Guide to Caring for your Locs
December 15, 2018
Have you ever considered locking your hair? Whether you find the prospect daunting or exciting, we're here to make sure you've got all the info you need to make your transition to locs as easy and stress-free as possible!
Read on for Antidote Street's detailed guide on caring for locs - from making the decision all the way to the best maintenance routine. And as always we love providing you with the best products for your hair style and type - so we've curated a fab Locs Kit just for you!
Chloe & Halle make it look so easy and fun, and after toying with the idea for a while, I decided to go for it.
I quickly discovered locs are a massive commitment and here are just a few things I have learnt along the way and hopefully they are of help to someone thinking about going for it.
What should you consider before you decide on locs?
First, ask yourself these questions:
Are you tired of your loose natural hair, all the detangling etc, and most of all do you find yourself wearing solely protective styles - 2 strand twists, braids, cornrows? If so, you might be a good candidate.
Is your hair care low maintenance? You’re rarely switching up wigs, braids, weaves etc.
Neither of these might apply to you, and you just want a change.
Decision made! So what's next?
Once you have decided you are game, here are a few things to consider:
This cannot be stressed enough. First, you need to find a good loctitian - one who listens to you - and make sure you get a consultation beforehand.
It might be good to research some loc inspirations so your loctitian has an idea what your end goal is and can start your hair with that goal in mind.
Loc method of choice:
Besides free form, and semi freeform - think Bob Marley - the usual ways to loc your hair at a salon would be either through 2-strand twists, regular single plaits, comb coil method or interlocking - (Sisterlocks are a form of interlocking, a patented method, often done by accredited Sisterlocks consultants).
Ensure you do your research to decide which method you like best, it is worth noting that your hair texture may determine the method which suits you best.
Loctitian on lock! What more do I need to know?
So, you have found your perfect loctitian and know the method you want to use. Here are even more tips:
No twisting with gels, heavy creams, petroleum oil. You want to avoid anything that cannot be washed out of your locs. Coconut was a disaster. Key with locs is everything with a light hand. No heavy conditioners, nothing.
Ensure your loctitian does not twist your hair too tight, we want to avoid traction alopecia and locs breaking off over time.
Following on from this point, after your initial install, it’s usually advised to retwist no sooner than 4 weeks to maintain healthy locs, and a clean scalp.
After the first few months, you should be able to gauge how often your retwists should be, some people leave a window up to 8 weeks but you want to make sure you do not leave it too long so the locs do not tangle.
Wash your hair. Do not listen to anyone who tells you not to wash it for the first 6 months. Keep your scalp clean.
Between your re-twist appointments, there is very little you need to do besides the following:
Wear a scarf or a bonnet. In the early stages of the loc process, the hair gets extremely frizzy and I found wearing a scarf helped managed the more difficult days.
If you work out, make sure after every session, you clean your scalp with witch hazel, and always follow up with an oil mix.
Every other day, spritz the hair with a water-based moisturiser of choice. I have a homemade mix of rosewater and jojoba oil. For my scalp, I use a mix of jojoba oil, vitamin E oil, tea tree and rosemary oil.
Every 6 months, you can do a deep cleanse with a clarifying shampoo and ACV rinse and follow up with a hot oil treatment to infuse moisture.”
Now you wait.
Locs are unpredictable, you never know how your hair is going to turn out, and while it’s good to have loc inspirations, you ultimately have to embrace the journey and the surprises along the way.