7 Things to Know Before Starting Your Locs

Thinking about starting locs? Here are a few tips that can help you get started!african american women in locs

Freeform or Kempt? Freeform is by far the easiest way to start you locs. No stylist. Zero costs. It is also the locking method that is least understood by the general public. You may get resistance from employers, friends and family. Kempt locs cost more in terms of time, products, and stylist. The style looks more polished so it’s often more accepted in social circles. Choose wisely.

Parts matter! With kempt locs, ensure that your parts are even and your sections are uniform when the locs are first installed. If not, have the stylist go back and fix them! Hair cannot be easily re-distributed to look more uniform over time. Get it right the first time.

Strongly consider interlocking. Palm rolling is the most traditional method. But I’m an advocate of interlocking for several reasons:

  1. Maintenance lasts for several weeks rather than days. Less maintenance = less stress on your hair and scalp by retwisting each time that you wash. This is particularly important for those who lead an active lifestyle.
  2. Lead an active lifestyle! Don’t let your hairstyle get in the way of your health!  Interlocking removes the excuse that you don’t want to/can’t work out because you won’t have time to restyle your hair before work or before bed.
  3. Interlocks permit washing regularly and maintaining a healthy scalp without maintenance each time you wash. Save time. Eradicate itchy scalp or odor caused by skipping washes.

Dry time is soooo important. It’s important that your locs dry completely–even down to the core. If left damp for prolonged periods, your hair can eventually develop of funky smell or begin to mold.  When towel drying, always use a clean fresh towel. Locs soak up smells. It’s better to smell like Gain than a week-old bath towel, ya know? You can also use a T-Shirt to dry your locks and minimize the frizz cause by the friction of a towel.

Reconsider you relationship with water. With relaxed hair and natural hair, we tend to run from unplanned encounters with water 🙂 We’re also suspicious of water-based products and opt for creamy or waxy products. In relaxed hair, water causes our roots to curl. In natural hair, water can cause shrinkage and frizz. In locs, especially interlocks, neither is a concern. Water is your friend again! Stay away from creamy or waxy products. They cause buildup.

Trail and error will reveal the perfect products…and then the perfect products may change. Trail and error will reveal what your locs like. As weather conditions change, your diet and activities change, you will need to re-evaluate your product lineup.

ALWAYS sleep with a silk scarf to minimize frizz and lint in your locs. It’s hard to pick lint and pet fur out of locs. REALLY hard.

Got questions? I’ve got answers. Leave your question in the comments section and I’ll get back to you shortly. I may even turn your question into a blog post if it requires more detail.

4 thoughts on “7 Things to Know Before Starting Your Locs

    1. Both sound great!
      Trim off any processed ends or dead ends.
      Deep condition, perhaps with a steam treatment. You don’t want a thick conditioner with silicone products in it, though, because those will make it harder for your locs to hold.
      Be sure that your scalp is SUPER clean before you Loc because your stylist may recommend not washing your hair for a few days (that is determined by several factors).
      Also go ahead and buy a silk pillow case or silk hair scarf if you don’t have one. That will keep your baby locs from getting frizzy and unraveling while you sleep. Best wishes!

  1. Do you have any suggestions or advice for someone that would want to start likes without going to a stylist? I just know it can be a tad pricey in the beginning and if I could manage to start them myself or have a stylist start them then maintain them myself that would be wonderful!

    1. Hi Saber,

      START THEM WITH A STYLIST! The foundation of your locs is so important. Unless you’re already a talented and patient person when it comes to hair styling, I’d see the starter loc session as an investment. You can maintain your locs yourself after that, but the good foundation is essential.

      If you absolutely can’t, begin by twisting the hair into cylinders with a rat-tail comb and then palm rolling. It’s easier than beginning with interlocking. And if you mess up, it’s easier to undo than interlocking. Good luck!

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