Essentially, locs are strands of knotted hair. If you refrain from manipulating or touching your hair, it will naturally begin to loc on its own! All textures of hair will begin to loc at different rates and different speeds. However, contrary to popular belief, every hair texture is loc friendly. What is most beautiful about locs is that like a fingerprint, everyone’s locs are unique.
How to Begin Starter Locs
The average number of locs to start with ranges between 30 and 50 individual locs. Before the process begins most people have an idea in their head of what they want their locks to look like. Look for your starter locs to typically grow about 6 inches a year.
Ways to Start Locs
Locs can be started with braids / plaits with at least 4 inches of hair of any texture. Braids (or plaits) may be the go-to starter loc style for people with a looser hair texture to prevent unraveling in the beginning loc stages, particularly when the hair gets wet. Braid Locs are ideal for those that sweat a lot in their scalp or that wish to maintain their locs with interlocking.
To start locs with comb coils, you only need about 1-3 inches of hair of any texture. This technique makes use of a comb to create evenly distributed coils around the head, which are often the go to technique for the traditional locs we all use for some form of inspiration.
Locs started with two strand twists require about 6 inches of hair, and the two-strand twist is the recommended technique for highly textured or longer hair. Two strand hair twists allow the locs to mature with a solid internal foundation in contrast to comb coils, and are likely to end up as thicker locs, depending on the size that you start with in the beginning.
For those leading very active lifestyles usually want their locs to appear neat a majority of the time with less maintenance, would benefit from the interlocking technique. This technique involves using a tool or fingers to thread locs through themselves creating a very strong internal structure. Locs maintained through interlocking often shrink in size after maturing.
To avoid going through the “awkward phase” of new locs, this method is for you. We can attach loc extensions made of human hair or synthetic fibers to provide a full look from day one.
This technique is mostly used on Caucasians or naturally straight hair. A straight mane has to be teased into shape then palmrolled into the shape of locs. Proper maintenance in the early stages of backcombed locs is essential l to avoid blowouts or premature budding of the hair.
The crochet hair twisting method is when hair is sectioned and a crochet needle is the tool used to form the knots. Most love using the crochet method for starting to grow locs because it gives the look and feel of natural locs instantly. While maintaining a polished look, crochet locs help keep frizz and stray hair under control.
Loc extensions are temporary method used for individuals with the intention of wearing a temporary loc style without waiting time for the locs to mature. They look polished, and can be attached to pre-existing hair to create instant starter loc length.
How to Care for Starter Locs
Letting the Locs Grow
The key to starter locs is that the hair has been manipulated in a way to keep the form. And to keep the form for a long time so that the rest of the hair compels in that manner. Therefore, you have to refrain from touching the hair so that the locs can be grown freely. Once the hair is allowed to grow freely, the new hair growth will interlock and interweave with the hair loc freely. This will continue the hair locking process, and, preventing the starter loc from unraveling.
Don’t Manipulate the Hair
While your starter locs are in the beginning phase, they are most fragile. It is essential that you keep your hands out of your hair at all times! Once your hair is free of manipulation, which prevents single strand knots, breakage, and split ends. And more importantly, lack of manipulation prevents the starter loc from unraveling. Once it unravels, you would have to go through the long process all over again. This step works for hand in with number one. It gives your hair a free space to grow and form properly as previously mentioned. Thus, setting how your locs will grow and shape in the future.
Less Product is More
After installing starter locs, there should be no excessive product usage in your loc regimen. Excessive product will weigh the starter locs down and cause it to unravel, and do you want that? This tip should be used during the starter and mature stage. Less product is always better for your starter locs. Try a refresher spray for daily upkeep or using a pre-cleanse wash to gently clean your scalp.
Monitor How Much You Wash Your Hair
The experts recommend shampooing your hair at least every week however with starter locs, you may have to go longer in between hair washes.
Do Not Condition/Deep Condition
Both of these steps add moisture back into the hair after shampooing. However, at the stage that you are at, this step is omitted as well. No water or water-based product should come into contact with the locs until they have grown out. Thus, preventing them from unraveling and you have to start over again. We recommend conditioning your hair once it begins locking.
Starter Loc Products
When starting your locs, make sure that you use the best product for your hair. Here are some of the top products to use when starting your locs, particularly if you like crocheting your faux locs to start them off:
- Knotty Boy LockStead Tropical Tightening Gel.
- Jamaican Mango & Lime Resistant Formula Locking Gel
- Murray’s Gel-Loc Lock
- Carol’s Daughter Loc Butter
- Knatty Dread Dreadlocks Cream
- Darcy’s Botanicals Organic Coconut Butter Styling Pomade
- Alpha Hair Organic Pomade
- Tight Hold Loc It Up
- Barry Fletcher Loc Set Serum
- Spray N-Lock
When You are Ready for Starter Locs
It doesn’t matter which starter loc method you are focused on the most, the most important aspect to remember is that beautiful locs take time, paitience and care. With the right product, and starter loc maintenance methods, your locs will be the beautiful long flowing masterpieces that you envision from the start.