Your Locs Guide: Everything You Need to Know about Locs
Are you interested in getting locs but don't know where to start? Do you want to avoid common mistakes that can be made while getting your natural hair braided into locs? If so, then let this article serve as your locs guide. This article will review the basics and essential information about the history of locs, why people wear locs, types of locs, and how to get started with your own.
The History of Locs
The word locs is generally used as an abbreviation for a variety of forms of dreadlocks. Many newbies like to point to the 60s as the beginnings of dreads in Western Culture. However, if you dive deep into African history, you will find that dreadlocks have been around since 2500 BC along the shores of the Nile. Also, dreads have roots in the Aztec, Greek, Buddhist, and Rastafari cultures.
Asking why people wear locs is almost akin to asking people why they braid their hair. You will likely get a variety of different answers for the decision to wear locs, depending on who you ask. Some people wear them as a symbol of their spiritual beliefs. Others wear them as a political statement. Finally, some individuals rock the locs because they are the trendy thing to do. This last reason can create a bit of controversy, particularly when you see it done outside of the African diaspora, but no matter the rationale, people treasure their locs.
Locs are versatile. Depending on the diameter of the locs, you can wear them in updos, freestyle, and even braid styles. If you like to change things up with color from time to time, you can color your hair.
How to Start Locs
In simple terms, locs are formed using hair strands that become matted over time. In fact, there are two pathways to achieving locs. If you refrain from combing your hair for a period, your hair will eventually lock on its own. This approach is likely not an ideal way to get started. There is a risk your hair will just turn into a matted mess.
Interlocking is another way to start locs. Many people favor this method because it helps to keep their locs fresh and presents a well-kept appearance. A tool or fingers may be used to thread locs through existing locs to create a healthy base.
Comb Coils Method
Comb coils are an excellent approach for installing locs. This approach leverages a comb to create pencil-sized coils. This method works well for you if you have two to three inches of hair.
Two-Strand Twists Method
You can also start locs with two-strand twists. This approach provides for a great foundation and allows for thicker locs depending on the size you install. Short or long hair, this approach works well.
The backcomb method is a popular approach for individuals with looser curl patterns or straight hair. To start, simply carve out a section of your hair. Hold the section of hair tight and straight. Next, run your hair from root to tip using the comb. Ultimately you are creating a tease style. In essence, you are creating tangles. You repeat this process for each section until you have pockets of tangles. Once you establish your tangles, palm roll this hair. Again, the backcomb approach may not be the best method for kinky, curly, or coily hair types.
How Long Does It Take to Grow Locs?
Once you decide to commit to the loc growing process, the first question many people have is how can I make my locs grow fast? Remember, growing your locs will be a process. Your hair texture will play a pivotal role in how fast your hair will take to lock. Locs may take anywhere from 90 to 180 days to take hold. Also, it is not until approximately two years after the process begins that your hair achieves the recognizable rope design.
That said, you can take a few actions to help move the locking process along.
Types of Locs
There are multiple types of locs. The cost to create these locs may vary. If you are bold enough to craft your own dreads from the comfort of your home, the cost may be minimal. If you use a professional stylist to get you started, the price may range from $100 to $1500. The price is often driven by the type of locs, the number of locs, how much hair you have, and time.
Braidlocs are a method used to start locs. Hair is braided into individual braids. They are maintained via the practice of interlocking or palm rolling.
Sister Locs and Brother Locs
Sister locs, createdin 1993 by Dr. JoAnne Cornwell,look very similar to microbraids. You might hear the term brother locs for locs worn by men. Sisterlocs are created using a particular utensil to guild the lock from the tips of your hair to your root.
Traditional locs are installed using comb curls or finger coils. A twisting or loc gel is often used to help sustain the style.
Faux locs are more of an honorable mention here, but they are worth discussing in this guide because they are so popular. Faux locs are an alternative approach to wearing locs without making a long-term commitment. They are a great way to help you get a sense of whether you like your image.
Faux locs are formed using braids as the base. After your natural hair is braided, hair extensions are wrapped around each braid.
How to Care for Your Locs
Locs do require a bit of maintenance. The purpose of caring for your locs is to prevent damage and protect your locs. Here is how to manage your locs.
Take Care of Your Scalp
No matter the style you wear, healthy hair starts at the scalp level. Keep your scalp clean. You want to ensure that your scalp does not have to endure any sort of build-up that might clog your pores or trigger a nasty round of infections or scalp inflammation. These things can lead to hair loss if left unchecked. Use products that help to moisturize your scalp and promote circulation to the region. Conditioning products like MiJoy Naturals Refreshen Up Serum and It’s The OIL for me can be incredibly impactful in reducing the risk for scalp irritation and inflammation.
Re-twisting Your Locs
To keep your locs looking fresh, you may need to visit a stylist for re-twisting every six to eight weeks. You can also re-twist your locs using the finger and palm technique. The process of re-twisting your locs is crucial. It helps to avoid breakage or thinning that may occur.
As your hair grows, do not forget to tighten the new growth area. You can use a loc gel or Mu-Moisture, Periodt Leave-in Mist between your fingers to roll the dreads in a clockwise motion. Take care to moisturize your locs as well. Hydrating your locks can help to support hair elasticity and keep your hair looking fresh. Products like the Loc Love Moisturizing Hair Kit are an excellent way to pamper your locs in between washes.
Bedtime Loc Ritual
Locs do not require a lot of care. However, do not short-change your bedtime ritual. You should aim to use a jumbo satin bonnet or satin scarf to protect your locs. Doing so will help to minimize friction between your locs and your bedding. Additionally, it will help to limit your locs picking up any gnarly lint balls or other inexplicable debris that can sometimes find its way into the fibers of your glorious locs.
Salt Water Spray
Saltwater spray is a valuable, natural ingredient to help your hair loc faster. It is also a fantastic way to tighten and rejuvenate your locs.
In closing, locs have a rich history. Your locs will require maintenance, so be prepared to invest in the health and quality of your hair. Caring for your locs will help to sustain your style and reduce the risk of scalp inflammation and irritation. Nothe inches of your hair, there is a way to start your dreads today. Are you ready to get started?
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