Articles, Loc Care & Styles

What NOT to Do With Your Locs and What to Do Instead

hands with yarn representing the incorrect way to interlock

Whenever you start something new, you’re bound to make mistakes. However, there are some issues we can avoid with a little research. Read below to see my opinion of what NOT to do with your locs (based on either my own experience or research), and what to do instead.

1. Thick Butters/Creams on Locs

Why not…

– Unfortunately, what goes in your locs doesn’t always come out. Thick butters and creams can cause build up in your locs and scalp. Results vary from person to person, but overall most people will benefit from avoiding putting coconut oil, shea butter, and thick moisturizing creams on their hair.

What to do instead… – Try moisturizing with thinner products like aloe vera gel and jojoba oil. Or just try using a spray bottle of water. If you just can’t live without a moisturizer, try applying it in a solution diluted with water.
 castor oil, aloe vera gel, and spray bottle in a bucket

2. Threading the loc through the same parting  

Why not…

– Please, please, please don’t interlock your hair like this. This will ultimately create tension and holes in your locs. Essentially, threading your locs through the same hole multiple times causes separation as you are twisting two sections of your loc apart.

What to do instead…

– Check out this article for interlocking tools and tips. 

hands with yarn representing the incorrect way to interlock
Threading the top of the loc repeatedly through the same triangle will separate the loc.

3. Retightening Too Often or Too Tightly

Why not…

– Many people associate defined loc parts with professionalism or well-kept hair. However, overtightening/tightening too often can lead to areas thinning and breaking off. 

What to do instead…

– Mindset change. You can still look professional without the fresh retwist look. It is not necessary for every strand of hair to be neatly tucked into a loc.

– Hair style change. If you love the freshly locd look, you can try some style that give the appearance of that while avoiding retwisting. For example, buns with side parts or head wraps are good alternatives.

woman with headwrap
Ignore my messy room…

4. Not Washing Your Locs

Why not…

– I understand some people may be wary of washing locs for fear of them unraveling. However, you’re still susceptible to product build-up and/or getting an itchy scalp from not washing – so it’s best to avoid that by cleaning your locs.

What to do instead…

– There are a couple things you can try. If you’re newly locd with short hair try washing hair in a tub of water. Most of what unravels locs is the stream of water from above when you’re in the shower. However, if you wash your hair in a basin of water, there is no pressure and you can have more control. This way you can concentrate on washing by section more gently, so there is a lesser chance of your locs unraveling.

– If your hair can fit into braids/twists, you can try washing your hair in twisted sections. This way, the stream of water won’t be able to unravel your locs.

– If you haven’t started your locs yet, consider a method that isn’t as prone to unraveling in the shower. For example; comb-coils are more likely to unravel than twists, and twists are more unlikely to unravel than braids.

– Embrace the fact that parts of your hair will unravel, and just reloc as it happens. This is what I did, and by about six months it was fine. For reference, I started my locs by twisting. 

smiling girl with locs
Smile (or not… your life) and enjoy the process:)

 

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Check out the feature on Curly Nikki’s site as well! 

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