Articles, Loc Care & Styles

The BEST Tips to Prevent Buildup in Your Locs

featured image for The BEST Tips for Preventing Buildup. 4 collage photos with article title text in the middle. top left photo is woman with purple headwrap. top left image is a number of hair styling tools/products. bottom left is promotional material from aquabliss water filter. bottom left is a bottle of pills in the background with a few yellow pills in the foreground.

Buildup is the arch nemesis of locs and as such many people spend a lot of their locs journey trying to prevent buildup. Fear of buildup is actually a reason why many people don’t start or delay their loc journeys. Moreover, actual buildup contributes to the end of many loc journeys. There are numerous ways to combat buildup, but preventing buildup is the best and easiest course of action for maintaining healthy locs. Below are some of the best tips to prevent buildup in your locs. 

Hair Washing Schedule

A proper hair washing schedule is vital for preventing buildup. Your scalp naturally sheds dead skin cells, creates sebum, and sweats. Along with that, hair products you use can contribute to scalp buildup. Thus, having a regular hair washing schedule is vital to prevent buildup in your locs. 

How often to wash your locs will depend on many factors – the amount you exercise, your own biology, and many other factors. However, one rule of thumb to watch on determining when to wash your locs is itchy scalp = a wash is past due. This is because a sign of scalp buildup is itchy scalp. It’s common for naturals to think that itchy scalp means you need a thick moisturizing agent. However, often what you need is the opposite, and prolonging a wash and adding thick moisturizers can actually exacerbate buildup in your locs. Overall, a proper hair washing schedule for you should thus be dictated by washing before itchy scalp occurs. 

Water Filters & Softeners

pdf for article best tips to prevent buildup in your locs. aquabliss promotional material of multi-stage filtration. product is for aquabliss water filter
source: aquabliss

Hard water causes buildup and soap scum in your fixtures and bathtub. Furthermore, it can contribute to buildup in your hair. Thus, to prevent buildup, one tip is to soften hard water. Hard water contains higher levels of mineral deposits such as calcium and magnesium. Shower filters such as the Aquabliss won’t soften your water, but can remove chlorine and some other minerals/bacteria. In order to actually soften your water, you will need a water softener such as this Whirlpool Water Softener or the ShowerStick

Avoid Thick Styling/Moisturizing Products

You will hear me write this multiple times. A key factor for preventing buildup is avoiding heavy styling and moisturizing products. Gels and beeswax used to style and retwist your locs will stay there. Heavy creams and oils like shea and coconut oil can contribute to buildup as well. They also have a propensity to attract lint/debris as well to your hair that can get trapped within your locs. 

Protective Hair Styling

posing for article; best tips to avoid buildup in your locswoman sitting down with blue blanked wrapped around her and purple head wrap in pineapple style wrapping locs. sony headphones around her neck.

Using proper protective styling can help prevent buildup in your locs. It’s best to avoid wearing your favorite fluffy sweater with your locs down. Instead keeping your hair wrapped will help prevent lint that can cause buildup. 

Protective locs styling to prevent buildup doesn’t just include hair wraps though. Wearing swimming caps when in the water can prevent chlorine causing buildup in your locs. Moreover, when exercising using a wicking headband can help absorb sweat that would ordinarily turn into buildup. 

Treat Medical Issues

There are certain medical issues that can cause buildup. Thus, it is best to tackle them before buildup has a chance to occur. Some of these medical conditions include psoriasis, eczema, and dandruff. Some conditions can be treated with over the counter medication or medicated shampoo. Other conditions, like psoriasis, often require prescription medication to truly get the condition under control. 


Thanks for stopping by and I hope you were able to find these tips for preventing buildup in your locs useful. Were any of these tips surprising to you? If so, let us know which ones. If you have any other tips that you have used to prevent buildup –  let us know what has worked for you! 

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.