Recently, I got a message from a male Facebook friend who asked on how to start locs on natural hair, hence I write this post.
To achieve locs on your natural hair,your hair must be natural 😀 ….i.e free of relaxers.
How to Start Locs
Locs do not happen overnight. The time it takes for your hair to lock depends on the type and texture of your hair. It can take as little as a few weeks for coarse hair, or as long as 2 years to fully lock straighter hair. Don’t be scared, many loc in 4-8 months. This is the time for patience.
There are several ways you can start your locs. The method depends on your preference.
Some people are very detailed and exact in there sizes of locs, others are not.
Basically, there are two “types” of locs. There are the freeform locs which are allowed to grow as nature wants them to (like dreadlocks). And, there are cultivated or manipulated locs which are guided to loc in a certain manner. With the cultivated type of locs you part your hair into sections to work with. The sizes of your sections depend on the size you want your locs to be, however, do not make your sections smaller than the size of a pencil. Locs started off too small may eventually break off from the weight of the hair after they grow long.
This is the easiest method. Just wash and dry your hair then leave it alone. Yep, if you don’t comb your hair, it will eventually lock.
You can read more about these methods under “Tools and Techniques”, but you have a choice on which method to use.
SingleTwists. Use a product to twist your hair, such as pure aloe vera gel, or a lock and twist butter. After washing and towel drying, apply product down the length of your hair, and use your finger to twist/twirl your hair into a coil. Or, use a comb to twist into a coil. Or, palmroll your hair into a coil by placing the hair in the palm of your hands and rolling it in the same direction.
With single twists, you have to use care with washing your hair before it is fully locked. The twists will unravel, but they will unravel less and less with each washing. To keep them from unraveling, place a stocking cap over your locs when washing your hair. The stocking cap will keep the twists in place while you are washing your hair. Remove the stocking cap for the final rinse.
Two-Strand Twist. Follow single twist instructions except you take two portions of hair and twist them around one another.
These twist stay together during washing more than single twists.
Braids. Braid your hair, then leave it alone. Just retwist at the roots.
Braids will stay together when you wash your hair, they won’t unravel if you have braided your hair to the ends.
You can even start your locs by getting Loc Extensions and just leaving them in.
Parting Your Hair
When sectioning your hair into parts to loc you also have some choices. First, determine if you want your locs thin or thick. This will determine the size of the sections you make in your hair.
Remember, your hair will eventually get longer and heavier if you don’t cut your locs. Keeping this in mind, you don’t want your locs to be too thin so that the additional weight of longer hair may cause them to break. You may not want to make sections in your hair smaller than one-half inch per side. (Note: using the Sisterlock, or Brotherlock method allows for smaller locks because of the technique used to “lock” the hair).
What about the shape of your sections. Do you have to make “squares” in your hair to start your locs? No, you don’t. You can part your hair into small triangles if you want. Squares are easier, but the choice is yours. Or, you can part your hair in the shape of the letter “C”, it’s up to you.
Another consideration is the pattern of your hair parting. Many people use a brick laying pattern where the squares are parted like bricks on a wall. The parts on each layer are done above the middle section of the layer beneath it:
Or, you can make your partings randomly, in no particular pattern.
If you think you may want to braid and twist your locs into defined rows with clear parts, you may even want to section your hair so that the squares are lined up one behind another:
To form letter “C’s” in your hair just part the hair in a C shape.
Whatever size, shape, or pattern you use is really whatever you desire. You don’t have to be “locked” into just one way. Let your imagination and creativity start at the very beginning of your journey!
Washing Newly Formed Locs
Although you want to give your hair a chance to lock by being undisturbed, you do need to wash your hair so please do not be afraid to wash your newly formed locs. How often you wash is determined by your hair and lifestyle. If you workout and sweat a lot, you may have to wash your hair more often than someone who doesn’t.
Wash your hair as often as you need to, but no more than once a week when the hair is not fully locked. Many people wash every other week in the first couple of months of locking. Once again, it depends on your hair, your activities, and personal preference. Once your hair is locked, you can wash as often as you want.
To help your newly formed locs stay in place while washing, place a stocking cap over your head and shampoo and rinse your hair with the stocking cap on. Take your stocking cap off for the final rinse.