I wrote about the pros and cons of locs this post. You should check it out. As I mentioned, you still have to take care of your locs as you would with your natural or afro hair.
However, because of the nature of locs, you have to do this differently from your natural/afro/relaxed hair. All the good locticians I have spoken to say the best care for your locs is to leave them alone. I totally agree but me I cannot leave my hair alone for too long. If you are like me, then this post is for you.
My regimen: I currently wash, condition, moisturise and style my locs.
I wash my hair every 2 weeks. I am not super religious about it. Some people wash every month. Do what works for you. I wash this often cos I love to feel water on my hair. I use black soap, dr bronners soap or a regular (mostly Indian) shampoo. I would say you can use a regular shampoo for your hair as most shampoos are designed to clean hair.. but I recommend that you use a clarifying shampoo because dirt sometimes get stuck in your locs and you want a shampoo that will help get them out.
I also advise that you know the ingredients in whatever black soap you use as some have ingredients that your scalp might react to. I have a special “shampoo” I use when there’s a lot of product, lint or dirt stuck in my hair. It is guaranteed to take EVERYTHING out.
I do this once a month. You can condition your hair with a combination of oils or a regular deep conditioner. Conditioning is a contested step with a lot of loc heads. Here’s why: A conditioner by its nature is supposed to soften your hair and the longer it stays on the hair the more it penetrates your hair shaft. With locs, the last thing you want is for your hair to be too soft (Your locs could unravel) or for a product to over-penetrate your locs (Cos the product could get stuck inside your locs which could break or damage your hair if not removed properly).
The reason I condition my hair is because I have bleached/coloured hair. You HAVE to condition your hair if you have colour in it. Conditioners also contribute to the overall health of your hair so I am not against using them for locs. I had to find a sensible way to go about this to avoid product buildup. Sooooo.. Heres what I advice
- You can go online to search for the perfect combination of oils that will “condition” your hair. Then you can do a hot oil treatment. This works very fine for some people.
- You can lightly coat your hair with a deep conditioner and leave it in for a short period of time (5-15 min) then rinse out thoroughly.
- Whenever you condition your hair, ensure you rinse out till you are sure all the products are gone.
- Don’t wait too long to wash your hair so that everything that somehow managed to get stuck, can come out.
Finally, only condition if your hair care professional recommends it or if you really want/need to.
I moisturise every other day or twice a week depending on the weather and my mood. This is my favourite step. I use a combination of rose water and any light/penetrative hair oil I have available. This includes coconut oil or almond oil.. I sometimes add an essential oil to make my mixture smell nice and a little Jamaican black castor oil because I am trying to regrow my edges.
You can use what you have for this step. From what I’ve learnt, your product = 20% and your technique 80% of your regimen. No need to go over the top. I once tried to buy a ‘locs moisturiser’ but it was horrible for my hair.
Here’s something I learnt from the Internet about the benefit of using water and oil for your hair and skin. Hydration: adding water to your cells, Moisturise: ensuring the water doesn’t leave the cells by trapping it in. So when you have a mix of oil and water, the water hydrates your hair/skin while the oil moisturises it. 🙂 . If a trichologist or chemist is reading this post, please let me know if I’m right or wrong.
I haven’t been going anywhere in the last months so I only style when I feel like it. My go to styles are:
- Let my hair down and use hairpins to hold the short locs (mostly in front) in place
- I do two buns which I find really cute
- I do Bantu knots and unravel after a while for curly locs.
- One high bun with a scarf to protect my nonexistent edges
- Loc twists: which looks a mess because my hair isn’t long enough yet but still cute.
Relocing is when you loc your new growth which makes your locs look neater and nicer. I reloc max 3 times in the year, Dec/Jan, June/July, Sept/Oct. If your hair grows really fast or if you don’t like the rough look, you might prefer to reloc maybe every quarter or every other month. Please note that over relocing damages your locs in the long run. Leave your hair alone to flourish. Relocing cost vary depending on your location. It costs between 6-10k in Lagos, 60-120 euros in Europe and 100-400 USD in North America.
I am still learning a lot about this hair and some times I need to watch other people to get inspiration, learnings and ideas. My top loc influencers are
- Yanni the Locologist: She is an amazing and entertaining teacher. I consider her an EXPERT on everything locs.
- Folu Storms: I love to copy her hairstyles.
- Damian Walter: A YouTuber/stylist that seems to know what he’s doing.
- Atilola: Shes a Nigerian trichologist who gives the best natural hair advice and runs a hair clinic in Lagos
- The girl book by Nina: I love her youtube videos.
- Adanna: Our locs look so similar in length and I just enjoy looking at hers
- Segun who is not an influencer but a friend of mine with amazing locs.
Soooooo. Now back to you. How do you take care of your locs? Wanna share in the comment section below?