I am far from being the loc guru, but I do have some pointers.
Beginner locs: Don’t wash your hair as frequently and when do, you shouldn’t be doing it vigorously. I was told by a friend to use a stocking cap for younger and shorter locs. This will keep the root from unraveling while you are washing your locs. And it worked. Even now, with more mature locs, I use the stocking cap when I do not want to go through the trouble of having the roots being completely unraveled.
More mature locs: I use the Jamaican Mango and Lime Shampoo Pantene clarifying shampoo (both found on the products page) to remove dirt and leaving my scalp feeling refreshed. Again, you don’t want a lot of vigorous rubbing. I get a slather and smooth it down my locs. Afterwards, I squeeze the locs so it can get in them. I may do this a couple times or so. I do the same for rinsing; squeezing the water out as I let the water run over my locs.
Contrary to what you have probably heard, clean locs lock faster than dirty ones. Why? Buildup keeps your locs from locking with other hairs. If you put too much product on your hair it will undo the loc. If anyone has had box braids, you notice that you have to take them out after a certain time. Why is that? Because your hair starts to lock. Box braids keep you from putting grease and other stuff on your hair. So in a sense, your hair is pretty clean. Do you see where I’m going with this?
I use the Jamaican Mango and Lime Sproil daily. Since it is a spray, it is not very heavy. I may alternate between the glosser and the Sproil…doesn’t make a huge difference. I especially spray the oil after washing my hair. I’m sure I’ve washed a lot of the natural oils from my hair and need to replenish my hair. I’ve noticed while doing this, my locs have grown significantly and are healthier. You can use a conditioner after shampooing, however, it leaves a residue to make hair softer. Some people have a serious issue with this since it can weigh down your locs and add to buildup, which I can understand. Some days I do, some days I don’t. Oh well. This brings me to my next point.
Do not put in what can’t wash out. Let me tell you a quickie: I used products with petroleum and petrolatum ingredients when I was beginning my locs. After a month, I washed my hair. My…bathtub….was filthy. Maybe not the whole bathtub, but the floor of it was! It had a ring of grayish grime. Ugh. The petroleum/latum had trapped the dust, lent, the moon, the sun, and everything else in my locs. Did I tell you I live in North Carolina? This dusty, crop-abundant state full of swamps and…You get the picture. (Not all of NC is like this…just 95% of it). Not to mention, no matter how much I washed that day, the slimy goop, a combination of grease and water and whatever else, oozed as I squeezed my locs. So what do I use now? Anything I can wash out: Gels. If it flakes, guess what? I can wash it out! Oils? What is that? I can wash it out! Again, do not put in what you can’t wash out.
Basically, your loc is between both of your hands and you roll it in one direction. You want to roll ALL of your locs in the same direction. Doing the opposite will just simply unravel your root and undo the process. This method also returns stray hairs to the original loc. You do not want twist your locs back and forth between your thumb and pointer finger, as tempting as it is (I see a lot a men do this). It does nothing! At times I see a few strands straying from a loc or root. I just take it and rap it around. By the time I know what’s going on, I’ve done it for almost every loc. You become addicted to making sure your hair is looking good. I don’t get compliments for nothing!
Overprocessing (updated 1.30.10)
-I know you want your locs to be fresh, but don’t overdo it. Twisting your locs daily can actually lead to thinning the root and, if you’re not careful, thin the loc. So try to shoot for weekly or bi-weekly; heck, go for a month. The key to less frizz is to sleep nightly with a satin scarf, du-rag, or bonnet. Scratching could be the culprit, too. Try to use the end of a rat-tail comb, hair pin, or something similar. You can pinpoint the itch more effectively this way. Using your nail/finger can disturb the root and start frizz.
-Dyeing your locs is fine if you want to do it, but make sure you wash all of the product out of your locs. Not doing so will allow the dye to eat away at your locs until you completely wash out the product. I have tips here (Dying to Dye) & (Overfried Dreads).
You are going to want to keep that hair lint-free and fresh for as long as possible. Make sure whatever you wrap your hair with at night is satin or get satin pillow cases. Look on the products page for head coverings.
Use a little body spray—mist—whatever, and spray a light mist over your hair. Guys, you may want a female friend to go and get this for ya if you’re too afraid to go in the beauty aisle.
Spray a lil’ cologne in dem locs to get da girl 😉
Have questions about locs? Email me at: email@example.com