Starting Your Locs

Excuse the face! Unprimed and undone!

Excuse the face! Unprimed and undone!

No loc journey is exactly alike. No. Journey. Each one is unique in its own pathway. Some say its mystical, soul-purifying, frustrating, horrific, trying and challenging, easy, enchanting, and a whole dictionary of adjectives that describes their journey. But you, starting out will understand this soon or already have experienced what this is like. Enough of the intro, let’s get to it.

Starting with Relaxer

Yes folks, this can be done. Proof, you say? Well, unbeknown to you, I started my locs this way. I was sick of spending my money on a process that I was going to sweat out. I guarantee my perm would stay in three days–tops! And that was on a good week. I wanted locs since I was a young gal. Now was my chance to get ’em. BUT…I didn’t want to let go of my length just yet. So I started my locs…with permed ends. At first, it looked funny–especially since I had highlights. Secondly, I still looked funny because I was trying different ways to loc my hair. Two-strand twists help my hair to loc even with permed ends. People say your hair won’t loc while it is permed. Like my psychology professor used to say, “Bullshit.” If you don’t comb your hair, wash as is, and palm-roll it will eventually matte and lock. The only factor that you have put in the equation is PATIENCE.**Updated (1/14/2010) I used the TST to start my locs while my hair was permed. I noticed that I did not want my locs as thick, so I untwisted the twists after a couple a months, which they had already started locking as two individual locs; and I’ve kept them that way ever since. I’ve used different methods to keep my ends together, such as using hair glue (lol).

Starting without Relaxer

Some have the patience to grow out the chemical in their hair (whether texturizer, perm, whatever) and do a BC (the Big Chop). I didn’t have the courage or the patience. You can see many rocking the TWA (teeny-weeny afro). Starting from scratch makes the process easier.


Before you start, you want your hair to be clean, moisturized, and healthy. You may want clip those split ends! I would not recommend using beeswax or petroleum/petrolatum products. They do not make your locs lock up any faster. These products will attract dirt, lent, dust, and other pollutants to your hair. They give a nasty buildup! Clean locs lock faster than dirty ones. Use products that you can wash out, such as gel and natural products.   


Two Strand Twist (TST or 2ST) This is the method I used to begin my locs. I used beeswax, like an idiot and could not understand why my cotton-picking twists would not stay together. Too much product and having a perm did not help. So, uh, I stuck with it. At times I used rubberbands to hold my ends, but it is a no-no because it pulls your hair out. I definitely did not put them around my root. I also used hair glue to keep my ends twisted. Caution: It kept my twists together, but like hair glue, it will start to clot after a while and you will find little beads on your shirt and everywhere else. After a while one or two things happened: (1) the twists loc’d (2) one or both of the strands within the twist loc’d. Also, if I felt that the loc was too thick I could easily separate the twist and voila! The method: Part your hair with desired thickness. Take two strands of the boxed area (make sure the strands are even as possible) and simply twist one around the other. It’s like braiding, just without the extra strand.


Finger Coils

To my understanding, this is done by taking strands of your and twisting it around your finger, while using some product (like gel) and twisting them. You can part your hair into little boxes and do this with a rat-tail comb, but I guess it would be better to simply let your fingers make natural parts.



This basically means locs with no manipulation. The most you are doing is washing your hair and letting it matte on its own. Some people use a dark towel or a sweater and rub their hair in circles around their whole head. This is giving the hair the sole responsibility of forming into any size or shape it wants. I’ve seen a lot people start this form when their hair is shorter or closer to their scalp. The rubbing helps the hair makes little buds around their head.FreeformIt’s pretty much like organic, but it is palm-rolled into the different sizes according to the individual bud/loc.


Palm-roll Method

I live by this method, especially since my locs are longer. For beginner locs, it will train your hair and give your locs the direction it needs. It will make your locs more uniform and/or even. With more mature locs, it wraps stray hair back into the original loc and reduces the frizz. If you simply twisted your locs using your thumb and pointer in the same area over a period of time, the spot will start to wear and thin. Palm-rolling is the least offensive method for your locs, in my opinon.The method: Roll each loc between both palms of your hands in one direction; NOT back and forth. You want to make sure that each occasion you are twisting your locs you are twisting/palm-rolling in the same direction every time. Doing otherwise will reverse the process.



Basically, you get your hair microbraided–without the artificial hair. As the braids stay in over a month or so, frizz/stray hairs will start to unravel from the braid. To create the loc, the braid is then palm-rolled (as mentioned above) to return the hairs back to the braid/forming-loc. Over time, a loc will form and there you go.


Bantu Knots

I’m not really familiar with this method, however, I have read that it is done by: (1) Parting the hair in boxes in desired size (2)Twisting the hair until it makes a “knot” (3) Wear the style as is for several months (4) After the several months, unravel the knots and the hair should be loc’d.I guess the trick behind this is just like regular locs. You leave your hair as is, wash it in the form that it is in and keep it that way for some time. I heard that this method creates very pretty locs.



Your guess is good as mine. This method is copyrighted/incorporated/whatever (lol). For your hair to be loc’d in this form, you must find a loctician who has been specifically trained. I’ve read blogs about them and by the looks of it, it is: (1) outstandingly beautiful (2) expensive to get them done and maintained (3) price varies by loctician (4) thousands are proud of their sister/brotherlocks. Want to know more? Head over to for information.



It’s basically taking a bundle of hairs (the widthe depends on how much you have in this bundle), holding the end, and (by using a comb) you lightly comb/tease the hair towards the scalp. This encourages the hair to matte up. It can be done on any type of hair. This method can create more instant dreads; especially with those who have long hair. Here’s a vid that explains it little better through a demonstration:

More to come:

  • Latch method
  • Comb coils (I think it’s called?)
  • Three-strand Twist
  • and the Shoe-string method (yes, shoestrings).

Got questions about locs? Email me at


~ by My4tress on August 9, 2009.

20 Responses to “Starting Your Locs”

  1. Thanks —your instruction on washing the starter locs were very helpful. Thanks again

  2. Thank you thank you! I’ve been thinking about locking (sp?) and or dreading for a long time. I’ve been in braids/extensions for 10 years (or more) and haven’t done chemicals since then. My hair is so soft and fine and I worry that I will look like all face…:>) I’m a professor, need low-maintenance hair,and am conscious about how I present and want to feel attractive.
    Your video was comforting and you have a lovely way of speaking.
    Thanks again!

  3. Hi!
    Firstly thank you for all of these helpful hints on loc’ing! I did the BC back in May as my hair was a mess and falling out and I was tired of wearing wigs! I then messed up and put texturiser on it but I haven’t done that for several months now so three’s a fair bit of regrowth and I’m trying to loc it up.

    I went for the 2 strand twist method (and I’m glad I did now as you say this is the best method for hair that has relaxer/texturiser in the ends) and I’m using dark and lovely gel (I’m a Brit but I live in France, you take what you can get here, believe me!) It’s not ideal as it flakes but it’s all I’ve got til I go back to the UK for Christmas and find some decent hair supply stores. Anyway all this rambling was basically just to ask you, when you first start the locs off, how often should you retwist? I want them to stay as neat as possible but I don’t want to mash up my hair again by over-twisting it.
    Many thanks in advance for your help!

    • I apologize for responding so late!! Please forgive my tardiness, lol!
      As far as the product flaking, try to use a little less gel. A little product goes a long way, especially when it comes to gel.
      In regards to retwisting my TST, I would try to go a week without twisting, then the next time I would try to go two weeks without twisting and so on. It’s all about how much frizz & such you are willing to put up with before retwisting. To prolong times in between twisting, you can use head coverings (I have a vid on YouTube on this:

      You also don’t want to overtwist your locs because it can thin the root… but you probably already know that! 😀

      • Hi there and happy new year! My turn to apologise to you now, I’ve only just seen your reply! Many thanks for getting back to me on this, much appreciated! Also I managed to get hold of some of that Jamaican Mango and Lime wax while I was in London. I had the watery stuff before which was rubbish and felt like it was drying my hair out, but the “firm” resistant formula stuff is much better.

        Also, good luck to msnaturalbeauty at the salon today, hope your stylist listens to you this time around!


  4. i am getting my hair loced by a beautician/loctician where i live but when we first started i was getting them washed and retwisted every 2 weeks becuz i didnt like the frizz but she would go thru and wash the coils out because she said that they hadn’t loced yet, well my question is how will they loc if u always wash the coil completely out. She’s not leaving any thing to loc,am i right? well this time i have waited 3 weeks and i go back on wednesday(010610) and I’m wondering if she’s gonna wash it all the way out again 😦

    • Well, if she keeps washing the coil OUT then, it isn’t giving the coil a chance to lock! (lol) For hair to lock, the locking process needs to be undisturbed. It would have been better if she continued to wash your hair regardless if it appeared to have not locked yet; it eventually will. Hope this helps!

      (This has given me inspiration to write! Thanx!)

  5. Thanks for this video. I have heard people say use a stocking cap, but I’ve never had it demonstrated. I started my locs a month ago and I have relaxer on the ends. I find that my scalp itches more when I apply oil to it. So I just apply to the actual locs when they feel dry. My question is do u really need to oil the scalp? Thanks in advance.

    • If your scalp isn’t dry, then do not add a lot. Even if it does not feel like, you still need some moisture. It’s just like when you wash your fash sometimes; it may not feel like it needs any moisturizer, but you still need to apply facial moisturizer and SPF. So, you may not need much of it… Find a light misting oil. I have one on the products page called “Olive Oil Shine” near the bottom of the page and it can be found in Wal-mart. (Click on “one” in the previous sentence and it will send you to the page) It’s not heavy, it smells good, and it does pretty good. Hope this helps!

  6. Oh wow. I have found your website by accident on yahoo answers. I am relieved to see that you started your locks with the relaxer in your hair. I have relaxer in my hair. My mom braided my hair so i can start the locks. thats how she started hers, but she doesnt have relaxer in her hair. Im nervous, I’m afraid im going to eff this up. my question is how much new growth do i need to start locking

    • Sorry for the late reply! You’re doing braidlocks/braidlocs method. You’re on the journey to already locking your hair! Yay! Going by your comment, you’re one month into the process. What you’ll be doing is, as stray hairs (in another words, frizz) occurs, you’ll palm-roll them in one direction to form locs (look up palm-rolling dreads locs dreadlocks in youtube if you need some help). Also, look for some people on youtube that have started and/or maintained braidlocks. This should help out alot!! Again, I’m so sorry for responding late!!

  7. What’s poppin I use a spandex stocking type cap to wrap my locs at night I’ve been locking for 5 months and I still got awhile 2 go do u think that cap is a good idea? I use to use pantyhose on my hair at night but I felt like a damn weirdo

    • Well, it don’t matter how it looks as long as it works. If it’s keeping your locs from unraveling and inhibits cotton/lint/particles from attaching to your locs, then I say it’s a go!

  8. so i have a question i just started my locs and i counted i only have like 70 of them will they come out to big? i just wanted to know because i wanted them smaller not to small but about your size and dont want them to big and i also dont want it looking like there is alot of space because there arent that many help!! should i re-do them???!!!

    • Sorry for the late reply! I started out with about 80 or 90 and the number has grown by like….6. LOL! So it’s not about the number, it’s more about the uniformity of the locs, how they are kept, and if they are healthy and healthy looking.

  9. Hi thank you so much for all of this info Just wanted to let you know that Freeform locks do not involve any palm rolling what so ever free form is washed and seperated by pulling hair apart after every wash whereas organic is left to form however ones hair naturally chooses The only manipulation with freeform is you separating them by hand at the root without twisting or palm rolling Hope this helps Pretty cool how you started your locks! Best, JouJou 🙂

  10. did you ever have to cut your relaxed ends

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