There’s something striking about a woman with a head of healthy, gorgeous locs. If hair is a woman’s crown and glory, the loc’d ladies have crowned themselves in a way that stands out among the rest. Here are a few tips to help you grow and maintain the luscious radiant locs you’ve been dreaming of.
Natural is best – It makes sense that natural hair thrives best on all natural products but this is especially important for loc’d hair. Locs need to breathe and cannot be weighed down. If you can’t pronounce the ingredients, you should probably shouldn’t use it on your locs. Chemically engineered products often just sit on the hair shaft as opposed to actually penetrating it to deliver oils and nutrients that replenish and repair hair. If the moisturizing benefits of the products you use cannot actually penetrate the hair shaft, then there’s no way it can bring relief to hair that has been stressed by the elements (sun, wind, rain, cold.)
Don’t become a Product Junkie – For some reason it’s almost impossible to avoid that product junkie phase when first going natural and locs are no different. Initially you have to go through several products in order to know what does and doesn’t work for you, but be careful. It can become an expensive habit.
Read the ingredient list before trying a product. If you don’t know what something is, look it up to find out more information. Also make sure you use the product for a full 30 days before making a decision. During that time pay close attention to how your locs respond. Are they happy? Moisturized? Do they thrive? Do they shine? Are you feeling the way they look? If so, congrats, you’ve found your product! If not, toss it and keep it moving until you do.
Your Locs Love Water – Water is the truest form of moisture and there’s no hair type that should go without it, including locs. In fact, they THRIVE when provided with an abundance of water. Wash your locs regularly, being sure to avoid harsh sulfates and detergents that will dry them out. Purchase a misting spray bottle and mist your locs daily. Don’t saturate them, just dampen them with a little mist to keep them moisturized and always let them air dry afterwards. Covering your locs right after misting can create mildew and unwanted odor.
Oil- Friend or Foe? – When it comes to locs oil can be both a benefit and a detriment. Obviously oils can provide moisture and sheen but if improper oil or too much oil is used, it can weigh down or suffocate your locs. Remember the spray bottle I mentioned earlier? Adding oils to this misting bottle is a great way to oil your hair without using too much product. The key is to use far less oil/essential oil than water. That way you avoid dull looking locs
Combating Buildup – So you already have a little buildup? No worries, it happens to the best of us. One of the best ways to combat buildup on locs is prolonged rinsing. This consist of washing your hair for a minimum of 15 minutes. Most loc wearers fall victim to buildup simply because they did not rinse thoroughly enough when washing their hair. You would be surprised how much dirt, product, and debris you can remove with just water and patience.
Once you have rinsed out all shampoo and conditioner, that’s when your prolonged rinse BEGINS. Rinse your hair for a minimum of 15 minutes using lukewarm water. Hot water will dry your hair out and cold water will be too uncomfortable to stand for a full 15 minutes. Be sure to massage your scalp during this time to stimulate circulation and hair growth.
Clarifying Rinse – Another great remedy for dull, lackluster locs is doing an ACV rinse at least once a month. The recipe is easy: in a large bowl, mix one-part apple cider vinegar to three-parts lukewarm water. After making your rinse, place another large bowl in the sink and dangle your head and locs over it. Pour the mixture over your locs, ensuring that all of your locs are drenched in the rinse. When the rinse stops running off your locs, take the now empty mixing bowl and place it in the sink, removing the bowl that has caught the run-off. Now pour the apple cider vinegar rinse through your locs again, repeating the process until there is no more rinse left. Dry and style as normal.