So I tried locs and not so big surprise, I loved them. Along the way, I’ve learned some tips and tricks for taking care of starter locs. If you are interested in getting starter locs then this post is for you!
1. Spray your hair with Water Regularly
This is probably one of the best tips for starter locs that I can give. I usually spray my hair with water almost every day, if not twice a day. I honestly think this is one of the reasons my hair was locking up so fast. Within 2 months I already had budding. And some of the ends of my hair began blunting and rounding off.
I used my 350 spray bottle from Sally’s beauty and sprayed until my hair felt very damp. Not dripping but wet. Plus since I wasn’t using a regular moisturizer the water became my moisturizer. Which brings me to the next tip.
2. Oil your hair and Scalp Regularly
After spraying my hair with water, I would pour some oil into my hands and press the oil into my hair. Gently squeezing the oil into the locs. This locked in the moisture from the water.
And about 3-4 times a week I would oil my scalp, which is why I think my hair was growing so much. It was growing like crazy from this simple routine. I was barely doing anything to it.
At the beginning of my journey I used, Wild Growth oil on my scalp, and coconut oil to seal the moisture from the water into my hair. And then towards the end, I switched to Naki Essentials’ Peppermint Scalp Stimulator for my scalp and their Lavender Hair Moisture oil for my hair. And no I am not an affiliate, just sharing what worked for me. I liked it a lot! But I hate waiting for things to ship.
Currently, I am back to using Wild Growth oil for my scalp and using coconut oil to moisturize and seal moisture into my locs.
3. Your Starter loc’d hair will Unravel and It’s okay
Early on in my loc journey frustration would rear it’s ugly head because my two-strand twists kept unraveling. But after watching this girl’s video on Youtube I realized that unraveling was fine. It will all eventually loc, until then I just needed patience. It’s okay to have to re-twist an unraveling loc a couple of times. Eventually, it will stay together and loc.
I think the frustration came from wanting my hair to loc fast. I realized that worrying about how fast my hair loc’d or not was just making me frustrated. As long as it locked eventually, which it would, it shouldn’t matter to me if some of my starter locs unraveled a couple of times. I needed more patience with my locs.
This is a journey, not an overnight process, it will take time. And that’s fine. I would just have to keep re-twisting the same loc until my hair understood what I wanted it to do. And eventually, it did. It wasn’t a big deal and not as annoying as I was making it out to be.
4. Add water to your shampoo and Rinse thoroughly
I noticed after my first shampoo that I wasn’t doing something right, when I saw white sudsy buildup on my locs after washing. I later realized that this issue was from one, putting the shampoo straight onto my locs and two, not rinsing for long enough.
My hair was locking on itself and compacting. And because of this natural phenomena, it was becoming harder for products to rinse out easily. So my advice is to get an applicator bottle, put 1/4 shampoo and the rest water. Shake it together and apply that to your hair.
Creamy thick shampoo will cause buildup, so you need to dilute it. The diluted shampoo will still clean your hair but without the added risk of causing build up in your locs.
Build up is bad because it can cause mildew and other nasty issues to arise in your hair. And when you lock your hair, you want the only thing that is causing the compacting of your hair to be its natural texture and not dirt and buildup. Cause that’s gross to have your hair compacted by dirt instead of just clean hair.
And my next tip is to just stand under the water for a good 10 minutes for the product to fully rinse out of your hair.
Bonus tip: do not scrub your scalp hard with starter locs, This will cause your locs to unnecessarily unravel. The water pressure plus scrubbing will cause premature unraveling. Take your time and be gentle. Also I’ve heard of some people putting a stocking cap over their hair first and then washing. But that felt too comfortable to me. So I just wash my hair without the stocking cap. I make sure to be gentle as to not cause too much unraveling.
5. F*** Your Beauty Standards
Okay, so I lied. This is one of the best tips for starter locs.
You will feel ugly and it’s okay. This loc journey taught me so much about inner beauty. My loc journey taught me about not being so wrapped up in what is considered beautiful.
As black women we are only given but so many hairstyles that are deemed pretty by society. And I had decided to veer off this track. I remember strolling through IG, seeing beautiful loose natural girls, and thinking about how ugly and far from the standard of beauty I was becoming. Thinking thoughts like, ” If I took out these locs, I could stunt on heaux just like them.” (Not very godly of me, huh?)
All the while the power to flex on people is so much more than just pretty hair and a cute face. It’s an internal thing. A God thing. God loves me no matter what I look like and calls me beautiful even when I have stank breath and messy hair. So why can’t I love myself in the same manner?
My loc journey became a self- love journey before I even knew it. And if you loc your hair, you will probably go through the same thing. Loc-ing your hair is so much more than just changing your hairstyle.
I felt stronger mentally and was slowly building my confidence in things other than looks. And I realized that I wasn’t viewing myself the same way God viewed me. I was looking at myself through a worldly lens and not a godly one. A lens filled with critiques and biting comments instead of one filled with love and grace. And I realized that I wasn’t as confident in myself as I thought.
I got the locs in the first place because I felt that they were a beautiful hairstyle. But societal pressure and standards of beauty were making me second guess if locs were actually pretty. Like maybe it was just pretty on them, but not pretty on me.
My loc journey taught me to love myself fully because it stripped away what I considered beautiful about me. And gave me new reasons to love myself and feel confident.
For most people, it can take up to a year for their locs to finally start looking like locs. Having loc’d hair takes time and patience and acceptance.
This is the first of many post on tips for starter locs. I will try to make at least one post a month about my starter locs along with a youtube video!
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