Updated: Nov 19, 2019
I love my locs! But sometimes I don't.... I've been contemplating for months if I want to continue on this journey or cut them off. I'm still not sure yet. Until I make that final decision, I want to share with you what I wish I knew before I transitioned into a loc sister. I believe if I knew these things I would have taken better care of my hair from the beginning. I probably could have prevented much of the breakage I've had over the years. Here it goes!
1. The Heaviness
Starting out with locs is such a joy. You finally made the decision to do something that is permanent. This is the biggest commitment of your life. Devoting yourself to a hairstyle that cannot change, in some cases, unless you cut it. This is a complete lifestyle change. In the beginning, it wasn’t that bad. I started my locs with braids. They began to loc up after a couple of months, but for the most part they were still braids. Light, fluffy and manageable. As time went on, now almost 4 years later my locs are heavy. The irritation steps in fully when it's hot and you have all this hair hanging on your neck and arms. I am appreciative of my growth and the thickness of my hair. I understand many people pray for thick long hair like mine. The fact is it is still irritating at times.
How do I deal with the heaviness of my hair?
Wrap my hair
Ponytail & Topknots
Tie it back
These styles make my summer easier. As they get longer I think of ways to wear them that doesn't require a lot of time and work. I don’t style my locs frequently. I went to the stylist a few weeks ago and had them washed professionally for the first time ever. It was the best experience. I will more than likely invest in myself again regularly. My children talk about me all the time because I never do my hair. I would hear, “Mom, why don’t you style your locs?" I guess you never know what you never had. When I got my pipe cleaner set it was really nice. I loved it. I will do it again. It’s just so much work for something so temporary. But hey, every once in awhile it is worth it. This leads me to my next point....
2. Wash Day + Styling= Work
If anyone would have told me that washing my hair would be an all-day event when it gets longer I wouldn’t have believed them. Wash day is another job! I can't wash at night, which is a major dilemma. My hair takes too long to dry. Sometimes I go ahead and do it anyway being hard-headed, knowing the end result. I end up with a wet pillow coupled with a horrible hair mildew smell. Uncomfortable and embarrassing at the same time. I can’t lay down at all after washing my hair. I tried to blow dry it a few times but it takes entirely too long to dry. I’m talking about 1 - 2 hours too long. Who has time for that? I definitely don’t. Between running a business, doing my various side jobs, plus wife and mommy duties, I don’t have time for this. I have styled my hair a couple of times on my own and it was really nice. I really have to plan for my hair and sometimes I just don’t take the time or the energy for that matter.
How do I deal with the irritation of wash day?
For starters, I implemented doing wash day in the morning. When I want a new look I braid my locs in plats and leave them like that for a few days. While waiting on the curl to set I lightly wrap a scarf so the air gets through. If it’s wrapped too tight it will cause the mildew smell. The end result is a gorgeous set of wavy hair. Sometimes I just let it air dry all day. Before I leave for the day I wash my hair, do my LOC method (Leave-in, Oil, Cream) and go! No braiding, just letting it air dry and get Vitamin D from the sun.
3. Loc Thinning
Sometimes when you go too far in between getting your locs twisted or latched you may suffer from some thinning. This may also stem from lack of moisture in your hair which causes your hair to break. Or it could be the heaviness of the loc causing stress on your newly grown roots. I have another issue on top of this. I wear head wraps almost every day. This has also caused my locs to thin. I see the problem mainly around my hairline, edges and the nape of my neck. I've had a few locs actually break because of this.
How do I deal with stopping the thinning of my hairline and locs?
I sometimes combine locs together depending on how thin they are.
I wear my hair covered less.
I use a headband like a wig grip when wearing wraps, or
I use a braid or loc cylinder. This acts as a barrier between my hair and the scarf.
I also push the wrap back off of my hairline to prevent rubbing tension and pimple breakouts.
I have begun to moisturize my hair more frequently. This has offset some hair loss when I don’t get my hair latched consistently.
Low manipulation styles. No ponytails to prevent pulling. Or if I do a ponytail not having it pulled too tight.
A new thing I will be doing starting next wash is a hot oil treatment. I will discuss this more in a later post.
4. Product Buildup and Lint
My stylist told me from the beginning, “You don’t need gels or edge controls.” But I couldn’t do it. Every once in a while I wanted a fresh look without having to re-twist. This has caused product to build upon my edges and sometimes in my locs. At times I get an increase of lint in my hair. Which usually stems from the bedding I am sleeping on or the wraps I have on my head.
How do I fight the product build-up and Lint?
Silk pillowcases and/or braid cylinders or braid bonnets. This protects my hair while I sleep and prevents the lint from staying in my hair.
Koils by Nature Stimulating Hair Growth Rinse This has eliminated the product build-up and lint on my locs and edges. I use this product once a month followed by a conditioner of my choice.
So this is it! The four things I wish I knew before I got locs. Some remedies I found worked best for me. Let me know what you think. Are you considering locs? What are your thoughts? Comment, Like, Share & Subscribe!
Regal Beauty Co-Owner
Naturalista for 9 Years
Loc’ d for 3 years 7 months