I Want to Start Locs. Now What?
If you’re asking this question, I was there 3 months ago. After being natural for years, I decided to loc my hair. But after deciding to loc your hair, what are the next steps?
You’ve finally decided to start locs, and you’re trying to figure out what the next steps are. Let me break it down for you.
1. Do I install locs on my own, or do I use a loctitian?
What I recommend: Find a loctitian. A professionally trained loctitian can provide you with customized recommendations based on your hair texture and length. In my experience, it made the whole process so much easier. My loctitian, Miss B Locs, listened to my fears, gave me advice, helped me manage my expectations, and talked to me about the stages my locs would go through. Of course, you can install the locs on your own.
What I recommend: This totally depends on you. How long is your hair in its natural state? Obviously, your locs won’t be down your back unless you’ve been natural for years. If you want that look during the transition phase, get loc extensions. If this isn’t important, start with your own hair. My hair was almost to my chest when it was stretched. When I started my locs using comb coils, they were about shoulder-length.
3. How big or small should my locs be?
What I recommend: Go with your preference. Whether small, medium, or large, pick a size that you can live with. I chose my size based on the look I wanted to achieve and the density of my hair (or how thick it is). I wanted to do intricate updos without getting overwhelmed by the number of my locs. With super-thick hair, I knew that small locs would mean 1) more of them 2) more work in the maintenance process and 3) probably more money to pay someone to re-twist them. Some (but not many) loctitians charge you based on the number of locs you have. So I chose medium locs.
4. How often should I wash my locs?
What I recommend: Once every 3 weeks. But this really depends on your preference. How comfortable are you with fuzzy hair? If you prefer a fresh look during the loc’ing stage, once every 3 weeks is probably enough. Know this: while your hair is in the in-between stage, it can easily unravel during the washing process. For this reason, I never washed my locs during the first 2 months. I let my loctitian do this for me.
What I recommend: This was one of the harder things to figure out. I had to get used to my hair being dry. Dry, loose natural hair is not a good look. But it’s supposed to happen for locs. You can still use some type of oil on your scalp and locs. I really like the thickness and scent of Eden’s Body Works Tea Tree and Peppermint Oil.
Disclaimer: I am not a professional loctician or stylist.