Locs, Dreadlocks, Dreads … call them what you like, they are a beautiful way to rock your natural hair. For those of you who are thinking of wearing your hair in locs or currently have them, here are our top 10 tips of how to care for yours while maintaining the health of your hair!
1. CONSISTENCY IS KEY With all hair, you have to adopt a healthy hair regimen and be consistent with it to see your hair reach and maintain optimum health.
2. WASH YOUR LOCS REGULARLY Time to debunk that myth that locs don’t need regular washing. In fact, it’s the opposite – it will actually help them grow faster. When you first create your locs, wait a few weeks until washing them. After this, you can wash them once a week or once every other week.
3. DRY YOUR LOCS THOROUGHLY Most often, dreads that smell musky are a result of them simply not being dried long enough (think of clothes being left in the machine). If you don’t have time to leave them to air dry (at least a day), a great way to speed the drying process is to use a blowdryer on LOW heat. Don’t tie up your hair or bunch them together before it is completely dry. Also, never add wax to your wet hair – even if it’s damp. It’s always best to wait.
4. PALM ROLL If you see your locs are looking flat, this can simply be amended with palm rolling regularly. It’s important to always roll in the same direction and to do so on damp hair – never dry hair. This will keep it in a uniform shape and help keep your locs separated.
5. DON'T RETWIST YOUR LOCS TOO MUCH Everyone likes the fresh look of a retwist, but if done too often it can start to create breakage and thinning at the root. Look for new, chic hairstyles that you can tryout to stay in love with your hair in between retwists—it's the perfect time to experiment with your look.
6. KEEP THOSE LOCS MOISTURIZED Keep those locs moisturized by occasionally spraying with water (once every few days) and sleeping with a satin sock. Steer clear of cotton fabrics that will soak up all the needed moisture. When sleeping with them, keep them together and away from your face. This way, you’ll avoid that ‘fuzzy’ look resulting in them rubbing together.
7. APPLY WAX Apply a small amount of wax to your DRY locs if you see them coming apart or becoming loose. Starting from the root downwards, only use enough to bind the hair together. Don’t think you have to coat your hair – there’s no need. Next, grab your best hair tools (your hands!) and start palm rolling! Wax is more frequently used in the begining when you start locing your hair. However, when your locs begin to form (anywhere up to 6 months), you won’t need to use wax as often. You will only need to use them when your hair is becoming loose.
8. MASSAGE YOUR SCALP Not only is it very relaxing, but it also stimulates hair growth. You’d be surprised how the simple act of gently massaging your hair at night for about 5 minutes, will really help you achieve the beautiful locs you desire.
9. PRACTICE NIGHT CARE Just like with any other hairstyle, sleeping with a night scarf (a silk wrap to avoid breakage) is so important. Locs tend to shed a lot, and protecting your edges and your scalp is crucial. A silk night cap helps keep the moisture in your hair and scalp, as well as protect your hair from pillow friction. Make a practice of never going to sleep without protecting your hair.
10. BE PATIENT This isn’t a process that will happen overnight. Locking your hair is a journey and it’s a little different for each person. Some people's hair locs faster than others. Thicker hair tends to lock faster. The good thing is that if you nurture and take good care of your hair then the growth will come. It really will. Don’t get discouraged.