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Starter locs, now what?


When I first made the choice to loc my hair, I conducted tons of research. One of the most controversial topics I came across was “when to wash locs after starter loc installation”. Some say not to for 2 to 3 months, while other locticians and loc enthusiast say as soon as 2 weeks. I agree with as early as 2 weeks and in this blog, I’ll explain why.

First let’s explore why there’s this misconception that wetting or washing your locs will actually lock your hair.

Before I start, I just want to state that I am referring to comb coils as the method used for starter locs in this blog. Although my beliefs may be applied to other methods as well.

There are stylist out there who don’t know much about the health of locs but are very talented when it comes to styling them. I’ve come across beautiful styles, but when those locs are taken down out of those styles, it’s a completely different story! They are very damaged, hanging on by threads in random spots throughout the entire shaft of the locs. In most cases those same stylists are more likely to adopt the idea that wetting or washing coils slows down the locking process. Retwisting without washing adding light gel or wax within three weeks to a month is key when locking hair; so “they” say. Oh, please don’t get me started on products! That’s another blog, and another video! I have had multiple clients come to me after getting their locs started by someone else. The reason they choose to come to me is because they aren’t sure why their hair is not locking, and I make claims to have most clients locked by 3 months (depending of hair texture).

Here’s an example: a new client had been going to a stylist for 3 months for installation and 2 retwists. His only wash was on day 1, however product were used for his retwists. His 3rd retwist was done by me. I was shocked at how much product was caked up inside his coils and to find no budding at all!

Now let’s explore why that does not work!

When hair is wet, it frizzes, tangles and mattes, essentially what happens to coils creating a loc. Without water there is no frizz, no tangling and no matting. Ok, so maybe a little frizz and new growth; simply add more product and retwist? Wrong! What happens is the product used to tame and smooth back out the frizz begins to build up inside the coil, causing it to remain in its shape, that is all. If that product is not properly washed out, it is there to stay! Over time the hair will eventually loc, but with buildup.

Buildup in locs does cause damage down the line adding extra weight which leads to possible thinning. Starting your locs with clean coils sets you up for a healthier loc journey, increasing length retention.

If you are unable to retwist your own starter locs, I recommend you find a good loctician to wash and retwist every 2/3 weeks. Proper care and maintenance is crucial in the beginning. Cultivating locs properly will form and shape them and potential shorten the so called "ugly stage" . Besides, who wants to walk around with a funky head, full of sweat, dirt and product!?

Here’s a video of my client’s (aka bestie) first wash and retwist 3 weeks after installation.


Check it out, click here!


Any questions, feel free to contact me!

~Jen

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