Congratulations on starting your loc journey! And if you’re just about to start, congrats as well! Whatever unique reason or deliberation got you here, you can be assured that the loc community’s got your back. So in this post, we’ll be dishing out valuable tips and tricks for starter locs care.
You most likely know by now that your locs will go through 5 key stages of growth, the first of which is the starter or “baby” stage. Starter locs last anywhere between 3 to 6 months before they transition into the next stage. They’re the most high-maintenance loc stage, regardless of what installation method you choose.
Thus, knowing how to properly maintain your starter locs is important. Below are 5 simple guidelines to help you successfully navigate through your starter locs phase easily.
1. Get a strong start in your loc journey
Starter locs serve as the foundation for your locs and affect how they develop in the long run. Hence, you must give your starter locs a lot of thought before you get them done. Ordinarily, there are 8 methods for installing starter locs which include:
- Free forming;
- Three-strand Plaits;
- Two-strand Twists;
- Finger or Comb Coils;
- Instant Locs; or
- Loc Extensions.
Speak with your loctician to establish which method would be best for your hair texture, type, and length before you jump right in.
2. Wash your locs
Washing your locs is a crucial part of their maintenance. But first, you must understand why as well as the right way to approach it. Over time, dirt and buildup will accumulate in your locs—which is natural for any kind of hairstyle. Not washing your locs at all will lead to this buildup clogging up your locs and preventing the hair from receiving moisture.
Nevertheless, you should keep your wash days with starter locs at a frequency of every 3 to 4 weeks. These prolonged washes are to avoid unraveling and to give your locs enough time to form. Therefore, you also have to be gentle with your washes. Don’t worry; once your locs begin to form properly, you’ll be able to wash them more often.
3. Moisturizing your locs is key
Your locs need moisture to stay healthy. They will weaken if you let them get too dry. So to hydrate your locs, spritz your hair with healthy amounts of water or rose water. In addition, use light natural oils to protect your hair and seal in moisture. To avoid losing moisture when you sleep, wear a silk or satin scarf or bonnet to bed.
While moisture might be a watchword with starter locs, it is best to avoid deep conditioning treatments and DIY hair masks. The former can cause your starter locs to unravel faster as a result of slippage. And the latter can get chunks of organic food, like the go-to avocado and banana, stuck in your hair.
4. Keep your maintenance and styling at a minimum
Avoid over washing and over manipulating your starter locs to prevent unraveling as much as possible. If some locs do unravel, never retwist them when your hair is dry to avoid breakage. Also, avoid styles that cause too much tension such as rubber bands and ponytail holders. Opt for low tension and low manipulation styles to remain gentle on your starter locs. A great hair tie to use for locs are spiral ties because they are made out of tension free bendable wire. Finally, try to keep your hands out of your hair as much as you can.
5. Stay patient with your loc journey
Locs require a good amount of patience and commitment. So the best advice I can give to anyone at their starter locs phase? Just let them grow. No doubt, you want your locs to grow out long, strong, and healthy. So simply follow all the guidelines above to ensure that your loc journey moves through smoothly and healthily. And then leave them to grow!