Thinking about taking that huge leap and getting your hair loced but not sure how or where to start? No worries, I’ve been there and done that. Getting your hair loced is a huge leap especially if you come from a Christian and or a very conservative family like mine.
For the longest time, dreadlocks were frowned upon and associated with ruggedness, madness, and criminal habits. So, a person wearing dreads was stigmatized and feared. This is not the case anymore though, as dreadlocks have been embraced for that African and natural look.
In this article, I will take you through the very first stages of turning your African hair into beautiful dreadlocks.
Before we dive into the process, there are a few factors that I tell people to consider before starting the envied loc journey;
For starters, you need to consider your hair texture. In general, most loc styles are better for tightly coiled or kinky hair types. This is because curlier hair tends to cling or lock together faster, tighter, and more uniformly – which is the basis of locking hair – while straighter hair types naturally tend to separate.
Do you have time or money to go to a licensed loctician for regular upkeep? Do you have sufficient patience and know-how to maintain your locs yourself? The biggest challenge for many beginner loc-wearers is in keeping their hair healthy and happy once the locing process has begun.
Do you work a corporate job that requires a certain level of precision and polish to your look? Then free-form locs probably aren’t for you.
Having covered and considered all the above factors, if you’re still sure that you want to get your hair loced, then here are some tips for starting the loc journey the right way.
Do your research on a qualified loctician
Starting the journey with an experienced hairdresser is the most important step in the loc journey. A good loctician will help and guide you through the process of growing dreadlocks safely, fast and effectively.
An experienced loctician might be a bit costly but it will all be worth it if you are really determined to get those beautiful locs.
Begin with your natural textured hair
In general, the thicker and more tightly coiled your hair’s natural texture is, the quicker they will loc. Hair that’s typically considered “type 4” in the hair typing system will have a much easier time locking than “type 2” or even “type 3”.
If you have relaxed your hair, wait for your hair to grow out with at least half an inch of new growth, then go in for the big chop just in time to have enough hair for your locs.
Don’t wait too long before starting your locs! Shorter locs are easier to maintain and keep on the right path than 3 or more inches of hair. So, start the locking process early and let your locs grow into the long, luscious locks you want.
There are no shortcuts! You need to follow a routine in order to get the perfect dreadlocks. You need to see your loctician regularly in order to maintain clean and healthy hair.
It is good practice to keep a re-twisting routine for new growth. Make sure to keep track of the original section partings when re-twisting to maintain a consistent and uniform size. It may be tempting to re-twist often, but it’s important not to overdo it. Too much twisting can lead to thinning locs and breakage.
I know people (not me) who started the journey to get their hair loced but got so frustrated with the process that they ended it before it even started.
Truth is, the journey to getting a full head of long beautiful locs is hard and full of frustrations. Unless you get loc extensions, it’s a long process to achieve those enviable locs you want.
That said, patience is a virtue I would recommend for those starting this journey.