First, What Are Locs?
Locs or dreadlocks are a protective style that involves palm-rolling or twisting sections of hair with a hair balm or wax. This style is built from the roots of your hair and requires consistent twisting to eventually loc your hair in place as it grows in the set pattern. Locs are a long-term style that can be worn for months or years and are completely different from other protective styles that you may be used to.
How To Care For Dreadlocks
As mentioned, all protective styles require a moisturizing regimen, but locs need more attention than most to keep them healthy and hydrated. It’s also important to keep the texture of your hair in mind. Typically hair in the 4A to 4C range is the driest. This means that you’ll need to take extra steps with moisturizing your locs since it’s difficult for natural oils that the scalp produces to travel down the hair shaft. Because your hair is twisted from the roots to the ends, it makes the process even harder. 3A to 3C strands tend to be more loose and wavy. However, hair in this bracket can be dry if it’s more porous and can be easily weighed down with hair-care products that are too heavy. So, you’ll want to be careful to use the best products for locs to hydrate them.
Here are a few tips to help you get your loc care regimen started on the right note.
1. Always oil your scalp. While you want to use hair oils when moisturizing locs, it’s best to use a product that hydrates and seals in nourishing ingredients, like the Goddess Strength 7 Oil Blend Scalp & Hair Oil. This hair oil is formulated with olive oil and coconut oil that both penetrate and nourish hair, as well as grapeseed oil and castor oil to seal in hydration. Just make sure not to overdo it while applying oils to your scalp and locs as it can cause buildup and can weigh down your strands.
2. Moisturize your locs the right way. No matter what texture you have, it’s best to use a sulfate-free shampoo, such as the Monoi Repairing Sulfate Free Shampoo, for your loc care. It has coprah coconut oil and monoi oil that gently cleanse hair, leaving it strong and healthy. Pair it with the Monoi Repairing Conditioner to help prevent future breakage and snaps. Let the conditioner sit on your locs for three to five minutes, so it can really get in there and do its job.
Use a leave-in conditioner like the Black Vanilla Moisture & Shine Leave-In Conditioner to strengthen your locs between washes and resist breakage. The combination of wheat protein and pro-vitamin B5 fortifies hair to improve its overall health.
3. Make deep conditioning a priority. For this protective hairstyle, deep conditioning treatments are needed. This helps to keep your locs moisturized, healthy, and vibrant to promote optimum hair growth. It also helps to reduce the risk of hair breakage and damage. Incorporate a treatment like the Monoi Repairing Hair Mask, which can supply your locs with even more moisture than your regular conditioner may be able to.
4. Protect your locks at night. In addition to deep conditioning your locs, keeping them protected at night will help prevent breakage and the loss of moisture while you sleep. Sleep on a satin pillowcase or cover your locs with a satin scarf or bonnet every night to maintain hydration.
What Are The Best Products for Locs?
The best products for locs will be ones that are formulated with moisturizing ingredients like monoi oil, coconut oil, and olive oil. Products that contain humectants like honey and glycerin will attract and absorb moisture. Use ones with sealants like Jamaican black castor oil and jojoba oil to help keep all the moisture in your locs. With all of that said, you can see that moisture-rich products that can give you lasting moisture without the weighed-down feel are essential.
How Often Should You Wash Locs?
Locs are more prone to odor since sections of your hair are twisted together, so it’s best to wash your hair once every one to two weeks. In order to keep your locs in healthy condition, you’ll need to remove product buildup, dirt, and oils from your hair. The best way to remove excess buildup is to use a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner for your loc care regimen. These formulas deeply cleanse your hair without a harsh stripping effect that rids your hair of the natural oils it needs. Remember: Overwashing your locs can cause a dry scalp and lead to hair breakage, thinning, and persistent itching.
How Can I Maintain My Dreadlocks at Home?
If you want to maintain your dreadlocks at home, there are a few ways you can do so. Be sure to use an oil-infused twisting cream like the Hair Milk Nourishing & Conditioning Styling Pudding when twisting your locs. Only twist your locs after washing them, and dry your locs properly after washing. Twisting dry locs will eventually cause your hair to fall out and cause breakage. Keep your locs loose and refrain from tying them together while wet to prevent odor. This step will ensure that your locs will always maintain a fresh smell. You can use a blow dryer on its lowest heat setting or opt for air drying.
Remember, the tightness of twisting your locs can cause your scalp to itch. Use a light hair oil to grease, soothe and hydrate your scalp once a week. Incorporate apple cider vinegar into your loc care routine. You can create an apple cider vinegar rinse with water to remove excess buildup from your locs since ACV is praised for having anti-inflammatory, antifungal and antibacterial properties. After cleansing your locs with a sulfate-free shampoo, massage the rinse onto your scalp for a few seconds before washing out. Follow up with your conditioner and other essentials to complete your regimen.
Are Locs High-Maintenance?
Here’s where the reality of loc care comes into play. Maintaining your locs does come with a list of requirements, but it’s not considered a high-maintenance style. It’s really not much different than caring for other styles. Just as you’d use a sulfate-free shampoo, conditioner and a leave-in to nourish your hair, loc care is all the same. Things only take a turn when it comes time to twist your locs. While you don’t have to worry about combing or brushing your hair consistently, the main concern with your locs should be to keep them clean. As you continue to follow a loc care routine, your locs will tighten and become smoother and will require less maintenance.
Do Dreadlocks Ruin Your Hair?
Believe it or not, the only way dreadlocks can ruin your hair is if you don’t take care of them properly. As mentioned, using the best products for locs is key for keeping your hair in good shape. Always use sulfate-free shampoo and conditioners along with moisturizing products that can aid in providing your locs with hydration.
Protective hairstyles naturally need a boost in hydration. Learn one of the best ways to provide your hair with moisture from our article, What Is The LOC Method Hair Care Routine?