After being a loose natural for 8 years, I loc’d my hair & wanted to be free of excessive hair routines. There are many different schools of thought on the best hair care for locs & everyone has a different loc care philosophy, but I centered the choices I made for my hair on reducing buildup & promoting a healthy scalp & healthy hair. Before becoming a nurse, I was a licensed cosmetologist, so I understand that the basis of healthy hair & scalp starts with a healthy body, diet & hydration. Below, as the culmination of my loc research & existing knowledge, are the simple steps I follow to maintaining my locs.
Water Soluble Products. Outside of oils, which are not water soluble, the only other “product” I used is a natural homemade or purchased (from curlynugrowth’s shop) aloe vera gel & a herbal rinse in lieu of conditioner (also purchased from curlynugrowth). I learned to make this via a paid self learning course on the curlynugrowth site. I would definitely recommend the course if you’d like to make your own gel. It isn’t costly & provides great information along with a free oil guide that explains the different benefits of a variety of oils. I chose this method because aloe vera is water soluble, so it is easily washed out. I only utilize this gel for my re-twists.
Retwisting & Cultivating. I use the palm rolling method & either use the gel I mentioned above or oil & water to re-twist. In the early stages remember to maintain your parts & “pop” those locs after each wash.
Avoid re-twisting too frequently or too tight as this can lead to thinning & breakage later on. It’s recommended to re-twist about every 4 weeks, but as my locs mature I’m hoping to push it to every 6-8 weeks as I want to have fuller locs. Sometimes my scalp needs to be washed prior to this time, so I will do a back & forth palm roll on the length of my locs, without finishing the roots with a twist.. This allows me to cultivate the length of the loc to prevent lumps & bumps.
Wash Your Hair! Maintaining a clean scalp is important to having healthy hair, whether its in locs or not. Despite what anyone tells you, when starting your locs you should continue to wash your hair regularly. You should not wait months before washing because, not only is that nasty & unhealthy for your scalp, but it will lead to build up in your locs. If you are concerned about unraveling of starter locs, you can utilize a stocking cap or bundling method to help minimize unraveling. Unraveling is part of the process though, so expect it to happen.
I use shampoo diluted with water in an applicator bottle, a scalp comb & the balls of my finger to massage & loosen debris on my scalp . Instead of conditioner I use a herbal rinse (purchased from curlynugrowth) or I do at home hot oil treatments. Diluting shampoo makes the shampoo easier to distribute & doesn’t require you to work it in as vigorously to get it to lather.
Day to day. Daily I spend about 5 minutes on my hair, unless I decide to wrap it. When I shower I don’t usually cover my hair, instead I clip the back & sides up & allow the steam to penetrate my locs. Outside of the shower, I lightly mist the length of my locs with water daily. As needed, after spritzing, I apply an oil mixture to the length of my locs.
Overall, I don’t spend too much time on my hair outside of a wash/re-twist day.
I prefer to keep it as simple as possible, how do you prefer to maintain your locs?