Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Five stages of Dreads / Loc's




Five stages of loc'ing your hair from the book "Nice Dreads" by author Lonnice Brittenum Bonner.

Here are the 5 stages of a loc's/dreads:

1. Coils — Coils resemble tightly coiled springs that look like baby spirals and can be as small as a watch spring or fluid and loose as fusilli. Hair can be as short or as long as one likes. The key factor here is that your hair is able to form and hold a coil, but the hair within the coil has not yet begun to intertwine or mesh.

2. Sprouts and Buds — Known as Sprouting or Budding in that miraculous moment when the magic has begun. First, you shampoo your hair and notice that all of a sudden, the coils don't all wash out like they used to. You may notice that some of your coils have little knots of hair in them, about the size of a small pea. This knot is more or less the nucleus of each lock; the hairs in your coils have begun to intertwine and interlace. Individual coils may seem puffy and lose their tightly coiled shape; this is part of the process and shouldn't be disturbed. What is important here is to keep the original scalp partings, to allow the spinning process to become established for each individual lock. Don't redivide your budding locks, twist them to death, or get to patting them down, trying to make your hair look "nice," because you'll just end up with a badly packed, busted-out do.

3. Teen or Locking Stage — This is when the buds and sprouts truly begin to look like locks and few, if any, locks shampoo out or come out during sleep. The peas you saw and felt in the budding stage have expanded, and the hair has spun into a network of intertwining strands that extend throughout the length of individual locks. The locks may be soft and pliable or feel loosely meshed, according to your hair's texture. This is the growing stage of lock development, and it extends into the lock's mature stage. Shampooing doesn't loosen these locks. They have dropped, which means they have developed enough to hang down versus defying gravity. This is when you start to relax and feel more confident about locking.

4. Mature Stage — Each individual lock is firmly meshed or tightly interwoven. Some loosely coiled hair textures may retain a small curl or coil at the end of the locks, but most will probably be closed at the ends. You will begin to see consistent growth because each lock has intertwined and contracted into a cylindrical shape. Think of each individual lock as a hair strand in itself. The new growth is contained in the loose hair at the base or root of each individual lock, and regular grooming encourages it to spin into an intertwined coil that will be integrated with the lock.

5. Beyond Maturity — Think of this stage as akin to the shedding stage of hair growth. After many years, depending on the care you have lavished on your locks, some locks may begin to thin and break off at the ends. For the most part, this deterioration can be minimized and controlled by monitoring the ends of your locks for signs of age and getting regular trims.


17 comments:

  1. This is very informative! Thanks!

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  2. I really appreciate this.. Since I am contemplating locking my hair...

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  3. That was REALLY insightful!!!! I found a few buds today!!

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  4. okay, so I am confused on one fact. I am going to start locks next week and what should I do with the coils coming out. Should I just let them be and maintain my parts like in this article or should I retwist them when them come apart. I am confused.

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    1. retwist them. the key is to not over-do the tension you put on your beautiful little babies. Let them locs at their own pace. I let mine get frizzy as possible to make sure they were locking. have fun. walk slow in the rain.

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  5. Thank you!! This information was very helpful, but my question is, how can you tell when you're making the transition from teenage stage to mature stage, how can you tell?

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  6. Can you add the timeframe these stages normally take to develop? Thanks

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  7. Hello and thank you very much for all the information I'm more or less a white guy with great curly hair and a dreadlock type attitude toward the cookie cutter conformist kinda place we live in today. I started my dread journey to announce with my style that I am not part of the current status quo I agree with OCW and to quote a much more worthy phrase "Power to the People" (not corporations). But back to the dreads I'm letting mine section naturally and a couple are in the sprout and bud stage and some are good coils just starting and some are starting to coil and thanks to your info I realize these are all natural stages. Are there any particular things I should or shouldn't do considering I don't have the gorgeous tight coils y'all do mine are probly about 1/2" some 3/4" thanks again.

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  8. Hi Anonymous,

    Thank you for sharing your story. It's sounds like you doing a really great job with your hair so far. I think the main things is to just be awair of the condition of your hair. If it responds well to certain products, keep using those regularly. Keep you hair clean, and just continue to care for them. If you have serious concerns, I would look into finding a stylist in your area that works with dreadlocks to see if they can answer your questions. Thank you again for writing in! :-)

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  9. How long does it usually take starter locs to twist?

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  10. Locs for life man

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  11. Thank you for sharing because I wasn't sure if my hair was 'doing it right' lol. This process can be so different for everyone. Sometimes I look at people who are in similar length stages as I am, and I say to myself 'mine don't look like theirs.' I am in the third stage where the smaller buds have decided to take OVER the entire length of the loc...but its a process...Some days are better than others

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  12. This is from the book "The Knotty Truth." Please give the author credit for this passage.

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  13. My son has worn two strand twists for 6 yrs. We decided to lock it this summer. His hair is thick and kinda coarse, but has lots of spring. Through the first two months of maintenance it looks so nice and neat, but now the buds have sprouted and I'm worried they won't ever lock. We've relocated and have yet to find a stylist that we love in Atl. How can I tell if the buds are just a part of the natural process or the fault of a inexperienced loctician?

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  14. My dreads have locked but the coils on the ends are starting to lock as well but it doesnt look right. Are they eventually going to turn into a full locked dread or are they gonna continue to look bulky?

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