No matter whether your locs are small or big, fine or nappy, they are beautiful. The last year has been so wonderful, watching the different textures of my hair transform and emerge. When I see a person with locs walking down the street, or at a cafe, or anywhere, I almost always go up to them and comment how beautiful their hair is. One white girl last year told me she was so shocked that I said it as her experience with black loc'd folks wasn't always so warm. I told her that anyone who had anything negative to say probably didn't know their dreadlock history. Most people assume it's exclusively black, but locs have been around for centuries. The Celts, the Arabs and the Chinese were wearing dreads back in the day. They weren't a fashion or lifestyle statement, it was simply a natural occurrence of the day. Hair, no matter the texture, will start to dread if not tended to. Marley locs are created that way and many people with super curly hair do the same: they wash it, but don't comb it and after a few months, it's matted.
But if you have locs that are still fairly new, like a year or so, you may still be in that "what do I do with them?" mode. So I've compiled five tips that I've learned over this year (I'm not a loctician) that may help you relax on your way to lovely, lovely locs.
1. Don't overtwist. This is a piece of advice that I can't seem to follow, but I know that I should. Once your hair has loc'd, you should twist the new growth only once a month. Preferably after washing, your hair has dried and you're using some type of oil or cream.
2. Wrap your hair at night. Now, don't think the do-rag is just a black thing! If you've got locs, you want to wrap it up at night. One, you lessen your chances of getting lint and debris stuck in your locs. Second, your give your hair a chance to relax and maintain uniformity. Lastly, you keep your hair off your face and cut down the risks of oily skin. I would recommend using a silk scarf versus a cotton scarf. You can buy at your local drug store or use that scarf you've been waiting to use for that perfect outfit.
3. Wash your hair and condition [twice] a month. Somewhere somebody gave out some bad advice that if you got locs, you can't wash your hair. That's nasty! And unfortunately, many people still think loc'd lovelies don't wash their hair. Maybe some of you don't, but you should. In general, I only wash my hair around four times a month. When I take a shower it may get wet, but normally, the shampoo and water mix is pretty seldom. Of course, if you work out and sweat, your shampoo regime may be different. But you must wash your hair. Use whatever shampoo works best for you. Products with sea salt water work great to tighten your new locs, like LUSH Big Shampoo. You could also check out Bumble and Bumble's line of shampoos, like Sunday or Seaweed or Dr. Bronner's Baby Shampoo works just fine as well.
Conditioning [twice] a month helps to keep your locs soft and healthy. I've only recently started doing, it but I've noticed that my hair feels softer to the touch, looks great and of course, they smell lovely. I use Curls Coconut Dream Conditioner but use what fits your budget and your needs.
4. Moisturize when you can. I initially thought that my locs needed daily care. They don't. Which is probably why I love them so! But every once in a while, it's a good idea to moisturize. You won't need a whole handful of product, just a few drops will do you. Here's a nice recipe that won't break the bank:
Olive Oil Locs
4 oz extra virgin olive oil
2 sprigs of fresh, clean rosemary
10 drops of ylang ylang OR
4 drops of peppermint and 2 drops of tea tree oil
In a glass or plastic bottle, add four ounces of olive oil
Add the sprigs of rosemary and let sit for a month.
Remove the sprigs (optional) and add the essential oil blends.
5. Just relax and let your locs grow. If nothing else, growing my locs has taught me patience. Once your hair is loc'd there's really nothing you can do. You can't make it grow faster, you can't beat that awkward stage. You just have to relax and let it grow.
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