The Loc style has evolved through history. Modern loc wearers do not always choose the style because of spiritual motivations or beliefs. It has adapted to pop culture and popular people. Despite the growing popularity of locs in present day, there is so much misinformation about the grooming and maintenance of locs. There are so many options, from Sisterlocks to palm rolling to interlocking; that it can get confusing. As a loc-wearer and Master Loctician, I will briefly explain two popular grooming methods and provide some tips on products to use.
I believe in clean hair. Locs are no different, and contrary to popular belief they can be shampooed and conditioned. Locs must be cleaned regularly because they will capture smells and attract dust, dirt and lint. If they are not cleaned, these undesirable smells and objects can become intertwined into the locs and will be difficult to get out. A clarifying shampoo is the best shampoo to use to keep the locs and scalp clean. They gently lift and remove dirt and smells. Clarifying shampoos are typically clear. When the hair is not cleaned thoroughly, it can lead to scalp dermatitis and flaking. A conditioning routine should be added to your hair regimen only after the locs have solidified. Conditioners soften the hair, and using them on starter locs or locs that are still in a development phase can interfere with the loc process and prevent locs from maturing. In the meantime, hot oil treatments and the application of oil-based products will keep locs lubricated and healthy. If the locs are colored it is important to use a conditioner formulated for color treated hair or they will become extremely dry, brittle and break off.
There are two primary methods for grooming locs. They are the palm-rolling (twisting) technique and the interlocking technique. Palm rolling involves the use of a twisting gel or cream. If you prefer palm rolling, avoid products that have beeswax. Wax attracts dirt and debris to the hair and is difficult to shampoo out of the hair. Interlocking uses a tool similar to a latch hook. A small square, circular or triangular section of hair is crocheted into a round twist of hair. The hair is interlocked in a counter clockwise direction to maintain the roundness of the loc. A loc’ing cream or gel is also used during this process to keep the loc neat. To keep your locs healthy I recommend maintaining the new growth by interlocking instead of twisting. Twisting your locs will cause more breakage because your hair is so fragile. Locs accumulate weight, so when you constantly twist them in one direction you gradually weaken the strands. I like to use the analogy of a paperclip. If you twist a paperclip long enough in one direction it will eventually break…this is what can happen with your locs. Interlocking uses a tool to reinforce the loc to your scalp, creating a strong base and breaking up the continuity of the twisting. Lastly, keep your locs lubricated with hot oil treatments. After shampooing your hair, massage AnnCarol Coconut Lavender Oil or Peppermint Chamomile Oil into your locs. Cover locs with a plastic processing cap. For added penetration you can sit under a dryer or under a steamer without the plastic cap.