A lot of YouTubers have been posting tips recently to people just starting out in the loc community, people just starting their locs, people that have starter locs, baby locs. And there are 3 pieces of advice that I would love to give as well to people with locs. I think that these are the 3 most important, in my opinion…
The first one would be to be patient. Some people realize that their hair is taking a long time to lock or they get to this phase where they think their hair looks ugly. And when that happens, a lot of them take their locs out, and that’s when you see that people have 3, 4 sets of locs and they keep starting them over. Because they’re just not happy or they’re just not patient enough to see it through. So I would just encourage you to just stick it out and see what happens instead of removing your locs out of frustration.
Also, don’t fall into — I don’t want to say “cheating” – but into a crutch. Interlocking is something that you can do to your roots to make the retwist last longer, to keep your hair from unraveling, but that’s not really good for the health of your hair if you don’t intend on doing that permanently in the long run. It does create little weak spots in your hair. So I wouldn’t recommend it.
I, like many people who have alternated between palm rolling, interlocking, and freeforming, have come to find that the freeformed areas of my locs are soft and spongy, the palmrolled areas are cylindrical and uniform, and the interlocked areas are thinner and hard/compact.
And I wouldn’t recommend wrapping your hair with string or anything kind of crazy to keep it from unraveling. Just stick it out and eventually your hair will begin to lock on its own. It will be better for you in the long run rather than trying to manipulate it too much.
My second tip is to use natural-based products. Stay away from Ecostyler Gel and wax and brown gel. Jamaican Mango and Lime, I know a lot of people like that — but any product that has petroleum in it or wax or anything heavy. Because if you start your locs with that and your hair starts to matte, you’re going to have the product trapped in your locs if you’re not able to remove it. And you don’t want to permanently have residue in your locs.
It’s better to use things that are natural-based that don’t have mineral oil or petroleum, especially things that are aloe vera based just because they can be washed out easily and they’re not going to coat your hair or leave a residue in your hair. So just think about the long-term effects of products. Yes, it might make your hair stay longer, look neater, if it’s a little bit of a stronger product like a heavy gel, but in the long run, you don’t want that stuck in your hair. So stick with the lighter more natural products.
And the last tip I have is not to compare yourself so much to other people. It’s really easy to get discouraged if you compare yourself to how thick someone else’s hair is or how sparse and neat and tidy looking someone else’s hair is, how fast someone else’s hair grows, or how someone else styles their hair because they have this naturally creative side to them where they know what looks right and they can’t experiment a little bit better. Just do what’s right for you.
I personally have been approached a few times and found that people don’t always like my locs. I do get compliments but once in a while someone will point out “I don’t really want my locs to be uneven or whatever. I prefer rope-like perfect locs” and I’m not offended by that. What works for someone might not work for someone else.
(Chescalocs, one of the people who inspired me to lock my hair. Yet my locs aren’t as uniform and rope-like as hers, and I have too much hair to rock some of the styles she easily does)
For me personally, I explained this in one video, I grew to love my locs. Especially when I thickened them and combined them, as I have a very small frame, very small face, very small personality, and I just think that this is a nice contrast for me and I learned to love it. So embrace how your hair turns out. Everyone’s locs look different and everyone’s locs are beautiful!
The tip I want to stress the most is to be patient and to hang in there. You have a HUGE community on YouTube and on Facebook and on Instagram to share your journey with and ask for encouragement and advice, and that’s a great great thing to take advantage of.