I’ve had people who are just starting their locs ask me how often they should be washing their hair, and I’ve had people who have had their locs a while ask me how often they should be washing their hair.
With the starter loc people, it’s more like they want guidance. The people who have locs already, they kind of just want your 2 cents and they’re going to keep doing what they’re doing regardless. So I always think that’s kind of funny.
But for me, I always just say wash your hair as much as you want to. I’m the type of person that, when I wash my hair, I have to do it a certain way. If I wash other people’s hair and they have natural hair, like curly or kinky hair or locs, I will not rub their hair in a circle and get their roots all tangly and whatnot. But if I’m washing it like that at home on myself, it feels good so I wouldn’t want to wash my hair any other way.
So I’m just going to start off by saying that the more you wash your hair when you have starter locs, the faster your hair’s going to lock. And that’s because your hairs inside of your locs are being meshed together and forming.
You’re keeping your hair clean as well. So it’s also a good way to make sure that build-up or lint or dirt isn’t going to get trapped in your locs when they actually form. It’s very good to wash your hair often when you’re starting your locs.
The only downside to washing your hair often when you have a full set of locs is if you have high density locs or your locs are thick, and you know from personal experience that it’s going to take your hair more than 24 hours to dry completely, then you’re pretty much opening yourself up to getting mould trapped in your locs or — you know that laundry, slightly damp smell — and nobody wants that for their hair!
So if you know that you’re only going to airdry your locs and you want to wash your hair often and leave it wet, that’s not a good idea. You might want to cut down on that. Use a cotton t-shirt, microfiber towel, hooded dryer, or blowdryer on a low setting to remove some of the extra moisture from your hair. My loctition never lets me leave until my hair is completely dry but I’ve come to find that many locheads hate being under the hooded dryer for a long time.
But my overall opinion is: the most you can wash your hair, the best. It’s just a way of keeping your hair clean and it’s also a way of making your hair lock faster.
Personally, I wash my hair about once or twice a week right now. It’s summer and I work out quite often. But if I do have a retwist and I want to keep my hair looking neat, I will sometimes stretch between washes just to keep my hair looking neat longer.
If it’s winter time and I know that my skin is getting dryer and my hair is getting dryer, that I’m just more prone to dryness in general, I won’t bother washing my hair as often because I’m not going to be producing as much oil on my scalp, my hair’s not going to get dirty as fast. And if I do wash my hair and airdry my hair, it’s not going to dry as easily in the cold.
Just wash your hair as often as you’re able to but be aware that if you are airdrying, you don’t want to walk around with hair that’s not completely dry too often.