Every goal in life you have must be planned out carefully. Preparation is key. If you embark upon a trekking journey at night without any flashlight you will get lost. This epiphany can be compared to growing locs. I did a lot of research and followed other Queens loc journeys before starting mines. Do you know all there is to know about locs? Since I am in my 5th year of loc growth, it only makes sense that I review the 5 stages of locs. Make sure that you follow these do’s and don’ts so that you can acquire a maximum amount of success.
Stage 1: Starter Locs
Your starter locs are the growth from when your locs are first established. This stage can last anywhere between 3 to 6 months. When you first form your locs you can start with comb coils, palm rolls, braids, or two-strand twists. It is believed that this stage is the easiest part of the loc journey because one’s locs are still babies. But this stage can either make or break you.
- Moisturize frequently. Use essential oils that will keep your locs strong and shiny.
- Wear a lot of headbands. Relying on gels to slick out your edges will dry out your new growth. A lot of gels contain heavy amounts of alcohol and chemicals.
- Put heavy braids onto your locs. I learned the hard way that braiding over your short locs can cause a lot of thinning and breakage.
- Wear a lot of wigs. Your hair needs air to breathe. Wigs can be worn, but be cautious. Overwearing wigs can stunt your natural hair growth.
Stage 2: Budding Locs
During the budding phase, your new growth will start to puff up. Your shiny coils will start to look fuzzy. This stage can last anywhere from 3-9 months. Your locs, in general, will start to expand and thickness in width will be seen.
- Cleanse your hair for buildup. As your hair starts to form into locs, you will want to avoid build up because residue creates weak spots.
- Practice a hair care routine. Start preparing early on in your loc growth what essential oils you want to use. Coconut oil, olive oil, jojoba oil, and carrot oil are all great choices.
- Overdo retwisting. Your locs are still infants at this stage. Overdoing it will just cause too much tension at the root, which will lead to breakage.
- Trim the buds. The buds might give your locs a bumpy look. But don’t try to cut them so early on. Give it some time to mature.
Stage 3: Teenage Locs
During the teenage phase, your locs will start to act rebelliously. They will swell to twice the original size. They will be harder to manage and sprout in all different directions. The teenage stage can last anywhere from 6 to 18 months. On the inside of your locs, your hair is tangling more. Which explains its density.
- Experiment with different styling. At this point pressure styles, like twists and curls, will show off your thickness.
- Invest in a lot of scarfs. The more scarves you cover your hair in, the more protection you are giving your locs from harsh winds, debris, and unclean liquids.
- Let shrinkage disappoint you. You might not see a lot of growth, and that is ok. Be patient. Your length will increase in time.
- Limit yourself to a few hairstyles. Spice things up. Learn how to wear different African hair wraps. Try beads and shells.
Stage 4: Mature Locs
At this stage, your locs are firm and can support themselves. It can take anywhere from 12 to 36 months to reach this level.
- Celebrate! Take yourself on a loc-a-versary date. Do you remember the day this journey all started? Reminisce and relax. You have crossed into the land of maturity.
- Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. You won’t have to retwist as often, because your locs should be thick enough to support themselves.
- Swim in a pool without a hair cap. Chlorine is used in public pools, and it can strip your hair of its natural oils. Keeping it in a plastic hair cap even during the adult stage will prevent damage.
- Go for a long period without shampooing and conditioning. Even if you are comfortable with essential oils, your locs need to be properly and regularly washed.
Stage 5: Rooted Locs
You have made it to the senior adult stage! Woohoo! Your locs have now reached “elder” status.
If you are patient enough to grow your hair to this level, then you have the tenacity to start a business and cultivate its growth. You have the strength to enter into marriage and fight off temptations. You have the love needed to build a long-term friendship.
- Keep your hair routine simple. At this point in the journey, your locs should be near your waist. Don’t overcomplicate your hairstyles. Wear it all down, or trim it if you want to wear more manageable hairstyles.
- Seal ends with moisture. With length, we may forget to reach our ends while applying essential oils. Keep ample amounts of hair spray available.
- Overdo it with the coloring. If you color your locs too much, by the time they reach this stage they will lose their strength and start to thin.
2. Expect perfection. Like any other stage, your locs will have strong moments and struggling moments. If you notice some weak areas, contact your loctician for repairs.
Which stage are you in? Comment below. Also, like, and follow to receive more updates in the world of African Beauty And Braids.
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