Locs are a timeless hairstyle. Also known as dreadlocs, locs are a natural and carefree hairstyle that has been worn by people of many ethnicities and nationalities since the beginning of time. Today, you will find that locs are perfectly suitable for all occasions – you will find people wearing locs from the beach to the Grammys. Locs are created by causing the hair to become entangled so that they form into hair that is locked.  Once locked, the hair usually cannot come untangled without considerable effort.  In this blog, we will walk you through the loc styling tips and tricks 

Best Tips to Style With Perfect Locs

Hairstyle is a crucial aspect of your overall appearance, and if you are opting for locs, there are several points to keep in mind. So, here are our best tips for you to consider when starting locs:

Use Different Patterns

Locs can be started in a variety of ways, and the end result will be the same when your locs mature.  The starting method has little to do with the mature look.  So, why are different methods used?  For a variety of reasons.  Often it has more to do with the texture of the hair, the favored method of the loctician, and the patience of the client to go through the loc journey.  Traditional ways of starting locs are comb coils, which are often done on very short hair, twists, and even braiding.  For hair that is straighter and doesn’t tangle very easily, or for the person who wants locs faster, the loctician might suggest interlocs or instant locs, which are methods of crocheting the hair together so that it is locked immediately.  

Focus on Parting Patterns 

You can add a unique look to your locs with the parting pattern. The parts between your locs can be a pattern you choose, like a square box, layered bricks, scallops, triangular or diamond parts. Different parting patterns are not for everyone. The loctician has to take into account the density of your hair and your preference for small or large sections. So, discuss the parting pattern and the loc size you desire with your hairstylist.  Tip: Look for pictures of mature locs on models of different genders to determine the look you want your mature locs to have. 

Determine the Size and Look of  Your Locs 

Locs are formed with the hair becoming entangled; over time, the locs can become thicker due to the hair that you lose daily becoming entangled in the locs.  So, keep this in mind as you determine your loc style. To maintain a uniform look to your locs, you will want to keep a regular maintenance schedule.  If you are looking for a larger, puffy, or free-form loc look (think Jay Z or Bob Marley), you can just let your hair do its own thing after the locs have started to form.   

Tip:  Because locs trap in the hair that you shed, the locs can also get heavier over time.  If your hair is thin, the heavier locs can cause breakage at the roots, so choose a style that has smaller locs, like micro locs or sister locks.

Loc Stages

Once your locs are created, they will go through several stages as a part of your loc journey.

Starter locs or Baby Locs:  This is your very beginning stage.  The day you get your hair coiled, twisted, braided, or interlocked to start your loc journey.

Budding:  Generally, about 3 – 6 months into your loc journey, you will notice that your hair is getting very tangled and matted.  This usually starts about midway down the loc. Eventually, the mass will expand, causing all of the hair to lock. Teen Locs: In the Teen stage, your locs are formed but may not look like the mature locs you are anticipating.  This is the fuzzy stage.  You might be wondering why your locs are not neat and tight but fuzzy and puffy instead.  Don’t worry, your locs are still forming, and your hair is getting used to being entangled.  It is really important in this stage to keep your hair groomed so that the locs form into the neat, mature locs you desire.  This phase can last anywhere from 6 months to a year.  People with a looser curl pattern may even experience their locs opening up during this phase (think Lisa Bonet’s loose locs that started a whole trend called Goddess locs).  Not to worry. Your loctician will tighten up the locs and use methods to lessen the fuzziness of your locs.

Mature Locs:  Your locs now have a cylindrical look and are tightly intertwined from the top to the tip.  The only loose hair is your new growth.  Congratulations, you now have locs! 

Nourish Your Locs 

It is really important to take care of your locs, beginning with your starter locs and throughout the life of your locs; otherwise, you won’t have locs.  The reality is that your locs need regular washing and maintenance to keep the scalp and your locs healthy. We also advise that you moisturize your scalp in the same way that you moisturize the rest of the skin on your body.  When your scalp is dry, add moisture using a scalp oil to keep the scalp environment healthy for your hair to continue growing. 

Healthy Roots = No Breakage 

Root breakage and extra thinning are something that you want to avoid with your locs. Everyone loves the look of full, luscious locs, and you can have that look if you follow a care routine for loc maintenance and treat your locs with tender loving care.   Things that can contribute to your locs breaking are 

  • Over manipulation – getting your new growth retwisted to the scalp too tightly and/or too often
  • Bleaching – lightening your hair always puts stress on the hair.  Once the hair is lightened from the root, you will need to touch up the new growth, which continues to put stress on the hair.  TIP: When coloring your hair, always work with a professional colorist to minimize damage to your locs.
  • Lack of maintenance – if the hair is not groomed frequently enough, it will grow together at the roots.  Separating the matted hair can cause damage to the hair and to the locs.

Awesome Locs Styles

Once your locs are established,  you might want to try out some different hairstyles to keep your newly groomed locs protected for a few weeks.  

Two-Strand Twists Style:  A very traditional and easy style is the two-strand twists hairstyle.  A few locs are twisted together to get this basic style.  

The Bun:  Men and women have been known to sport elegant Loc Buns.  Research pictures to get an idea of this style and the ways in which you can wear it.

French Braids:  The locs are braided into two French Braids

Barrel Braids:  With this popular unisex style, the locs are wrapped over each other to create the appearance of a  tube. 

What is YOUR Style?

Traditional Locs

Traditional locs or Regular Locs are created using a simple technique of two-strand twists or coils.  As the hair is groomed over time, it becomes entangled through a matting or palm-rolling process.  This is one of the most popular ways to create locs, and you will end up with beautiful locs when they are mature. 

Sister Locs 

SisterLocks® are beautiful  They actually look like strands of hair just hanging down.  The smallest amount of hair has actually been interlocked together to create the look.  SisterLocks® are a branded name for interlocked micro-locs.  A little more goes into SisterLocks® because there is a proprietary grid pattern used by certified SisterLock® locticians.  But, you will find non-SisterLock locticians who can provide interlocked micro-locs for a very similar look. 

Interlocking Locs 

With interlocking, a special latch hook is used to pull the hair together into a loc.  The benefit of starting your locs with interlocking is that the hair is not likely to unravel.  This is especially important for people with straighter hair or hair that does not have much of a curl pattern.  

Freeform Locs 

Freeform locs are created by just letting your hair matt together naturally.  Sometimes, the locs are started traditionally to give them form.  Some choose to let their hair grow together into a single trunk of hair.  You can certainly let your individual style loose with free-forming locs.

Florida Wicks 

Florida Wicks are very large locs where the diameter of each locs is around 2 to 5 inches. Wick locs can be done in many ways, including rubber bands, extension, and combining existing locs. It creates a unique hair look with more thickness. 

Get Awesome Locs With Harlem Natural Hair!

If you are planning to get started on your loc journey, or you just want a hair makeover with a unique loc style, head to Harlem Natural Hair. We are one of the best hair salons in New York to offer a full team of experienced locticians who can help start your locs and maintain the locs you already have. Our professional experts can provide you with the best look and save you time and extra effort. Schedule an appointment with us today for loc styling with quick and hassle-free service!