Using beeswax in locs is a controversial topic. Some people swear by it, while others swear at the thought of it. But what’s best? We’ll discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using beeswax in your locs, when and how to use it, and what hair type is best suited for beeswax.
What is beeswax?
Beeswax is a natural ingredient secreted by worker bees. When it’s cold, it’s hard and breakable. When it’s heated, it becomes soft and malleable. Beeswax is an ingredient in many hair styling products that promise to smooth away frizzies, enhance shine, hold, and moisturize your hair. Beeswax has many benefits for hair, but the question is how beneficial is it for dreadlocks.
How does it benefit your locs
Why would anyone put beeswax in their hair? Here are a few of its many benefits:
- Moisturize: Beeswax contains vitamin A which moisturizes hair, and the wax acts as a sealant to keep moisture in your hair shaft.
- Seals Strands: Lightly coating hair stands with beeswax will not only seal in the moisture but will smooth down split ends and frizzy bits. It isn’t a permanent cure for this but will help visually for a time.
- Promotes Hair Growth: One study found that daily use of beeswax for 30 days boosted hair growth significantly. There were other ingredients along with the beeswax, so the wax may not have been solely responsible for the accelerated growth but may share some of the credit.
- Sooth Scalp Conditions: Due to the vitamin A component, beeswax can moisturize your scalp and protect it from dryness. It is also helpful if you have dandruff, eczema, or psoriasis. Although it is a wax, beeswax is unlikely to clog the pores of your scalp or cause irritation.
- Smooth and Straighten: Hard to control hair may be managed by using beeswax in it. The wax can smooth hair, hold and maintain styles, and even help to straighten curly hair. It works well in braided and twisted hairstyles.
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Which hair type is best suited for beeswax
Deliberately locking hair into dreadlocks isn’t a straightforward process for all hair types. While it requires time and effort, no matter your hair type, black-afro and curlier hair types loc easier than do straight hair textures.
Here is a step by step guide for using beeswax in straight hair for loc formation:
- Prepare your hair for the process by letting it get rough-feeling. This means stop using conditioner to soften your hair for a few days before.
- When you’re ready to loc your hair, separate it into small sections, the size that you want your locs to be. Putting the sections into small elastic bands at the base can help to keep them separate until you’re ready to work with them.
- Start with the back sections and coat each with beeswax. After you’ve coasted it from root to tip, palm roll the entire section of hair to distribute it evenly.
- Now, back-comb or otherwise tangle your hair to make it easier to knot. Start about an inch from your head and tease the hair toward your scalp. Then begin again an inch from the last place and again, tease your hair toward your scalp. Repeat this process until all the hair in the section is back-combed.
- Re-coat the section of hair in beeswax and leave it to hold the hair together until it knots on its own. You may want to add another small rubber band at the tip of the soon-forming loc as well.
- Repeat the process for every section on your head.
- Avoid shampooing your hair during this time, and you can re-twist it in the same direction to reinforce the loc.
- Be prepared; the locking process can take months - particularly if your hair is very straight. But it will be worth it!
Again, this is a method for locking hair that is straight. Other hair types that lock easier on their own should steer clear of beeswax, and we’ll tell you why.
Disadvantages of using beeswax for locs
The big issue with beeswax is its consistency. Just because it’s a natural product doesn’t mean that it can’t cause harm to your hair.
Here are a few of the main disadvantages of using beeswax in your locs if you don’t have to:
- It is waxy/oily and NOT water-soluble.
- While it will, at first, seal in moisture, eventually, it will seal out new moisture. This will make your locs stiff and dry.
- You will have to put in a lot of effort to remove the wax from your locs. Regular shampooing won’t do.
- Beeswax is sticky, so it will hold lint, dirt, and other debris in your locs.
- When the weather is cold, beeswax may get harder in your locs and show up as a whitish substance in your locs - especially if your hair is dark.
- Over time, locs with too much beeswax can look heavy, dull, and unattractive.
- In extreme cases, locs have had to be cut off and restarted because of loc-rot and build-up.
How to remove beeswax from your locs
No discussion of using beeswax in your locs could be complete without also talking about how to get it back out. Beeswax is hard and resistant to water, so its removal will be a challenge, but here are a few ways that may help:
You will need a natural oil to break down water-soluble beeswax. A light oil like olive oil, Almond oil, or Jojoba oil can be effective. Make sure the oil saturates your locs by squeezing and massaging it inside each one. When you’re finished, rinse with warm water and shampoo with a clarifying shampoo. For a lot of beeswax build-up, you may have to do this more than once.
Apple cider vinegar
Try an apple cider vinegar (ACV) soak. Add one cup of apple cider vinegar to a basin of warm water. You may also add 1 ¼ cup of baking soda, lemon juice, and a few select essential oils, but these are all optional. Soak your locs in this ACV bath for up to 20 minutes or until the water becomes murky with waxy residue. You can empty the water and make a new soak until the water remains clean and clear. Squeeze your locs often through the process to ensure that the mixture is permeating them. Then give your hair a good rinse.
The final word
Beeswax is an amazing natural product with many excellent properties and an array of uses. If your hair is straight textured, using beeswax to begin your locs may be a necessary evil. Try not to use it excessively and always be on the lookout for other products you can use instead. Also, be prepared to do the work to regularly cleanse your hair of it.Are you looking for 100% natural, 100% organic products for your locs? Our products are chemical-free with naturally-derived fragrances and handmade in the U.S. Visit Lion Locs.