Whether you’re growing starter locs or rocking mature dreadlocks, taking care of them properly is crucial to keep them healthy.
However, there’s a common misconception — locs require less maintenance than other hairstyles, which is simply not true. In contrast, if you want your locs to look, smell, and feel great, they require some unique care compared to other styles.
We’ll discuss how to take care of your locs and the best loc products to use!
Related: How to Maintain Frizzy Dreads
Maintain Your Starter Locs
First off, let’s talk about how to maintain starter locs:
- Avoid detanglers and conditioners — they can cause your new locs to unravel or loosen.
- Don’t play with your locs — while it’s hard not to touch them, leave them alone so they can grow properly.
- Don’t shampoo too often — we recommend every two weeks when you are starting your locs.
- Limit the number of products you use — using too many products means more buildup you’ll have to remove from your locs, shortening your time between washes.
- Be patient — starter locs can be frustrating; they might start unraveling, or you might need to keep retwisting them, but trust the process!
Do you know the most important part about maintaining your locs? You need to use the right loc products!
Keep Your Locs Moisturized
Once you’re out of the starter locs phase, it’s time to start learning how to take care of your locs properly. And while your locs likely won’t need as much moisture as loose hair, you still need to moisturize them regularly.
Dry hair breaks more easily — you don’t want brittle locs! You can help seal in moisture with a lightweight oil or use a leave-in moisturizer to keep your locs hydrated.
Condition Your Locs (The Right Way)
The dreadlock community is home to some controversy about whether daily conditioning is a good idea or not — especially for newer locs — because of the possible risk of loosening or damaging the hair.
Many men have success with high-quality, light conditioners, but you can also use apple cider vinegar to get soft locs and rid them of product buildup.
Deep Condition (Not for New Locs)
Once your locs are well-established, we recommend using a deep conditioner every couple of weeks to keep your locs strong, healthy, moisturized, and vibrant.
However, while your locs are still in the starter phase, using a deep conditioner comes with the risk of detangling them. So if you recently started your locs, you’ll likely want to avoid this step for now.
Avoid Over-Washing Your Locs
While locs may be more prone to buildup and odors than other hairstyles, washing them too frequently can result in flaking, itchiness, thinning locks, and breakage because it dries out your scalp.
Every one to two weeks is a great start — however, don’t wash your starter locs until they begin to mature.
Keep Your Locs Dry
Do you know that mildew smell is associated with locs? It usually develops when your drying routine isn’t quite right — think about what laundry smells like if you forget it in the washer for a couple of days.
You can use a blow dryer on your locs (low heat only) or let them air dry. Either way, don’t bunch your locs together; tie them up or cover them until they are completely dry.
Related: How to Keep Your Locs Fresh
Use Natural Oils
Natural oils — like coconut, olive, etc. — help keep your scalp and locs healthy and moisturized. They also help keep them from getting too dry; in addition, other natural oils, like diluted tea tree, can help clean your locs with their antifungal properties.
Lion Locs Loc Growth Oil contains a unique blend of organic oils to nourish your locs and strengthen your hair shafts. It helps fight dandruff, relieve itchy scalps, and battle irritation from twisting (oh, and it smells great, too!).
Don’t Overdo It With Products
Locs are essentially matted hair — they’re vulnerable to buildup if you use too much of any products or oils. The solution? Use much less product than you would think, and avoid styling products that leave lots of residues.
So, stick with lightweight oils and products designed for locs and use them sparingly.
You can’t use just any hair products on your locs — look for oils, cleansers, and moisturizers designed for dreadlocks!
Wrap Your Locs at Night
Yes, your locs are strong. However, they’re susceptible to damage and breakage from friction — particularly while you sleep.
Wrapping your locs with a satin or silk scarf will help prevent and protect from breakage throughout the night.
Don’t Over-Twist Your Locs
Absent-mindedly and repetitively twisting your locs throughout the day pulls on your hair follicles, causing your locs to fall out over time. You should only twist your locs when retwisting, and ensure you give your locs plenty of time — at least a couple of months — between retwisting.
Also, don’t retwist too tightly — it shouldn’t hurt!
Use the Best Products for Your Locs
Using the right products is vital to keeping your locs in their healthiest state. We recommend:
- Loc Co Wash — it’s more than a shampoo and conditioner for your locs; it’s a moisturizer, too. Clean and nourish your locs while preventing and healing split ends and breakage.
- Sea Salt Hair Spray — this sea salt hair spray designed for locs helps add texture and sheen to your hair while aiding blood circulation in your hair follicles to fight dread rot and help you get the style you want.
- Rosewater Loc Spray — Rosewater spray is the ultimate loc moisturizer to hydrate your hair gently. It’s a lightweight mixture of oils and aloe leaf juice to keep your locs strong, moisturized, nourished, and looking their best.
- Loc Oil — An oil blend designed for locs to help them look, smell, and feel great. This unique blend strengthens and nourishes your locs while hydrating them and improving their overall appearance.
- Loc Gel Moisturizer — this organic moisturizer is also a lightweight locking gel perfect for every loc hairstyle. It’s a two-in-one product to keep your locs hydrated and looking great without leaving buildup, residue, or debris in your hair.
Related: Summertime Loc Care