Starter Locs Do’s And Don’ts

Starter Locs Do’s And Don’ts

Okay, so you’ve decided to loc your hair and be a part of a community of loc-lovers. Congratulations! This article will outline what starter locs are, methods of locking your hair, and finally, how to maintain starter locs so they grow into gorgeous mature locs you’ll love. 

Related: The Ultimate Baby Dreadlocks Maintenance Guide

What Are Starter Locs

Starter locs, also called baby locs, are the first stage of the loc process. Depending on your hair type, it can last between three and six months. You may decide to have cultivated, carefully sectioned locs, or you can go for a freeform look. 

There are several ways to begin your locs:

  • Two-strand twists
  • Comb coils
  • Braids
  • Interlocking
  • Backcombing
  • Loc extensions

Instructions for caring for starter locs are essential because it may take time for your locs to hold, and you need to know how to care for them in the meanwhile.   

Methods of Starting Locs

There are several methods for beginning your locs. They range from easy to a little more challenging to implement. The way you choose also depends on how much and what type of hair you have and how quickly you want to have long locs. 

Whichever method you choose, you will need to part your hair into sections. Depending on your hair’s thickness and length, you will have to decide how large or small your sections will be. High-density hair may create thicker locs in larger sections, while thinner hair creates more slender locs in smaller sections. Medium thickness hair will fall somewhere between these two. When creating your sections, the thing to note is that your mature locs will become tighter and more condensed over time. This means that if you make your original sections too small, your locs will become so thin that they can break off.   

Here are the most popular ways to start your locs:

Two-Strand Twists

If your hair is at least 2 inches long, you can start locs with two-strand twists. The twists will hold your hair together until locs form. How quickly locs begin to form with any of these methods depends on your hair texture. Kinkier hair types loc faster and bind stronger. If your hair isn’t very kinky, don’t worry. It will still loc, but it will take longer.  

Comb Coils

Comb coils, also known as gel twists, are perfect for very short hair. Clean hair is sectioned and coiled with a comb. The hairdresser or loctician may clip the hair down and put you under the hairdryer to dry it into place.  


Another way to start locs is by braiding the hair. The braid doesn’t loc very well, but the braids hold the hair in place while the roots loc. Over time, you can trim off the braided hair. Locs may be flatter at first with this method.

Related: How to Get Your Locs Thicker


Backcombing can be done on hair up to six inches long. Sections of hair are tangled by backcombing, and then palm rolled. It makes an immediate, though loose loc.  

Loc Extensions

If you’re looking for immediate long locs, you can begin with loc extensions. You’ll have the look you want right away, and as your hair grows, the new growth will be groomed into your own locs. You can keep the extensions after your hair grows, or you can cut them off. 

Two bottles of Lion Locs Co Wash products.

Washing Starter Locs

When and how often to shampoo your starter locs is one of the most significant issues you’ll face early on. This is because if you wash your hair too soon in the process, you can easily undo your still-forming locs. So, you should wait for at least four weeks before you shampoo your hair. If your scalp is itchy before then, you can clean your scalp with witch hazel on a cotton ball. Just wipe your parts with the witch hazel, and your scalp can feel clean without disturbing your locs. 

When you shampoo your hair, do it carefully. Focus on the roots and try not to disturb your locs. Then you can shampoo every four weeks until your locs are fully formed. As long as you’re only using lightweight, water-soluble products in your hair, every four weeks should be fine. 

Are you looking for vegan and organic loc care products? We’re here to help. Check out our product line at Lion Locs

Deep Conditioning

You may have liked deep conditioning your hair when it was loose, but it’s not a good idea with baby locs. The purpose of creme conditioners is to soften your hair. But when your locs become too soft, they will unravel. Moisture is essential, so find something lightweight if you must. Rosewater spritz is a good option. 


Unless you’re going for the freeform look, you will want to cultivate your locs by grooming them regularly. You can retwist or palm roll every time you wash your hair or once per month. Don’t over-twist your locs, as it will weaken your roots over time. 

You may choose to interlock as a method of tightening and neatening your growing locs. The benefit of interlocking is that it doesn’t come undone like retwisting will when you wash your hair. The main disadvantage of interlocking is that the locs tend to be thinner. 

How to Maintain Starter Locs

Here are more tips on maintaining your starter locs:

Limit the Hair Products

When it comes to loc care products, keep it simple and minimal. Too many products will cause buildup in your budding locs. Buildup is hair product that doesn’t wash out but remains in the middle of your locs. Buildup can cause discoloration. 

Don’t Manipulate Your Locs

In the beginning, you can be fascinated by your new locs. They aren’t even formed yet, but you can’t keep your hands off of them. But try not to manipulate them very much. This can be damaging and prevent them from growing into full, well-shapen locs.  

Use Natural Oils

Use a natural oil to lock in moisture and give your locs a soft sheen. Try coconut oil, olive oil, or Jamaican black castor oil. Any of these can prevent loc or scalp dryness.  

Protect Your Locs While You Sleep

Movement while you sleep and friction against your pillow can cause your locs to unravel. So, protect your locs while you sleep. You can wear a satin cap or scarf. These will also help with moisture retention and prevent hair breakage.

Related: How to Maintain Dreadlocks

Final Thoughts

Beginning your loc journey is exciting. Your locs will grow full, healthy, and strong if you follow the above tips.  

Are you looking for insights into all things dreadlocks? We provide vegan, residue-free loc hair products. Check out Lion Locs for more information.

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