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Best Products for Starter Locs

8 Best Products for Starter Locs: Top Picks for Newbies

Starting locs can be an exciting and transformative journey for those seeking a natural and low-maintenance hairstyle. As the locs begin to take shape, it's vital to use products that nurture and support the hair during this delicate phase. Starter locs require gentle care to ensure they form properly and remain healthy. The key is to find products that promote cleanliness, hydration, and healthy scalp without causing build-up or unraveling the tender locs.

The market offers a variety of products tailored for loc care, including shampoos, conditioners, oils, and locking gels. When selecting products for starter locs, it's important to consider ingredients that are beneficial for promoting hair strength and scalp health. Options free from sulfates, parabens, and heavy waxes are often recommended to prevent irritation and residue that can impede the locking process.

During the early stages of loc development, the focus should be on facilitating the natural hair locking rather than styling. As such, the emphasis should be on lightweight products that provide moisture and maintain the hair's natural pH without weighing down the baby locs. Products with natural ingredients like aloe vera, coconut oil, and tea tree oil are frequently sought after for their nourishing properties.

Our research and experience have led us to a carefully curated selection of products ideal for those starting their locs. From cleansing agents to locking creams, we've examined both the efficacy and the ingredient profiles to help you make the most informed decision. The right products can make all the difference in the early stages of your loc journey, setting a strong foundation for healthy and thriving locs.

Top Starter Loc Care Essentials

Embarking on a loc journey is an exciting venture, and ensuring you have the right products at your disposal can make all the difference in the health and appearance of your new locs. From moisturizing oils to residue-free shampoos and locking gels, we've gathered a list of top-notch products specifically formulated to nurture and maintain starter locs. Our picks aim to provide your hair with the necessary nourishment and hold, while also keeping buildup at bay. Prepare to give your locs the best possible start with our carefully selected essentials.

BEST GEL : Lion Locs Loc Gel Moisturizer

Lion Locs Hair Locking Dreads Moisturizer

We highly recommend our product for anyone starting their loc journey and needs a gel, as it delivers firm hold with a lightweight feel.


  • Provides a strong hold without leaving residue
  • Organic ingredients ensure healthy loc maintenance
  • Pleasant, gender-neutral scent that lingers

After trying out this locking moisturizer on your starter locs, you'll be genuinely impressed by the firm hold it offers. The application process is a breeze—just a bit of product will smooth your locs into place without any annoying flakes or buildup. You'll love the peace of mind knowing that we're using a product free from harsh chemicals, thanks to its all-organic ingredient list.

It's the perfect blend between a moisturizer and styler. Your locs will feel nourished and look well-maintained, which isn't always an easy feat during the early stages of loc development.

Now, let's talk scent. It's quite refreshing, actually. The aroma doesn't fade quickly like some products you've probably tried in the past; instead, it stays subtly noticeable. It adds a pleasant touch to the experience.

Our Locking Gel Moisturizer stands out as a solid choice for those with starter or mature locs. The natural formula ensures you're treating your hair with the utmost care.


BEST SHAMPOO: Taliah Waajid Black Earth Shampoo

Taliah Waajid Total Body Black Earth Shampoo

We believe the Taliah Waajid Black Earth Shampoo is a must-have for those starting on their loc journey, with its nurturing blend that caters to the unique needs of loc'd hair.


  • Moisturizes and softens hair effectively
  • Alluring rosemary scent sensation
  • Does not weigh down hair or leave visible residue


  • Lacks the satisfying sudsy lather some prefer
  • May not be optimal for extremely flaky scalps
  • Might require a generous amount to cleanse fully

I've been testing different products on my starter locs, and this one by Taliah Waajid has significantly eased the process. Its rosemary scent is a delightful awakening during my morning routine. Having used it recently, my hair felt notably softer, and my locs stayed light and bouncy throughout the day. But what truly distinguishes this shampoo is how it manages to moisturize without leaving any filmy buildup, which is crucial for maintaining healthy locs over time.

This shampoo's detangling properties are another plus. After showering, I've noticed fewer snags and easier comb-throughs. It's an essential benefit for those of us looking to avoid breakage and encourage smooth, healthy hair growth. The first time I used it, I was pleasantly surprised by how seamlessly it conditioned and softened my hair while providing sufficient hygiene.

However, it's important to highlight that if you're accustomed to a thick lather, you might find the cleansing experience a bit underwhelming. Furthermore, although my scalp has remained mostly flake-free, a friend mentioned that their particularly dry scalp needed extra attention after use. Also, be prepared to use a bit more product for a thorough clean—something I've learned after a couple of washes.

In a nutshell, if you're venturing into the world of locs, the Taliah Waajid Black Earth Shampoo could be a smart addition to your regimen. Despite some minor drawbacks, its benefits make it stand out—especially when you're nurturing your hair to look and feel its best.


BEST SPRAY: Locsanity Refreshing Spray

Locsanity Daily Moisturizing Refreshing Spray for Locs

We found the Locsanity Refreshing Spray to be a game-changer for maintaining hydrated, healthy-looking locs with a pleasant scent that rejuvenates the hair and scalp.


  • Enhances locs hydration and strength
  • Non-gunky, promotes hair growth, and soothes the scalp
  • Works across various loc styles without harmful chemicals


  • Moisture may not last very long, requiring frequent application
  • Smaller bottle might not suffice for very long locs
  • Spray pump reported issues by some users

We've been on the lookout for a product that revitalizes starter locs without leaving heavy residues, and the Locsanity Refreshing Spray hits the mark. It's like a breath of fresh air for the scalp, infusing a quick puff of moisture that makes our locs softer to the touch almost immediately. The blend of rose water and peppermint isn't just refreshing; it's our little secret to keeping the scalp free from the itchiness that often accompanies the loc journey.

With this spray in our loc care arsenal, we've noticed our hair feels fortified and less prone to breakage. The nourishment it provides is noticeable, not just to the touch, but also in the overall healthier appearance of our locs. What we appreciate most is its versatility—it's equally effective whether we're rocking braids, twists, or classic dreadlocks.

The formula's commitment to being vegan and free from sulfates aligns with our preference for responsible hair care options. And even when we're in a rush, a few spritzes offer protection against the heat, something we can't afford to overlook.

Despite its strengths, we do wish that the moisturizing effects were longer-lasting. Sometimes on particularly dry days, we find ourselves reaching for the bottle more than once. And while we adore the handy size, if you have a cascading mane, you might find yourself going through the 8oz quicker than expected. One other small hiccup we've encountered is the spray nozzle; it’s been less reliable for some, which might mean transferring the liquid to another bottle.


BEST LEAVE-IN: Influance Coconut Milk Conditioner

Influance Coconut Milk Conditioner

We believe this conditioner is a must-have for those starting their loc journey, offering lasting hydration and strength to new locs.


  • Leaves locs feeling incredibly soft and strengthened
  • Expertly detangles hair, making loc maintenance a breeze
  • Packed with natural ingredients to keep hair healthy


  • May not suit those looking for a non-coconut based product
  • Limited reviews available to gauge wider user experience
  • High-quality ingredients may reflect a higher price point

Upon using the Influance Coconut Milk Conditioner, we noticed an immediate improvement in the manageability of our new locs. The locs felt fortified, and the cream had a delightful fragrance that wasn't overpowering. Its natural formulation left us assured that we were nurturing our hair with quality ingredients.

Handling our starter locs, we appreciated the way this conditioner effortlessly detangled and softened the hair. It served as a gentle introduction to loc maintenance, smoothing out any fears of initial roughness or brittleness – a common concern with new locs.

Lastly, this product shone a light on the importance of a conditioner that not only cares for the locs but also seals in moisture and nutrients. Our hair fibers were clearly strengthened after use, exhibiting a natural shine that was not there before. The Influance Coconut Milk Conditioner has, without a doubt, earned its place in our loc care regimen.


BEST FOR STARTER LOCS: Taliah Waajid Lock It Up

Taliah Waajid Black Earth Products Lock It Up

We recommend this product for anyone who wants a long-lasting hold without the flakiness, ideal for maintaining starter locs.


  • Ensures locs stay in place without flaking
  • Rich with natural ingredients that nourish the scalp
  • Versatile for various hair styles and textures


  • May cause some flaking if used excessively
  • Not the best choice if a lightweight hold is preferred
  • Scent may not be appealing to everyone

Just tried Taliah Waajid's Lock It Up on my starter locs and I'm thoroughly impressed with the hold. It's been a game-changer for maintaining a neat appearance without the worry of any white flakes that other products often leave behind. The natural ingredients like Yarrow root and Rosemary seem to be nurturing my scalp as well, which is a delightful bonus.

The gel consistency strikes the right balance, not too thick or runny, making application a breeze. Overusing it can lead to minimal flaking, but that's avoidable with a light touch. It's a testament to the product's strength that a little goes a long way.

For those who often re-style their hair beyond locs, this gel adapts well. I also noticed it doesn't dry out my color-treated ends, which is a common issue with less gentle styling products. While the scent might not be everyone's cup of tea, the performance of this product overshadows that minor qualm.


BEST ESSENTIAL OIL: Maple Holistics Rosemary Oil

Maple Holistics Rosemary Oil

We recommend this essential oil for anyone looking to enhance their hair care routine naturally and enjoy the added aromatherapy benefits.


  • Supports vibrant, shiny hair
  • Versatile for aromatherapy use
  • Preservative-free and pure


  • Glass dropper may be fragile
  • Price point may be high for some
  • Not everyone enjoys the scent of rosemary

After our recent experience, we've found this rosemary oil to be a real treasure in our selection of natural hair care products. Its aroma filled the room with a refreshing scent, instantly elevating our mood. It felt like bringing a piece of the spa home, a serene escape in our daily routine.

We've also incorporated it into our hair care regimen with fantastic results. A few drops blended with our favorite carrier oil provided an excellent scalp massage, leaving our hair looking healthy with a remarkable shine that didn't go unnoticed. The oil is undeniably potent—just a little goes a long way, so the bottle is sure to last.

Moreover, the oil's versatility caught our attention. We encountered no issues using it in our diffuser, creating an inviting ambiance for us and our guests. Even with its high quality, we must admit the price could be a downside for some budgets, but considering its multifaceted use and the way it enhanced our hair's natural sheen, we found it to be well worth the investment.


BEST MULTIPURPOSE: Dr. Bronner's Peppermint Castile Soap

Dr. Bronner's Peppermint Castile Soap

We think this versatile soap should be in every household to encourage a greener and cleaner lifestyle right from the start.


  • Nourishes the scalp with organic oils
  • Biodiversity-friendly with a fully biodegradable formulation
  • Multi-purpose, reducing the need for separate products


  • Concentrated formula requires dilution knowledge
  • Strong peppermint scent might not be for everyone
  • Can be harsh on extremely sensitive skin

In our experience, Dr. Bronner's Castile Soap has been a reliable companion for maintaining starter locs. The peppermint scent provides a refreshing tingle that invigorates the scalp during the wash, which feels especially invigorating. The organic oils in the liquid soap leave the locs clean, without stripping away the natural oils necessary for healthy hair growth.

What truly sets this product apart is its commitment to the environment. Its biodegradable ingredients and recyclable packaging speak volumes. In our continuous use, we've appreciated how the formula does no harm to the planet while still keeping our locs looking their best.

Multi-purpose use is another win. Not only does it serve as a fantastic shampoo for your locs, but you can confidently use it for laundry, dishwashing, and even pet cleaning. It simplifies our routine as we've found that a little goes a long way, saving space in the bathroom and reducing waste.


BEST FOR SCALP HEALTH: Seabreeze Astringent for Sensitive Skin

Seabreeze Astringent

After using Seabreeze Astringent, we think it's a fantastic choice for maintaining clean and refreshed sensitive skin.


  • Gently removes impurities while shrinking pores
  • Contains natural oils for a soothing cleanse
  • Alcohol-based component fights acne effectively


  • Could be drying due to its alcohol content
  • Sensitive noses might find the scent too strong
  • Regular use is necessary to see significant results

Upon applying this astringent, we've noticed almost immediately how it leaves our skin feeling tingly and deeply cleansed. The sensation is quite refreshing, indicating the product is getting to work.

The natural oils included provide a soothing touch, which we find especially pleasant after a warm shower—our skin always appreciates that extra bit of care. This product comes in handy for those days when we feel our skin has been exposed to more dirt and pollution than usual.

Our experience shows that it can be slightly drying if used too frequently, although this aspect could also be seen as a testament to its effectiveness in oil control. We simply follow up with our favorite moisturizer to balance everything out.


Buying Guide

When selecting products for starting locs, there are a few key features to consider to ensure you're making the best choice. It's essential to understand that the journey to well-maintained locs begins with the right products.

Understanding Hair Type

The first step is to assess our hair type, as different textures may require specific formulations:

  • Fine Hair: Lightweight, non-greasy products.
  • Coarse Hair: Richer, more nourishing products.

Ingredients Matter

We must pay close attention to the label. Here's a quick reference:

Good Ingredients Ingredients to Avoid
Natural Oils Sulfates
Aloe Vera Silicones
Shea Butter Parabens
Essential Oils Mineral Oil

A higher concentration of natural ingredients can be beneficial for healthy loc growth.

Residue Check

The goal is to keep our locs free from build-up:

  • Residue-Free: Prioritize clear, light formulas.
  • Moisturizing: Ensure it contains hydrating ingredients without leaving residue.

Loc Maintenance

It's important to consider how the product will interact with our daily maintenance routine:

  • Retwist Efficiency: Products should facilitate easy retwisting without flaking.
  • Scalp Health: Opt for products that promote a healthy scalp environment.

By focusing on these features, we can make informed decisions that contribute to the successful cultivation of our starter locs.

Frequently Asked Questions

When starting your loc journey, choosing the right products is vital to maintain the health and appearance of your locs. We cover the essentials with straight-to-the-point answers.

What are the top-rated shampoos suitable for starter locs?

We recommend using residue-free and clarifying shampoos for starter locs. Some top-rated options include Neutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo and Shea Moisture African Black Soap Deep Cleansing Shampoo. These products help to prevent build-up and keep locs clean.

Which ingredients should be avoided in products for starter locs to prevent build-up?

Avoid ingredients like petrolatum, mineral oil, lanolin, and certain waxes. We also advise steering clear of silicones and heavy butters, as these can cause residue that's hard to wash out.

What are the best natural products recommended for maintaining starter locs?

For natural loc care, consider using aloe vera gel, rosewater, and pure oils like jojoba or coconut oil. These items help retain moisture and promote scalp health without causing build-up.

How do you choose between gel and wax for styling starter locs?

For starter locs, we typically recommend water-based gels as they provide hold without flaking or causing build-up like some waxes can. Be conservative in application to avoid residue.

What are some recommended black-owned brands for loc care products?

Taliah Waajid, Kinky-Curly, and Oyin Handmade are reputable black-owned brands that offer a variety of loc care products suitable for maintaining healthy locs.

Which leave-in conditioners are ideal for nurturing starter locs?

Select lightweight, water-based leave-in conditioners. Brands like Carol's Daughter and As I Am produce products that can hydrate and strengthen locs without weighing them down.

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