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Oct 14, 2008

The dreaded products question...

Despite contrary belief, locs are work. You have to take care of them just like any other hairstyle to ensure healthiness, and uniformity. What to use on your locs to start or maintain is a personal decision. However, depending upon your hair type and stage of dreadlocks careful consideration must be used to prevent product overload.

To begin the locing process you must decide what type of locs you would like to choose:

Organic Locs-The hair is washed regularly, but not combed, allowing the hair to mat with no interference. This typically results in thick locs of different shapes and sizes - these are the locs most often associated with Rastafarians.

Freeform Locs- Freeform locs are similar to organic locs in that they aren't "tightened" or "maintained." However, freeform locs are cultivated to a degree, as the hair is separated (not parted, just pulled apart in "chunks") into fairly uniform sections after washing. There is no parting, palm rolling, twisting, or latching.

Cultivated Locs-Cultivated locs are formed using various methods. What sets them apart from organic locs and freeform locs is that they are parted into sections of about equal size and regularly maintained, using one of several methods to tighten the new growth. Cultivated locs are usually relatively neat and uniform in appearance.
Traditional locs:
  • BradeLocz

  • Nappy Locs
  • Sisterlocks (tm)
    And others.

I have Cultivated Traditional Locs which I started by going to a trained loctician. After about 2 months, my loctician trained me how to do my own hair(which is rare). He started my locs with simple, AMPRO protein gel mixed with 100% African Shea Butter. This helped to train my locs, and to help with matting. After about 6 months, I switched to Carol's Daughter, Loc butter. This formula is lightweight, has a pleasant smell, and organic ingredients. My locs had already begun to matt, which afforded me the opportunity to stop using shea butter as my primary ingredient. Shea butter is great but it can cause product buildup, which makes it extremely difficult to cleanse from the hair. In the beginning I had my hair washed and retwisted every 2-3 weeks. After they started matting I only washed my hair every 4 weeks. Whenever I wanted to refresh my scalp I would use an astringent like Seabreeze with a cottonball. In the beginning you will experience itching, as your scalp is getting used to the idea of being washed less frequently. This is why its important to cleanse the scalp. I also believe in using some type of leave in conditioner. For me I used Infusium, it kept my locs somewhat soft, and I believe it helped in hair growth.

When your locs are fully mature which can take up to a full year depending on your hair type, you can stop using shea butter all together. Now that my locs are fully matured except new growth, I use aloe vera gel, or another lightweight gel. Sometimes nothing at all.

If you have any particular questions on products depending on your hairtype please email me and I will try and answer you quickly.

Happy Locing!


Thandi said...

Boy am I glad to see you on here!I've been experiencing sisterlock(TM) fatigue. That's not how my hair, nor my daugther's hair will turn out, so I was desperate for something different-not that ours will look like yours, I know they'll be different, but SL are totally different. I can't wait to hear about how you wash it etc.THANK YOU!

Compulsive Writer said...

Hi Thandi!

Thank you, please stay tuned because I am going to post on how to wash your hair step-by-step, and even recommend some products to use. Please become a member so you won't miss anything!

Happy Locing!

Ree-C said...

This is my first visit to your site. Very informative. I love the slideshow you created. Nice locs.

nafisa locd said...

thanks,I am glad to have found your blog. I am/was having difficulties with my daughters locs. Her hair is so soft and she has 10 mth braidlocs, she has lost some at the root. Not sure what the problem is. She likes the thick locs so I am thinking to just wait longer btw maintenance. My locs are different pretty well trained at 20mths. I am not sure what the hair type is but I will continue to follow your blog/ so any information on locking soft curl hair will be appreciated.

Compulsive Writer said...


I know exactly what type of hair your daughter has. My two year old has the same type! It is thick and when dry VERY unmanageble. But when something is put on it, the texture changes and is beautiful.

Not to fret...what you need to do is ensure your daughters locs are medium to thick, not skinny. Her hair is too soft and is prone to breakage. What are you locing with? Pleast try Carol's Daughter loc butter, and make sure you are using leave in conditioner on her hair when you wash it as well.

If she likes thicker locs you will need to combine some of her locs together where they are weak at the root. This should fix your problem. Please keep me updated!

Anonymous said...

I'm having issues and I'm beyond frustrated with my locs. i started with sisterlocks well i thought i was lol but nuthin was really happening to my hair. i've now switched to palm rolling which i like the look much better, it only locks good when i go to the shop and get it done and that usually only last for 2-3 wks then it's back to the shop which is way to expensive to keep up with so i've been trying to do it myself but it looks a hot mess. i have alot of frizz as well. my hair type is not nappy its more on the good grade side and thick, wavy and curly. so the lady that started the sisterlocks said it might take long to loc verses the other hair types idk (frustrated) it's a year later and i still am struggling to love my locs which i heard was normal but i'm so not used to this. i know i'm scrambling all over lol so bare with me please. i just want to learn how to keep them maintained in-between going to the shop. the products i have now is the mango n lime gel n the twist n loc gel u have on your site but they don hold my hair nor does it cut down the frizz... please help me and give me some hope and advice

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