Embarking on the journey of starting your own locs, often referred to as "starter locs," is an exciting and transformative experience. It's a journey that not only leads to a unique and beautiful hairstyle (and lifestyle) but also allows you to embrace your natural hair. However, like any journey, it comes with its own set of challenges. In this article, we'll help newbies understand the process of starting locs by offering valuable tips to ensure a successful and rewarding transition.
Preparing Your Hair
Before you jump into the world of locs, there are a few important steps you must take to prepare yourself (and your hair) for the transformation ahead:
Consultation: Consider consulting with a professional loctician or a trusted friend with experience in locs. They can provide valuable insights and help you choose the right loc method for your hair type. Ask to see pictures of their work and ensure they are reputable before committing.
Hair Health: Ensure that your hair is in good health. This means maintaining proper moisture levels, trimming split ends, and addressing any underlying scalp issues. A good foundation will ensure you begin your journey on level footing.
Choosing the Right Method: There are various methods for starting interlocs, including braiding, two-strand twists, sisterlocks™, and more. Research each method to determine which one best aligns with your hair type and the desired outcome.
Rid yourself of the "Loose Natural Hair" Mindset: Once you decide that you are getting interlocs, round up all of your hair products, put them in a box, and gift them to your closest bestie! Your locs do not require the same products that your loose natural hair did. Removing those products will make your transition more seamless.
The Early Stages: Patience is Key with Starter Locs
Starting locs is a journey, and like any journey, it has its beginnings. The early stages can be both exciting and challenging. Here's what to expect:
The Shrinkage Phase: When you first start your locs, they may appear much shorter than your actual hair length due to the hair coiling and compressing as it begins to lock. Don't be discouraged; this is temporary.
Loose Hair: In the early stages, you'll likely have some loose hair that hasn't yet settled into a dread. This is perfectly normal. Over time, these loose hairs will start to lock and merge with the rest of your locs.
Maintain a Healthy Scalp: Keep your scalp clean and moisturized. A healthy scalp promotes healthy locs. Use products specifically designed for interlocs that prevent buildup. NVLX Labs' proprietary blends are water soluble and do not weigh locs down. Beware of locticians that advise you to NOT wash your hair while interlocking. This is not healthy or advisable.
Avoid Over-Manipulation: Resist the "hands in hair" syndrome (it's a real thing!), as well as the urge to constantly style your locs during the early stages. Over-manipulation can weaken your hair and slow down the locking process.
Inspiration for Your Loc Journey
Starting locs is not just a physical transformation; it's also a journey of self-discovery and mental metamorphosis. To stay inspired along the way, consider the following:
Loc Inspiration: Explore social media platforms and websites dedicated to showcasing interloc styles and journeys. Find loc influencers and communities that mirror your vision.
Document Your Progress: Take pictures and keep a journal to document your loc journey. It's like watching a pot boil. Change it happening, you just can't see it! This will help you track your progress and celebrate your growth.
Patience and Perseverance: Understand that the process of starting locs takes time. Be patient and embrace the changes your hair goes through; enjoy each stage because it will not last long!
Creative Styling: Even in the early stages, you can experiment with creative styles using headbands, scarves, or wraps. This allows you to express your style while your locs mature.
Honor your unrivaled beauty: While loc inspirations are good and welcome, never compare your hair to others. Locs are like fingerprints; they are unique and will express differently based on your hair type, density, and texture. Celebrate your unique beauty!
Starting locs is a personal and transformative journey that offers a deeper connection with your natural hair. As you progress, you'll develop a unique bond with your locs, witnessing them evolve into a beautiful and meaningful part of your identity.
The journey of starting locs is a path to self-discovery, self-expression, and embracing your natural beauty. By preparing your hair, understanding the early stages, and staying inspired, you'll embark on this journey with confidence and excitement. Remember that every set of locs is unique, just like the individual who wears them. Embrace your journey, cherish every moment, and watch as your locs flourish and grow into a testament to your beauty and resilience.