Maintaining starter locs can be intimidating at first. How do you wash new locs? What products should you be using in your hair? The questions could go on and on. Caring for your starter locs doesn’t have to be stressful. I’ve created a list of tips acquired over my 4-year loc journey to make the learning curve easier for you all. Here are my tips to maintain healthy starter locs for natural hair.
This post may contain affiliate links. If you use these links I may earn a commission at no cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Thanks.
Less is More
Believe it or not our natural curls and coils don’t need expensive products to be healthy. When I first loc’d my hair I asked my loctician what I should be using on my hair. She gave me a spray bottle of jojoba oil. That’s it. Seriously, I used water and that bottle of jojoba for the beginning stages of my locs.
It can be tempting to purchase those loc products at your beauty supply store. Don’t give in to it! Natural oils can be purchased from Amazon. My personal favorites are jojoba (of course) and avocado oil. They are my favorite and lightweight. Castor oil is also my go-to oil immediately after a wash. Castor tends to be a little heavier, don’t use it too much. The goal is to limit product build-up in your baby locs.
For a complete list of the oils that I purchase you can check out my Amazon Store Here
Limit Manipulation and Styles
Another essential tip that I have for caring for your baby locs is to limit the protective styles. For example, covering immature locs with wigs or braids. I’m speaking from personal experience on this tip. It’s easy to want to cover your locs when you’re adjusting to them. I’m going to be completely honest. I did this for a few months and it resulted in hours of loc repairs. My locs had gaps in them. Spaces were thinner than others where I braided them to wear a curly wig a few times.
Luckily there are some alternatives that you can use to cover your locs. Head scarfs, wraps, and fabric can be used as a stylish option. If you want to invest a little money in a satin-lined hat or hoodie that is also a great way. I wore cute headwraps when my hair needed a retwist until they became unbearably hot.
Cover Your Locs When You Lie Down
If you have fur babies this next tip is especially for you. Every time you’re lounging about or lying down you should have your head covered. I know this seems a little extreme but trust me, picking out cat hair and lint in your locs sucks. It’s a headache and something that is preventable. You can cover your locs with a bonnet, scarf, or even durag if you can. The goal is to maintain moisture and protect your hair from breakage.
Wash Your Hair! (Condition Too)
Not sure who started the rumor that people with locs do not wash their hair, but it’s a lie. I’m a believer that dirty hair can’t grow. Usually, after about 4-6 weeks of wearing starter locs you will be able to wash your hair. If you’re doing your hair alone and are afraid of locs unraveling, try covering your head with a stocking/ wig cap to shampoo.
Routine maintenance of starter locs in the initial stages is crucial to your loc health. Washing, conditioning, and retwisting your locs every 4- 6 weeks is my hair schedule. The goal is to find a system that works for you. Just refrain from retwisting your hair too often, this can lead to damage and thinning. Also, it’s very important to condition your locs. I deep-conditioned my baby locs religiously after every shampoo and still do. I think it’s a huge factor in my hair’s health and length.
Hydrate & Moisturize Locs
I can only explain hydrating your hair by giving an example. Imagine your hair is a plant, but your plant is dry and looking lifeless; stiff. What do you have to give your plant? WATER! Yes so just like the plant, we should be watering our hair. My type 4 thrives when it’s hydrated. Rosewater is my go-to and also Lion Locs Rosewater Conditioning Spray
After hydrating locs it’s important to seal that moisture in. The goal is moisture retention. You can add an oil such as almond after spritzing your hair with water. Incorporating this into your routine when you start the day rather than at night is better to prevent locs from smelling.
I told you, maintaining locs doesn’t have to be tricky. I would have benefited greatly from a list of tips when I began my journey. I figured I’d save you all the headaches. Locs are by far the easiest and most low-maintenance style I’ve ever had. I decided to loc my hair shortly after being diagnosed with a chronic illness; you can read about that here: About me. I didn’t want to worry about my hair. It did take a few months of trial and error with products to discover exactly what my hair likes, but the results are worth it in the long run. Stick with it and you’ll grow healthy starter locs.