A lot has been said about loc maintenance and interlocking. Too much even. When retightening your new growth, some people use dread wax or cocoa butter. Others say you should never put anything on your locs or else you’ll never, ever, ever be able to wash it out. Well after 15 years of loving my locs, I can tell you what works for me. I always start with a good clarifying shampoo like Baby Locs, that way my hair is wet, and my locs are soft.
After drying them with a towel, I put just a little liquid oil on the ends to seal in the moisture while it’s still wet.My favorite is Sunshine Oil, its light, smells great, and it’s all natural.
I try to remember to start re-tightening in the back. With two toddlers and another still in diapers it’s guaranteed that I’ll have to stop and make a sandwich or run an errand. If I go too long without doing the back those locs can get weak from wearing my hair down most of the time.
When I get back to retightening the front and sides a day or two will have passed. The first thing I do then is spray my locs with the Dew Moisture Spray, and now we have even more options (favorite fragrance is the Crisp). I always want to retighten my hair while it’s damp. If it’s dry I end up snapping hairs, my loops don’t get stacked evenly, and I’ll end up needing to take an Advil when I’m done. Speaking of being tender headed, I try not to retighten all the way down to the scalp. I know some people like to be able to see their scalp after a fresh retightening session, but I find that if it’s too tight, after a while the stress will cause the hairs to shed, and I’ll end up being able to see all the tiny white hair follicles. It makes your locs look dirty and the only solution I’ve found for that is hair color.
Since my hair will be damp when I’m finished, I try and do some quick pipe cleaner curls to change it up a bit. It’s funny I get just as many complements on the “style” with the pipe cleaners in as I do after I take them down.
How do you re-tighten your locs? Are there other tips or techniques that have worked for you over the years? Let us know in the comments!