For as long as I can remember, I have been brushing my locs using a soft bristle brush. I have to do this at least every other day and after a washing session. I do get a lot of practical questions on this topic so I thought it was about time that I posted some tips on why and how loc brushing is a great loc tool 🙂
Q: Why should I brush my locs?
This is a great tool for removing and preventing lint and other bits from attaching to the surface of your locs. A daily or regular brushing session will help keep it free from surface dust and lint and to give your locs a nice healthy appearance.
Stimulating your scalp
I love the tingling feeling my scalp has after a good brushing session – I always include my scalp in the process… very stimulating, almost massaging your scalp which promotes blood circulation to this area. Relaxing and good for blood circulation.
Keeping moisture levels in your locs
If you spritz or use oils for your locs, it’s a good idea to use them just before brushing so you can evenly distribute and moisturise your locs.
Q: When and how do I get started?
Wait until your locs are out of the baby stage
It’s a good idea to wait until your locs are mature enough so they don’t unravel easily… maybe a few months in the locing process. Even though soft bristle brushes are generally soft to touch, they can unravel and fuzz up new locs easily. If you have certain areas of your locs that unravel easily (this can happen even with mature locs – like at the very ends), avoid brushing these areas.
Invest in a good quality soft bristle brush
Natural soft bristle brushes are easy to find in most hair care shops… take time to touch and feel the bristles, making sure they are natural and not too rough. A good way of testing the softness is on the back of your hand… brush it a few times – it should feel firm, but soft enough so it doesn’t scratch or feel rough on your skin.
Start from the scalp and work your way down
Depending on your loc length, start at the top of your head and work down the locs. If your locs are short, brush gently in one direction downwards, If your locs are longer, you can use one hand to hold a bunch of your locs at the bottom and brush downwards, working through section by section. Also, if you have just twisted/latched/etc your roots and don’t want them to get fuzzy, avoid the scalp area to keep your roots maintained. If you don’t mind your root hairs loose (for example: for freeform locers), then brushing your scalp can actually “tame” fly-away loose root hairs for a “neater” look.
Take time to brush and enjoy!
This should be an enjoyable experience so indulge and take this moment to relax… even if you are in a rush, spritz some beautiful essential oils/water on your locs, breathe deeply and enjoy this Self massage for your locs 🙂
Make it part of your regular loc care routine
If you want to try this, I say give it a week to see some results… every day, brush your locs for at least 3-5 mins in the morning after spritzing your locs. Most locers I know said they felt a nice difference to their locs after one week! I would suggest to brush your locs after your shampoo session too, when locs are still damp.
Clean your brush regularly and replace them often
Just like all brushes, clean your soft bristle brush with soapy warm water regularly and try combing out hair by gently running a wide tooth comb through your bristle brush to catch tangled hair. I do this 1-2 times a week to keep my brush in good shape. After a few months, replace your brush when you know it’s seen better days!
Q: Is there anything else I can do to keep my locs healthy?
Satin head wrap and pillow at night
At night, use a satin head wrap or satin pillow case to protect your locs and keep moisture levels. Again, this will avoid lint/surface dirt and won’t dry out your locs.
Daily protective styling
This is probably something longer length loc wearers often do as locs can get in the way and touch surfaces (back of seats, jumpers etc). Experiment with styles (buns, braids, lochawk etc) and head wraps that allow you to protect your locs from surfaces and general daily life (if you live in the city, you’ll know what I mean – city fumes/pollution/smoke – uggghh lol!).
Avoid heavy products
Locs absorb everything so quickly – avoid products that are thick, sticky, not easy to wash off, leaves residue and contains mineral oil. Beeswax, thick shampoos and conditioners are a great example of things to avoid… using clear shampoos are great and I notice even natural products like African black soap leaves residue.
Clean your locs regularly
Keep your locs clean with regular washes. Long gone are the days when people thought loc wearers don’t wash their locs… locs actually love water and tend to loc faster with regular washes.
Water alone is a great moisturiser for our locs. Rinse locs regularly with water and don’t forget to rinse locs for a long period of time after a shampoo session – sometimes dull dry locs can be a result of not washing out products like shampoo properly leaving a dull feeling/look. Depending on your loc length, take the time to rinse for a good amount of time.
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