We live in a world sharing information – But how much of it is true? The same goes for the freeform locing journey… There are some strange beliefs out there! My latest video
I get asked MANY questions over email and Facebook… so I thought it was about time to post my answers on YouTube and on this blog! Here are my top Q&A thoughts…
2017 – This year is already zooming by SO fast! Here is what they look like and how I maintain them + my body… Plus a products list. Enjoy!
Today, I’m on my 2nd set of locs after locing from 2001-2013, enjoying a few months of long loose hair and returning to locs soon afterwards… It sounds silly but there are some things I’m learning *now* that I didn’t realise/appreciate during my 1st set of locs, even after all those years… In this journey, there are always lessons to learn 🙂
And each lesson below will not just translate into your hair, but into your life!
5 Spiritual Lessons For The Loc Journey…
Appreciate the stage you are in fully!
With my 1st set of locs: When I was going through the baby stage, I was dreaming of moving on to the teenage stage… and yup, when I was there, I was dreaming of the next stage… The same with loc length.
And when I look back now on pics of each stage, back then… I am left wondering why I wanted to move on so fast. Each stage looked amazing!
No matter where you are now, even if it is your 1st day of locing… ENJOY IT! Seriously, don’t rush the process. Stay grounded, love what you have NOW and make the most of it 🙂
Loc envy – Channel it to loc inspiration!
Back in the day, we didn’t have so many pics of locs online… and the ones I saw made me feel some loc envy – I’m just being honest. Now, I am reminded to channel this energy into a positive thing… it’s not ENVY, it’s inspiration… this flow of energy in its Self changes everything, within and for others around you.
You chose to loc your gorgeous natural hair… own it, love it. Embrace what it brings you and what inspiration you might find along the way!
Work with what works for YOU.
Following on from the last point, this means finding out what works for you. The loc routines or hair styles that work for others, might not always work for you – or maybe you need to modify them to suit your thickness, number of locs etc.
What I notice most about the gorgeous locers who OWN their loc style is that they experiment to find the routine/style/products that work for them. And this sometimes does take inspiration from others too.
Bring out the Goddess in your Self!
Locs are feminine… strong, power-full, bold and an expression of who we are. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise because it’s not true! 🙂
This is an opportunity to explore the female Goddess within… even if you are very much a tom-boy (like me) in many ways. In fact, my locs brought out the most feminine part of SElf, unexpected.
Nourish, nurture, watch them grow, watch your Self grow!
Let it go…
Yes… let it ALL go. Let your true Self be seen. I notice this, especially during the teenage stage (like now!). I’m confronted with how I feel my locs (my beauty) “should” be… only to realise that there is something SO liberating about just letting my Self just GO…
Embrace Freedom 🙂
If you have been following my facebook page, you probably know that I have returned to locs now – After a glorious Summer of releasing and loving my loose hair last year, the time to loc came much sooner than I (or anyone I know) expected lol! No doubt, the main reason for releasing my first set was for the actual release of old energy… so no regrets there! But I did get questions from a few readers as to what my experience of returning to loose hair was like – and why I chose to loc so quickly.
Here are just some personal thoughts about certain personal factors for me that came up – it may or not be helpful to you (everyone is so different!) – but I feel it might benefit those of you who are thinking of which way of having your natural is better for you. And when it comes down to it, natural hair is beautiful in all forms anyway 🙂
Transitioning from locs to loose…
Popular Q: Did you like going back to loose hair again?
YES! It was SO liberating to feel my loose hair again. After so many years loced, I almost forgot what my hair looked like lol. I feel that embracing your natural hair is important and re-connecting to my texture again was a big beautiful step that i needed to do.
It was much easier than expected too – not just from the actual loc take down point of view, but also in adapting to having loose hair. The routines and products might change but I do recommend doing it if you know it’s time to un-loc again 🙂
Factors that did come up for me are…
Mostly cold humid weather ☑ Locs
Mostly hot dry weather ☑ Loose Hair
I laughed when I wrote this because people in the UK are well-known for obsessing about the weather – and here I am doing a whole point on it. But I feel it really did matter to me and it does have an impact on my choice of how I choose to wear my natural hair.
As I live in the UK, the weather is 99% (even in Summer) damp and cold. This will probably mean that I will wear my loose hair in protective styles mostly all the time – so it made complete sense to loc up when the cold weather was creeping in! Locs just feel much warmer too lol 🙂
I used to live in hotter countries when I was younger and had loose big hair – Thinking back now, I probably would go the other way if I still lived in a hot climate… the thought of having thick long locs in the heat has never been good for me lol! Certainly in previous Summers abroad, I did think my first set of long locs were too much for the heat. So, I honestly think if I was living in the sunshine, my choice in hair would be loose! And this may be something that I will do in future when I hopefully move from the UK in he coming years, watch this space again lol 🙂
When it comes to the weather and our environment, this could play a part in how you choose to wear your hair!
Time management: ☑ Locs ☒ Loose Hair
My second set of locs came when I started my yoga course – a new beginning in my own Self growth. I love to spend mornings getting up early to do my yoga and meditate – but when I had loose hair over the Summer, my mornings were spent doing my hair. I prefer to spend as little as possible on my hair and as much time as possible doing other things – especially now that I am doing my yoga course. I guess, protective loose hair styling also offers this freedom – but I come back to the point where I feel that if I am going to spend most of my time in protective styles, I’d rather have locs!
Weight of hair/locs: ☒ Locs ☑ Loose Hair
I found loose hair to be very liberating in terms of how light I felt – quite literally! This was one thing that made me realise that in leading an active lifestyle, I would want as little weight as possible on my head… Now that I have locs, I will want to keep them just below shoulder length – or shorter for this reason. Even with shoulder length locs now, I do miss the lightness of having loose hair sometimes!
Spending money on products: ☑ Locs ☒ Loose Hair
The amount of money I spend on new products for my hair was way more than I used for locing. I don’t want to spend money on things I don’t need and like simple routines – so even though I know there can still be a simple routine with loose hair, locs generally cost less to maintain and keep healthy.
Travel light: ☑ Locs ☒ Loose Hair
At this moment, I have been able to return back to travelling more. And when it comes to travel, I like to keep it all super light… maybe just a small cabin suitcase at most. And I realised that when I was on the road over the Summer, travelling with loose hair (even with protective styling), needed more products, time and care than I wanted to invest in.
…I will add more points as I rediscover/reflect on both! 🙂
Holistic Locs, Part 2… How do I feel after a few months?
I am well and truly in the teenage phase of my locing journey again…
Crochet dreadlocks, crochet locs, instant loss… So many names for this method to start the journey. Let’s explore and let me share my experiences so far…
After last year’s post on taking down my locs, I’ve had quite a few questions about the loc take-down process and how to prepare for it.
Loc take-downs are usually the process of combing out locs after they have matured… and this could mean that your hair has been loced for years! But it can be done! Patience and gentle care in taking them down can leave you with a big head of loose healthy hair.
I wanted to share some tips on what I did to prepare for taking down my locs and what I feel I should have done too! Hope this helps 🙂
Some things to consider 1-3 months in advance from your loc take down:
Think in advance!
If you plan to take down your locs, bear in mind… it will take time! – How long it takes completely depends on your loc length, how much length you want to keep, your texture, your loc maintainance etc. So, being prepared and setting a week aside can be a good idea – where you don’t have to do anything or be anywhere important to comb your locs out.
If you also want to get your hair healthy before your actual take-down, it might be worth starting the process 1-3 months in advance to make things easier and keep your new growth as healthy as possible!
Keep your products simple!
Again, this all depends on your current routine – you may already be keeping your loc routine with products pretty simple. If so, keep doing this! The aim is to minimise any product build-up before your take-down.
A good shampoo, occasional conditioner, light oil/water spritz is all you really need to get back to basics 🙂
Regular clarifying treatments are great
And while we are on the subject of products for your locs, you could consider doing much more regular clarifying treatments. A classic way to do so is using Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) and Baking Soda regularly.
Healthy diet and health supplements
Your hair is a reflection of your health… so this is a great excuse to return/boost actively living a healthier lifestyle, even if you already are doing so!
Drinking water, exercising and eating well all build up the foundations of your new hair growth, the foundation for your new loose hair at the take-down.
Health supplements are great too – MSM, Flaxseed oil, Biotin and Silica are popular supplements to boost hair health.
Massaging and spritzing your hair roots with rosemary essential oil mix (don’t apply the essential oil without mixing it in water or base oil – avoid if pregnant or breast-feeding) can help stimulate your scalp too. This is very relaxing as part of a daily routine!
Semi or fully freeforming
If you are thinking of combing out your locs, freeforming (fully or semi) is a good idea so you can make it easier to untangle when the time comes. As mentioned, if you don’t want to fully freeform and let your root hairs do their own thing, you can either semi freeform by having longer periods of time before root maintenance or by just maintaining the root hairs around the hairline to keep it looking “neater”.
I am a BIG fan of using crystals to energize my life – I have them in most places I work or live in and wear them. I also think in this busy hectic society, crystals can be used to ground us when we are rushing around and juggling our lives.
More than ever, most people will engage with their upper chakras more during the day – so to get some flow, we need to return to the present moment, stop being in our heads all the time and manifest things with much more ease (and trust) into our physical lives (work, home, people etc)… we all need to be a little more grounded these days – And crystals are perfect for this so…
Let’s Get Crystallized! 🙂
Grounding crystals bring healing and equilibrium to the mind, body, soul and spirit. They also assist us with balancing ourselves and our emotions – with added protection, inner clarity and a sense of being.
Easy tips to use crystals:
- Wear a ring or pendant daily
- Use them in your meditations, even to just have them nearby
- Energize them regularly – by soaking them in sea salt/water or by digging them in the earth for 24 hours
- Visualise their energy in your life when needed
- When buying crystals, trust your instincts as to which crystal attracts you
- Carry them in your purse or bag
- Energize your home by placing them in personal areas that you spent a lot of time in, like the bedroom or meditation space
- Use them as hair accessories to work with your Crown chakra (Spiritual Self)
Here are a list of some popular crystals you can use:
Black Obsidian increases awareness and dispels illusions so that we are able to be more grounded in day-to-day reality. Black Obsidians are excellent grounding crystals.
Hematite is a stone of iron ore and generally presents as black or red. Hematite invokes emotional grounding and balances opposing energies. Hematite assists with focusing the mind and brings peace and balance, enabling one to deal effectively with emotional situations. Hematite dissolves negativity and has powerful balancing qualities making them excellent crystals for grounding.
Onyx provides inner strength in times of emotional turmoil and assist with standing your ground, particularly when personal principles are being threatened or challenged.
Smoky Quartz aids with grounding and allows one to see past the material and physical in order to focus upon the spiritual aspects.
Black Kyanite is an excellent crystal for grounding as it resonates with the higher frequencies. Black Kyanite can also be used for attuning the chakras and repairing the aura.
Bloodstone is a form of quartz that often presents as dark green with red flecks through it. Bloodstone is an excellent crystal to use for purification of surroundings and the Self.
Garnet is seen in various colors, although the most common is red. Garnet has stabilizing and balancing effects as it breaks through chaotic emotions, thoughts and surrounding energies, making them very powerful grounding crystals.
Red Jasper brings tranquillity and wholeness and is an excellent stone to use for protecting oneself as it has gentle calming and grounding effects. Jasper is also a crystal that aids with the completion of projects.
Rubies release blocked energy, clean and clear blocked chakras and offer protection against psychic attack. This makes them excellent crystals for grounding.
Yellow Flourite gives us a sense of inner-peace and enhances mental clarity, and is a powerful crystal for grounding ourselves.
Tigers’ Eye encourages a positive outlook and attitude and promotes optimism and confidence. This makes Tigers’ Eye a wonderful grounding crystal.
Clear Quartz is one of the most powerful healing crystals as it releases and regulates energy on the physical and mental dimensions. Clear quartz also cleans, clears and enhances the subtle (or etheric) bodies, making them powerful crystals for grounding.
Citrine dissipates negative energies and promotes inner calm, whilst balancing Yin and Yang. Citrine cleanses the aura and aligns the etheric body with the physical, making Citrine wonderful crystals for grounding.
I always said I would be honest to my readers about my experiences with natural hair… and my first week after 12 years of locing and returning to loose hair was a toughie lol 🙂 I looked up this transition stage online and realised that there are SO many forms of transitioning in natural hair… not just from relaxed to natural – but also from loose to locs and from locs back to loose… it’s the shift that happens in our Self as we learn/re-learn to appreciate our hair!
I got a few questions from long-time locers about what I am doing on my first week back to loose hair… I didn’t find any blog posts or videos on the transition from locs to loose hair so I thought I would post one up – plus my tips and pics of what I did to transition back to loose hair after locs.
If you have been locing for a few years and feeling “out of touch” with your old loose hair routine I hope this helps! This also applies to many people out there who went straight from relaxed hair to locs and maybe haven’t experienced their loose natural hair yet ( there are many locers I’ve come across over the years who did just that).
My experiences of locs to loose natural hair
As I said, my first week was tough. On my first day I was even looking at my old cut off locs and wondering what I got my Self into after seeing the mass of hair I had to work with after my wash. It really was a bit of a mental shift… not just for me but for others too. Here are some tips I found helpful on my first week back… I’ll update as I go along 🙂
My tips and thoughts…
Get some basic tools together before taking down your locs or doing the big chop off to loose hair.
Moisturising silicone-free conditioner, bobby pins, a hair natural butter, eco-styler gel (if you want to dive into the wash and go styles), small and large hair bands, satin scarf and a wide tooth comb. Those were the main things I had ready for my step back into loose hair.
Get your basic stuff ready so you can start with a new routine as soon as you are ready ‘n loose lol 🙂
If you’re out of touch with your loose hair, don’t worry – it will take time but this is the beautiful thing about natural hair! 🙂
Just like any transition, it takes time to get used to things – This was what I told my Self all the time! Get used to your natural texture by washing/no-pooing and just moisturising with a light oil and see what your texture is like when wet and dry first – without any defining products.
Throw away any expectations of what your hair *should* look like.
I say this especially if you’re like me and you haven’t really seen your natural texture pattern for a while.
I sat down, looked at my drying hair after my first wash and thought “Where is my 3C hair?!?”… I was thinking that my curl pattern was different from what I remembered it to be… And I saw more 4a texture than expected. Like most of us, my hair texture is all different on different parts of my head… my curls aren’t really defined either when I thought they would be… blah blah blah… my mind filled up with thoughts on my texture like this. Then I stopped… breathed in deeply, exhaled all my expectations and said a loving affirmation “I accept, enjoy and embrace my hair for all that it is!”. It worked 🙂
Throwing away all your thoughts and your expectations about your loose texture is a great way of accepting what you hair is and loving it. It makes styling much easier too! And all textures are beautiful!
Make the first week/days all about moisturising and getting your loose hair as healthy as possible!
I haven’t really been styling my hair during the first week – I hardly used any gels or heavy products… I worked on making sure that my loose hair was clean, very moisturised and detangled. I trimmed a few sections too and that made a big difference. I also plan to deep condition.
I suggest that for the first week or first few days, care for your hair without many/any styling products – to get it back into good health. Focus on your ends (with a natural butter or trimming), cleaning with caring gentle products and detangling after each wash. Also, add as much moisturising natural oils and natural butters as you can to get your natural thirsty hair feeling soft and nourished 🙂
There’s plenty of time for styling after nourishing your hair 🙂
Have some “go to” hairstyles prepared!
I was not sure what styles to work on… I have seen MANY videos of beautiful loose hair tutorials over the years, even with locs. And I wasn’t sure where to start. So my first go-to style was the good ol’ bun… using a donut or sock bun. Saved my life the first few days lol 🙂 Especially as I didn’t have much time that week due to work etc.
Find a few styles for the length you will have to easily use when you are not sure what to do. Youtube have so many videos, I found that by typing in “easy natural styles” for the search, many videos came up showing a few simple styles at once to get started on.
Make more time in the morning!
Locs are an easy “style” in the morning, no need to think about doing them unless you are going for an actual loc style. So my first week was a little hectic in the mornings as I realsised I needed to make more space for hair styling! Sounds basic, right?! But it did take me by surprise on the practical side of things.
Back to experimenting!
Just like all transitions, you will need to experiment again – products, hair routines, styles etc. Have fun with it and take your time. The good thing is there is so much info online and videos to guide you through the process 🙂
Be prepared for the questions!
I think I shocked a few of my clients when I got in to work and the amount of questions from curious friends/family/clients/etc overwhelmed me a bit lol. But hey, that’s what change is all about I guess! I just answered back by saying “I’m releasing old energy” and most of them responded with a friendly smile!
I found it very different transitioning from locs>loose than from relaxed>loose as (surprisingly) a few locers I personally have known over the years believe cutting locs is a negative thing…”You will lose your energy/power” etc. So, this was a reaction that I was ready to face if needed. Also, people have already seen my natural hair in loc-form so they weren’t so surprised that I had afro hair… whereas when I transitioned from the relaxer, people were not used to seeing my kinks. Just a few random observations lol 🙂
So yeah… be prepared for many questions… Have a quick answer ready for curious people… remind your Self that this is *your* hair… and if you get negative comments (I had one or two), don’t take it personal! Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, you know why you did it and that’s what is important 🙂
Some pics of my first week back!
As you can see, I did practically no styling, apart from using twists and buns as my go-to quick styles. My current routine is simple…
- No-pooing every 3 days (Summer time) with Treseme naturals conditioner
- Detangling my hair with fingers when it is wet only
- Gently drying with an old t-shirt, no towel
- Using sweet almond oil (nourishing, easily absorbed and leaves no scent) to lock in moisture when damp
- Using whipped shea butter on my ends
- Sectioning my wet hair into 4, then braiding each section to dry
- Air drying, no heat
- Wrapping my hair in a satin scarf at night to sleep
- Waking and either fluffing it out, putting it in a donut bun or twisting it up
It was time… that’s how I can sum it all up in a few words!
I had slowly been getting urges from 2012 – and for those of you who have been following the energy of the Universe lately, it was very strong for change! It became even stronger when I watched as many of my loc idols who had been my source of inspiration for years, all syncing in shedding their locs for the energy shift in Winter Solstice 2012. Part of me at the time was thinking about this long before I saw them do it, my loose hair dreams became frequent as I went through emotions of not having locs… something was in the air lol. And it was all about renewal! The same huge burst of energy that came from starting my locs all those years ago, also came to show me that it was time to release them!
Locing has always been a spiritual thing for me.
I started locs when I made a commitment to grow, explore and expand into my spiritual Self – many events in my life at the time confirmed this to me. So I began locing at home on Aug 1st 2001 – until now (see my journey in pics and posts on my journey).
Practically all the people I know now (apart from my family) know me as the girl with the long locs… it’s an attachment I feel I want to release. Working closer to being detached from anything is what I have been trying to do this year, simple living. And my own attachment to my locs (and everything they hold – energy, memories, etc) needed to be released to make way for new energy.
Our hair is located on our Crown Chakra (read more about the chakras here), one of the most spiritual points. Hair collects/transforms/is sensitive to energy. Our hair and the loc history has a rich cultural and spiritual connection to our Self! I will post up more on this soon 🙂
If you love to read more about the Chakras, I reccomend Caroline Shola Arewa’s book:
Her lecture – See the other parts for this full lecture too, inspiring!
We live in an age of information and natural inspiration!
I have spoken to many long time locers over the years and we all pretty much agreed that when we started locing (before 2004-ish era), the information for natural hair is no where near as HUGE as now… I couldn’t help but wonder sometimes whether this would affect how I personally related to my loose hair if I had it now. When I started locing, I seriously felt like I was in the dark about my loose hair and how to loc… I just went for it lol! These are different times indeed.
And if we are honest (I speak for my Self and a few other locers I know), we also loced our hair back then because we felt like it was an easier way to manage our hair too. But with this information now, I’m truly enjoying my loose natural hair in a way I never did before. And those same long-time locers I know who did take their locs down all are going through a personal journey of re-learning to accept their hair *fully*… with all the videos, hair routines, blogs, pictures etc… we’re spoilt for inspiration on how beautiful natural hair is! Patience and Self love 🙂
Perfect timing… Aug 1st and the coming New Moon.
I always wash my locs on the days of the full and new moon… August 1st was my loc anniversary. I received my application for the Kundalini yoga teacher training on this date too.
The first New Moon of August (6th Aug 2013 – read the strong astrology meaning to this date) and that long weekend from 9th – 11th (which synced with my moon time – not planned, perfect timing!) was the actual take-down period.
What I used:
- 2 Bottles of Conditioner (Treseme Naturals was my choice)
- A pair of scissors
- A spray bottle with water
- A bowl of water
- Roll of bin liners
- A metal fork with wide spikes
- 1-2 towels
How I did it:
I knew it would take time… patience was the first thing I set as my intention! I set my time for a week off – doing no work or any reason to go out, stacked a whole heap of food/herbal teas in my home so I didn’t have to venture out with half an afro lol and got plenty of positive DVDs, Youtube films and music to keep me company.
I washed my locs the night before. I wanted to remove clean locs. It worked, the fluff that came out was actually quite clean!
I stood in front of the mirror, took a deep breath and cut my locs to bra-strap length first. I figured there was no point starting all the way from the bottom up as my hair would probably not be that long any way lol… so I started at a “realistic” length of hair that I wanted to keep – even when I wasn’t sure if my hair would be that long.
Moisture! I used the bowl of water to soak the area I was working on regularly. A spritz bottle also helped to keep my locs damp. It’s always easier to untangle hair when it is wet and full of…
Conditioner! I got 2 large bottles of it (Treseme naturals conditioner). When my loc was wet, I saturated the area I was working on with conditioner and worked my way through. When I was done with an untangled loc, I would run my finger through to work on any left over untangled areas and saturate it again with conditioner before twisting it and moving on to the next loc.
I used a metal wide spike fork. I figured it was thick enough to handle my hair lol. The plastic wide tooth comb broke lol! I used the slow poking action into the loc and gently pulled down, I slowly loosened up the loc gradually this way.
My thicker locs were easier to remove. I somehow thought it would be the other way around but it turned out that my thinner locs took *ages*… my thicker locs took around an hour, my thinner locs took around 2… not sure why but hey, that’s how it worked out!
The final wash and condition. When it was all done, I washed my locs with a silicone-free shampoo twice and used my conditioner – I plan to no-poo from now on. I didn’t add any other product apart from sweet almond oil afterwards. I wanted to see what my hair looked like (texture etc) without anything on.
I plan to use the CG Method (Curly Girl Hair Method) – Read about it here!
Was I ready?
I wanted to do this alone – so I could meditate, work on my affirmations and embrace this change – it felt like a really LONG process of removing my locs. I couldn’t help but check the mirror every few hours because my whole profile changed lol… and I wanted to confirm to my Self that I was doing the right thing…
There were tears at times (maybe I was just being really emotional on this moon time too!), I had images of my past where I was a child and hated my natural hair at times (I have been natural for most of my life). I also remebered that this was going to be a new way of exploring my hair and my Self confidence.
I was NOT prepared for how much length/thickness I would have! Taking down locs and having length can be done 🙂 I did a “tester” on one of my locs and it came out well but untangling locs from bra-strap length left the same length natural hair which I wasn’t expecting at all. My hair is longer and thicker now than ever before lol. Mixed texture of 3C’s and mostly 4a’s.
A work-out for your arms and hands. It does ache a bit after a while but taking regular breaks was good.
I was surprised at how *light* I felt. It was not just a physical light-ness, it was actually a feeling of release… whooooosh lol 🙂 …from the moment I trimmed my locs to my bra-strap length to the removal of my last loc, the release was inspiring! My Crown Chakra really opened up. The amount of shed hair was impressive/scary lol, filled 2 bin liners and my first night was a very different experience sleeping without locs… yes, I felt SO light 🙂
Ta-da! My new dry hair with finger combing = mass puff… I’m re-learning what to do with my big hair! My Day 1 pic with zero styling:
I’m on my first week and experimenting on everything right now 🙂 …A post coming soon with actual styling pics!
Holistic Locs no more?!? Don’t worry… I’m still here 🙂
I know I will return to locs again. Whether it’s next month, next year or in a few years time… I can’t say. But I do want locs again – my 1st locs just needed to go and I want to love/appreciate my loose hair fully first.
Biut for now, I really want to get “naked” again with my Self… removing all the old energy from the past years, do some serious detoxing (my body, my home, my work etc) and get excited about the Kundalini yoga teacher training course I’m doing this year. This change is not just about my hair… I am “detoxing” the energy of everything in my life!
As for this blog – I always wanted this blog to celebrate all natural hair… not just locs. It will still continue to explore natural hair/creativity/holistic health in all forms… and I’m learning to explore it just like that too! I will keep posting up and sharing my experiences with my loose hair until I return to locs again!
Namaste beautifuls 🙂
This is a double-sided topic for me because I’ve met people who have trimmed their locs almost religiously every month/6 months/year/etc and swear by it for making their locs look healthy… Then I know a few locers who have never touched a pair of scissors in their whole loc life and still have locs that are gorgeous!
In my routine, I have trimmed many times over the years – for removing double-headed dragons (when my locs joined at the root and had two heads), for unravelling ends, for a different length as it was getting too long and heavy when washed…. you name it, I had a reason for it! I liked to cut and trim my locs into shape and would trim off a few inches at a time.
A friend once told me that like a plant, you need to trim off the “dead” ends in order for the energy/growth to fully happen, to help the plant look and thrive in a healthy way. I liked that description… locs are our plants 🙂
Do you want to trim your locs?
I don’t want to trim…
I believe to trim or not to trim is a personal choice! The main thing about locing is to keep your locs clean, moisturised and healthy 🙂
I want to trim… What can you expect when you do trim your locs?
I suggest to first wait until your locs are a little mature or near the end of their teenage stage so your locs already will not unravel on their own!
If you have never trimmed your locs and are thinking about it… here are some things to consider! I gathered these tips from my own experiences and from discussions with other who do trim over the years… enjoy 🙂
How about the Lisa-Bonet-Locs-Look?
She was the first locer that came to mind lol… What I mean by this is that the loc ends can become like loose unraveled hair in some cases… Now we love Lisa’s locs for this, she always has been a loc idol for me – but I know many people would prefer to have their loc ends as rounded tips instead. And not everyone will have loc ends that look like Lisa’s because of our different textures (looser textures may unravel more). And sometimes, unraveling ends don’t happen until after a few washes (this happens to me)…. the list goes on as every locer is an individual! But one of the main things to keep in mind about trimming is the possibility that this could unravel your loc ends afterwards.
Quick Tip – The Tester!
The Loc Trim Tester! Try a tiny loc and see what it looks like first!
I say dip your toe in and see what happens if you plan to trim – If you are thinking about it, maybe try to trim a little (I mean 1-2cm max little lol!) off one or two locs in a more hidden place (like at the back hairline) to see what it may look like after a few washes. Read on for more info!
Loose Unraveled Loc Ends…
✔ I Like This! 🙂 – How to manage the loose loc ends
For those of you who don’t mind or even want this loc end look, I’ve seen tutorials of people who have unraveled their loc ends on purpose (1-3 inches) to get the loose texture at the bottom. I even came across a link a few years ago where a locer added loose hair extensions to the ends of her locs to get this effect! I wish I could find these links now lol – especially with the locer who unraveled her own ends and had cute curls at the end. It was beautiful! 🙂 I will try to locate them and post up if I do find them.
Keeping your kinky curly loose loc ends defined!
I have my loose loc ends quite thick… I like the look of the loose ends because of my previous trims. Just like loose hair, loose loc ends need to be maintained if you want to keep definition.
An easy way to do this is to wet or spritz the ends and put aloe vera (or any other defining light product) on the ends of each loose loc end and gently twirl the ends with your fingers individually a few times. This defines the ends and in some textures, may even bring out and define a curl at the end of your loc. Again, this all depends on your natural hair texture and the amount of loose hair you have at the end.
✘ I Don’t Like This! 😦 – How to avoid loose loc ends
Loose loc ends are not for everyone – but you can still trim your locs. Here are some tips on what to do if your loc ends unravel after your trim and how to trim…
Trim at an angle
I have heard from many locers that when they do trim, they will trim each individual loc end at a slant angle (or at an 75 degree angle) so it begins to look like a V-shape. It’s said to unravel less this way than if the loc end was cut straight across.
Crochet your way to a round loc tip!
There is another option to get perfect rounded tips… get handy with a crochet hook! This is a very detailed video but with a little practise, it doesn’t seem as complicated 🙂
CLICK HERE: Check out our video on YouTube
Locing is a beautiful experience… I learned SO many lessons on the way, especially patience lol! And when I chose to freeform, I knew this would be the easiest and right option for me. My journey has been interesting – check out my pics throughout the locing stages here!
I have had many questions over the years about locing – and more specifically about freeform locing.
Freeform locs are also known as organic or natural locs and many see this as a spiritually connected way of locing. However, people choose to freeform for many reasons.
Another transition stage…
We often hear about trnasitioning when someone is starting to embrace their natural hair after years of straightening. But I think locing – and freeforming – are another form of transitioning in the natural hair journey.
Just like the transition from relaxed hair to natural hair, there is space for patience, overstanding the journey (on a physical, mental, spiritual level) and how we embrace the locing (and freeform) journey. It is not always easy as it requires deep patience.
For me, freeforming was part of a holistic approach – to completely trust and let go of what my hair “should” look like. Everyone will have their own reasons for choosing this method too. I personally enjoyed the freedom and minimalist lifestyle experience of just letting it all be and knwoing that it is beautiful the way it is.
This blog posts offer some insights into freeforming after my 1st set of freeform locs (2001-2013) and my 2nd set of semi-freeform locs (2013- onwards)… Please note: I didn’t start my locs in the freeform method, but it was a way I maintained my locs along the way. Enjoy!
Choosing to freeform is great because…
🌟 The ultimate wash & go routine
It really is! This way of maintaining your locs gives you the freedom to wash your locs, dry them and go… no worries about taking time to twist/latch/etc your root hairs. The one thing I also liked was how much time it saves!
🌟 Less $$$’s on hair products
The amount of products you will use will be less as you no longer need to use the usual stuff for maintaining your roots. I used to be a huge PJ (Product-junkie), but when I started freeforming I felt I no longer had the need to experiment with *every* shampoo or twisting gel that was mentioned online. Most freeformers I know experience the same decline in the *need* to buy and consume.
🌟 Semi-freeform locing is another option to ease into this routine change
There have been some discussions on many websites that this is not really freeforming – I say it’s all good 🙂 Semi-freeforming your locs is when you partially maintain your root hairs – either by not doing your regular root care routine for a few months at a time or by only doing a section of your locs (like your hairline) and leaving the rest to freeform. I have been doing more semi-freeforming these days, my hairline at the front is the only areas I twist once a month or so (I wash my locs once a week). So, if you want to mix up your routine and maintain your roots less often and/or slowly transition to fully freeforming and get used to it first, this might be a nice place to start!
🌟 Embrace the changes and your unique locs with an open heart!
The beautiful thing about natural hair is that we go through different changes many times – for example, when we transition or do the BC (Big-Chop) from relaxed hair or when we are getting used to having locs after loose hair – and within locing, we experience changes in the different stages from baby-teenage-mature. Change is a good thing. Freeforming will be a huge change to locers who never see their root hairs and are used to seeing their scalp in sections. The look of your locs might change as you get more fuzzy areas. Embrace this new change with an open heart and you will enjoy the experience 🙂
✚ PLUS – This method gives your locs much more character…
🌟 An easy route to thicker locs
If you want thicker locs or your locs have slowly thinned out over time with your current loc routine, freeforming can slowly add thickness back.
🌟 Some locs will get thicker than others
Following on from the previous point of thickness, I notice that some locs may become thicker than others so you might experience different loc sizes in time (even when they all started out the same thickness). As most of us have different textures on our head, this can change how our individual locs naturally loc up without maintenance.
🌟 Flat locs?
Again, just like the changes of thickness of your locs and having different loc sizes, freeforming can produce flatter looking locs. This may not happen to everyone, it all depends on your texture etc. We are all unique and freeforming allows your locs to express their Self lol 🙂
Freeforming gives you more volume in the way your locs look – mainly because you will have a thick afro-bed of hair at your roots and the locs become fuller too. This was one reason I loved this option.
❌ Freeforming is probably not for you if…
There are so many ways to maintain your locs – not everything will suit everyone. Freeforming is an option that some people may be thinking about – so I have listed a few things to consider that may or may not work for you.
…If you like the current thickness of your locs
As I mentioned above, freeforming usually makes locs thicker – how much thicker depends on texture, old loc care routine etc. Especially, if you have thin locs and don’t like the look of thicker locs, maybe freeforming might not be a good loc maintainance option.
…If you don’t like frizz, don’t freeform!
This is the most obvious one I think – I know many locers like to avoid frizz and fuzzy areas of their roots and locs. If you don’t like frizz, I would say freeforming is not for you. This method of maintaining your locs will involve a lot of frizz 🙂
✅ Tips: Freeform Loc Care Routine
Honestly, there’s not much you need to know about a freeform loc routine as it is pretty simple lol… the only change is to not maintain your root hairs! But here are some tips I can share…
🌟 Keep your routine super simple!
One of the main points about freeforming is that it should be simple! Most freeform locers choose to cut back on everything – but it doesn’t mean that you can’t switch up your favourite shampoo every now and again lol 🙂
My personal thoughts – Invest in quality natural products like essential oils etc and leave out products you don’t need. Sharing my personal essentials loc care kit: Shampoo, natural oils and/or aloe vera gel, essential oils, spritz bottle and a soft bristle brush – that’s it!
🌟 The “neglect” method? 🙄
I have heard this term used for freeforming and I admit, it really annoys me! The word “neglect” almost suggests that you don’t take care of your locs. Just because this method of locing is much simpler, it doesn’t mean that we neglect to love and care for our locs by keeping them clean and soft.
🌟 Mind your roots – separate the roots regularly
If you freeform, your loc roots might naturally tend to join together so it’s a good idea to run your fingers gently through your roots after your regular shampoo session. If you do find 2 locs starting to join at the roots, slowly pull them apart (also known as popping or ripping) – this is easier to do when the roots are damp, like if you have just washed your locs. Some people also don’t mind if their locs do join – so if you don’t mind that, you can skip this option.
🌟 Freeforming from the start or not?
Many people choose to freeform loc right from the very beginning. To do this, wash you natural hair regularly and let the natural curls of your locs join and loc. The more you wash, the more your hair naturally locs up – be aware that this way of starting your locs can give you different loc sizes.
Another option is you can start your locs with another method – like twists, braids etc. And then you can freeform from the first few months or after you get through the baby stage. This will keep your loc sizes more or less the same. Many freeform locers (like me), started their locs in another way – I used the braids method and then latched for a while before deciding to freeform.
🌟 Freeform locs can look tame too! – The scarf routine
I know many people have said to me that they are worried that freeform locs look untidy or unprofessional. I want to share a simple routine that you can add to “tame” your root hairs if you want them to appear flatter and neat. Tip: Use a satin scarf on damp locs (from washing or spritzing), wrap the thick satin scarf around your hairline, like a tight hair band… keep it on until your locs are completely dry and remove. This will help root hairs look much neater.
🌟 Your root hairs may naturally join to your locs over time
It depends on the texture of your hair, so some freeform locers will experience this and some won’t. Some will experience their root hair being a little wild at first and then (with little to no separating at the roots), will see the change where their root hair naturally “know” which loc to attach to. I have a few locs that are like this and a few locs that naturally have more fuzzy roots than the others. It’s all part of the process!
🌟 Brush your locs regularly
I did a whole post on this (read it here!) – I highly recommend this as it has so many positive effects and helps to keep root hairs neater if you prefer this.
🌟 Freeform locs do look stylish too!
Yes, freeform locs are gorgeous and you are only limited by your own imagination in how you style them! 💛
✅ Don’t forget… I have freeform videos on YouTube too!
Yup, I’m doing the YouTube thing now and hoping to share more of my thoughts on my loc journey. Come and join me on my channel… Click the links below and feel free to subscribe and share your journey in the comment sections! ❤️
✅ NEW EBOOK! Plus Audio Meditation
You just need to check out freeform locers like Valerie June and Ladene Clark to see how beautiful thicker freeform locs can look. Check these pics out too! Get creative, you will still be able to have fun with your styles! 🙂
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.