locs close up

Lasandra Barksdale dug into her purse and pulled out 4-inch-long loc.

"I pull on them, so I know I'm my own worst enemy," says Barksdale, who has had locs for eight years, and wants to grow them to butt-length.

If you have dreadlocks, you have probably heard about the dreaded breakage scenario. You spent months or years getting them to a certain length, so when they break off, it can be pretty upsetting. Here are five things to do when your locs break so you can get back on track.

1. Don't get too upset

The first time one of your locs break, you might get pretty upset. Since this look takes some time to cultivate, it can be frustrating when you get the dreaded breakage outcome. Whether it is a little break or a lot of breakage, it can be upsetting. Don't get too upset though because there are things you can do to make this situation better.

2. Find out why

Aside from dealing with the breakage by checking your emotions on the matter, finding out why is the crucial next step. If your locs are breaking off there is usually a root cause worth investigating. Are you pulling your styles too tight? Are you washing your locs too often and drying them out? Do you need more daily moisture because they have become brittle and dry? If you can find the root cause of the issue, it can be helpful in the future. If dryness is your problem, try out Soultanicals Hair Sorrell Knappylicious Kinky Drink, Cantu Moisturizing Twist & Lock Gel or TGIN Twist & Define Cream.

3. Reattach

The good news is that you can reattach your broken locs. You can either go to a professional or reattach it on your own. This will help you to keep an even length throughout your hair as opposed to having a few areas where your locs are shorter and uneven. To reattach a loc, take the end of the short loc and divide it into two sections, then take your broken loc and place it in between the two sections. Then do a traditional braid, using the two end sections and the loc as the three sections of your braid. Then palm roll the loc once you're done without any products. You can watch Jungle Barbie use this method here.

4. Prevent it

Once you have established the root cause of the breakage, you should do your best to prevent it from happening in the future. This can mean everything from getting regular trims to make sure your locs aren't being weighed down to the point of breaking to dealing with the problem of thinning. If you have locs that are thinning in certain spots, you can have your stylist repair the area by using some added hair from the beauty supply store to wrap around the thin areas until your hair gets back to its desired thickness.

5. Add some protective styles

If you are experiencing breakage, you should also consider adding a few protective styles to your look. A protective style for locs can be anything from wrap styles to updos or any style that gives your locs a break from manipulation or pulling. Here are 15 loc tutorials to give you style inspiration.

Top Loc Tips from our CurlTalk forum

"Don't use beeswax products after they have locked." NubianCoils

"Don't overtwist or be too obessessed with an overly manicured aesthetic. You don't want locs that hang on for dear life." -- Msjaim

"Sleep with your hair covered at night." -- Luvmylocs

"Don't use terry cloth towels." -- NubianCoils

"Use a satin pillowcase." -- Akilamonique

"Even though the hair is loc'ed, make sure the hair is conditioned to avoid dry brittle locs." – Geode

"I've always (and still do) rinse my hair in the shower daily!" -- NubianCoils

"Cut down on the shampooing." -- Ekaette

For more information, check out these Instagrammers with locs.