Receiving quality advice for loc maintenance can feel like digging for a needle in a haystack. It is extremely difficult to know who to listen to and what advice to take. To save you some trouble we have teamed up with renowned educator and trichologist Dr. Kari Williams to know what is best to do for locs. If you are considering having locs installed or you are a loctician yourself, this is for you!

Know What Products to Use

One highly controversial topic is what to put on your locs. Is wax or another styler ok? Are pure oils better or loc butters? And are there any ingredients to avoid may be some of your questions. Here’s an answer according to Dr. Kari Williams:

“Due to the density of locs, they have the tendency to hold onto a lot of unclean smells and grime. Therefore it’s important to choose products that won’t sit in the hair and create more buildup. Heavy creams, wax (bees wax), alcohol-based gels and hair sprays should be avoided in the maintenance of locs. These products attract dirt and debris and are difficult to remove from the hair. I definitely recommend pure natural oils and butters. These types of products have the ability to penetrate the loc, adding moisture, shine, and increasing the overall health of the loc. Lubricating locs on a regular basis is very important because the ends of the locs are the oldest parts of the hair and includes strands that are no longer connected to the scalp. Without regular lubrication, the ends of the locs can become excessively dry and begin to break off.  I have created two (2) revitalizing oils to address the hair and scalp needs of my clients: Ann Carol Coconut Lavender Oil and Ann Carol Peppermint Chamomile Oil. My new blend of natural and essential oils keep locs well lubricated, help to prevent dryness and breakage of the loc, and also helps to balance out the pH of the scalp.”

Know Whether to Cleanse or Not to Cleanse

Equally questionable is the ability to shampoo or cleanse locs and the scalp during start up and post startup.  Dr. Williams chimes in to answer this concern.

“Yes! Please keep your hair clean while locking. If you do not regularly remove the dirt and build up that accumulates in the hair overtime, it will become embedded in the loc. This is why I am a big fan of the interlocking method. It is ideal for individuals who have an active lifestyle or scalp discomfort that requires frequent shampooing. Interlocking allows you to shampoo the hair on a regular basis without the concern of excessive frizzing and the need to re-twist the hair.  If you have elected to start your locs with twists, I still encourage regular shampooing. You just may have to make more frequent visits to the salon to make sure your locs do not come undone.”

Know How to Maintain Them

Fresh locs are the best locs. Once the locs have been installed, proper maintenance is key for successful development. Many people in an effort to save money will go months without maintaining their locs and hope that will not cause challenges. Similarly many people attribute locking to low maintenance and do not think it is necessary to tie the hair up. Let’s see what the expert has to say.

“If you are maintaining your locs with interlocking you can go 6-8 weeks between retouch appointments. If you are palm rolling or twisting your locs, I recommend 1-2 times a month. When sleeping, you can simply cover your hair with a bonnet or scarf.”

Each of these concerns, if not handled properly can make or break your loc goals. It is important to do the research necessary to meet the needs of your hair. If cost is of concern, ask your stylist what you can do at home to maintain your locs in between appointments. With appropriate cleansing, conditioning, and maintenance techniques like these you can absolutely obtain the look you desire, for the long-term.

What are some of your loc concerns?