summer locs

Image Source: @nappstar_nyc

Sun’s out, locs out! The weather is warming up and it’s time for our locs to come out and play, so I’m sharing 5 categories of my favorite products and tips to keep your hair healthy all summer long.

1. Wash Day Essentials: Sulfate-free shampoo and lightweight conditioner

To keep your locs clean, it is important to thoroughly wash your hair every wash day. Like most naturals, wash day is a process. With locs, it is no different. Start by “opening up” your roots, which involves gently spreading the roots of your locs that may be loosely twisted (not yet loc’d), to loosen any product buildup. Once your hair is fully saturated from root to tips, massage your shampoo into your scalp first, then through your hair. I usually lather and rinse twice, then follow that with conditioner on my locs before a final rinse with lukewarm water.

I love the Jamaican Mango & Lime Tingle Shampoo. This shampoo has a minty smell and a gentle tingly lather that makes your scalp feel refreshed and relieves itching. A little goes a long way with this product! I follow that with the protein conditioner, which spreads super smooth through my locs and washes out easily.

“Sulfate-free” does not always mean “all-natural.” Wash day products that include as little processed ingredients as possible means clean hair with less stripping of the natural oils that your hair needs. Here are some other great suggestions:

Shampoos:

Conditioners:

2. Healthy Scalp: Essential Oils

Grapeseed, and tea tree, and coconut, oh my! Essential oils are my favorites to use because they are light and easy to spread through your scalp and hair, which means little to no product buildup on wash day! It helps to know which oils are best for your scalp and any particular issues that you may be dealing with.

The best products include natural ingredients that are easy for your scalp and hair to absorb. Massage a few drops into your scalp and locs for quick allover application or apply to the areas that need it the most. You can make your own mixtures at home or look for products that include essential oils as main ingredients that are lightweight and easy to rub in your hands to distribute through your locs as well. I like to apply my oils at night and let them marinate under my satin scarf or bonnet during my beauty sleep. Here are a few of my favs :

3. Moisturized locs: Perfect Leave-in Conditioners

No one likes dry, brittle hair. I dye my hair a few times a year, and sometimes the lightening and chemicals cause my locs to need moisture more often. If your locs are looking a bit lackluster, give them a good squeeze. If they sound crunchy or feel dry, it is because they are thirsty! While washing locs every day is not a great idea, you can prevent dry-feeling locs by adding some moisture every day with a good leave-in conditioner.

Rosewater spray is one of my favorite everyday leave-in conditioners. It is lightweight, multipurpose (spray on a clean face for some quick hydration), and it smells amazing! Here are some recipes to make your own. Almond oil is also perfect for softening dry locs that need some quick nourishment. Either works well for a quick spritz of moisture when I’m on the go or rocking a longer-term style like curls, twists, braids, or an updo. Here are some other leave-ins to try:

Taliah Waajid Shea-Coco Condition Daily Leave-in Conditioner Spray

4. Retwisting Locs

When twisting your roots, you want to avoid products that are too thick or creamy to make sure that the product holds your roots in place and does not leave behind any residue in your fresh styles (that means no wax products). I like to keep it simple with Ecoco EcoStyler Professional Gel. It is easy to find in most stores, lightweight, and super affordable. Here are some other great alternatives that work just as well:

This gel is super lightweight, and the menthol adds a cooling effect. The fun blue color is a surprise, but it dries clear on dark locs.

Jamaican Mango & Lime No More Itch Cool Scalp Braid, Twist, & Loc Gel

Ecoco Eco Style Professional Styling Gel Coconut Oil

Alikay Naturals Aloe Berry Styling Gel

5. For ponytails, pineapples, buns, and more.

When I finally reached ponytail status with my locs, I was so excited… until I popped my first hair elastic. During the summer, I love wearing my hair in high buns and ponytails without pulling too hard on my edges. I discovered the magic of these no-crease hair ties, and now they are all I use. Here are a few other ponytail holders that I would love to have on my wrist at all times.

These are really cool ponytail holders that snap closed, and you can snap multiple bands together to make them longer- even long enough to be a headband!

Snappee Licorice Hair Tie

Sometimes the print on a hair tie adds the perfect amount of color or texture to a hairstyle. These are fun subtle prints that can work with many different looks.

Aztec Print Hair Ties

Scrunchies have made a comeback and I embraced their resurgence with a luxurious splurge on 100% silk scrunchies that are amazingly soft and on trend. I get compliments every time I wear one.

… and a bonus!

Don’t forget about those edges!

For laying those edges down, nothing works better than the Ecoco EcoStyler Professional Gel!

Jamaican Black Castor Oil, or JBCO, is an amazing oil for thickening thinner spots and strengthening the hairline. There were parts of my hairline that were a bit sparse, so I began massaging a few drops of JBCO into those spots every morning and night, and I noticed some amazing growth. The oil is thick, so a little goes a long way!

The smell of the oil can be a bit strong, so try out some options that are mixed with other oils like peppermint, coconut, or lavender.

Do you have more favorite loc products? Share them in the comments!