How Locs Mature – Your first 6 month
Month 1: Loc Development
Be Patient There is Nothing to Expect
Your decision to loc your hair has weighed on you and you have decided to loc your hair. Your first month begins at stage one of your loc start and that is the day you get them twisted. Normally your instructions would be not to shampoo your hair.
What is the reason you are instructed not to cleaning your hair?
At your loc-start, you begin specialized training. This training requires the time it takes your hair to dry completely in position. This will give you the best possible results when beginning the starter lock process. Wetting your hair rather it is from sweat, showering, or cleaning restarts that process. We require the entire month for this loc training to occur before we move on to the next stage. When the cleaning is done understand that starter loc reset will be required, which prolongs the process.
How Often Should I Get My Starterlocs Maintenance?
There is no “should”… You must bare your own responsibility in deciding how you want to maintain your hair. I tell people all the time they can look as neat or as indigenous as they would prefer. The key to loc maintenance just like everything else…is consistency. The locs will grow long and in that length just like the tree trunk tells it’s age and lifetime so do your locs! They show how often they were serviced and if you skipped a time. They will even tell of a time when you were having a difficult or stressful period in your life. I have had clients come every two weeks for over a year and appointments are definitely catered to each person’s specific loc care needs. The hair growth cycle is specific to each person including diets rest and stress all play a role in the growth pattern and cell turnover. Most people decide that they want loc maintenance every 4-6 weeks.
Month 2: Loc Development:
Looking for That First Bud and the First Retwist Can finally Occur
They still look fairly new. Most are still at stage 1 with the onset of stage 2 loc development. Once that knotting occurs at the root, the transition is taking place. This is the time that you can clean your locs. The reason it is okay is if you feel the first bud where your new growth and your loc meet, is because this is how you can ensure the parting is in place. That’s not to say you don’t have to be careful with your locs so as to clean but not to disturb them because you are technically still in stage 1 of the loc development process.
Am I Ready For My First Loc Maintenance?
Your first retwist can occur after the first bud appears. Waiting until this time ensures your loc parting pattern is secure. Careful clean the scalp without disturbing the locs. Do your research to understand the loc maturing process. Your first 6 months does not have to be difficult. The difficulty occurs with not understanding of the maturing process.
What are the Stages of Loc Development?
There are 5 Stages of Loc/Dreadlock Development
Stage 1: Loc Start
Your loc start can begin a few ways. Comb coils, two Strand Twists, or interlocking. People decide on a starter loc method based on their hair profile(texture, thickness, and density). It is discouraging for some at this stage patience is the key. Your hair has to learn how to be inside of the loc (dreadlock). This stage only lasts for 4-6 weeks and then you’re off to the budding stage.
Budding loc stage vary for different hair profiles but lasts for the first 4-16 weeks. During this stage, your Locs will begin to bud (tangle or clump into knots.) The budding will begin at the root and after about 6 weeks you should be able to feel new growth and budding, where the root meets the loc (end of the new growth.) You may notice that your locs are fuzzy but there is a definite shape to them at this point.
Loc Stage 3: Teenage Stage
A characteristic of the teenage loc stage is the locs are very light in weight (as the budding continues throughout the loc). This lightweight in the teenage loc contributes largely to the unruly stage people dread from the beginning to the end. This stage lasts for 8-24 Months
The Mature loc Stage is just as exciting as the teenage stage, but this excitement is different. Your locs have began to mature. How can you tell? Your locs are heavier. The reason for the density change in the loc is the budding process is close to completion. You now have budding through the loc and it feels firm and can consistently hold its diameter. People notice characteristics of this stage closer to the end of their 1st year. Congratulations are in order for you at this stage. Once that weight gets into your locs they hang lower and begin to go through the dropping process. During this time you notice the length in your locs increase. Everyone has now matured and mastered the art of working together! The ends of your locs are the last section that goes through the maturing process but this is where your antenna form.
Loc Stage 5: Beyond Mature
After year 2 all your locs will grow to the same length. Another indication that your locs are beyond mature is the feel of the loc. It is firm throughout and contains no frizz. This stage proves to be the magic seal for your loc ends relaying that your antenna has finally formed.
This first 6 months after you start your locs you will decide on your loc start method. The loc start method is totally up to you. Your part pattern will always be visible and is difficult to change once your locs have reached the stage of maturity. See also, Loc Start Parting Methods Explained.
decide on the parting pattern that you want. Consider how you want your locs to look once they mature. Choose the stylist that will consult with you before you get your service to make sure this decision is right path for you. Together you can both agree on what works for your hair type, texture, and density all while giving you the style you have wanted.
Month number 2 Continued..
Your first 6 months you will begin to transition into the budding stage. During this time you are now ready for your 1st loc retwist or loc maintenance. Once the budding has started you can be somewhat confident that wetting your locs wet for the first time will not be a complete reset. Do not worry if all of your locs have not started to bud, they will if you stick with it long enough. An easy way to tell if your locs have started the budding process is to locate a loc on your head and start to feel the root and then progress further down the loc. You should run into a ball or know of some sort and that is what you are looking for. That’s a great thing for you to find letting you know your hair is learning exactly what to do.
Month 3: Loc Development: Neat w/ Maintenance Frizz Noticeable
This month is pretty much a continuation of the last month and you may have gotten a second retwist by now but by this time people have resolved to wait it out. It puts so much peace into your life once you accept the fact that the process has a gestation time. You will notice that your root may look twisted and brand new but your ends are puffy and frizzy and that is understandable because as you are being Maintenanced or retwisted that particular appointment is a focus on training your new growth to grow into the loc and your locs will continue to be frizzy until it gets beyond the teenage stage of loc development. There are some ways that you can contain your ends during this time without disrupting the process, however, it is still part of the process so accept the frizziness.
Month 4: Everything Begins to Become Routine
Month 5 and 6: Loc Development
Final budding continues as your hair learns to grow into the loc. The good news is your length should have increased by 2-3 inches. Locstyles are now a possibility for you. Styles are amazing now that frizz is under control, for the first time in a year. The sense of accomplishment you feel can not be described. Your first 6 months of locs are going to point your attention inward, this time fosters the lesson of acceptance. Your locs are literally making themselves invincible by banding together and forming the antenna to better serve your higher purpose.