Complete Guide to Starter Locs and Dreadlocks

Locs, locks, dreads, or dreadlocks are all same and are basically unhandled, unbrushed, and uncombed hair. With time the locs gets formed when the hair gets knotted and matted into itself. braid locs, Two-strand twists, instant locs, and interlocks are examples of starter locs that can be used to provide the groundwork for more typical locs.

Locs or Dreadlocks are more than a way to show that you’re unconcerned with how you look. Tradition has it that your mental and spiritual energy leaves your body mostly through the top of your head and your hair. As long as the hair remains tangled, the energy will remain in the body, keeping a person robust and healthy.

How Are Starter Locs Created?

According to your hair type and growth rate, the Baby or beginning stage of the loc process can take anywhere from three to six months.

The hair locks faster when the natural curl pattern is tighter. A person whose hair is tightly curled may be able to start their locs by rolling their palms, whereas someone with a looser texture may need their hair braided before they can start their locs. In order for locs to mature from the baby to the more rooted teen stage, it takes many months.

You may start your locs in a variety of forms, including palm rolls braids, comb coils, and two-strand twists. If you desire, you can construct a parting pattern in the beginning stage.

If you’re going to use locs, you may experiment with color. In addition to hair jewelry, loc users can also include shells in their designs.

For a freeform style, you don’t have to “cultivate” or manage the size of your sections, but instead, just let your hair be. To prevent locs from breaking off if they are thin or dry enough, it’s vital to avoid creating portions that are too tiny.

In the starter loc stage, it may appear tough since your hair constantly falling out when you shampoo. If you want to keep your scalp and baby locs hydrated, use a Leave-In Conditioner to your regular regimen!

Ideal hair types for locs

When applied to dry hair that fails to retain moisture, the dreadlock procedure works best. This is most common in hair types with high porosity, such as kinky, coily, and curly hair, which might feel thirsty of moisture all the time. Low porosity textures are also suitable for the dreadlock technique, although they may necessitate a different strategy owing to their compact cuticles, which take longer to saturate or absorb the product.

If you’re not cautious, hair textures with loose waves or curls might suffer from limpness, a greasy look, and product accumulation. The same is true for those with straight hair. If you fall into this group and wish to attempt the dreadlock technique, you may, but you’ll need to utilize the lightest weight products you can find.

Here’s a fast and simple cheat sheet to help you determine your hair type. You may learn more about hair kinds if you want a more in-depth explanation.

Despite the fact that porosity plays a big influence in whether or not the loc method will work for you, it’s still a good way to treat hair regardless of curl pattern, density, or whether or not it’s dyed or chemically treated.

Type 1 – Straight

The texture of this hair is straight and it falls closest to the head. This kind might be delicate and silky or coarse and thick. It’s also prone to accumulating too much oil.

Type 2 – Wavy

Wavy hair is made up of a combination of straight and curly hair that falls in loose S shapes. Straight hair has a lesser gloss and is more prone to frizz. Additional fluids are required, but not in excess, since this can quickly weigh the waves down.

Type 3 – Curly

Curly hair strands cluster together and loop around in a spiral manner to produce ringlets. This texture necessitates a lot of moisture since the natural oil from the root wants to find its way down the spirals.

Type 4 – Coily and Kinky Hair

From a tightly coiled S to a Z-shaped kinky pattern, these curls come in a range of forms and sizes. The hair may appear shorter than it is due to the tightness of the curl (known as shrinkage), and it might feel smooth and silky or harsh and wiry depending on the hair thickness. Type 4 curls are prone to breakage, dryness, and tangles.

The Float Test to identify your hair porosity level

Take a few hair strands from various regions of your head and gently drop them into water. Allow for 2-4 minutes of resting time. You have low porosity if your hair floats. You have high porosity if it sinks. It’s medium if it appears to be in the center.

Step by step guide to make starter locs

Step 1

Washing your hair with locs shampoo is the first thing you need to do before starting the process.

It may be necessary to wash it twice to ensure that it is completely clean. In the future, backcombing will be much easier with this method.

There’s no need to thoroughly dry your hair at this stage. Sectioning is the next stage and it is much easier to deal with wet hair.

It’s important to maintain your hair moist, as it might dry out before you’ve finished separating it. A spray bottle can help keep your hair wet as you separate it.

Step 2

If you want a lot of possibilities, try sectioning your hair. Each locus may be determined by dividing it into smaller sections. When it comes to sectioning, it may be a lot of labor. Our recommendation is to give it some time. Without sectioning, certain locs will be considerably larger than others, and the space between them would be uncomfortable.

Starting at the front of your head, start sectioning your hair into squares. Each one’s distance will be determined by the section size. As you create each part, secure it with an elastic band. Put the elastic approximately a centimeter away from the scalp. There is no need for it to be too tight or too loose.

Make sure each portion is separated with an elastic band so it doesn’t get caught in the locs you’re making. As the locs grow and get thicker, the separation between the sections and rows will become less obvious as the locs grow and become thicker. Attempt to keep the parts of the same size as much as you can. Naturally, the size of the dread depends on how much hair is in each area of the dread.

If you have locs of average size, you’ll need approximately half a centimeter’s worth of hair. To avoid creating too large sections of hair, if your hair is really fine, you may want to use a smaller hair diameter than a pencil in order to avoid creating portions that are too huge. Too big sections leave a wide gap between the locs. Our recommendation is to maintain the pieces between 2 and 3 cm apart.

Step 3

Use a Texturizer or Tightening Spray now to give your hair a boost of body and texture. Go outdoors with a towel.

Towel over your neck and turn your head to one side, if possible. On your hair, spray the hairspray in a downward manner. As long as it stays on your scalp, it isn’t a huge deal, but if you can, try to keep away from it! Because it dries out the hair and roughens up the surface, you simply need to spritz it on the hair. Creating nodules in the hair is a fantastic benefit of natural drying, but it tends to irritate your skin, like swimming in the sea and not rinsing your hair afterward. So, if you chance to acquire a piece on your scalp and it irritates you, just rinse it with simple water and it will go.

As long as your locks remain damp, you’re good to go. If you can, use a hairdryer to ensure that the greatest quantity of spray remains in the hair after drying. In the event that this isn’t an option, you may just towel-dry it. It is best to use a hairdryer since it will allow you to dry them fast, which is necessary before the following process is completed.

Step 4

There are a variety of techniques to make locs, so pick one that works for you.

We recommend the following Techniques:

  • Locs made with Braiding method
  • Locs made with the Twist n Rip method
  • Locs made with Backcombing

How to make Starter Locs with Braiding method

With this method, Plaits or braids with at least 5 inches of hair of any texture can be used to start locs. People who sweat a lot on their scalp or who want to keep their locs interlocked should choose for braid locs.

  1. Start by shampooing your hair as you would with any other method.
  2. To dry your hair, you may either use a blow dryer or simply let it air dry.
  3. Using 1-inch pieces, create dreadlock hair. Rubber band the roots of your hair to create sections. Each portion should be braided and secured at the ends with additional elastics.
  4. Wax each braid and roll it between your palms, one at a time, until it dreadlocks.

Pros of Braiding method

  • This pattern can take up to a year to fade away, and with longer locks it may never disappear completely.
  • Due to the braiding pattern’s linear style, the locs may seem flat rather than round.

Cons of Braiding method

  • You may find that the ends of your braids unravel at first. By style your locs or threading the ends, you can fix this. Palm rolling or interlocking can be used to maintain locs that were started with braids or plaits.

How to make Starter Locs with Twist & Rip method

When you use the twist and tear method, you and your hairdresser have maximum control and the least amount of hair damage. This process is the fastest way to develop locs.

It’s easy to learn how to do twist and tear, but you’ll need to practice a lot before you get good at it.

  1. Separate your hair into inch-thick pieces, and then braid them together. Rubber bands or tiny plastic elastics can be used to keep them in place.
  2. Rub all of your hair in one direction as you’re shampooing it. This will aid in the development and texture of the dreaded substance.
  3. Then, let it air dry fully.
  4. When learning how to make locs, tear away each portion of hair that has been knotted off. This portion of hair should be covered with wax before rolling it between your palms. In order to produce a dread on your own, you must use the palm rolling technique.

Remind yourself to palm roll once a day in order to keep your locs defined. Once a day rolling is important but don’t overdo it or you’ll end up with locs that are more vulnerable to unraveling.

Pros of Twist & Rip method

  • The initial impression of hair with method is a bit flatter compared to BackCombing method.
  • You get more control over the quantity and size.
  • Throughout the locking procedure, it maintains a clean look.
  • The process is less painful.
  • Less damaging for hair compared to Backcombing method.

Cons of Twist & Rip method

  • The process is feasible only for small locs.
  • Not everyone likes the end result of Twist & Rip method’s braid-like appearance.
  • The method is harder to master.

How to make Starter Locs with Backcombing method

Among Caucasians, especially those with naturally straight hair, this method is widely employed since it requires teasing the strands to “create” an internal interweaving of hairs, then palm rolling it into the shape of a loc Due to the fact that I started my current set of locs with backcombing, it worked well for my delicate, fine hair structure.

  1. The first step in determining how to produce locs is washing your hair and removing any products. Wash your hair with a shampoo and conditioner combo that will get rid of the residue while moisturizing your locks. Make sure your hair is completely dry to prevent damage. Air-dry or use a blow dryer to assist generate as much volume before beginning the procedure.
  2. The procedure will begin to take shape once you’ve divided your hair into sections. Using a comb or your fingers, divide the hair into squares starting at the front hairline or neck. Depending on the size of the piece, it might be as little as a half-inch or bigger.
  3. Begin by twisting your hair into two-strand twists section by section. You should know how to make locs by now. To hold your parts in place, use a rubber band or hair tie at the root.
  4. A fine-toothed comb may be used to gently comb each twist upward in a slow manner for a messier look. Pull the ends of your hair apart as you tease each twist. Afterwards, twist the ends back together creating a two-strand twist. This is the way to speed up the locking process so that the locs seem instantaneous.

Pros of Backcombing method

  • This process provides you an easy to maintain instant loc look.

Cons of Backcombing method

  • If the locs are not maintained properly from the start, they may develop budding on their shaft or “blow-outs” instead.
  • More damaging compared to Twist & Rip method

Step 5

It’s possible to complete a loc by adding an elastic band to the tips, although it’s not necessary if the loc is well-secured. When it comes time to put on the elastic, make sure that you tighten up the comb as much as possible. In time, most of the loc will be tight enough for you to use a loose hair tool and pluck loose hairs at both ends. The tip will then leak tightly. This is the quickest and easiest technique to round the tips. For thick locs, it may take a bit longer than from the second month.

Step 6

Inspect your locs and make sure that all of them have been backcombed properly, and perhaps tightened with a crochet hook. Many individuals seek the aid of a few friends to help them backcomb. Most of your locs will not be backcombed correctly the first time around. If you go over them and fix the ones that are apparent mistakes now, you’ll save yourself time later. The only thing you need to do is seek locs that have vast regions of loose hair with few or no knots. As soon as you can run your fingers through the backcombing or split them slightly apart, it’s time for a recomb. Usually, the easiest approach to accomplish this is to start combing from the hair roots and continue combing all the way to the tip. During this process, you must remove the elastics.

Step 7

Once you’ve completed each loc, it’s time to start palm rolling. But not just a few of times. You get finer and tighter locs as you roll more. Whenever you get Gel or wax in your hair, try to give them a nice palm rolling every day. To make them mature locs faster, nothing can assist! Every day if you can, I recommend palm rolling them for 30 seconds on each. But even a little bit helps.

How to Maintain Starter Locs

In general, those with thicker, curlier hair prefer locs, but they may be worn by anybody. For locs to continue to grow, you need to take care of them. The same as any other hairstyle, locs require frequent washing and moisturizing.

Drying is not optional

Every time you wash your starter locs, properly dry them to prevent product accumulation and mildew. In order to get rid of extra water, you can compress them with a towel, and then let them air or blow-dry them.


Locks can be washed up to three times a week after they’re fully matured out. There are some who wait a week, and others who wait a month. However, if you have an oily scalp you may want to wash it more regularly to prevent knots from forming. You should massage the scalp gently and allow the soapy water to trickle through the locs when you do wash them.

Taking care of Hair

The best products and treatments for starter and matured locs tend to be different for everyone with locs. Hot oil treatments are used by some to prevent the hair from drying out, while others use gels or saltwater “accelerators” to thicken the hair as it grows in. Only natural and/or clarifying shampoos are advocated by a large number of people. Shampoos with a lot of residues should be avoided since they might lubricate the hairs and cause them to break free from the locks. When it comes to using conditioner on your locks, there’s some dispute. Hair cream conditioners are designed to smooth and detangle hair, however, they might interfere with the locking process.

Be cautious with Sweat

In reality, the sweating will do no harm to your starter locs. However, a lot of sweat implies a lot of showers, and those might loosen up developing locs. Water will not loosen locs much, but washing and pulling repeatedly while they are soapy can generally loosen more than a few hairs. As long as your shampoo doesn’t leave residues, this isn’t an issue. Rubber bands at the root and tip of the dread will hold your hair in place while it locs and tightens if your hair is very short or your locs are fresh. If you have locs, you may prevent hair from breaking loose by wearing a washcloth over your locs while showering and cleaning them through the cap.

Sleeping Checklist

It’s easy to keep your starter locs tucked away in a bun while you sleep. As an added bonus, bunning keeps them from flattening, tugging, or breaking as you toss and turn during night.

Silky fabrics minimize friction completely, preserving your hair and producing a comfortable, velvety smooth sleep surface that is likely to put an end to your night-time woes.

If you sleep with your head covered, you’ll also be less likely to pick up any lint or dirt from the mattress or bed.

People with particularly long or thick locs may find that sleeping with both their locs and a normal pillow on top of each other might be uncomfortable. Take into account switching to a thinner cushion instead of a thicker one, and moving your hair out of the way.

Avoid tension

In the first few months, if you twist your hair too tightly without allowing adequate room at the roots, it might put tension on the scalp and cause it to fall off completely. Be careful not to put too much pressure on the roots. For your hair to continue growing, you need a few loose hairs at the root.

Repair routine

If you don’t roll your locs on a regular basis, they might start to fuse together. For the sake of separating freshly joined locks, you may either pull them apart or trace the portions with your index finger and cut them apart at the root.

Use Salt water spray

Locs can be tightened using saltwater. If your locs are feeling loose and lifeless you may spritz this on them whenever they need a boost.

Hair Locs History

Many cultures throughout history used locs, from Germanic tribes to Islamic Dervishes. According to the majority of historians, locs originated in Egypt. Locs were initially found in Egypt when mummies were unearthed with their locs still intact.

For centuries, locs have been a spiritual emblem. When the spirit departs the body, it goes through the head, according to many ancient civilizations and faiths. To conserve more energy in the body by the use of knots or twists in the hair, many people believed that they might achieve greater levels of physical and spiritual power. As a result of this, Rastafarianism is most well-known for adhering to this ideology.

Very few people know where this fashion originated or what it signifies to those who follow this style out of religious or cultural reasons.

It’s not always easy to track down information on locs’ origins. It’s easy to discover articles on the history of “locs” on the internet, but they’re rare and don’t include any references. This is probably because it’s quite difficult to locate publicly available academic materials on the topic of “locs.”

According to The Encyclopedia of Hair, A Cultural History, the Ethiopian Coptic priests used locs as early as 500 B.C. In India, the first mention of locs dates back to 1800 BCE, when Hindu spiritual monks known as sadhus wrote about them. Numerous African tribal groups, such as those of the Kenyan Maayi, are known to have locs.

In spite of this, a definitive date for the origination of locs in Africa has yet to be established with certainty. Colonialism and other acts of violence have wiped out much of the history of non-white races and civilizations.

In Jamaica, between 1942 and 1954, locs were more popular. A number of historians credit the style to East Indian slaves, while others link it to the Kenyan Mau Mau warriors, whose image and history were significant in the creation of numerous Afrocentric groups in Jamaica during this time period.

Irrespective of how Jamaican Loc culture came about, it’s evident that it’s still evolving now! Fast forward to the present day and you’ll see folks of all races sporting locs.

People with afro-textured hair are increasingly using locs as a fashion statement and cultural grooming practice.

As a protective style for their natural hair, locs are becoming increasingly popular.


How to reverse hair locs to the previous state?

It’s a widespread misconception that locs are too tangled to undo. Although combing the locs out is feasible, this is unquestionably the simpler approach. The unlocking procedure can take anywhere from hours to days, and it may not be feasible if the hair has been locked for a long period (decades, for example). If you opt to unlock, expect a lot of lost hair because the locs catch virtually all of the hair that typically falls on a regular basis. It’s possible that you’ve been dealing with shed hairs for a long time.

How long do starter locs last?

The Baby Stage, also known as the Starter Stage, is the first three to six months in the locs process. However, the length of this stage is determined by a number of factors, including your hair type and the rate at which your hair grows.
This step can be difficult for many individuals since their locs might get unraveled or seem “fluffy” as they wash their hair. However, keep in mind that this is simply a stage, and things will become a little simpler as your locs develop.

Will my starter locs get thicker?

Locs will grow thinner and thicker as they progress through the phases. Because the hair is still getting matted, the length and thickness will change a lot over the first year.
The thickness of your starting locs will ultimately be determined by the density, texture, and size of your components.

How do I keep my starter locs from thinning?

Neglect, health issues, over-manipulation, medicines, dehydration, hormonal fluctuations, stress, dryness, excessive hair products, tension, or chemical hair coloring can all contribute to thinning locs. The most essential thing is to narrow down the causes and discover the root of the problem so that you can properly cure and fix it. With the right care, a thinning dreadlock may often be saved.
It is critical to have a healthy, well-balanced diet that is high in proteins. This is due to the fact that hair is made up of proteins. As a result, consuming protein-rich foods such as cheese, meat, eggs, fish, oats, almonds, and so on is critical for hair health. Although it may appear basic or overly straightforward, it is an essential initial step in restoring your healthy hair and halting dread thinning.

Are locs just dead hair?

All hair, including locs and dreadlocks, is made up of non-living cells. Although your hair is moisturized, it is not alive. The hair shaft is the visible length of a single hair. It is called “dead” since it shows no metabolic activity. The follicle is the only component of the hair that is “alive.” The hair follicle, which houses the cells that form and develop the hair shaft, is where growth begins.
Locs, like every other hairstyle, are composed of human hair. The majority of today’s sentiments and ideas regarding locs are based on confusion over hair texture, care, and perception.

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