I'm going to talk about regimen and loc maintenance today. Last night I decided to scour the internet on how to keep my dreddies from looking a hot mess. I personally like things simplified and uncomplicated, something I can use and not break a sweat to. I found that I had to dig through a lot of info so to put my many thoughts to screen here's my attempt at putting the puzzle pieces together for those who aren't ( perhaps maybe you know more then me :P) in the know about caring for them locs. Ive been locked now for 7 mths (LOving it!) and Ive learned a thing or two about keeping it tre simple. So I'm hoping that my regimen and maintenance can answer a few questions. Since there is a plethora of info on how to start locs I wont go there, I will just focus on the maintenance and on going care for those who are DIY or wanting to be. Anyhoo lets get to it:
The weekly or bi weekly wash
Washing the hair is important whatever some may say about helping your dreads to loc up your scalp needs help getting rid of residue and buildup left behind by product, elements and plain ol sebum and dirt. Washing the "scalp" helps to actually loc the hair. Water swells the hair and the more this happens the faster your desired result. Remember water is your best friend you didn't quit relaxer not to go play in the rain right?
- Wash the hair using a non residual shampoo (Suave, Nutrogena, Pantene or any clarifying brand you prefer Tresseme even has a deep cleanser that I hear is good and inexpensive brand) Instead of just adding it straight to the hair I put it in a small spray bottle so I can evenly distribute the shampoo and if your going to wash spend a good 20 mins massaging the scalp (this should definitely be your "me" time) so your scalp get a good cleaning but no finger nails.
- Note: Between clarifying washes depending on your needs you can rinse your hair with plain water or you can wash as needed with cleansing bars, Dr Bronners castille soaps or any soap really that you like ( use non residual best suited)
- Note: For those who don't interlock try using a stocking cap so you will not disturb your roots to much otherwise you'll be twisting again. (if you can let go and enjoy the fruzz more power to you)
- 1st Rinse the hair really well and get all the shampoo out, believe or not even non residual shampoo can leave residue behind as well, so your going to want to stand under your shower head or jet spray until your locs feel squeaky clean
- 2nd Rinse My favorite rinse and the only one I use is ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar) for a final clarifying clean. I tell you I still had buildup after multiple washing but after using this product my scalp was debris free. You can put in in a spray bottle 1:8 spray or pour it on your scalp and locs, massage it in a bit and then put a plastic bag over your head (please do not obstruct the airways please you need to be alive for the next step) Then wrap a towel around the bag and leave for 12-15 min. After that stand under the shower again until you can no longer smell the ACV or water runs clear.
OK now on to the twisting, interlocking wrapping part. I have to say that there is a big difference in twisting your roots and maintaining the locs portion of the hair. Now as you wash you will notice hair frizzing and fruzzing up everywhere this is a very normal and wonderful phenomenon. We want this to happen because this is what causes your locs to form. People get very confused and think that every time they wash their hair they must twist the roots (Not so) personally you can go a whole month or even two without twisting the roots and still maintain neat looking locs. If you continue to twist the roots (like I did every chance I got for the first 3mths) you risk the chance of weakening the roots that forms the base of the loc. Here are a few simple methods you can use: First things first however I will talk about twisting/interlocking the roots to get that out of the way.
Now Ive addressed the whole Point rotation system awhile back and postulated that the 4pt was the far superior rotation compared to the 2pt or 3pt. However as Ive progressed I have to take back those word because as your locs mature it does not matter what pt rotation you use. It has everything to do with how thin you want your locs. Earlier on I started using 2pts and noticed that my locs were getting holes all over them (this drove me batty) so pondering over this and searching the internet, I found that other people were using 4pt and 3pt rotations to keep things tight. I decided yes this is a better solution, but I did notice that my locs were getting to thin almost scary break off at the root thin (turns out my hair is just really soft and unravels easily I just needed to be more patient and let my hair do its thing). This was to much for me so Ive gone back to my 2pt rotation. Considering that the loose hair around your locs are going to fill into those holes anyway. Whatever you choose to do make sure you refrain from interlocking more than once a month unless you absolutely think you need to and preferably when damp. You will need an interlocking tool of choice (many different kinds on the web I prefer to make my own) some water in a spray bottle a little gel and that's it. You can find rotation methods throughout my blog or again in tutorials on the net.
Most people who start traditional use this method as their mainstay. Simple and straight forward but a little long winded for my taste. I do not prefer this method because I like rinsing my hair more often then usual. It produces lovely locs however so give it a shot if your inclined. You will need a spray bottle of water, Two pronged Hair clips and some gel. If you have one a bonnet dryer is good investment for this method as well. Now all you have to do is grab a loc spray some water add some gel and twist in one direction only (same way every time)that you want the locs to lie, then clip hair at root in place. Never twist hair back and forth otherwise hair will never produce those cylindrical locs your after. Repeat all over head and sit under dryer until hair is no longer damp.
After completing both methods wrap hair in a satin or silk scarf to keep it fresh befor you go to bed or if your just about the house and your cleaning or something.
Now on to my favorite past time. I like to do this when I'm in the mood after a rinse in between shampoos. I take some water, little bit of gel and my fingers and you see all that fruzz that surrounds the loc? I take that and wrap around my locs in a clockwise motion. I do this while I watch T.V or when I feel I really need a maintenance check. Personally this keeps me from touching my roots and keeps my hair looking cute and neat when I need it. Personally as Ive said before you don't always need to touch the roots because its the locs you want to conform really. After interlocking my locs looked a bit chewy and bumpy (I don't like the look) but after wrapping them again and again they are starting to shape up quite nice in that cylindrical shape I adore (that's a good look) :)
I buy a bag of Rosemary seeds and boil them, strain them then let it cool. I then either pour it over my entire head or a put it in a spray bottle and spray. I usually just leave it in no need to rinse really
So this is my regimen it took me forever to write but really its straight forward. No mucking around lets review shall we:
1. You wash
2.You rinse with water
3. You rinse with ACV (recommend biweekly some are sensitive, can be a little harsh)
4. You rinse with water
5. Micro fiber cloths work best to dry hair (less lint)
1. Pick your poison (method)
2. Twists roots at least 1nce a month max (if you can stand it)
3. Always move in clockwise fashion (same way every time)
1. Wrap when needed after a rinse or whenever you feel
2. Use precaution dampen hair first and use gel or preferred cream
3. Go the same way every time (clockwise etc)
1. Cover your hair when your sleeping or doing house work to keep lint down
2. Have fun with it make them fancy when your going out ( I wear hair bands and wraps all the time they're cute)
Let me know if I'm missing anything IMO this is what I do for my hair. Everyone is different and I just wanted to share what works well for me over the course of 7 mths who knows maybe it will change again. Whatever you choose keep it positive and fun for you.
Peace and Blessings