Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Dreadlock Commandments: do's and Don'ts of locking process

at 8:26 PM
"Should I use this or should I use that?"
"What can I put on my hair?"
"Is it okay to wash my hair often?"
We ask ourselves so many questions when caring for our locks. However, maintaining healthy locked hair can be simple (in fact, foolproof) when you know what to do and what not to do to your hair. This article will give you some basic Do's and Don'ts when it comes to lock maintenance. Before presenting you with what you should and should not do, keep in mind that there is no way to make an exhaustive list, however, this list will get you started. When taking care of your locks, many people are bombarded with what they CANNOT do, that they forget to enjoy what they CAN do. Keep in mind the DON'Ts and embrace the DOs. The new found freedoms that your locks bring also afford you the chance to DO a lot! Here are the "Dreadlock Commandments":
THOU SHALL NOT USE WAX TO START YOUR LOCKS.
No matter what, do NOT ever put any kind of beeswax on your hair. In the past many have believed that using beeswax was the only why to start locks. However, this ideology couldn't be further from the truth. In fact, using beeswax actually isn't a good thing at all. One of the main reasons that wax is a "no-no" is simply because of the fact that wax doesn't breakdown in water. What does this mean? It means that no matter how much you wash your hair, the beeswax will forever be in your locks. Wax also attracts debris, lint, dirt, pollutants, and other undesired things into you hair that might also be hard to wash out. If you ever meet someone that uses beeswax on their hair, look at their locks and you will see the buildup that using wax has left over the years. There are other products that can be used to lock your hair that are also beneficial to your hair as well. Products such as lanolin, honey, olive oil, avocado butter, shea butter, and similar items can have the same holding power as wax BUT lead to healthier hair.
THOU SHALL NOT MAKE CARING FOR YOUR LOCKS COMPLICATED.
Lock maintenance is as simple as it comes. Some try to make the process a complicated maze in order to keep others from wanted to take on this commitment. The only thing a lock wearer really needs to do is develop a good hair routine and stick with it. If need be, you can just get up and go without doing anything to your hair. Keeping the process simple makes this commitment even more attractive.
THOU SHALL NOT WEAR YOUR HAIR IN THE SAME STYLE OVER LONG PERIODS OF TIME (OR REPEATEDLY).
Sometimes we get eager when we get to different stages in the locking process. One big milestone will be when your hair gets long enough to put in a ponytail. Once you reach that stage, you might have the urge to always throw your hair up in a ponytail, EVERYDAY. Please resist this urge. Repeatedly wearing your hair in the same hairstyle day in and day out, will create weak spots in those area that are continuously under stress due to tight hair ties, hair pins, hair bands, and other hair accoutrements. For example, if you like to wear your hair in a ponytail everyday, you might notice down the line that in the same area on every lock you have a spot where your locks look like they might break. This weak spot is from constantly using a hair tie to hold your pigtail. Also, always pulling your hair back may also cause traction alopecia because of the constant tension on your hairline. Just be mindful and try to give your locks time to JUST BE.
THOU SHALL NOT OVERLOAD YOUR HAIR WITH TOO MANY PRODUCTS.
You will get advice from people about what your locks need; but, be careful what advice you listen to. Always research any advice you are not familiar with. For instance, someone might recommend that you use conditioner on your locks; however, during the beginning stages of the locking process, conditioner is a "no-no". If you use a lock stylist to maintain your locks, ask her/his advice when it comes to unfamiliar recommendations. Remember, the less you put on your hair and do to your hair, the better.
THOU SHALL FIND AN EXPERIENCED LOCK STYLIST TO HELP START YOUR LOCKS (OR TO CONSULT WITH).
Unless you are familiar with the locking process, you might find that seeking out a knowledgeable lock stylist is a great value. It is wise to schedule a consultation with a lock stylist, prior to starting your locks. During this appointment, you can discuss your goals, tentative lock sizes, and provide pictures of the type of locks you are seeking. Also, during this appointment, you can also interview the lock stylist regarding her experience as a natural hair stylist. Even if you plan to maintain your locks yourself after you start, having the locks started by a professional will ensure that your beginner locks are uniform and adequate in size. When it comes to starting locks, SIZE DOES MATTER! If you start your locks too small, then your matured locks will be even smaller because locks tighten as they mature. Moreover, starting locks too small will lead to the undesired consequence of your locks breaking and being weak later on down the line.
THOU SHALL LEARN ABOUT THE LOCKING PROCESS BEFORE EMBARKING ON LOCKING YOUR HAIR.
Equipping yourself with the knowledge about the transformations that your locks will undergo will help to make the entire locking experience more enjoyable. Furthermore, learning about the stages of locking will help you to know whether or not you locks are following the norm when it comes to the locking stages. This knowledge will also help you to determine if your hair is doing anything weird that you might want to discuss with your lock stylist.
THOU SHALL EAT PROPERLY.
Remember, your hair is the product of what you put into your body. This includes the food you consume, the liquids you drink, and any medications you are taking. For example, if you find that your scalp is excessively dry, you might simply need to drink more water to hydrate, versus adding any unnecessary oils to your hair. Eating healthy, not only benefits your body, but it also helps to keep your hair growing and shining. Additionally, exercise has also been shown to help with the growth of your hair as well.
THOU SHALL DEVELOP YOUR OWN "LOCKING" SUPPORT SYSTEM.
Keep in mind that you are not the first person to lock. So, there is always someone who has been where you are in the locking process. When you have the urge to quit or give up, reach out to those individuals who understand your plight and can help talk you down off the ledge. The locking process IS NOT easy. It is the best decision you ever made, but it takes commitment and effort to see your locks through. So, tell those friends who are already locked that you are making that transition and that you will need their support. If you don't have friends or family around to speak with, seek online support. There are many hair blog, forums, or social network pages with many people who can let you know that whatever is happening to you, has happened to them. Also, having a support system can help to see your goal more clearly.
THOU SHALL DOCUMENT YOUR LOCKING PROCESS.
A Locking Journal is a great investment. This journal filled with milestone pictures and written words from you will help you to better gauge your growth. You will be able to remember the issues that you had 6 months ago that you are NOT having now. In the journal you can also keep track of any products or new hair regimens that you have taken on just in case you notice any changes in your hair. Also, keeping pictures of your hair in different stages of the locking process will help you to "remember when". So, even if you hate your hair, take a picture. Months from now you will go back to that picture and appreciate that stage a little better. Years into the locking process, your will look back at your journal laugh at yourself and value your locks even more.
THOU SHALL ENJOY EVERY STAGE YOUR LOCKS BRING FORTH.
Every stage of locking is unique and comes with its own set of happenings. In order to stick with the entire process it is important that you appreciate the fuzzy locks just like you will appreciate the matured locks. Consider your locks your child and just like a child, you have to raise them from a newborn to an adult. Have patience with your hair and know that if you treat your hair right and are grateful for the small occurrence and milestones, your hair will grow into well-mannered adult locks. Just don't get discouraged and give up because your hair won't obey you.
THOU SHALL KEEP THE END GOAL IN MIND.
This is probably one of the most important rules to live by. Understanding that the way your locks look in the beginning is NOT how they will look at their matured state. This means that when you start locking you might find that your locks are bigger than you desire. But keep in mind that as your hair locks, they will get tighter. So a pencil sized lock in the beginning will be smaller when matured. Moreover, there will be shrinkage in the beginning, but as your locks grow, you will forget about it. Keep that in mind as you start locking and it will give you something to look forward to as your locks evolve.
THOU SHALL BE OPEN TO QUESTIONS.
Just like you did not know everything about locking in the beginning, when people see you with locks they are bound to ask questions. Do answer people if they have valid questions. Now, you don't have to open yourself up to harassment, but you answering valid questions might help someone else to become comfortable in their skin and take the plunge on the "Lock Side"
THOU SHALL EMBRACE THE NEW YOU.
Deciding and going through with locking your hair requires that the wearer has a certain level of confidence and swag. Your new style may also lead to changes to your wardrobe. Do what is best for you and your level of comfort. Locking your hair give you a new sense of freedom that will spill over into the other areas of your life. Embrace the changes and have fun with it.
NOTE: You might find out, during your lock exploration, that there are other items that might go on your personal DO/ DO NOT list. Feel free to adapt this list to your personal experience, by adding those other things that also did or did NOT work for you.
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The Loc Doc specializes in natural hair care (chemical-free hair). Our natural hair care specialty is loc maintenance, styling and care. We utilized many techniques to loc your hair depending on your preference, hair texture, length, and other factors. Our locing techniques include: twisting, palm rolling, and latching. In addition to the Loc Doc's loc care, we also offer other natural hair care services, such as loc extensions, Bantu knots, two strand twists, and straw sets. Also, we provide mobile hair care services that are convenient and fit your budget. The Loc Doc can be "on the go" so you don't have to be. We are currently serving the Dallas/Fort Worth, TX area. In some areas our service is mobile, meaning we come to you.