True confessions from the loctician’s chair

What do your locs say about you?

It’s been a week since you moisturized your locs. That night after the party, you skipped your bedtime loc regimen and collapsed. It was a busy week.

Believe it or not, your locs will tell on you.

Think you can get away with no maintenance? Reached for that baseball cap one day too many? Your loctician always knows. They’ve seen lots of clients, and their locs reveal all. Here are some of the biggest secrets your locs have told on you. Read on…

1. You don’t tie your locs up at night. Your loctician can tell whether you went to sleep a little too au naturel. A dead giveaway: lint. “When you tie your hair up, there’s no lint and there’s no buildup,” says Dana Moten of Christian Fields Style Bar in Chicago. “When you sleep, you toss and turn. Your locs pick up everything it slides across.” Tying your locs up also stops breakage.

2. You don’t oil your scalp (or not enough). A good, yet light oiling of the scalp prevents dry scalp and flaking. The key is moderation, says Moten. “You don’t want [your locs] to be dry, but you don’t want to cake them down either.” Good oils to use: coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, tea tree oil (for an itchy scalp) or a shea butter and coconut oil combination.

3. You aren’t patient. Wearing locs is a journey, not a quick ride on the freeway. If you’re just starting out, patience is crucial. “Locs need time to do what they need to do,” says Shahid Robinson, also of Christian Fields Style Bar. “Stop comparing your hair to everybody else—your cousin, your sister. There may be two totally different types of hair. Each acts totally different.”

4. You’re not eating well. Again your locs will tell on you if you skipped on the nutrition. “Eat and drink balanced,” says Moten. “Eat fruits and vegetables. Drink water. Eating habits come out in your hair and in your skin.”

5. You don’t follow your loctician’s advice. “If you’ve asked about dry scalp once, twice, three times, and you don’t do what your locs need, we can’t do it all,” Robinson adds.

6. Your locs reveal you. Yes, even your personality is revealed in your locs. “I can tell if you’re stern…if you’re direct just by whether your hair is hard to lock or is curly at the ends. I like reading into clients’ personalities,” says Melissa Wettington, another loctician at Christian Fields Style Bar. It also helps in picking out a style. “Locs like freedom. I was working on a client’s hair one time, and there was a loc that just refused to lie down. I was fighting with it the whole time. So I just try to style locs by letting them breathe and do their own thing.”

7. You’re not taking care of your locs away from the chair. “Nothing is maintenance free,” says Moten. “You have to help us out between visits.”

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