The Dirty Truth About Some Loc Shampoos

Young Woman Showering Outside

© Vincent Mo/Corbis

After I write this blog tonight, I look forward to a quick and relaxing time shampooing my locs. My tried and true staple: liquid castile soaps, such as Dr. Bronners Magic Soaps or Ology Pure Castile Liquid Soap.

This tried and true staple has not gotten its title easily. It took many years of trial and error (and discipline!) not to continually try different products, get disappointed, only to come back to the basics. I do love to experiment, but as I’ve written before, simplicity is best when it comes to your loc regimen.

Shampoos hold a dirty little secret to its sudsy base: dryness. Many operate by stripping your hair completely of everything—dirt and natural oils—to get clean. Then we slather on a whole host of products to put back that moisture. If you are looking for your staple, you’ll need to be an informed consumer on what will work versus what won’t.

One shampoo I used in the past when my hair was relaxed had petroleum—yes petroleum—as an ingredient. It was touted as a great shampoo for black hair. Another shampoo I used was a crème shampoo that lathered great—but ultimately dried out my hair. Yet another type—bar shampoos that really dried out my locs. My latest complaint, as my locs are getting longer, is that many of the shampoos I try need so much product to lather, that I end up using an entire bottle for just for one shampoo! Two or three bottles, or the salon professional size may be needed.

Here’s a list of ingredients to look for in your shampoos that will guide you to that perfect product.

1)   Water. The original moisturizer. The simple act of washing your locs adds needed moisture. Having it as an ingredient in your shampoo is natural as it aids in delivery of the shampoo’s ingredients to your hair. If it’s the first ingredient, even better. Drinking water adds moisture from the inside, too.

2)   Coconut Oil. This is the one oil that actually seeps into my hair and penetrates. It is also a great natural moisturizer. And when locs are at its optimal moisture level, it grows.

3)   Olive oil. There’s a reason that there’s a host of products based in olive oil. It, too, is also an excellent moisturizer. It is not too pricey, and the list is endless for products which use it as its base. Olive oil is also a great carrier oil for essential oils. Look for it at the top of your ingredient list for the maximum benefits.

4)   Aloe vera. Some loc wearers use pure aloe vera gel as their only maintenance gel for palm rolling and interlocking. Aloe helps heal many skin conditions and also does wonders for hair.

5)   Castor Oil. Castor oil also moisturizes and is great for thickening hair. It has been touted as a cure for hair edges that have thinned due to damage and breakage.

6)   Shea Butter. Another natural moisturizer is shea butter, known for its transformative effects in softening and moisturizing hair and scalp.

Look for shampoos that are sulfate-free, as sulfates dry out your hair. Also look for natural ingredients. Note that everything listed above is natural or naturally-derived. We need to get back to the basics when it comes to our hair. If our hair is natural, our products should be also.

Take our survey:

Loc’d Life is looking for a listing of shampoos that you use for your locs. The list is varied, but we want to know what you use for your locs. Check the button to select or write in your choice. The results will be published in an upcoming post.

Gail Mitchell, Editor Loc'd Life Magazine

‘Till next time,
Gail Mitchell
Loc’d Life Magazine





2 thoughts on “The Dirty Truth About Some Loc Shampoos

  1. Hey Gail, your blog is such a great resource for lockers. I’m wondering if you could include a search bar in your menu so that specific posts can be found much easier than having to go through the archives page by page.

    I think it would really improve the reader’s experience on this blog (and mine no doubt). So think about it and I hope you decide to do it 🙂

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