Does your hair type match your loc maintenance method?

Smiling Woman With Blond DreadlocksThere are many ways to start and maintain locs. There’s palm rolling, interlocking/loc stitching, braiding, two-strand twists, backcombing, and freeform.

For loc maintenance, the most popular methods continue to be palmrolling, and locstitching.

But how do you determine which method is best for your hair type if your just starting out with locs? And if you already have your locs, which method works best to maintain your new growth?

For me, my unlocked, natural hair is wavy. Palm rolling would probably not work for me. So my loctician (who at the time was Swazi, see a previous post) used the lockstitch method. Others have more curly, tightly coiled hair, so palm rolling will work.

It all comes down to your hair type (and of course your lifestyle—active, swimmers, etc.) The following chart, developed by famed Oprah hairstylist Andre Walker shows that each of us has a specific hair type, and that hair type correlates to the type of loc method used.


Type 1: Straight

This is mostly found in mostly Caucasian hair textures. Those with this texture hair may need the most adhering loc methods and products. Backcombing with a good dread wax works best.

Type 2: Wavy

This texture comes in three types: 2A, 2B, and 2C. (My texture as described above falls into this category). A more interwoven method works best for loc starts and maintenance.  A loc stitch, where a latching needle is used to interweave parted hairs into a crochet type pattern, works best for this hair type. Hair stays put and is already “loc’d” so that it will have the opportunity to so in time. This method is also great for active lifestyles that require frequent shampoos.

Type 3: Curly

For this hair type, hair is more tightly formed into a curl. Interlocking works well with this hair type, as it is still relatively straighter than Type 3 hair textures and can still be easily combed through. Interlocking/loc stitching also works with this looser hair type. Braids, two-strand twists will also work over time.

Type 4: Coily

This is usually the coarse, tightly coiled hair that easily tangles. A variety of methods work best with this hair type. Palm rolling and freeform locing will work. Braids, two-strand twists, and loc stitching will all work. Locs are formed faster.

Keep in mind that with all natural hair, we will have a variety of hair types on one head. The front may be a Type 3 and the back can be a Type 4.

There you have it: a guide to the natural textures that make up natural hair before it’s loc’d. Remember, a consultation with a loctician will best help determine which method works for you.

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

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