What a loctician can do for your locs


Blend Images/Trinette Reed

Yes, I know. Part of the reason you went natural was to break free of the beauty shop routine. Yet it seems that you’re “loc’d” in another routine altogether in the loctician’s chair. You may not go as often as you did when you had relaxed hair, but as new growth comes in, special occasions, or for other reasons, you seem to spend about the same amount of time in one sitting as you did before locs.

Many other bloggers have proclaimed their freedom from the salon by doing their locs themselves. Unfortunately, I’m not one of them. My arms get tired from trying to twist and turn, using a latchhook (as my locs are tightened by using locstitching), or just plain holding them up.

Why use a loctician? For their expertise. Yes, I know the techniques. You may know some, too. Even so, just remembering how tired my arms feel from doing myself makes me do a beeline to the loctician’s chair.

Here are a few good reasons to go to a loctician:

A good loctician will assess the condition of your locs, Are your locs dry? What’s your natural hair type? (See last week’s post.) Are you missing something in your routine or in your diet? A loctician has seen it, been there, and done that. He or she will know what is needed for your hair type.

A good loctician will provide professional and low-risk performance of services. Coloring locs is no easy process and inherent with risk. Starting locs is also something that locticians do best, as they know your hair type and know when to do palm rolling, locstitching, backcombing or other methods. A loctician will get your locs off to their best start.

Locticians are style doctors. Your loctician is your natural hair guide to styles you haven’t ever thought of before. Want to do something different for the office or that party coming up? A loctician is who you would ask.

A loctician is your beauty supply hookup. Looking for the right products for your routine? Just ask. Their expertise can guide you to the right shampoo, conditioner, or natural oil. If he or she doesn’t share, it may be a legitimate reason to move on.

If going to a loctician very often is expensive for you, here are some options:

Go for loc starts and maintenance only. Get your consultation from your loctician when you start your locs. Go every 4-6 weeks (or for some 6-8 weeks) for a loc maintenance for the new growth. Shampoo and condition yourself, and go to resources like Loc’d Life on how to care for your locs in between visits.

Oil your locs and wrap them up at night. These two parts of your loc care regimen help keep your locs looking their best between visits. Both help keep dryness—the number one enemy of locs—at bay.

Remember, your loctician is your guide for the journey. It helps to have someone to lead and guide you along the way throughout the process.

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

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