Join Loc’d Life at the Proud Lady Beauty Show



This weekend, don’t’ miss out! Attend the 2014 AHABI Proud Lady Beauty Show where Loc’d Life’s Gail Mitchell will be speaking as a panelist! The Beauty Show runs from May 3-5, 2014 at the Tinley Park Convention Center, in Tinley Park, Illinois. The Proud Lady Natural Hair Care Forum is:

Where: 2014 AHBAI Proud Lady Beauty Show
Tinley Park Convention Center,
18501 S. Harlem Avenue
When: Sunday, May 4
Time: 10:30 a.m.-12 noon

The panel features natural hair pioneers Amazon Smiley and Nadra Smiley of Amazon Natural Essentials, Frances Simmons, Chatto Wright, Darya Rasheed, Chris-tia Donaldson, and Tywann Patrick. Join us!

Registration is available onsite.


Argan Oil for locs

Woman with dreadlocksI’ve written about the benefits of argan oil for locs (Top 10 Oils for Locs). Now I’ve stumbled across a great way to incorporate argan oil into your entire regimen.

The products I just found is Pura D’Or Argan Oil line—Hair Loss Prevention Shampoo, the argan oil and an entire line of products for various needs.

Premium Organic Shampoo Hair Loss Prevention-500px

First the Hair Loss Prevention Shampoo. I’ve written about hair loss in my Ask the Loctician article a few weeks ago, about how hair needs certain nutrients to grow. I get a lot of questions regarding thinning locs and hair loss in general. Perhaps this is a product to help see a change.

The shampoo is a rich blend of oils and nutrients: Tea tree oil, argan oil, black seed oil, amla oil, cedarwood oil, rosemary oil, hibiscus oil, pumpkin seed oil, saw palmetto, biotin, niacin, aloe vera, and he shou wu, an herb known for longevity and aids in the preservation of hair’s youthful appearance by slowing graying. All of these ingredients, plus the absence of sulfates, combine into a powerful elixir for hair needing restoration. This is the blue label formulation. The gold label formulation contains another mix of ingredients.

It is pricey—about $37 for the blue label and $39 for the gold label. But the argan oil and the natural ingredients listed are certified organic.

Argan oil USDA 1 fl ozThe line also includes pure organic argan oil in a spray bottle—perfect for just after shampooing and between shampoos for moisture. There is also a scalp and dandruff treatment shampoo. The line also includes argan oil products for skin care.

If you’re struggling with hair loss and moisture for your locs, perhaps this is a solution for you! This may also be a great preventative and restorative regimen. Again check with a dermatologist for a specific analysis for your hair loss problems.

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





A conditioner for locs

Young Woman with Dreadlocks

© Larry Williams/Corbis Images

Looking for a conditioner for your dry locs? Here’s one to try, and it’s not at your local beauty supply.

It is this: Essations Naked Honey & Almond Moisture Whip Conditioner.

Naked-Honey-and-Almond-ConditionerOne touch of the conditioner will tell you that it is like none other you’ve tried. It is soft, light and creamy to the touch and absorbs quickly, leaving no residue. This is key for locs as buildup is a no-no. Secondly, it leaves the skin soft to the touch. This is great for the scalp as well as locs. Thirdly, this conditioner provides strength and moisture to locs. It adds strength with protein and elasticity. It adds moisture with honey and sweet almond oil, whipped in a powerful soufflé that targets dryness. The end result: softer locs and ultimately, longer lengths over time.

How to use? After shampooing, place on locs, slip on a plastic cap and sit under a heated dryer for fifteen minutes. Then rinse. Seal the deal by finishing with a light oiling of the scalp and locs, then dry.

This is a salon product, so you will need to go to a beauty supply that supplies salons. I went to Jordan Beauty Supply on It is also available online. By the way, the size pictured is 8 oz. I bought the salon supply size of 64 ounces, because my locs are longer.

Enjoy your holiday today, and happy Easter!

Also, on Sunday, May 4th, I will be joining in a panel discussion, The Proud Lady Natural Hair Care Forum, at the AHBAI Proud Lady Beauty Show, at the Tinley Park Convention Center in Illinois. Thanks to Amazon and Nadra Smiley of Amazon Natural Essentials, LLC for inviting me to be a part of the forum. For more information and tickets, go to If you’re local, I’ll see you there!

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


Ledisi and locs grace May Essence Cover


essence-228x300While shopping this week at the local drugstore, I was pleasantly surprised by the latest issue of Essence magazine.

I saw locs on the cover!

It was a beautiful photo of Ledisi on the cover. Correct me if I’m wrong, but this is the first time that locs are on the cover of a major magazine, and a first for Essence. Kudos to Essence for realizing the beauty of locs this May.

In the article, “Loc’d Up & Free”, Ledisi shares, “Locs are still not as accepted as other styles, and that needs to change. If natural hair is a movement, can we move it all the way over to those with locs too? Some of us have to hide our locs at work by pinning them up in a certain way, or wearing a ponytail, and that’s kind of boring. We can’t really wear our hair free like those with curly hair because they look at us like we’re crazy. But we like our locs free too.”

We couldn’t agree more. That ‘s why Loc’d Life Magazine was founded five years ago: To celebrate locs and to let the world know that locs are a beautiful — and not dreaded—way to wear your hair.

swazi adEach week, we discuss how to care for your locs, how to celebrate your locs, and how others are celebrating them, too! I watch for more media images. I look for more reasons for the pride I, myself, feel to wear my locs everyday.

Ledisi-Essence-2014-1I always have said when others ask me about my locs, “I wish that I had worn them sooner.” I waited so long to wear them. And now that I do, my only regret is that others who are on the fence about wearing locs still have to worry about how they will be viewed, how they will be accepted at work—by their friends, family, and their significant others.

Yes, lately, locs have exploded as a style. More athletes and media figures than ever before are wearing their locs on the field, on the screen, and on the streets. Yet there are the dreaded stereotypes that still linger on. As Essence Magazine and other entities are realizing (see “The Golden Age of Locs”), locs are very much a part of the natural hair movement, and its high time locs take the spotlight as well.

licenseboxThe Ledisi cover is one of three covers that celebrate natural hair. Erykah Badu and Solange Knowles are the other two naturalistas that share the Essence cover in May.

Let’s continue to celebrate our locs—freely.

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

What I know to be true about locs


swazi adI have written over 160 posts about locs—what to do with them, how to celebrate them, how to nurture them, how to cultivate them. Each week, I look for the best information for an audience thirsting for knowledge about loc’d hair. Here’s what I know to be true: Locs should be simple. Cleanse. Moisturize. Do things that retain moisture between shampoos. Style. Repeat.

1)   Cleanse. Keep it simple. A liquid castile soap. Products with simple ingredients. Ones to try: Ology Pure Castile Liquid Soap in Peppermint from Walgreen’s.

2)   Moisturize. A simple moisturizing conditioner. A hot oil treatment. Both will moisturize, leaving your locs supple and clean. I wrote last week about hot oil treatments using olive oil. I just recently found a conditioner: Essations Naked Honey and Almond Moisture Whip Conditioner. My loctician Shanda, at Amazon Natural Essentials, used it at my last visit, and I will track it down. I have also heard from people who swear by hot oil treatments. Whichever you choose, moisture and simplicity is key.

licensebox3)   Do things that retain moisture between shampoos. Wrap your locs up at night. Moisturize your scalp. Use natural oils. Use moisturizing mists. Oil and water do mix, when it comes to locs, and moisturizing mists work wonders. Mist your locs between shampoos and let them fully dry.

4)   Style. This year, I resolved to not be a plain Jane. Usually, I go with straight styles. I will try curly styles and more updos, I will style them, jazz them up with a little color, and I will give my locs a well-deserved break when needed, too.

5)   Repeat. With the hot summer months coming and a need to exercise (I have been dying to try hot yoga!) I will need to repeat as often as necessary to remove sweat, buildup (which won’t be a problem if I use the right products), and to moisturize. Water adds needed moisture to locs, whether you rinse or just drink it.

My list points out one thing: Caring for your locs should be simple. Keep a simple regimen that does the above, and your locs will thank you for it by reaching for the floor in glorious lengths.

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

P.S. Look for a new look for Loc’d Life Magazine, coming soon…

Loc hot oil treatment guide


Many swear by hot oil treatments as the best conditioner for locs. When battling dryness, oil and water do mix when it comes to quenching your dry, thirsty locs.

Many have written on what oils to use, how often to do a hot oil treatment, and why you should do one. Locs love natural oils. Olive oil is by far one of the closest oils to our natural sebum. It is also the most economical for the amount you’ll need, especially if your locs are long. Here in a nutshell is how to do a hot oil treatment:

  1. Do a hot oil treatment after a shampoo. For shampooing, I highly recommend a castile soap, like Dr. Bronner’s Organic Castile Liquid Soap. This soap lathers quickly without buildup, and it’s gentle.
  2. After rinsing, towel dry.
  3. Gently warm a generous amount of olive oil by placing the oil in a bottle and immersing it in hot water to heat. I have read that microwaving rids the oil of its nutrients.
  4. Saturate your damp locs with the warmed oil from scalp to tip. Make sure that your locs are well saturated.
  5. swazi adThere are a few ways to let the heat do its thing:

o   Do it naturally with body heat. Wrap your locs with a plastic cap (or bag if a cap won’t work) and let it sit for at least thirty minutes.

o   Use a hooded dryer. Wet a towel with hot water, and wring it out so it is not dripping. Wrap your locs with the towel and sit under a hooded dryer for 10-15 minutes.

o   Steam your locs with a steamer. The process of opening up your hair cuticle to moisturizing oils will leave you with softer locs.

  1. Rinse well. Do a good water rinse to remove the excess oil.
  2. Shampoo again at this point if there is still too much oil. Again, castile soaps are best because they don’t strip your hair while cleansing. They are oil-based as well.

That’s it. Many will see their locs shine after a hot oil treatment. They will be softer. Your scalp will also benefit by adding the right amount of moisture.

How often should you do one? You can do it as part of your regular regimen once a month. Some may do it after every other shampoo. If your locs are color-treated or dryness is a constant issue, hot oil treatments are the cure.

Can you use other oils? Yes. Castor oils have been known to increase the luster of hair. Coconut oil is also good for a hot oil treatment. Avocado oil works well, too.

gail1‘Till next time,
Gail Mitchell
Loc’d Life Magazine

Locs news and notes


This ad caught my eye
I was in the dentist’s office and saw an ad that stopped me in my tracks. On the inside front cover of Black Enterprise was this ad by Polo Ralph Lauren that highlighted locs. For a company such as this to feature locs so prominently is key to even more acceptance of locs. Keep those media images coming. 2014 will be the year for locs!


Curly Locs
This is me on New Year’s Eve. My loctician Shanda at Amazon Natural Essentials salon gave me a braided style, which when unbraided looks like this. To achieve this look, locs are freshly shampooed and palm-rolled or locstitched as mine are. Locs are taken into sections and braided, with the ends secured with small rubberbands. When completely dry, the braids are taken down and Voila!—you’ll have a head full of curly locs. A very simple way to achieve the curly look.

 Image of The Divine Ankh Collection

For your Los
Shedly Parnther’s line of loc jewelry, entitled Jewels4MyLocsbrings out the exotic beauty of your locs with golden jewels, cowrie shells, and coiled colored wire, and other gems. Check out this pair of leaf shaped jewels and these from the Divine Ankh collection. For more information on how to order, visit Thank you for reaching out to Loc’d Life Magazine, Shedly!


‘Till next time
Gail Mitchell
Loc’d Life Magazine

What I like for locs


Looking for a good shampoo for your locs? Loc’d Life field tested four products, and they’re our picks for a good shampoo.

  1. Crème of Nature Kiwi and Citrus Ultra Moisturizing Shampoo. This fast lathering  product does what it says when it comes to clean. Locs will be left soft and clean. The price point is great, too at around $5.99  for the large size.
  2. Organic Root Stimulator’s Creamy Aloe Shampoo. This beauty supply staple also does a good job of cleansing locs. The creamy and bubbly formula gets to the root of each loc and beyond.
  3. Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Castile Soap in Peppermint. This is a tingling shampoo, and there are other varieties, such as orange and citrus, rose, and others. This oil -based soap lathers quickly and efficiently. A little goes a long way.
  4. Chatto’s Uni-Locs Residue-Free Shampoo This is also a quick lathering shampoo that works fast in getting your locs clean. Available at

When shopping around for shampoos, watch that it doesn’t detangle, isn’t overly creamy, or doesn’t leave any residue behind. Occasionally, you can use a clarifying shampoo or an apple cider rinse to remove buildup. Just remember that you have to replenish the moisture loss afterwards.

gail1‘Till next time,
Gail Mitchell

Don’t forget to buy volume 1 and 2 of our printed edition at

Anatomy of a hot oil treatment

BIG_locs-530x791Locs need moisture. There’s no way around that fact. Avoid moisture, and you will have straw-like, strands, or as a friend calls it, dry, dusty locs.

A hot oil treatment is what can revive your locs. Use the oil of your choice from olive, coconut, jojoba,  or other carrier oil that can provide complete coverage from the scalp to ends of your locs. Here’s how…

  1. Shampoo. Choose a shampoo that lathers well. One I just discovered: Cream of Nature Moisturizing Shampoo in Kiwi and Citrus. Lather, rinse and repeat.
  2. Remove excess water from locs with a lint-free towel.
  3. Heat a good size amount of oil. Be careful it does not get too hot.
  4. Massage it in from scalp to ends.
  5. Cover with a plastic cap and sit under a hooded dryer for 15 to 20 minutes.
  6. Rinse thoroughly once done.

Follow with the loc maintenance method of choice: palm rolling, loc stitch, or the method that works for you. Your locs should feel soft and supple from the infusion of oil it just received. Water is also at work here, too. They may not mix, but water seals the deal.

P.S. don’t forget to get vols 1 & 2 of our printed edition at

gail1‘Till next time,
Gail Mitchell

5 reasons to love your locs


Ledisi shows how versatile locs can be.

Bad hair days? Not with mature locs. Love your locs. Here’s five reasons why….

  1. They are unique. Each loc is unique. Each person’s locs are unique. No two heads of locs are the same. Color your locs, and even the hair color is interpreted uniquely. No style says that you are an individual more than locs.
  2. They are natural. This style is not your chemical romance, here. Every strand is hand-formed, cultivated from your natural beauty.
  3. They are yours. At least they should be. I know that some of us have loc extensions, but try to grow your own gradually. It is a personal spiritual journey that only you can embark.
  4. They are convenient. They are wash-and-go.  You don’t have to worry about the rain. You don’t have to worry about heat and humidity. Your hands are the only comb you’ll need.
  5. They are versatile. You can wear a ponytail. You can section and twist into simple French braids or cornrows or ornate coils and bantu knots. Your loc’d texture can go into any style you choose.

Just a little affirmation for the journey.

gail1‘Till next time,
Gail Mitchell

P.S. There’s still time to get volumes 1 and 2 of Loc’d Life’s printed edition at