4 Keys to Transitioning to Dreadlocks

IG @braveblackbird

by Mary Wolff

When it comes to embracing your natural hair, it can be a long and painful process. It can also be a beautiful journey of self-discovery. I know tons of curlies who went natural and will never go back, no matter how hard it was to get started. Transitioning to natural hair can be a challenge for many reasons. It can seem even more challenging if you are transitioning to dreadlocks. Dreadlocks are one of the most beautiful and stylish, not to mention easy to care for, ways to wear your natural hair, but getting there might seem intimidating. It doesn’t have to be scary! Here are a few great tips when transitioning to dreadlocks.


Palm Rolling vs Interlocking: How Do You Maintain Locs?

by Sherrell Dorsey of Organic Beauty Vixen

Last night, while working into the wee hours of the night on articles for other publications that I write for, I got distracted by a few tutorials on how to maintain dread locks. This November I will be four years strong as a locked goddess but let me tell you that even with a few years under my belt, I’m still learning how to properly care for my hair.

I started my journey with human hair kinky twists, allowed the new growth to come in and gently palmed rolled the roots while snipping off the extended hair. While my hair is now shoulder length and somewhat healthy I do have the occasional breakage and thinning. After a trip to Good Hair Salon back in June, my stylist Zue showed me how to “interlock” my new growth to keep my locks strong. I was intrigued and eventually started to use this method for regular maintenance in addition to palm rolling.

Read More!!>>>>

4 Common Mistakes that Will Ruin Your Locs

by Sherrell Dorsey of OrganicBeautyVixen

I’m working a little backwards here folks. When I first started my locs I was young, bull-headed and all about instant gratification. So I turned my human hair kinky twists into locs and never looked back. That in-between stage? Nah. I skipped it. As my locs began to form I would slowly trim off the ends until all of the added hair was finally gone.

I listened a bit to those ladies who had taken the plunge before me. I skipped the beeswax, opted for a cream and washed my hair after 3 months of scratching away dandruff and funk. Despite living in New York’s hub of natural hair salons I wasn’t ready to spend the money or the time learning from some semi natural hair priestess on all of the complicated ways to loc my hair. It was just hair right?

Fast forward four years later and here I’m sitting with locs that look great on the outside but are clearly suffering from some initial abuse. While my locs are not a complete disaster I certainly regret not listening to the professionals. Now that I’m on my “get right” plan with my hair and really learning how to manage a healthy hair care routine, here are a few ways I caused damage to my locs without knowing:

Read On!! >>>

The Best Faux Locs Tutorial for Natural Hair

 By Yolanda Renee of ETCBlogMag

Faux Locs have been trending for awhile now. I think it's safe to say it's no longer a "trend"...it has become a protective style that a lot of naturalistas want and install often. For those that don't know what faux locs are, they are just that...fake locs. If you have the faux locs itch, you are probably stalking YouTube trying to find the best tutorial. Well look no further curlfriend...you found it. I finally did this style on my natural hair and of course I recorded the entire process. I have you covered on how to prep your hair, the best technique to have a lasting style, how to maintain your real hair & more.

Read On!>>>

via TheRawStory by Travis Getty 

The ACLU of Louisiana has come to the defense of a Rastafarian boy who has been suspended from school and forbidden to return until he cuts his dreadlocks.

The boy was sent home from South Plaquemines High School when classes resumed Aug. 8 because his dreadlocks extended beyond the collar of his shirt, in apparent violation of the school dress code.

After he returned to school the following week with his hair pinned up, school officials told the student his dreadlocks remained in violation.

Rastafarians believe Leviticus 21:5 forbids them to cut their hair, and dreadlocks are central to their religious beliefs.

Read On!>>>

Madison is Naturally Glam!

My name is Madison Lynn Mobley, and though I was born in Dallas, TX., I’m not convinced I am from anywhere. I’ve lived in Dallas, Houston, and Sugar Land, TX. I have lived in Alpharetta, GA. I have lived in Wellesley, MA. I have lived in New York City. My pace is Southern, so when asked of my origins, I say, “The South,” and leave it at that.

Loc Extensions- Protective Natural Hair Styles

The ever fly, Alex, of TheGoodHairBlog demonstrates how she achieved these very natural looking locs using Havana and Marley hair.  

What Going Natural Can Teach You About Self-Care

by Esther Boykin of Group Therapy Associates blog

I know that for many people the journey to “go natural” is a meaningful decision about embracing a chemical free life or pushing back from cultural dogma about what it means to be beautiful. And I respect those who have passionate and or political motivations in making the transition. However, for me, giving up relaxers and embracing my naturally kinky hair was mostly just a function of boredom and exhaustion. I was tired of the wrestling my hair into submission and sick of the same old styles. But despite the fact that I did not start my hair journey with any profound life lesson in mind, I have certainly learned a few things along the way.

You already know what you need most; you just have to listen closely.
Hopefully you are more diligent than I am but maybe you can relate. Often my hair care routine is pretty basic with little thought to what my hair needs. It’s not the best plan but with a business to run, a couple of kids to keep up with, and a husband who I would still like to spend time with, my hair often falls to the bottom of the list. It’s so easy to ignore because it doesn’t call me or demand my attention… usually.

Read On>>>

On the Couch with Genesis

by Alex of The Good Hair Blog

For those people who may not be familiar with you, please tell us who you are and what you do.
Hello everybody, my name is Genesis, I am a DJ that currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia. I am 22 years old, West Indian parenting, have traveled the world for numerous artist, playing tunes that make people dance and have a good time.How long have you been growing your locs?For about 5 years. (since my senior year of high school)

What do you use on your hair product wise, to maintain it?
My loc'tian uses a small amount of beeswax and honey for retwisting after it's washed and shampooed.

When traveling on the road how do you maintain your hair between shows?
To be honest I don't (even though I know that I should). I really don't bother my hair until its time to get it done. I do take care of it, but regular maintenance on the road, or even at home isn't something I tend to keep up with.


10 Tips for Shiny Locs & Natural Hair

The lovely JazzyTe007 shares her tips for achieving shiny, healthy locs!

Loc Hairstyle Tutorial: Petaled Loc Fro

Chescalocs is at it again! Check out her gorgeous petaled fro!

The Return of Skinny Kenny- UPDATES!

Kenny writes:

Hello again, to those of you who remember me from a long time ago. And pleased to meet you, for those of you who have no idea who I am. In case you have forgotten or never knew, my name is Kenny. But people call me Skinny Kenny. When last I left you, my neglected curls were hardening up and becoming dreads. Since that time my hair has continued to grow day and night. And I have continued to let it do what it will without much intervention from my part. I've grown to love my dreads. They are the best accident to ever happen to me.

In particular, I like how my dreads alter people's mood and interaction with me. Sometimes when I am going about my daily life, I feel like I am in some kind of secret club. Let me give you an example. Earlier today I was waiting in line at the post office, here in Brooklyn. As I stood in line, I watched the lady working behind the counter give some of the worst customer service I had ever seen to anyone who dared approach her. She would cut people off and send them away like they were small children, if they weren't 100% prepared. As the line slowly moved forward and I got closer to the service window, I started to think hard about what all I needed to send my box. But I didn't have time to dwell too much on such thoughts, because as soon as I started to wonder if I was ready, my time had come. I walked up to her and her anger melted away. She gave me a warm greeting smile, and said, "what do you need today little locks?". I should mention that she had very long grey locks tightly coiled up into a bun. She had probably been growing her's since before I was even born! I told her I had to ship a box to South Korea, and I handed her my box. She paused and then said I had the wrong shipping label and my box was too big. I cringed and prepared for a tongue lashing. But she said, 'it's okay here is the correct label, come back with this label and a smaller box and you come directly to my window and skip the line!' THANK YOU DREADS!

Now it is totally possible that my hair had nothing to do with this 180 in attitude. Maybe she was a racist... But I'm about 90% sure it was because of my flowing locks. And that is just one instance I have had so many similar situations in New York. People with dreads treat me as if I'm a long lost relative when they see me. It's a great feeling, one I'm proud to experience so often.

Surely I'm not the only one getting such positive treatment from other dread heads??

Loc Maintenance and Styling!

Watch as the beautiful Chescalocs teaches you how to maintain your locs with a workout regimen, how to manage the fuzzies and how to create a gorgeous updo! 


Janet Hubert- Mission 'Loc Down'

My Bush is Back!!!!!!

by Janet Hubert

Okay, so I know I said I wouldn’t do it, but I did it again!  I locked my hair for the second time in my life. The first was for 2 years and this time, only one. My hair has this thing that it does, and I am sure others with the same hair type as me will testify.  It coils around itself something terrible, so I allowed it to do what it wanted to do.  

a closer look

People always asked what they were... if they were twists or locs.  I called them my lumpy locs!  I left the front loose so that if I ever needed to blend a wig for a part I could.  But even the front would try to loc if I left the twists in for too long.  

Fastforward a bit.

I started seeing folks taking their locs down on Youtube and I got the bug!  Plus, Nikki turned me on to some incredible products that my hair seems to LOVE with a capital L. Even when I was locked, I could apply some Qhemet Root Butter Cream to my son’s locs and mine and get instant, soft, dreamy locs. I didn’t feel the Twist Butter because of the wax in it. I learned that last time when someone put wax in my first set of locs... I remember trying to wash that gunk out and it was so awful. Plus, the wax left my locs white until they dried. So nix to that... sorry, I do digress.

Weapons of mass delumping, detangling and softening!

I found this product called SLIP from Curly Hair Solutions quite by accident one day and ordered it.  When it arrived, I sprayed some on one loc, started to comb and was shocked at how easily it started to release.  I decided to do 5 locs a day and I was loving feeling each new section. I did it this way so that there was no real pressure. I admit that for each one I removed there was this feeling of, 'Lord I got to deal with the big bush again'. There was a wonderful freedom with locs that I'd come to know. Similar to the freedom I experienced the first time I had my head shaved down to the nub. That is the beauty of our hair, it does so many things.

 My secret weapon!

 Here's a horrible one! My hair curls inside itself no matter what!.

Add Root Butter Cream or Ghee to roots with wet hands...

After Slip, and a little Qhemet Root Butter Cream it's so soft! See the ends already unlocking...

Just a little hair lost after the take down of one entire section 

By day 25 or so, they were all out. Some of the really tiny ones were a challenge but armed with SLIP, a rattail comb and a thumb that was getting a little raw from the constant combing out, I survived the loc down. I am loving my big, beautiful bush and am so very happy to see that so many others are joining the Natural Revolution. I feel like we all have this wonderful connection that no one can really copy. Though I don’t like this system of curl pattern typing, I think it makes us again slaves to needing and wanting texture and curls. I was in the braid salon the other day getting some twists which by the way, all twists are not created equal, and this African sister was admiring my hair saying that she wished she could wear her hair that way. I commented, why don’t you? Her response was that I had good hair and she had African hair. I was stupefied, I’m looking at her and in my mind, we were exactly the same. Now I don’t know the gentleman who invented it but I think since it is supposed to be about being all the way natural, us kinky coiled queens should be 1, not 4 and go the other way for once. Let’s finally really celebrate our kinky style!

CN Says:
Peep my first interview with the fabulous Janet, HERE!

Loc Knots Tutorial- Natural Hair Styling

Franchesca of Chescalocs, recently interviewed by Gayle King (OMG!), submitted this amazing tutorial to show us just how versatile locs can be. Check out her loc knots!

and the results...

Here's the video that landed Franchesca her Gayle King interview--

Parents and Locs-A Response to Common Questions

Franchesca writes;

One of the most frequently asked questions I get is, "My parents said I shouldn't get locs because I won't be able to get a job! Is that true?"

CN Says:
I didn't hear a word she said 'cause I was too busy admiring that updo. Here's the how to:

About Franchesca:
I'm a 27 year old graphic designer and natural hair obsessed video blogger based out of NYC. I have no problem confessing that I'm a full blown internet nerd. I've spent the past 4 years building an online career that let's me be my own boss, has helped me make friends around the world and given me some amazing opportunities. I hope you'll check me out and get a laugh or maybe some inspiration from my online exploits. You can find me on my blog, http://blog.franchesca.net making comedy videos on http://youtube.com/chescaleigh or doing hairstyle tutorials and answering loc questions at http://youtube.com/chescalocs

Taking Down Locs- Natural Hair Tutorial

by Angela of Wise Curls

I am officially loc free and rocking loose natural tresses! I was enjoying my loc journey; however, I missed my loose hair. Terribly. I may revisit the journey again in the future, but for now, I'm in love and have undoubtedly succumbed to the "hair in hand" disease.

This was my second loc journey. I cut off my previous locs (after growing them for 4 years), back in April 2010. I was on this journey for about 6 months and, surprisingly, my hair had loc'ed completely at the 4 month mark. So the take down was not an easy task.

I've seen many YT videos of the loc take down process, and saw many using dental or sewing instruments on their hair. The result was grocery bags full of hair lost during the process. I opted for a different route by using the following tools:

Africa's Best Detangling Conditioner

Good ole' fashioned fine tooth comb

Here's what I did:
  • Saturated the loc completely with conditioner
  • Using the fine tooth comb, I began to detangle the loc starting at the end of the hair. I used more conditioner as I worked my way up to the root of the loc
  • As I reached mid-way to the root, I used my fingers to detangle with the aid of more conditioner
  • As each loc was taken down, the hair was two-strand twisted to prevent any future detangling as this process was continued throughout the course of the week

With the help of conditioner, this resulted in less shedding and loss of hair (This is all of the hair that was lost during the entire take down process):

After a good wash with TW's Black Shampoo and conditioning with HE's Hello Hydration, as well as more finger detangling in the shower, this was the amount of hair that was "lost" after that session:

This has been a fun and interesting journey, but I am excited to get back in my hair and play around a bit while trying some new products along the way (the PJ in me is itching to come out). Besides, I missed his hands in my hair *clears throat*.

So, it can be done! Locs can be taken down with little hair shedding with the aid of conditioner and patience.

Have you ever removed locs? What was your process?

The Misconception(s) of Locs

by Angela of WiseCurls.com

I had a "Mr. Brown" moment a few days ago. I said "self", myself said "huh?” “Why don't you do a Yahoo search for WiseCurls to see what pops up?” So, being the curious person that I am, I did just that! For the most part, I was pleased, as nothing too out of the ordinary arrived on the search engine. That was until I clicked on the second page and found this question proposed by a curious girl: "Would you date a girl with dreadlocks?"

Most of the answers were negative (hence why I will not place any shine on them within this post. But if interested, please visit this link to see some of the responses). The overall consensus of those that participated in this question was that dreadlocks (or locs) looked dirty. Another participant stated that "(dreadlocks) just weren't their thing, but twists, afros and other natural styles are nice."

My first reaction was: "WOW - Oh NO they didn't!” But after about 5 minutes, I pulled myself (and my thoughts) together and thought about the bigger picture: The Misconception(s) of Locs. Then I thought, wow, for anyone considering embarking on a loc journey, what direction could something like the answers to this question steer him or her in? So below are some things I've learned along the way to address this misconception.

WiseCurls Truth:
  • Having locs requires one to wash their hair (shocker, I know!). I recommend using a shampoo that has a great lather and leaves your hair feeling squeaky clean without stripping oils and luster from your tresses. Click here for a review of my favorite shampoo.
  • Having locs or being a loc wearer does not make one dirty NOR does it mean that your hair is dirty. Like with any (natural) hair style, having locs requires maintenance and time. During the re-twisting session, I recommend using an alcohol-free gel or light pomade to keep locs moisturized. My absolute favorite is Taliah Waajid's Loc it up gel.
  • As with many natural hair styles, having a night time routine is essential for preservation. I recommend covering your locs with a satin bonnet. This will ensure that locs are kept lint free.
  • Help keep locs moisturized in between re-twisting sessions by spraying your tresses with a vegetable based mist. Oyin Handmade's Juices & Berries is great for keeping locs looking fresh.
  • Finally, keep scalp moisturized by using a light hair oil. Taaliah Waajid's African Healing Oyl is AWESOME for the scalp.
So if you're thinking about embarking on a loc journey, remember that it does require time and maintenance like it does with having loose & natural tresses. There is nothing "dirty" about having locs and is simply just another way to rock our hair in a Naturally Brilliant way.

Things to Think About Before You Loc

Hair Loc'ing 101
by Brittany of Clumps of Mascara

So you want to loc your hair. Or so you think. Actually, you're not really sure but you've been giving it some thought and have NO idea where to start. Girlfriend, I've been there. Deciding to loc your hair is a pretty big decision and while there is no right or wrong way to start locs, here are a few of my "Things to Think About Before You Loc" tips.

1) You BC'ed a month ago...are you SURE you want to loc now? I remember when I first chopped my hair back in '05, I got a dozen, "When are you going to loc?" questions. Enjoy your fro. Don't feel pressured to loc if you aren't ready. Still lovin' your loose natural hair? Keep rockin' it! Your hair will tell you if and when it's time to loc it up.

2) Decide what method you want to use and STICK to it. Locs can be started off and maintained by many different methods. From comb coils, braidlocks, Sisterlocks, freeform to 2-strand twists, it's super important to know what method works for your hair texture and lifestyle before you commit. I won't tell y'all how I adopted THREE methods in my very short journey. Insane in the membrane, is right. Ha!

3) Realize that locs are versatile. I get so many, "What can I do with locs"-type questions. Are you kidding me? You can do just as many hairstyles with locs that you can do with loose natural and relaxed hair. The options are endless and because no two loc'd ladies look the same, you will always have a unique style. BAM!

4) Prepare to just let go. Someone should have told me this when I first started loc'ing my hair. They call it a journey for a reason. As much as you may try to manipulate your baby locs, they are going to do whatever they want to do. They are going to be fuzzy and all over the place. The beginning months may frustrate you to no end and the best way to rid yourself of that frustration? Leave them alone.

5) Loc'ing does not mean a "total commitment to a hairstyle". If you love color, guess what? You can color your locs. You can cut them in layers, grow a bang, curl them, shave off one side---whatever fits your personality. It does not mean the end of doing your hair. But, if you're looking for low maintenance, locs can be that too.

Bottom line...locs are just an extension of natural hair and they aren't for everyone. Talk to locticians and current loc rockers and do a mess of research before you begin loc'ing. I'll tell you one thing though, I thought I loved my hair when I was a loose natural...my locs have given me another ridiculous amount of self-love.

LOCS: A Journey of Personal Transformation

NaturallyCurly.com writes:

American Idol contestant Crystal Bowersox has focused attention once again on the ancient art of locking, perhaps causing many Americans to look at the hairstyle with fresh eyes.

“I’ve had these for about four and a half years now,” Bowersox told AccessHollywood.com in March. “I do wash my hair— just so everyone knows. There’s a lot of myths out there about dreadlocks, but they’re very clean and well-kept.”

A story about Bowersox’s hair on Stylelist.com attracted comments ranging from compliments (”they fit her perfectly”) to critical (”disgusting and distracting,” “horrible” and “[she] looks like a pothead”). One poster summed up voter expectations this way: “You keep those dreadlocks and be happy, but you won’t win ‘American Idol’ with that look—do you really think [fourth season winner] Carrie Underwood would have won if she looked like Crystal?”

With the renewed attention on locs, we thought it was a good time to present a primer on this hairstyle.

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