Your Loc Journey

The Stages of Loc Development- Your First 6 Months

How Your Locs Mature – Your first 6 month



 Month 1: Loc Development

Be Patient There is Nothing to Expect. Appreciate and Find Joy in Your Decision 


Locstart
Stage 1: Loc Stage

 

 

Your decision to loc your hair has weighed on you and you have decided to loc your hair. Your first month begins at stage one of your loc start and that is the day you get them twisted. Normally your instructions would be not to shampoo your hair.

What is the reason you are instructed not to shampoo your hair?

Well it’s not because your hair needs to be dirty to grow…It’s because at your loc start you begin a specialized training. This training requires a few things. Among those important things is the time it takes for your hair to dry completely in the position it is left in. This will give you the best possible results when beginning the loc process. Wetting your hair rather it is from sweat, showering, or shampooing starts that process over and we require the entire month for this loc training to move on to the next stage. When the shampoo is done understand that your hair will be required to be reset and this will prolong the process.

After my Locstart, I would offer a monthly package for those that were concerned about keeping their locs neat while they navigated their first month and they would pay for the month and come every two weeks.

How Often Should I Get My Starterlocs Maintenance?

There is no “should”…  You must bare your own responsibility in deciding how you want to maintain your hair. I tell people all the time they can look as neat or as indigenous as they would prefer. The key to loc maintenance just like everything else…is consistency. The locs will grow long and in that length just like the tree trunk tells it’s age and lifetime so do your locs! They show how often they were serviced and if you skipped a time. They will even tell of a time when you were having a difficult or stressful period in your life. I have had clients come every two weeks for over a year and appointments are definitely catered to each person’s specific loc care needs. Hair growth cycle is specific to each person including diets rest and stress all play a role in the growth pattern and cell turnover . Most people decide that they want loc maintenance every 4-6 weeks. 



Month 2: Loc Development:

Looking for That First Bud and the First Retwist Can finally Occur


They still look fairly new. Most are still at stage 1 with the onset on stage 2 of loc development. Once you start to that knotting that occurs at the root, the transition is taking place. This is also the time that you can shampoo your hair. Or clean them. The reason it is okay is if you feel the first bud where your new growth and your loc meet, is because this is how you can ensure the parting is in place. That’s not to say you don’t have to be careful with your locs so as to clean but not to disturb them because you are technically still in stage 1 of the loc development process. 

Am I Ready For My First Loc Maintenance?

You know you are ready for your initial maintenance when you experience the first bud so that you can ensure your loc parting pattern is in place. Otherwise you are ready for maintenance when you feel you are just understand that before that first budding offers you must be careful not to disturb the loc while cleaning your scalp.

We encourage you to do your research when it comes to understanding the loc  maturing process. Your first 6 months after starting Locs can either be difficult or a breeze. The difficulty will occur if you do not understand the stages your locs go through before they reach maturity. This information is to empower you to research and learn what you can to enhance your journey of loc development. One of the best ways to research is by viewing Case Studies…Loc Case Studies to be exact.

Watch Loc Case Studies to get a peek at others loc appointments organized by loc stages. Here you will find loc styles for short locs, loc extension cases, there is even a Case of a woman that were unsatisfied with her loc extensions. There was the undoing and redoing of loc extensions. The same techniques are used for loc repair for those that have loc damage and are discouraged about finding a solution. The Loc Case Studies Have Questions and Answers and still shots and videos of the visit!! Your locs are depending on your research!

What are the Stages of Loc Development?

There are 5 Stages of Loc/Dreadlock Development


Loc Start

Stage 1: Loc Start


Your loc start can begin a few ways. Comb coils, two Strand Twists, or interlocking. Most people decide on a method based on their hair texture and how likely their hair will stay in the loc formation during the maturing process. Many get discouraged at this stage but we must be patient during this time because our hair has to learn how to be inside of the loc (dreadlock). This stage only lasts for about the first 4-6 weeks and then you’re off to the budding stage.


Loc Stage 2: Baby locs/Budding


During this stage budding begins. Budding Loc Stage Varies for different hair types, but can last from the first 4-16 months. During this stage your Locs will begin to bud (tangle or clump into knots.) The budding will begin at the root and after about 6 weeks you should be able to feel new growth and budding, where the it meets a. You may notice that your locs are fuzzy but there is a definite shape to them at this point.


Stage 3 Loc Teen
Loc Stage 3: Teen Locs

 

 

Loc Stage 3: Teenage Stage


A characteristic of the teenage loc Stage is the locs are very light in weight (as the budding continues throughout the loc). This light weight in the teenage loc contributes largely to the unruly stage that most people dread from he beginning to the end. This stage lasts for 8-24 Months


Loc Stage 4: Mature Loc


Mature Loc Stage The Mature loc Stage is just as exciting as the teenage stage, but this excitement is different. Your locs have finally started to mature. How can you tell? Well your locs are heavier. The reason for the weight change in the loc is the budding process is close to completion. You now have budding through the loc and it feels firm and can consistently hold its diameter. Some people notice they have made it to this stage closer to the end of their 1st year. Congratulations are in order for you at this stage because you are now well on your way. Once that weight gets into your locs they hang lower and begin to go through the dropping process. During this time you start to notice the length in your locs increase. Everyone has now matured and mastered the art of working together! The ends of your locs are the last section that goes through the maturing process but this is where your antenna form and it’s the most important part so be sure to be careful with them.


Loc Stage 5: Beyond Mature


Beyond Mature Loc Stage This stage of loc development happens after the 2nd year.

Normally, by this time your locs should have all grown to the same length. Another indication that your locs are beyond mature is the feel of the loc, it is firm through out and is no longer fuzzy or frizzy anywhere. This stage proves to be he magic seal for your ends and that’s great news relaying that your antenna have finally formed.

Now that we are all familiar with the 5 stages of development that your locs go through we can continue.

This first 6 months after you start your locs you will decide on your loc start method. The loc start method is totally up to you. Keep in mind that your part pattern will always be visible and is difficult to change once your locs have reached the stage of maturity. See also, Loc Start Parting Methods Explained.

Once you decide on the parting pattern that you want you think about how you want your locs to look once they get to the mature stage. The reason you need to decide this factor is to be able to relay it to your stylist or give your self a diagram to go by when you start your own locs. Your loc start is up to you and if you choose the right stylist they will consult with you before you get your service to make sure that what you have decided on is the right path for you. Together you too can come up with something that works for your hair type and texture while giving you the style you have wanted and worked so hard to achieve.

After your loc start appointment you are going to look amazing and you are going to love it or hate it. You’ll love it if you are learning the lesson of patience and allowing your hair to adapt to a new environment. You’ll also love it if you keep a standing appointment set with your stylist if you feel you would like your new loc start to stay fresh continue to look brand new. Make sure that you wear something at night to keep your coils in place. Be careful that the material your scarf or pillow case is made from does not dry your locs out. People often forget that their bedding contribute to the dryness of your hair rather you have locs, braids, or loose hair. See also, Things You Didn’t Know That is Making Your Hair Dry.

This ladies and gentlemen, is your first month of locs. At 4-6 weeks your locs will transition into a phase called budding. Before you get to the budding stage of the loc transition you should not shampoo your locs. If you do shampoo your locs (completely submerge your Locs under water) before the budding process has started there is a great chance you will have to start the process over.

Month number 2 Continued..


Your first 6 months you will begin to transition in to the budding stage. During this time you are now ready for your 1st loc retwist or loc maintenance. Once the budding has started you can be some what confident that getting your locs wet for the first time will not be a complete reset. Do not worry if all of your locs have not started to bud , they will if you stick with it long enough. An easy way to tell if your locs have started the budding process is to locate a loc on your head and start to feel the root and then progress further down the loc. You should run into a ball or know of some sort and that is what you are looking for. That’s a great thing for you to find letting you know your hair is learning exactly what to do.



Month 3: Loc Development: Still Can Be Neat w/ Maintenance but you will notice the frizz


This month is pretty much a continuation of the last month and you may have gotten a second retwist by now but by this time people have resolved to wait it out. It puts so much peace into your life once you accept the fact that the process has a gestation time. You will notice that your root may look twisted and brand new but your ends are puffy and frizzy and that is understandable because as you are being Maintenanced or retwisted that particular appointment is a focus on training your new growth to grow into the loc and your locs will continue to be frizzy until it gets beyond the teenage stage of loc development. There are some ways that you can contain your ends during this time without disrupting the process, however it is still part of the process so accept the frizziness.

Month 4 you’re getting the hang of it. By now most of your locs should at least have one bud. Around the edges your hair is finer and often times has less of a curl that the rest of your hair and because of this the Locs in these areas may take longer to bud. Your locs have more movement (not to much) but they are stiff from budding. Your locs are getting to their teenage stage. There are many people that choose to skip maintenance during this time. You may even find that they have stopped wearing a scarf or some type of protector to hold their Locs down at night and while this does encourage the budding process, it also allows lent and things to become attached to your new Locs which can give an unclean appearance to them and be almost impossible to remove later.



Month 5 and 6:  Loc Development 


Month 5 and 6 are pretty much on auto pilot the budding continues and your hair does whatever it wants to do as it learns to grow into the loc. The good news is your length should have increased by 2-3 inches and it’s quite possible that you are able to get a style. Styles are amazing when assisting with controlling the frizz. Even though you have gotten used to the frizz it’s nice to get your hair under control for the firs time in almost a year and the since of accomplishment you feel can not be described.

Your first 6 months of Locs are going to point your attention inward. This time forces you to learn acceptance and allows for the perfect example of growing together to become stronger because that is exactly what your locs are doing during this time. They are literally making themselves invincible by banding together and forming the antenna to better serve your purpose.

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