Saturday, January 28, 2006

Where to start?

I had my hair washed and re-twisted today so I decided to make a post on how to begin the locking process.

Alright, so you decided you’re going to take the plunge. Now the question is: where do I begin? Well, before we get started you’re going to need a few items, the first of which is enough hair length. To start locking, you need at least six inches to a foot of hair to start. I would suggest a foot of hair because shorter hair generally comes undone a lot quicker and really does become a time consuming chore to make sure that every lock is still in place by the time you wash your hair again.

OK, you have the foot of hair, so what’s next? Well, the first thing you’re going to need is a very small-toothed comb and some sort of "locking agent", meaning a gel of some sort which will help to keep your hair in the spiral you will create. The spiral will eventually become a lock over time so you have to decide how thick you want your lock to be.

Also keep in mind, when starting this process, the size of your future locks. If you decide to go with a thin lock, you have to remember as hair sheds over time the lock may become thinner resulting in fewer hairs within the single lock. This is a disadvantage because the lock is thin and as the hair naturally sheds, the lock may break altogether. The more hair present in a single lock, the more hair you will have to keep things together, as some of the strands in that lock will continue to naturally break and shed. Think about combing or brushing your hair; you have tons of hair that will break with each stroke. This same process occurs when locking your hair. Starting with thicker locks will help to ensure a fuller stronger lock.

Let’s see, you have made your decision regarding the thickness of your locks, and you have your small-toothed comb. The next thing you will need is shampoo, an extra set of hands, and your locking gel. Before I continue, let me stress that whatever you do, DO NOT use bee’s wax. This stuff is WAY too thick to use as a locking gel and you will end up with a very nasty white build-up in your locks that will never come out as long as you have locks. So, try to find a product that has a many natural ingredients as possible and NO wax.

After washing your hair, use your small-toothed comb to section off your hair into little squares just like the picture to the left. With each square of hair take a LITTLE bit of the gel product and twist your hair into a clock-wise spiral. Use a hair clip to hold the lock in place at the base of the twist. The clip should rest on the scalp. You will do this for each lock until you have completed your entire head.

The next step is deciding on how you are going to let the hair set. The locking gel you use generally is going to have an agent in it that hardens when it dries. Some people use a full head dryer to dry their hair because it cuts down on the time it is going to take for the gel to set. You can also let the hair air dry, but remember this is going to take a lot longer. Also, you have to make sure that some of the hair does not start to separate from the individual spirals before they have a chance to fully dry. The only drawback to blow drying is that you will need to condition your hair once a month to keep the damage from the heat to a minimum. The extreme heat your hair will have to endure under that dryer will make your hair brittle and promote breakage. Conditioning your hair will help to remedy this.

Once the above steps are complete, you are on your way to locking your hair; however you have to remember this is a very long and tedious process. One thing that has to be kept in mind is that the locking process is extremely long and not easy; in fact hair after one year still won’t be fully locked and it could take as long as two or three years for them to fully lock up. Generally you want to wash and re-twist your hair every two weeks. Between touch-ups your hair is going to be frizzy because the hair is not matted as of yet, and the hair is not accustomed to staying in a spiral and naturally fights to go back to its natural state. This is really a venture in training your hairs in each spiral to think as one unit instead of five individual units or however many strands of hair are in each of your spirals. You will also need to be gentle when washing your hair while maintaining it. Since your hair won’t be locked the next time you go to get your hair done you will need to put a rubber band or something around each lock to keep it in place when washing your hair. This is why having someone help you with this will make the process far easier. You can put a rubber band or something around each spiral when washing your hair to keep the hair in the spiral you originally started with. The first six months to a year you may want to do this, but after that your hair should be on its way to matting and you can start to wash your hair with out any aids i.e. rubber bands.

One last thing comes to mind: oiling your hair. If you are of African decent your hair may naturally become so dry that you will need to find hair oil that will keep your locks from being dry, and to prevent your scalp from being dry and flaking up. In a few days I will post what I use in my hair as well as what you should look for in products. For now, I want to focus on starting the locking process.

I should also add that you can avoid this process, and just find a salon that does this for you. There are many talented men and women who are licensed lockticians that can get this entire process going for you. After finding someone to help with the process, you can do maintenance yourself. You can also skip doing it all together and have a loctician do it for you from start to finish. USD prices are generally $35 for each visit every two weeks, unless you go to an upscale salon like in Manhattan. You could then possibly expect to pay as much as $100 per visit.


At 6:16 PM, Blogger aaliyah said...

thanj u bro that info could come in helpful one of these days

At 4:13 PM, Blogger Sarah said...

Very informative :D Nice to know how it's done even though I can't do that to my hair! Was wondering if the title of your blog "Islamically Locked" has anything to do with your hair? Or is that just a coincidence?

At 5:49 PM, Blogger Alo Tsum said...

My hair AND a state of mind ;)

At 10:20 AM, Blogger Sarah said...

lol.. Nice, 2 in 1 :D


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