The Locs You Want
Locs are becoming more and more popular as a style, however, because only time can make a true loc, it is more of a process and adventure than a "style".
Also, due to the fact that locs are more or less permanent, it is important that you do as much research as possible before making your decision to either get locs created from scratch or get maintenance done on your current locs.
I was creating and maintaining locs for two years before I decided to start my own!
Loc Myth #1: Hairdressers know everything...
Loc Reality #1: Hairdressers are humans just like everyone else. Offering loc services does not come with a guarantee. It is important to do your research, ask questions, get free consultations, talk to people whose locs you admire, etc., in order to find the Loctician meant for you.
Loc Myth #2: In order for locs to be created on either kinky or straight hair, one or more of the following is required: beeswax, any wax, needle and thread, elastics, glue gun, and or crazy glue...
Loc Reality #2: All of the above are unnecessary and should be avoided. If a hairdresser reaches for any one of these items, just leave quietly and politely and go back to Loc Reality #1...
Loc Myth #3: Once a loc creation is complete, that is exactly how the locs are going to remain forever and ever.
Loc Reality #3: Your locs will shrink, fuzz, stick up, you may get some dry, itchy scalp at the beginning, and there will almost definitely be a point, usually between month 2-4, where you will look in the mirror and think you made a huge mistake...
Breathe... I've gone through it three times with my own locs. Not only is it going to be ok, it's going to be friggin' amazing!
I don't know why this happens to a lot of loc heads. All I know is if you can wait it out 2-4 weeks, one day you wake up and realize that your locs have magically completely formed and are now swinging in your face and tickling your neck. The also look BOSS and you all of a sudden remember why you decided to take this journey, to begin with!
Tools: Latch Hooks
Loc Myth #4: Latch hooks were made for locs.
Loc Reality #4: Latch hooks were originally created and used to make hook rugs which are actually A LOT of fun and easy to make.
When it comes to locs, a latch hook is used for one thing only, to make an interloc/aka a knot in your hair (same thing as the rug!). I have no idea who thought to transition this tool into something useful for locs but I do know this method gets called "crochet" a lot and that is incorrect (see Crochet info below).
This is the most commonly used latch hook. One way to create locs from scratch is to make a series of interlocs (knots), between two sections of hair in order to bind them together.
PROS: - Since the loc sections are a series of knots, the loc tends to have a little weight and may form and hang/drop quicker. - It is a much faster way to create locs than by crochet.
CONS: - You lose at least half, if not more, of your hair length. - There can be holes within the knots that will weaken the loc over time. - If the root is not done properly, it can separate into two segments (looks like a "V") and weaken at the root which can cause long term and/or permanent damage to the hair at the roots.
MY WAY: - I only do 2-3 root friendly and proper interlocs at the root of your hair in order to keep your creation or maintenance looking neat for as long as possible. I finish off with some crocheting in order to make sure the loc remains solid and firm. You have the option to have your roots twisted instead, which is what I do with my own locs, however, it does mean that your root will not remain tight against your head as long as it would with a knot or two (more info on CREATION page).
Tools: Latch Hooks (micro)
This is simply a smaller version of the larger latch hook above. I prefer using this micro version because it creates smaller openings in locs which makes it easier to crochet them closed and keep the loc firm and solid. I also use this tool to wrap and tuck any loose hair along the length of the loc back into the loc.
The crochet needle/hook was created to, well, crochet!
The crochet needle/hook is used to tangle hair while manipulating the shape of sectioned hair with fingers in order to create a loc.
PROS: - The crochet needle/hook helps create a very firm, solid, and nice round loc. - A lot of people find it easy to use the crochet method to maintain their own locs.
CONS: - Using the crochet method to create and/or maintain locs takes more time than using a latch hook. -If you tend to fall asleep during your maintenances and make sudden jerky head movements, there is no telling where the crochet needle/hook may end up!
MY WAY: In my humble opinion, this is the only and best way to create locs in straight hair. I learned from one of the best locticians for straight hair in Canada (and probably beyond).
(Special shout-out to Océane!!!)
I also use the crochet needle/hook when creating locs on kinky hair and to smooth out and/or remove any bumps and knots that may form on locs.