People start dreadlocks to express their unique style and personality and showcase their love and honor for their tradition and culture. But in the first stage of the loc journey, in which locs are called starter locs or baby locs, they keep unraveling. It can lower anyone’s motivation to carry on loc journey. So, here, I’ll tell you how to keep starter locs from unraveling and show off your consistent and high-value nature. Are you ready for that? Let’s start!
First things first, let’s know what starter locs are. Starter locs are a popular hairstyle that involves creating small, coiled twists, i.e., comb coils that eventually grow into mature locs. And unraveling locs is the biggest challenge at this stage.
Table of Contents
- How To Keep Starter Locs From Unraveling At The Roots?
- How To Keep Starter Locs From Unraveling At The Ends?
- What Causes Starter Locs To Unravel?
- How Long Does It Take For Starter Locs To Lock?
- Here’s my quick overview of the tips on how to keep starter locs from unraveling :
How To Keep Starter Locs From Unraveling At The Roots?
Here’re the top 3 solutions on how to keep starter locs from unraveling at the roots.
Avoid Excessive Manipulation:
Excessive manipulation like pulling (traction) when styling and washing locs and playing with locs to loosen and unravel them at roots.
So, minimize touching your locs, avoid tight hairstyles, don’t retwist too often, avoid sleeping on your back but on your stomach too (to avoid friction at the front hairline), and be gentle to your locs in every process.
Don’t Make Loose Twists:
A loose twist means a weak foundation. So, in the loc first stage, creating a strong foundation every time you interlock or palm-roll them is important. It prevents locs from unraveling and gives starter locs a more tidy appearance.
Maintain Regular Retightening Sessions:
When hair grows, locs roots become naturally loose, which causes them to unravel. So, it is vital to retighten the starter locs every 4 to 6 weeks.
How To Keep Starter Locs From Unraveling At The Ends?
Here’re the leading 3 solutions on how to keep starter locs from unraveling at the ends.
Palm Roll The Ends:
It always happens that before the start locs maintenance period comes, they start unraveling; the easiest way to prevent it is palm rolling the ends. Just roll the end of the loc between your palms in a circular motion. It will tighten the hair and stop it from unraveling.
Use Locking Gel:
A locking gel can also help prevent starter locs from unraveling. This gel type is designed to help hold the hair in place and promote the locking process.
Also, you can use a little hair glue at the locs ends. Some people use rubber bands to tie the loc ends to keep them from unraveling. But a little hair glue does not damage the hair, but a rubber band can if it is too tight.
Protect Your Locs At Night:
Protect your starter locs at night by sleeping with a satin scarf or bonnet, or opt for a satin pillowcase. It will help prevent friction between your hair and pillowcase, which can cause the ends to unravel and become frizzy. A satin bonnet or scarf also prevents the locs from catching lint.
Knowing how to keep starter locs from unraveling at the ends is vital as it prevents split ends.
How To Keep Starter Locs From Unraveling In The Middle?
Here’re the ultimate 3 solutions on how to keep starter locs from unraveling from the middle.
Keep Your Hair Moisturized:
Other than unraveling locs, dryness and brittleness cause them to break. To decrease the likeliness of locs unraveling because of dryness, keep them moisturized. You can use water-based hydrating products like leave-in conditioners or oil for this.
Spritzing water with a spray bottle is the best tip to hydrate your baby locs. Or you can pour a bit from a water bottle in your hands and pat them on your locs.
Avoid Tight Hairstyle:
Tight hairstyles cause high tension in locs, especially in the middle, which causes them to weaken and break. When hair strands within the loc break, it creates gaps and holes in the middle of the locs; this is the main reason for unraveling locs.
Don’t Overdo It With The Products:
Using too much product in the starter loc phase causes build-up in locs because you try to wash starter locs with less manipulation to avoid unraveling. It makes the locs heavy and stiff, which weakens the locs anywhere in the middle.
Moreover, indeed, butter and oils are beneficial for new locs, but overdoing them makes the locs not only cause build but extremely moisturized them to unravel easily.
I also suggest preventing the use of alcohol-based products because these are too drying but also avoiding the excess use of heavy styling products and clarifying shampoos.
Furthermore, when heavy products absorb into hair makes the hair texture stringy.
What Causes Starter Locs To Unravel?
Here I’ll address the reasons that generally easily unravel the locs and will give you a few ways that will tell how to keep starter locs from unraveling.
Lack of Maintenance:
To maintain starter locs it needs not only regular maintenance sessions but also requires regular washing.
Experts suggest washing and conditioning baby locs once a month or bi-weekly if you are careful. For example, you must wear a stocking cap before allowing the water to touch your locs. Don’t know how to wash starter locs with a stocking cap? Click here.
Furthermore, I also recommend not to vigorously towel dry your locs. A desperate attempt to wash and dry new locs can weaken or break them and make the hair frizzy. Also, avoid blotting or squeezing the locs.
When washing starter locs, focus on the scalp; when conditioning, focus on the baby locs.
One more thing, don’t sleep with wet locs. Most importantly, don’t tie the wet locs. It can create a musty smell in the hair and even a weird hair fungus. Locs health knowledge is as important as knowing how to keep starter locs from unraveling.
When washing the locs, don’t scratch the scalp; it can hurt the scalp, but it also causes the locs to unravel at the root. So, avoid it, especially after you twist or palm roll the locs. Gentle washing removes the dirt.
First of all, yes, loc twist or palm roll is necessary for starter locs, but over-tightening or applying extra force can damage it.
Here are some tips to avoid it. First, hair strands do not lock up and intertwine greatly to create comb coils or any starter locs when hair is wet. So, please start the process when it is fully dry.
You can use the latch method for starting dreadlocks; it makes dreadlocks to stay durable and quick to maintain on the new journey.
So, until your locs are fully formed, watch your hair retwisting period according to your starter dreadlock type. For example, the finger coils new locs need to be twisted daily.
Talking about the type of starter locs, here’s one more thing, people also ask, why are my starter locs so flat? Let me tell you, you have freeform locs.
For continuing the healthy loc journey, the damaged hair strand is the worst thing. Besides over-washing and preventing alcohol-based products, you must preserve your locs and try to touch them as little as possible.
To ensure this, I suggest, as soon as you have idle time, tie the hair in a satin scarf even if you don’t plan to sleep. Because you are more likely to touch the locs in your idle time. I think this is the most neglected but vital tip about how to keep starter locs from unraveling.
Improper Loc Technique:
When starting new locs, if proper technique is not used, it causes the locs to unravel.
Make sure to create even parts and use a comb to separate the sections of hair. Also, consider using a locking gel or wax to help hold the locs in place.
On your hair’s new journey, every time you maintain locs, ensure these are surely twisted but not too tight.
This rule also applies to the installation of instant locs. Even the wrong installation of one instant loc can damage the roots of natural hair in that area.
Another reason for loc unraveling is hair type and hair texture, which you inherit through genetics. Genetics can affect how your hair behaves, and cause locs to unravel more easily.
There may not be a solution to this. However, knowing how to keep starter locs from unraveling and practicing targeted maintenance can minimize unraveling risk.
Starter Locs Do’s and Don’ts:
How Long Does It Take For Starter Locs To Lock?
The secret to locking the starter locs is to preserve them.
The time starter locs take to lock depends on hair type, length, texture, and the method used to create the locs.
Generally, starter locs take 3 to 6 months to lock and mature fully, though some people may notice progress in as little as a few weeks or months, while others may take a year or more.
Wrapping it up:
During the initial stages of locking, it’s important to be patient and consistent with maintenance routines. Regularly washing and retwisting the locs can help them form and mature faster.
However, over-tightening or over-twisting the locs can also damage the hair and prolong the locking process.
It’s essential to note that starter locs may appear locked but may not be fully mature and can still unravel if not properly cared for.
It’s vital to maintain starter locs continuously even after they have locked to keep them healthy and looking their best.
Here’s my quick overview of the tips on how to keep starter locs from unraveling :
- Avoid excessive manipulation like pulling or playing with your locs.
- Create a strong foundation with tight twists and regular retightening sessions.
- Palm roll the ends or use locking gel to prevent unraveling.
- Protect your locs at night by sleeping with a satin scarf or bonnet.
- Keep your hair moisturized to prevent dryness and brittleness.
- Avoid tight hairstyles that cause tension in the middle of the locs.
- Don’t overdo it with the products to prevent build-up and stringy hair texture.
- More intel on this wiki page