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Ready to start your dreadlock journey and not too sure where to start? You came to the right place! We asked StyleSeat professionals Jolanda Jackson-Collins, a Louisiana-based master loctician with over 15 years of experience, and Stephanie Harris, a newly certified Sisterlocks Trainee in Georgia, common questions about dreadlocks. Find out what locs are the best for you and how to get your journey started.
How do I know I’m ready for dreadlocks?
Even though this hairstyle is not permanent, there is still a significant amount of time and commitment that it requires. Usually, there is preparation for starting a dreadlocks journey, which varies for each individual. “I basically told my clients that they’ll know when they’re ready,” says Jackson-Collins. She suggests experimenting with styles you were always curious to try, like braids and wigs, before embarking on your loc journey.
For Sisterlocks, the process to ensure you are committed looks a bit different from traditional dreadlocks. “During the consultation, we put in sample locks, so it’s about nine to 12 sample locks just to make sure that the hair would react well to Sisterlocks,” says Harris. “Then, the client will keep the locs in for 14 to 21 days and return for the installation.” Harris also shares that the consultation includes questions about hair history and candid discussions to determine if they are truly ready for Sisterlocks maintenance.
What types of locs can I choose from?
Locs come in different forms, including traditional, freeform, microlocs, and Sisterlocks. Are microlocs and Sisterlocks the same style? Harris shares that the process is entirely different, and the Sisterlocks trademarked process differs from the installation of microlocs. When selecting your locs, you will have to decide what size would be best for you and the parting that you would like to use. These options include square, triangle, or even freestyle parts for a more natural look.
What are the stages of a loc journey?
Each individual’s journey is unique and has different timing for each stage. The baby stage is when your dreadlocks are installed, lasting between one to three months. The budding stage occurs when your locs begin to grow and thicken at the roots, this stage is a little longer and usually lasts between six to 12 months. The pre-teen stage is usually when your locs grow at a length that may seem awkward to you, lasting between 13 and 16 months. Finally, the mature stage is when your locs have grown and matured, usually at 18 months or more.
What should I look for in a loctician?
When selecting a loctician, it’s best to look for someone specializing in dreadlocks to install your locs. “Foundation is the key,” says Jackson-Collins. She explains how the way you start your locs plays a role in the overall health of your hair, which will allow you to experiment with different hair colors and dread styles when you progress in your stages.
For Sisterlocks, it is essential to find a certified Sisterlocks consultant or trainee to install your locs by visiting the Sisterlocks website. When installing Sisterlocks, Harris says the process can take from 12 hours to even three days. Sisterlocks consultants and trainees receive 35 hours of training, and to become a consultant, you will have to perform three full installations. Selecting your loctician on the website ensures proper installation to set your journey up for success.
Don’t fret! We have plenty of Certified Sisterlock Consultants and Trainees on StyleSeat to get your Sisterlocks journey. We highly recommend requesting proof of certification from your professional before scheduling an appointment to ensure that a Certified Sisterlock Consultant or Trainee will complete your service.
How should I care for my locs?
Loc maintenance is the service provided by locticians to cleanse, moisturize, and style hair. The loctician will use a palm rolling or interlocking technique to maintain new growth when styling the hair. Regardless of how you like to wear your locs, whether it’s retwisted more frequently, or you prefer the more lived-in look, both Harissa and Jackson-Collins recommend scheduling your appointment between 4-6 weeks.
For traditional locs, there is more flexibility with product recommendations, but don’t forget to ask your professional for guidance. Jackson-Collins tells her clients who were already wearing their natural hair before their loc journey to use the same products. “The more products you use, you have to think that it will leave a residue in your hair,” says Jackson-Collins. In addition, she recommends using a go-to oil to keep the scalp moisturized.
For at-home maintenance, Harris recommends that Sisterlocks clients use Sisterlocks products to shampoo and moisturize hair to obtain the best results and hair health. She advises that the Sisterlocks products assist with making the hair mature faster. “Make sure you’re not using any heavy oil-based products,” says Harris. She also noted a popular beauty item that many clients believe will help their Sisterlocks thrive, but it does the opposite. “A lot of women think that rose water is good for sister locks, but that’s really bad, it causes slippage.”
Not quite ready to start your loc journey or need additional time to consider?
That’s OK! You have time to figure that out. Next, try installing protective hairstyles like twists, braids, and faux locs to see if this style is best for you. In addition, have a consultation with a loctician and ask questions needed to help you make your decision.
When you start your loc journey, remember to be patient. “Just embrace your stages,” says Jackson-Collins. “People start their journey for all reasons. Some people want it for style. For some people, it is a culture. Some people want the versatility of it. But whatever the reason is, just embrace your journey and look forward to every stage.”
Book an appointment with Jolanda Jackson-Collins.
Book an appointment with Stephanie Harris.