How to Start Your Dreadlocks Journey: 5 Essential Things to Know Before You Do

If you’re finally ready to take the leap of faith and start your loc journey, then you’re probably feeling a wide range of emotions right now. You might be a little nervous, anxious, and of course, excited to begin growing the dreadlocks of your dreams. But it’s okay to admit if you’re feeling a bit lost more than anything else! 

Deciding to loc your hair is a big deal. So we wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve mentioned that you were only thinking of getting locs to someone who has their hair locked already and got the same spiel as every other dreadlocks newbie that goes like this: “the loc journey takes time, dedication, and lots of patience.” 

And they weren’t lying! But since you know that part already, let’s cover all the other basics of starting dreadlocks like: 

Picking out your desired style of locs 

Deciding on your loc method or style will probably be one of the most important decisions of your loc journey. You can opt for freeform twists, backcombing, comb coils or gel twists, or two-strand twists. 

The thing to remember about your dreadlocks style is that the starter method you choose to begin your locs will determine the looks of your hair in the future. So a good rule of thumb is first to decide which style of locs you want or how you want your mature locs to look, and then figure out which starter loc technique will help you achieve that. 

How to choose your loc size 

Picking the size of your dreadlocks is all about personal preference, but let’s cover some factors you should consider to help you decide: 

  • Maintenance. Now, keep in mind dreadlocks are a low-maintenance style that still requires upkeep in the form of retwisting or retightening. So if you’re someone who prefers a low-maintenance style, having 400+ microlocs may not be the best thing for you because your retwisting sessions will last way longer than if you only had 20 chunky locs. You see the difference? 
  • Costs. The smaller your locs, the more it will probably cost you to get them touched up at a salon. For example, a microlocs retightening session could cost you upwards of $500+ every eight weeks, whereas, for traditional locs, a retightening session can cost anywhere from $50-$200. 
  • Hair density. If you have thinner hair, the appearance of big locs could reveal too much scalp for one’s liking, and if you have thicker hair, too many locs could make your hair look bulky. So when you think about your loc size, consider how your parts will look, too! 

Again, choosing your loc size is all about personal preference, but considering these factors above will be helpful in your decision-making process. 

When to go to a loctician vs. DIY  

Plenty of people decide to go the DIY route with their starter locs, especially if they’re opting for an easier method like two-strand twists. However, if you aren’t confident in your skills to do your locs on your own, or if you’d really rather just pay someone else to do it, hire a professional. 

Whether you do your starter locs yourself or go to a loctician will ultimately depend on your budget and preferences. However, visiting a professional can give you peace of mind that your hair is in good hands, and who doesn’t want that? 

How to survive the budding and baby loc phase 

Ah, the “struggle” phases of the loc journey. You’ve probably already heard a lot about the budding and baby loc stages of the loc journey, but it’s not as bad as people make it seem. 

During both of these stages, your hair just needs the utmost nurture and attention. So follow your locticians orders, and you’ll be just fine! Most people keep their hair in protective styles like cornrows during these phases, so get creative and have (gentle) fun with your baby locs! 

Don’t forget to enjoy the journey 

Above all, the most important piece of advice we can offer to anyone embarking on their dreadlock journey is to simply enjoy it. You have a loooong road ahead of you if you intend to stick with your dreadlocks for a while, so don’t rush the process.

After you’ve gotten your new locs installed, all that’s left to do is sit back, be patient, and let your locs grow. So buckle up for the ride, and welcome to the loc life! 

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