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The first few phases, and probably the first few months, or even years, may not bring you the locs you were dreaming of, but eventually, with time we know you will get there! Here are the first few phases that each loc’er must embrace on his or her journey towards natural and healthy locs.
Starter or Baby Stage
You’ve got to start somewhere, and most individuals whose locs you admire started here, believe it or not. This phase can take anywhere between 3 to 6 months depending on your hair texture and natural rate of growth. Many begin with finger coils, but you can also choose to start your locs with braids, two strand twists or interlocking. This stage may be one of the most challenging stages, but with patients we know you will get through it!
During the budding phase you want to start your maintenance routine and habits. You can gently re-twist the locs to promote locking, but only on occasion since retwisting too often can cause breakage and weak locs. Many complain that the hair looks puffy at first, but that's just the healthy new growth which you will later twist into your carefully sectioned locs.
At this point you may start feeling those first feelings of satisfaction and achievement. Here is when the locs are truly set in motion and shouldn’t untangle during your regular shampooing routines. Your locs may not be growing in the order and direction you may have dreamed of, but this takes time, at least you know you are well on your way and just a few months away from the locs you’ve intended to fashion.
The teen stage slowly transgresses into the mature stage. Once you’ve reached the mature stage you can easily distinguish between each loc, even with freeform locs, though that may take a little longer. Now all the new growth knows exactly where to go and will start adding length and direction to your locs. By now you should have developed a maintenance routine that works for your schedule and hair style. Regular shampooing, a great natural pre-cleanser, especially if you live a very active lifestyle, and an awesome conditioner that keeps your locs looking and feeling healthy.
At this point you should know all about your locs temperament, needs and demands. You can start styling your locs with different protective styles, and even trim your locs, if you dare. At this phase your locs will certainly feel heavier. Keep your locs hydrated from beginning to end, make sure to avoid any unnatural products that cause build-up or dread rot, and lastly congratulate yourself for achieving your goal and love the process as much as you love the results!