One twelfth of the year has gone by already, time indeed waits for no one and on that note here are some tips that can help you retain your loc length.
1. Less is More.
This is my watch word. It's really simple and easy the less goes into your hair the better it grows, Stick to a very simple routine, shampoo, condition, oil your scalp and hair, moisturise (using water mostly) and really everything else is jara (extra).
2. Think Moisture.
Dryness plays a big role in loc breakage, therefore combating dryness is key to retaining your already grown hair. Water is the best medicine for thirst, we all know this! Whilst a cold frizzy drink may relief the throat of instant thirst, we also know that moments after, the after taste makes you need even more water to quench the initial thirst. Enough metaphors, I'm sure you get my point , water is your number one moisturiser, wash frequently (according to your lifestyle). Spritz a mix of water (90- 95%) and oils (5 - 10%) every other day or as needed to help retain moisture. Hot Oil Treatments can also give a leg up if your locs are extra dry.
3. Leave your Locs alone.
Permit me to generalise here, Nigerian women are fond of "changing their hair styles". This usually leads to new loc heads being tempted to fix weaves, braids and what not. My dears, your hair is enough and to keep it healthy and long you kinda have to leave them alone (at least most times). Tight braids can ruin your edges and you can loose as much as entire strands of locs if your weaves are taken out wrongly. You also need to chill on that hand-in-hair syndrome.
4. No Heavy Stuff.
By heavy stuff, I mean butters, wax and products of generally thick consistency. The truth is that some heavy products (Shea butter for instance) can be good for your locs in theory, however it is almost impossible to wash that heavy stuff from your locs. It seeps into the shaft of your loc strands and stays there, becoming stale and a builds up into a literal build up problem. Build up causes weak points in locs thereby leading to eventual breakage. So say no to Heavy Stuff.
5. Careful with the Colour.
Colour is that one thing that gives locs that extra edge, I won't lie locs are beautiful when coloured and yes I have coloured my hair more than a few times in my life time, however Hydrogen Peroxide and Ammonia play a number on your hair. Major side effect is dryness and remember dryness = breakage. Look out for products without Peroxide and Ammonia. I also tried out Hair Chalk a couple of weeks ago as an option. So be careful with colour.
6. Keep with a Locking Method that works for you.
Here's a tricky one, a good Loctician will be the best to help you find a method that works for you. I personally fall to palm rolling as the default method for locking both my locs and clients at the Locitude Studio, as it has minimum risk on damaging your hair. You have to find and stick to what works for you. The Interlocking method on the other hand damaged my locs, however I have seen this method work for some other people. If any one is using a foam, towel or sponge to agressively rub your head and give you headache, please STOP IT!. I hear that Paracetamol is now N300, let's not even start with the price of Advil.
Time grows all hair, except there's an underlining medical condition. Before you run off to your doctor looking for medical conditions, I must share that at no particular time in the history of my locs have I felt they are growing. I mostly complain of stagnancy, however, year on year I accumulate growth, it never seems obvious but my locs are definitely growing. So take a selfie every now and then or do a yearly length check like I do. I'm sure you will see that against all odds your locs are growing.
One wise naturalista once said it's really not about growing your hair it's about how you are able keep the hair you have grown. I sincerely hope you find the above tips useful and if you have and comments, additions and subtractions, feel free to drop a line in the comment section.
On that note I leave you with a short video of me feeling pretty on date night some time ago. My hair is in a bun and I hadn't had them retwisted in about 3 weeks. I love the rough look always.
Peace, love and keep it loc'd with some attitude.
Your Loc Head