How to Loc Your Hair....the Methods
Freeform Locs:
This method of locing is slowing becoming more and more popular amonst people who started out doing twisting and other forms of maintaince.  Freeforming your locs is basically washing your natural hair and allowing the locs to form themself on their own into whatever shape they will naturally take.  This method is very popular among Rasta's....ala Bob Marley...

How to start Freeform locs:
Simply wash your natural hair with a non-detangling shampoo....do NOT comb your hair!!...gradually the hair will separate into individual locs...all that is basically done to freeform locs is shampooing and oiling the hair.... some people keep the locs separated by GENTLY pulling them apart as your natural hair begins to mesh together into an individual locs...basically, no twisting is done...

The Good...The Bad....The Ugly???....
Being a loc fanatic, I tend to think ALL locs are beautiful...but for many employers freeform locs are ugly AND offensive, from the early stages on!!....this method of locing causes more disputes between employer and employee's than any other because the locs basically never "APPEAR" to be neat even when they are fully formed to the unaware naked eye...this is Jeremiah's fully mature 11 year old freeform locs:
Now I have to admit it....Jeremiah's locs look a little rough... HOWEVER!!!....this is the way his natural hair GREW into locs...the problem is, there is also a LOT of lint trapped in his locs....EVERYONE who locs their hair has a certain amount of lint embedded in their locs....the problem with Jeremiah's is the lint is fully VISIBLE, giving his CLEAN hair the appearance of being dirty!!!  (for full sized pictures of Jeremiah's hair click HERE)
How to AVOID this...
Like I said, all loc wearer's have lint embedded SOMEWHERE....however, to avoid visible lint, and therefore issues with your employer, keep your head covered with a silk or satin scarf or bonnet when you are at home or laying down...or when you are dressing!!...

It is VERY possible to have beautiful freeform locs without a lot of drama!!  You HAVE to groom your hair....if you see ANY visible lint, pick it out with tweezers... do not allow it to become visibly embedded!!....if you do have visible lint, use an apple cider vinegar rinse with a TINY bit of fabric softener (yes I know it sounds freaky but it works!!) to bring the lint to the surface...if you cannot pick it all out try a using a natural hair darkener....

This is a very simple one that works for most people....however, if you are pregnant, DO NOT use this method because you will be using Rosemary, which can cause early labor!!..

1 ounce of dried or fresh Rosemary (yes, the kind you cook with!!)
Distilled or spring water (enough to fill a spray bottle)

Soak the rosemary in simmering water until you have a triple strength tea then strain to save the liquid... spritz the Rosemary tea on your hair daily...keep the tea refrigerated when not using, but discard after a week or it WILL get moldy, even in the fridge!!...

The Rosemary will eventually darken not only your natural hair but the lint also... and if all else fail, use a
safe dark semi-permanent hair color (be sure to skin test first!!) to get rid of it once and for all!!...

PRODUCT and THINGS TO AVOID:
Beeswax
Shea butter
Heavy oils
Waxes
Gels which cause flaking
Lint on towels, bedcovers and clothing
Detangling shampoo or hair conditioners (until your hair is fully loced)

What to use instead:
Plain shampoo or clarifying shampoo when necessary with no detangling additives!!
A light oil or pomade
Wet your hair down daily and when the locs begin to form, separate GENTLY
Use a lint free towel to dry your hair AND you!
Be patient....it takes time to happen no matter WHAT method you use!
MOYA's 26 year old lint free locs

FREEFORM
MARVIN's 14 year old lint free locs

FREEFORM
For more on Moya and Marvin click HERE
Combcoil Starter Locs:
You've all seen the cute combcoil's on DL Hughley and others....this is a VERY simply way to start your locs!!  It looks like it's difficult because the coils are usually very uniform....one thing I'll tell you is, it's hard to get that uniform look on yourself, but if you have someone who is patient they can begin them for you, and you can eventually maintain them yourself!

How to start Combcoils:
First and foremost, you need to wash your NATURAL hair!!...for the first time, you can use a detangling shampoo, but never again afterwards!...remember, you are trying to get your individual coils to mat and stay together....detangling shampoo's and conditioners do exactly that, detangle your hair and condition it, and in doing that they remove any hair that would start to loc....if you have relaxer in your hair and want locs, now is the time to cut it out, because combcoils look cute as heck on just about everyone!!...Ok....here is how to start them:

Equipment:
Fine tooth Rattail comb
Light oil
Non-alcohol containing loc gel or LIGHT loc cream
Hair clips (metal or plastic..the ones ladies use for pincurls with either on prong triangle shape or two pronged)
Spray bottle of water
Blow dryer or hair dryer

Make sure the hair is damp....NEVER....I repeat, NEVAHHH twist, coil or mess with your babylocs OR locs when they are DRY!!

If you desire neat parts, part off a section of hair, then make a small part the size you want the coil or eventually, the loc to be

Apply a TINY amount of locing product to the individual section of hair...take the comb and stick it into the section of hair...twist it around the comb like a spiral... continue to spiral twist the hair with the comb until you have coiled the length of the individual section into a neat coil....
IMPORTANT!!... you may not get it right the first time you try it...do NOT get frustrated and give up!  Just remember it's all in the twist of your wrist...imagine you are combing your hair like you usually do, straight up and down....now imagine doing it sideways, but instead of combing a curl OUT of your hair...you are combing a curl (coil) INTO your hair.. sideways.... (man, I sure hope I am making sense!!)....as you bring the comb thru the hair you want to twist or twirl it into the spiral coil shape...try to picture it in your mind...

Once the coil is in place, put a metal or plastic clip in AT THE ROOT to hold it in place...move on to the next individual section and repeat all over your head... when you have finished the whole head, lightly blow-dry your hair or get under a regular dryer...apply a light hair oil to scalp and cover head with silk or satin scarf or bonnet...

The Good...The Bad....The Ugly???....
Combcoils are simply cute as they can be...however, the do NOT stay cute LONG!!...as your hair begins to realize it has to stay in this position it begins to frizz up....also the coils do NOT want to stay in...so first of all, be prepared for them to fall out frequently....and remember, they are not MEANT to be neat cute coils...you are simply coiling your hair to grow locs...These are pictures of Eric as he started his locs and for the first several months...notice the changes as his hair grew over the first few weeks:
Eric Week 1...new combcoils....
Weeks 2-3...combcoils before and after maintaince
Weeks 3-4...combcoils before and after maintaince
4-5 before and after
self-maintaince...12 weeks...
Eric grew impatient with the amount of maintaince he felt his hair needed in the very early stages of his combcoils, and switched from a light loc cream to beeswax....what broke him of the beeswax was staining and ruining several silk dress shirts, and finding out the light cream Princess Kayla's Nattylock Cream DID work, his hair was simply very short (less than an inch in most places) and in need of help in the first couple of weeks...his locs are now almost a year old and look great!!  But he definetly went thru some changes trying to get there...the frizzies, the coming loose...all part of the journey and very common to everyone who locs.....so remember...PATIENCE is KEY to locing....(to read about Eric's journey and see all his pictures click HERE)


PRODUCTS and THINGS TO AVOID:
Beeswax
Shea butter
Waxes
Detangling shampoo
Conditioners
Gels which cause flaking (containing scalp drying alcohol)
Towels and clothing which have lint
Heavy oils

What to use instead:
A light loc cream or gel
A light hair and scalp oil...
A bottle of water to spritz on your scalp which you can add Essential oils such as tea tree...lavendar..rosemary...(avoid this if pregnant!)...apple cider vinegar...

You will find your scalp will most likely start to itch like crazy shortly after you start your combcoils or any locs....this is completely NORMAL...the apple cider vinegar will help with the itching...adding the Essential oils will help also...do NOT apply heavy, greasy oils, as this can and will clog your scalp follicles and cause even more problems!!...use the lightest oil you can find ....remember sometimes your scalp itches because there is TOO MUCH oil on your scalp, so use any thing at the lightest possible application...and most of all, be patient... your coils will come loose, they will look wack, but eventually your hair will begin to loc so be PATIENT and hang in there...it could take from 6 months to a year to see true LASTING progress!!.....


Two-strand Twists, Single Strand Twists and Braid Locs
Two-strand twisting, Single strand twists and braiding are extremely popular for women and men with more than 2 inches of natural hair... this method of starting locs is very and relatively easy to maintain....basically you section your hair off and break into smaller sections...you then either two-strand twist it or braid it into the size locs you want to eventually have...there are a zillion pluses to this method and very few minus'...

How to start two-strand twists or braid locs:
Wash your natural hair...have a spray bottle of water handy to keep your hair damp throughout the twisting or braiding so as not to damage your natural hair by manipulating it dry...

Equipment:
Fine tooth Rattail comb or any comb you can handle easily
Non-alcohol containing loc gel or loc cream
A light oil or pomade
Spray bottle of water
Hair clips
Blow dryer or regular dryer

Part your hair into large sections....separate a small section into the size you want to start your two-strand twists or braid locs in....if you are two strand twisting or braiding, apply a TINY amount of loc product to the section you are about to twist...two-strand twist the hair gently but tightly....this is the same thing as braiding your hair, but instead of three strands of hair you use two....attach a clip to the end and the root...continue thoughout until all is either two-strand twisted or braided...(a loc product is NOT necessary, but may make it easier the first time you attempt this!)...either blow dry hair or sit under a regular dryer....lightly oil your scalp....tie hair up with silk or satin scarf or bonnet...

For Single strand twists....part your hair into large sections....separate a small section into the size you want to start your single strand twist in...make sure your hair is DAMP if not WET!!....NEVER...EVER twist your hair when it is DRY!  You will be twisting your hair OUT from the roots and will not know it until the babyloc is thinned to strands from the scalp....so be very careful!!! ...Do not make your strands too small...tiny locs are cute as heck, but they are also somewhat fragile if you do not know what you are doing.....the smallest strand I suggest is the width of your pinky fingernail....and even that is pushing it!!!

Apply a small amount of loc cream to the individual twist....a good amount of cream or non-alcohol containing loc gel would be no MORE than the size of a PEA or tiny piece of CORN...rub the loc cream from the scalp downward to distribute it throughout the strand....now GENTLY but firmly twist from the root downward, either clockwise or counterclockwise.....NEVER BOTH on one loc!!!  Place a metal or plastic clip at the root and if your hair is long enough, further down the loc to hold it in place....continue to do this over your entire head... lightly blow dry your hair....if your scalp feels dry afterwards, apply a very tiny amount of oil to the SCALP ONLY!!.....cover your hair with a silk or satin bonnet or scarf....

The Good...The Bad....The Ugly???....
Two-strand twists and Braids are a very cool way to start your locs...however, you have to either twist your hair or use another method to tighten them after the intial start...they can be very versatile and go thru the same stages of frizziness every other method does....

Single strand twists are...in my opinion...even more difficult to get the feel of... when you single strand twist your hair, you are more likely to play with it constantly...you are more likely to put your hands in it and find spots that have come loose and twist it dry......DON'T DO IT!!!!  If you are sitting in the office or whatever at work, and you touch your hair and feel a twist is loose.....LEAVE IT ALONE until you get home and can dampen it!!!!!  I KNOW how difficult it will be to NOT twist it dry....but please....fight the urge!!...you will find you quickly acquire hand-in-loc disease.....twisting and touching your babylocs constantly!!  Please be prepared to FIGHT this with all your heart!!...(haha...)...I am laughing because I KNOW how tough it is to resist....the marvel of the "idea" of locing your hair....the feel of the twists themselves...the wonder that you are actually "DOING" it...lol....yeah...I feel ya on this one...but believe me....HILD (hand-in-loc disease) is NO JOKE...your locs will thin...you will forget which direction you originally twisted them and twist the other direction....you will be breaking off hair from the roots and not even be aware of it....these are all very serious matters to take into consideration....

How to tighten these:
I know of 2 basic methods of tightening these...you can either twist the hair or latchhook it...

TWISTING:
Spray hair to dampen...apply a TINY amount of light gel or loc cream to the section that needs tightening at the root of the hair near the scalp...lightly smooth the gel or cream down the loc from the root to the end...gently ...GENTLY but firmly twist the hair either clockwise or counter clockwise from the root...place a hair clip at the root to hold it while you smooth the rest of the section by twisting the same direction...you may have to apply more than on clip depending on the length of your hair...do the same thing throughout until all the twists or braids have been tightened...lightly blow-dry your hair or sit under the dryer...apply a light oil to the scalp and tie hair up with a silk or satin scalf or bonnet...
IMPORTANT!!... Remember your newly tightened hair will probably not STAY tight....don't lose patience and try to tighten too often!!...NEVER twist your hair when it is DRY....



daez..single strand twist       Ray-Ray...two-strand twists
Latch-hooking:  What is it???
Ok...I've avoided explaining how to latchhook your hair for 2 reasons until now... one reason is because I don't want to take the time to write out the instructions because I am afraid I will not explain it clear enough....the other and most important one is because my friend good Cherie King wrote an e-book about latchhooking and I do NOT want to take away from her professional expertise by giving my own humble advice (read about her journey and e-book by clicking on her name)....

However...I have had a zillion inquires and personal emails from people asking for instructions on latchhooking...I've decided to give you the basic technique so you can decide if you want to use this method of re-tightening....

Here goes...a latchhook is a tool used to create rugs....several years ago (no one knows when or where) someone got really creative and began to cornrow hair and then weave strands of fake hair into the head simply by using the latchhook to add strands....the latchhook tightens the hair to braids very easily...so someone took it a step further and began to latchhook LOCS to tighten them...VOILA!!!  The loc latchhooking method was born!!

When using an actual  latchhook to tighten your hair, you use the tool...however, the method has grown in such leaps and bounds that people use their fingers.. an ink pen or pencil...a crochet hook...etc....doesn't matter....and it's referred to as latchhooking...((I know several people who use their fingers and call it FINGERHOOKING))...whatever you call it, it's basically tightening your locs without ever twisting them...you are actually weaving the hair into a pattern that keeps it from ever coming loose again...thereby avoiding having to use creams and gels in your hair to tighten...and also making it quite simple to keep your hair clean and avoid product buildup in the locs...you can shampoo your hair whenever you want without worrying about twisting...you can do whatever you want to your hair and not worry about it...sounds cool huh....I will write out the instructions on the following page because this one has run out of room...

Thank you God for giving me another day of life....AMEN.....

Latch-hooking directions