Maintaining Your Natural Hair
STAGES OF GROWTH
* Pattern setting/training (day one–month 2), * Tangling/Matting Internally (month 2-month 7),
* Tangling/Matting Externally (months 7-12)
The initial period in the locking process when the method you use to lock your hair is set in place. Your grade of hair will determine the shortness or length of this period, as curlier grades will take more readily and more loosely curled grades may put up somewhat of a resistance. It last from the day you start you locks until your first (through) wet shampoo. (product usage in this time should be kept at an extreme minimum because of the lack of or infrequency of shampooing. Overuse of thick, gummy products in this period will result in caked up residue on the twists). The Pattern one chooses is dependent on personal aesthetic, length of hair, and grade of hair. This can range from any one of the following:
- Comb twist
- Two-strand twist
- Organic/Free Form
Comb twists are done by taking a rat-tail comb and rotating it through small bunches of hair. These are often done in intricate square or diamond patterns throughout the head. Two-Strand Twist is done by taking one small section of hair, breaking it into two parts and twining them around each other (for these first two methods, thoroughly wetting hair in a shampoo is not a good idea. Regularly and thoroughly cleansing the scalp with an antiseptic/antibacterial lotion is advised).
Braidlocs are done by parting and braiding multiple sections of hair into tiny braids. Latchooking, as I know it, is done by taking the tip end of the section of hair and looping it through the area of hair closest to the scalp above it…repetitively repeating this process until a tight series of micro-knots form. Organic/Free Form locking is a matter of using ones hands to break the Afro into unorganized sections and periodically manipulating them until the matted cylinders form on their own. (These last three methods can be washed more readily than the first two. Although you still want to be gentle in the massaging action of the shampoo).
Shedded hairs that did not escape the head have started to matt, internally, with hairs that are still attached to the head. The hair, in whatever pattern you initially set it in, will start off as a soft fluffy cylinder and progressively stiffen over these next few months. This is also the time when shampooing (gently, yet as thoroughly as possible) is reintroduced.
You will begin to notice (visually) changes and slight distinctions in your forming locks. As water/shampoo are reintroduced, the “fuzzies” (as we affectionately refer to them in Lovinlocs ©) are more apparent. People often panic at this stage, because it appears their hair is dry.
The light is refracting off of thousands of tiny strands of hair, diffusing the light in a “halo.” Be advised that this is an optical illusion. Please keep your wits about you.
Products in this period of time should be lightweight (move as easily as water) and translucent (nothing completely opaque, as it will likely be too thick for use in locked hair). Product usage is to be kept light because this is the period of time in which the locks are forming. Anything too thick, too gummy or too opaque may get jammed inside your newly forming locks and attract dust and lint to them…which will be hard to remove as you progress into the next stage of growth and lock maturity.