3 Things to Know Before Starting Thick Locs

I can tell you from personal experience, the journey to thick locs ain’t for the faint hearted. You need confidence, lots of self love, and an “I don’t care what you think” attitude to get those luscious locs you admire! But if you’re down for the cause and up for the challenge, let me tell you what you need to know before you start thick locs!

What to Know About Starting Thick Locs





Your hair type matters. The characteristics of your hair play a role in creating thicker locs. Hair that is fine will take longer to form into thicker locs than hair that is naturally thick. It is important to understand your hair type, texture,  and density so that you establish realistic expectations beforehand because patience is required, especially in the beginning stages of your journey to thick locs.

The Awkward Phase. During the budding phase, your locs may appear “awkward” or you may second guess yourself because you’re not immediately seeing your desired look. But think about this, the process of cultivating thicker locs means you’re allowing your hair to naturally intertwine to form locs and thicker locs means more hair is needed to build the loc.  The average rate of hair growth is about ½ inch per month and, contrary to popular belief, you’re only shedding about 50-100 hair strands per day. What this means is that your locs first have to mesh together on the inside, to catch all the shed hairs so that the locs will thicken up, and this process doesn’t happen overnight.

Don’t Touch Your Hair. It is essential to leave your hair alone when cultivating thick locs, which means extending the time period between maintenence. You may be thinking,  “absolutely not, I can’t go out in public with a bush at my roots” but there are workarounds. You can start slow to acclimate others to your new lifestyle by gradually increasing the time until your next maintenance appointment; or you can chose to go cold turkey and semi freeform. Chose the approach that works best for your lifestyle and use the “brush & tie” method to preserve neatness. Check out Joy Marilie’s “Brushed Bun” tutorial for an example.

Thickening Up Thin Locs

If you already have locs and you’re looking to thicken them up a bit without combining them you can do that too using the tips outlined in the “How to Grow Thick Locs” post. Once you decide to thicken your locs, be prepared for the transition to take awhile. Again nothing happens overnight. It will take a few weeks before the skinny ends even out to meet your new luscious roots. Personally it took my locs about 6 months before you couldn’t easily tell where I started to let them thicken up. Be patient.

Cultivating thicker locs may sound like more work but it actually gives you more freedom. You learn to embrace your beauty despite the traditional perception that locs must be “neat” and you see the benefits of taking care of yourself from the inside out reflected in your crown.

Share any other tips you’ve learned in your journey to cultivating thick locs!

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Jocelyn Reneé

Jocelyn Reneé is a Licensed Cosmetologist, Loctician and Textured Hair Educator. She was born and raised in the Washington DC area and is a graduate of the Aveda Institute Cosmetology Science program. With over 14 years in the Hair Care Industry, from Salon Assistant to Natural Hair Blogger to Professional; Jocelyn is passionate about cultivating healthy hair.

Blog Comments

Hey how are you today?

I really need your help and I have pics I’d like for you to view the tip may help but I’d like for you to see these pic jus to be sure

Hey there! You can use the contact page to send me an email directly

Good day… Ms Jocelyn Renee… I have been reading the tips of growing thick locs…. but I can not get my hands out of my hair :)…. it is crazy!!! Anyway the videoclip is a helpful tip of what to do with frizziness…. Yes , I would like some some tips and information. My crown is totally white-grey.. God Bless you !

Hello, I was wondering how to start my locs. I have coils hair which is about a 4b/4c and medium length ( approx. to the top of my shoulders). How do I start the locs. Do I double strand twist or twist with a comb? HELP PLEASE? Thanks in advance.

Good morning I have been growing my Locs for two years now there or it a nice win but right at the top of my hair my locks are thin and that was due to me getting the weave in my hair and pulling it out Incorrect and I really need major help on how to get my hair back thick because my lots are really pretty nice I get it done every 3 months and I want to continue to keep on going can you please send me some type of ice

I’m starting dreads but my scalp itch so much, what can I use to stop it..

Itchy scalp is normal with starting locs because you scalp is exposed to the elements more. However, I share a few of my favortie solutions for itchy scalp in this article: “How to Soothe Itchy Scalp Without Damaging Your Roots

I love this article very helpful I’m just starting my journey and I want really think semi freeform locs

I am glad this was helpful for you! Please be sure to read this article, “How to Semi-Freeform Properly” before you start to Semi-Freeform.

What’s the address to your shop? Can you start my thick locs?

I am located in Maryland. You can visit NuGrowthSalon.com for scheduling, pricing, etc.

So i want to freeform my hair but i already have a hair appointment to get my hair loced.. how can i semi form my locs from an initial appointment where the parts are set?

Freeform means that you do not cultivate/groom the locs and naturally let them take shape. To Semi-Freeform you may groom the locs to ensure health and stability. You can reference this article, “How to Semi-Freeform Your Locs Properly“, for additional tips.

Thank you for those gifted words, love is the key for understanding growth. We all focus on many things around us but what if not hair (extensions of the brain) in other words crown is how we give back to the universe. Being in a natural state without to much grease, think healthy because if we eat the right foods our body produces natural oil on our scalp so do wash away all the good oil. Remember to enjoy this spiritual journey to self enlightenment it’s not about how you can manipulate your locs with your hands but picture the locs you want for example my hair texture came out like bob and cole mixed curly

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