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!
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.