3 Tips to Lock Your Hair Faster

Any hair type or texture of hair can turn into locs.  With both my Sisterlocks and my current set of Traditional Locs, I’ve tried many different methods to make my hair lock faster, but I’ve come to realize that some textures are reluctant to lock quickly.  I have that kind of texture —soft, fine hair with loose curls that looks like waves instead of coils— a.k.a the “its going to take awhile for your hair to lock” texture.

The fact that soft hair doesn’t coil or look like tightly-wound springs means that the loc’ing process is going to take longer and require more patience. With both sets of locs, my hair would constantly come undone in the beginning stages, and [finally!] started loc’ing around the 2 year mark. If you have found yourself dealing with the same frustrations, I want to share with you what worked in my journey (and what I’ve learned you shouldn’t do!).

3 Tips to Lock Your Hair Faster

1. Add a style after retwisting. When you palm-roll your locs, you’re trying to convince the hair to grow into the shape of locs; but let’s be real, how often does your hair do what you want it to do?! After you retwist, try styling your locs. Nothing fancy or with a lot of tension, instead try two-strand twists, braids, or bantu knots. Styling after a retwists is like giving your hair instructions then enforcing the new rule.

RELATED ARTICLE: Professional Hairstyles for Women With Locs

2. Keep it Tied Up. You want to prevent unraveling as much as possible to encourage your hairs to intertwine. That means keeping everything contained. Make sure you’re wearing a satin scarf at night and you can try using a stocking cap when you shampoo.


3. Products Don’t Create Locs. Contrary to popular belief it is not the product that creates locs it’s the hairs connecting and forming an internal matrix. There was no “Locking Creme” in the 18th century, yet there were locs. Think about that. So avoid all beeswax, petroleum, or anything that says “firm hold” because all you’ll do is cause build up and attract lint by trying to “glue” your locs together. If you’re unsure of what products to use, please avoid “trial and error” which often leads to thinning and breakage. You want to use brands that are specifically created for loc’d hair, such as Crown Elements.

Personal Words of Advice

I really wish I had known those tips for getting my hair to lock faster in the beginning of my locs journey. Had I known, I believe my locs would have loc’d faster, but I went through it so you don’t have to! Here is some other advice I have to offer:

  • If you start your locs yourself (which is great!) still seek a professional opinion early on. A consultation is at most $50 and they can provide tips/insight or let you know if you’re on the right path before you’re too far into the process to easily correct any issues. And if you’re uncomfortable with Locticians in your area, you can schedule an online video consultation for locs at NuGrowthSalon.com.
  • NO LOC JEWELRY for at least 6 months. I have so many lumps in my locs from where I wore loc jewelry and it prevented areas of my locs from filling in and having a uniform appearance. I definitely wished I had listened when a Loctician told me this early on, but I thought I was fancy.

If you feel like you don’t have the patience to wait for your hair to naturally form buds and start loc’ing you can try interlocking to instantly start locs. The beautiful thing about locs is that they are versatile. So, even if you chose to start your locs with interlocking, you can maintain them with palm-rolling or vice versa (but please read “Switching Between Palm-Rolling & Interlocking Without Causing Damage” first!).

Did these tips help you? What will you be changing in your regimen?

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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

I have the same type of hair very curly and fine hair, and 2heb I first started locking my hair u experienced alot of unraveling and it took my hair a while to lock, but I have also been told that it will take my hair 2 years to fully lock as well. Thanks for the great tips and your locks have really inspires me to continue to be patient on this loc journey for it will be worth the wait

Thank you for the compliments. Patience is definitely important. Stick will it and you’ll love your locs even more as they mature!

I want to start interlocking my hair myself. My consultant is wonderful. So, tell me, is $150.00 for a interlock training a good price or not. My one year loc anniversary is coming up and I only want to see my consultant 2 to 3 times a year. So, I want to try interlocking myself. I hope I’m making since. Thanks for listening

Do you have Sisterlocks? $150 is definitely a good investment to learning a lifelong skill and technique that will ultimately save you money in the long run, but you will also be spending more time doing your hair because interlocking is not quick at all.

No, I do not have sisterlocks. I only have 142 locks. My locks are bigger then sisterlocks

I’ve had my sister locs for a year and 4 months, my loc technician says I’m locked and she finally let me get color at my last re tightening a week ago. My back is budded but my front isn’t it’s opened and curly, I’ve gotten into the habit of braiding my hair every night since I got my locs and my question is braiding my hair then unraveling it in the mornings is this keeping the front from locing with all the manipulation I’m doing with it

Yes, you may be overmanipulating your hair. If you spray your Sisterlocks with water, braid them, and let them dry, the crinkles will last for weeks without having to rebraid your hair at night. Please, give it a try.

I’ve Been Wanting Dreads Ever Since I Was In Jr.High School!!! Bob Marley Has The Best Style Of Dreads To Me & I Really Think Dreads Mean Something Special!!! I Started My Dreads On 12/5/16 I Hopw And Wish They Grow Into Something Special !!! Thanks For Your Awesome And Truthful Tips !!!! Please I Will Love For You To Contact Me With Any Other Info….

i had locs for 23 years second set i want to freeform, have tight coily hair, freeforming 5 months now. is there a way to give a gentle twist to hold in place without a lot of products!

Yes, simply finger twist with only water.

this is so awesome
i have short thin locs
someone told me that they will someday start to break
what can i do stop that

You should definitely be mindful of the products that you’re using, check out the article “4 Products to Avoid In Locs” and also reference the article “Causes of Thinning Locs” to be sure you’re proactive, instead of reactive with any possible thinning/breakage.

Can you show us some styles we can do with short locs?

Hi, I have sisterlocks pattern 3 for 4 months now and realise that the ends are become loose, is it OK to plait the loose ends of my hair? will it alter my locking pattern or my locks formation? I started to plait a couple and receive a more refine and uniformed look, but am not sure if this is hurting my locks. Help please, am really nervous about this. Thanks

Your consultant would have a better answer for you as she sees your hair on a regular basis. If for some reason she is not knowledgeable with your hair texture, you can schedule a Virtual Hair Consultation with me by clicking here.

Hi! I just wanted some advice on how i can help my locs grow. My hair is a 4a type and the ends are curly and the budding on my locs are lumpy as well. Are the lumpy buds a sign of anything ? And how can i help my curly ends become round.

Just have patience. Your locs will form in time. I would suggest you check out the article on “loc budding” to have a better understanding of the process. Hope this helps!

Hi Jocelyn,
I started my locs 3months ago and Í wash it once a week with African Black Soap. I oil my scalp once a week with coconut and olive oil .
I have very dark coarse african hair, but lately I noticed my hair looks dull and it’s very stiff. I don’t condition my hair because I want it to lock faster.
Is there something I’m not doing right that’s making it to look dull and stiff? Please help!

Generally speaking, coconut oil is not good for locs because it contains protein which can make the hair stiff and the fact that is solidifies relatively easy, which can buildup in the locs. IF you would like more insight into how you can improve your regimen, please feel free to schedule a virtual consultation with me by visiting http://bit.ly/vrconsultation

I have had interlocks for about almost a year and they are still frizzy. I’ve been thinking about coloring my hair but I still haven’t decided so I’ve been adding human hair with color to see what I like. I then realized for my hair to lock I have to leave it alone meaning for me to not pull off the fake hair because it’s not budding up. I wash my hair every two weeks. I also condition it. After that I use Jamaican sproil. I’ve stopped putting fake hair in now I I just want them to lock. How do I make them lock faster. Washing my hair 4 times a week is a bit much. Is it the shampoo or the water that’s drying my hair up to make it lock faster.

I have straight hair/fine and I’ve been growing my hair for almost two years so i can get very skinny dreadlocks. So i went to my salon and she twisted it and told me thats the first step but when i sleep and wake up my twists get undone. What can i do to help my hair lock up faster?

MY hair is super short been lockingmyhair for a year and still mot locked. Some of my locs actually fell out im not sure locs are for me anymore cause idk what to do

Oh no!! What products are you using and how did you start?!

Love your article. You provide great information and tips. I just started my locs in May, and very excited. My sister does my hair and uses beeswax and Indian hemp dressing. She has been doing locs for over 20 years. I never have a problem with lint, build up or smell. I wash every 4 weeks, use a shampoo and homemade deep conditioner. Just a different perspective on beeswax.
The most important thing I am learning is to enjoy the journey and have patience. The budding experience can be difficult but it is worth the ride.

Hi .I have very coarse kinky African hair..I just started a free form locs journey. .I started with interlocking a month ago..what do i do next pls?do I just wear a wool cap and let the hair loc naturally?..thanx!

pls how can i lock natural hair and also what are the dread cream i need to proceed with this

I started my macro sisterlock in February. It’s been 3months now and I’m liking how nicely the locs are forming. I started washing it myself every two weeks, is it okay to apply unrefined Shea butter into it?

Pls keep me posted, thanks

NEVER apply Shea Butter to locs, especially not Sisterlocks. You can learn more about why in this article, “Why You Should Stop Using Shea Butter on Locs“.

I have 4c hair and I’m 6 months into my loc journey but my hair is still unraveling at the roots and now with all this humidity in the air it stays twisted for a day or two then…afro puff roots again. What should I do? I feel like its never going to catch on.

Does your hair still lock automatically without retwisting because i want to stop twisting my hair to obtain thicker locks? Im 14 months into my journey so i believe its safe to stop retwisting.

Which product can helpmy hair to lock faster is it wax, flak seed gel or aloe Vera gel which the best to use among the three mind you my hair is very soft

Hello, after styling how long should you keep the style in? I started my locs and they placed into a style and was wondering when would be an ideal time frame to keep the style in.

Hi Ive had my locks 5 months they seem to be growing fast but not locking fast I wash them with a stocking cap every other week or som as i try to avoid unraveling some have locked my tech says. They take good to retwist I dont condition them but i do spray them with Jamaican and lime itch growth and cleansing spray,I try to massage my scalp with a cleanser to keep my scalp clean I dont style them as much due to not eanting to pull on them wtbs am I doing ok with the process im doing on my dreads

I cannot say how your locs are doing specifically without a consultation, but I can tell you that 5 months is still very young and them “not locking” by this time is totally normal.

Hi was wondering how many locs do you have They are so very inspirational

Thank you, I currently have 36 locs.

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