4 Products to Avoid Using On Locs

Do your locs feel stiff and dry or sticky after you shampoo them? Wondering what all that “white stuff” in your locs is? Well, chances are you’ve known locs to be carefree and therefore are ok with “whatever works” or think any product with “For locs and dreads” is a must have item— but that’s a big mistake!


A few of the common mistakes that are made with locs include: improper partings, weak foundations, poor product choices, and too much manipulation. Of these common mistakes, poor product choices are the most detrimental because they can lead to scalp issues, build-up, breakage, thinning of locs, and internal health issues. Did you know that product mistakes made in the beginning or early stages of your loc journey can take years to manifest into devastating problems, some of which require the damage to be cut out. Think about all those years of growth thrown away. Literally.

Related Article: Why I Stopped Using Shea Butter 


Avoiding the following products in the beginning stages or discontinuing their use after a thorough locs detoxification will benefit your scalp health and length retention.

  1. Wax. Products that contain wax, including beeswax, are detrimental to the entire loc over a period of continued use because they are very hard to wash away, especially from within the locs. Over time, the wax builds up and can make the locs unnaturally heavy, leading to breakage and thinning as the hair grows longer; and the hair will be dry because the wax prevents moisture from penetrating the cortex of the hair.
  2. Brown Gel. Sure “brown gel” may give you a lasting hold but it is full of parabens, artificial colors, and excessive protein. Overuse of protein can cause breakage and weakness in your locs by making your hair hard and brittle.
  3. Heavy Cremes. Products that are creme based are often too heavy and thick to allow your hair to intertwine and form into locs. Using creme-based products can slow down the loc’ing process and lead to heavy build up.
  4. Unhealthy ingredients. Products with tons of ingredients listed on the container, many of which are hard to pronounce, are often filled with cancer – causing parabens, formaldehyde, phthalates, and/or irritating preservatives that damage your scalp and health.

Related Article: 5 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started My Locs


Don’t wait until locs are so thin that they’re about to snap or the day when you wake up to locs on your pillow because they have broken off. Improve the health of your locs now!

Read Labels & Be Aware

Begin by turning over every product that you use, reading AND understanding what each ingredient does. Also, view the product knowledge section for common products that have already been decoded for you. Meanwhile— A few ingredients to be on the look out for are:

  • SD alcohol 40, denatured alcohol, ethanol, and isopropyl alcohol because they are alcohols that dry out the skin/scalp.
  • Formaldehyde products and its derivatives, DD hydration, Diazolidinyl Urea, Methanamin, Quarterium-15; because they are known skin/scalp irritants and have been linked to cancer.
  • Very toxic phthalates such as DBP, DEHP, DMP, DEP, dibutyl/diethyl ester, and 2-benzenedicarboxylate which are linked to cancer, birth defects, and other health issues.

Shop With Brands That Care

Look for brands that care about hair care and the science of hair. Brands with integrity often share facts about the ingredients of their products and the health benefits of the product formulations. So before you go randomly buying “natural products” at the general beauty supply store check out brands that will improve the health of your locs and body. I highly recommend that you check out brands that are specifically designed for locs such as Crown Elements!

What are some products or ingredients you would recommend avoiding in locs? Share your experience in the comments!

4 Products To Avoid Using on 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

Yannie the Locologist has a video on YouTube about putting products in your loc’s. The video is called Stop putting produtcs in your Loc’s pt 2. Please check it out and share with your followers I didn’t know how to share on here. It’s a must see

Thank you so much Chyrel for sharing this video— I love Yannie! I will definitely check it out and create a post around it!

Cool I think we will all benefits from it

I just stared my locks going on two months. How often should I resist them .??????

Peace Sheila,

Welcome to the loc journey, generally speaking with locs you want to retwist once per month; for guidance on the proper way to retwist check out the “How to Retwist Locs at Home” workshop

I have sisterlocks I was told to use conditioner, I wanted want a lot of products just healthy to ask if using Aveda shampoo will be good for my locs? If so which line would you suggest? I was also told the Influence hair line is also good for locs i am so confused on what to use. Do not want a lot of products, just heallthy hair and scalp

Is it okay if I use Cantu Leave-In Conditioner on my three-month-old locs?

[…] READ: 4 Products to Avoid Using on Locs […]

What products do you personally use for your locs

[…] Related Article: 4 Products to Avoid Using on Locs […]

How do I grow my locs????? I want to thicken my hair and tend to use leave on conditioner made with Shea Butter and essential oils.

Just let it be, your hair will loc overtime and accumulate hair and thicken as they grow. Also, I would suggest that you stop using that leave-in conditioner ASAP!

A little late but… hair grows from the inside not the outside so what you eat is also very important.

Hello I’m new on here and have loc and I have been growing mine over 13 years and my main problem is them breaking off, and them becoming thin at the roots. I don’t want to cut them off but I also don’t know how to make them healthy again. I have used wax and other products so that could be my reason why they are breaking and thin.

Hello, my name is Miiesha and I am located in Goldsboro, Nc. I am a certified natural hair care specialist, specializing in locks. I am writing you because I love your website. Me and my business partner are putting together our very first of many natural hair seminar. It would be a huge honor if I could invite you to be one of our public speakers at this event. The event will be held the 2nd week of April, if you are interested please give me some feedback on availability. Thank you in advance!

[…] Related Article: 4 Products to Avoid Using on Locs […]

[…] Related article: 4 Products to Avoid Using on Locs […]

[…] best locking gel for locs. However, many of the locking gels from the beauty supply store contain products that you should avoid on locs. A better (and cheaper) option would be to make your own natural locking gel. By making your own […]

Have you heard or tried dollylocks? If so do you think it is ok or not?

That is the right blog for anyone who wants to find out about this topic. You notice so much its virtually exhausting to argue with you (not that I really would need…HaHa). You definitely put a new spin on a topic thats been written about for years. Nice stuff, simply great!

I’ve been growing my locs for 6mon and recently notice a few locs thining in the back of my head closes to the root I think this is due to use of bees was which I just saw from another of your article I should’ve of been useing can you please help and give some advice on how to reverse the thinning and wht best to use for requesting and moisture

I want to know how to keep my locs ,they just become thin at the roots and budding

The dreads r very dry can I use coconut oil on them once a week

Hello, I am new to the loc world. I just started mine and its 2 weeks old. I would love to know how long it takes before my hair can loc and when it comes to growth, does loc grow as you loc or do you have to braid on them to make them grow?
I would also want to ask what i can use on it as a starter to make it loc well?
Thank you

Not enough information on what too use.

Thanks for the information—this helps. I generally see a loctician once a month but because I work out daily I often shampoo and do a “light” retwist by the weekend. My hair is very thick, loc’ed 10 months. How much is too much when it comes to retwisting?

What is the best products to use for moisturizing my locs, I am new to locing

All is very interesting

Great information about beginners Locs I am so glad to watch so many ways to treat my locs and not get caught up using bad hair products. Blessing

Hi again, as mentioned in a previous comment I am new to the Locs process . I will really appreciate some advise on products I can use to care for my one month old babies. I am from the Caribbean so the climate here is very hot and humid. I have noticed that this is a factor with the hair texture of some of us in the Caribbean. Please advise.

I have heard so many dos and fonts. I just started my locs 2 weeks ago and I’m not sure if I’m going about things the right way. I’m using the healthiest products to keep my hair hydrated and all I use is essential oils, water, moisturizer, tingling shampoo when time comes. There’s no loctician where I live and I feel I can do it myself low low income feel me lol. So many oils so I’m asking what should I use since the shower is my steamer. I’m dedicated to diy ways. Covid changing everything?! ❤️

DIY is a very good way to get to know your hair and your locs— I am all for it! You go this!!

Hello. Am new into locks. I bought olive oil black castor & coconut moisture lock detangle spray. Detangle knots, conditions and moisturizer. Is it good or not please help.

Definitely not! Sounds like a recipe for buildup in the future. I would highly recommend Crown Elements products.

I’d love to interview you about your loc journey! I make natural hair products too and have locs of my own. I love reading and hearing about other people’s journey. Very happy to see this article today.

I’m down for the interview! Connect with me on IG or send me an email!

I just started my locs journey today
What is the ingredients or cream for maintenance thanks

Welcome to the journey! Visit Crown Elements for all your hair care products!

I never leave comments on posts lol. I’ve only been loc’d for a little over 3 months now (3/2/23)!
This is all I do: I wash my hair every 2 weeks. I use Sulfur 8 shampoo and do a double-cleanse as advised on the bottle (the first cleanse doesn’t sud/foam at all!), wash with warm water, rinse with cool. Right after, I’ll use the Sulfur 8 “grease” on my scalp, and it tingles- almost feels “spicy” on my scalp lol I LOVE it. By then, I add 100% natural Jojoba oil on my hair. During the 2 weeks, I spray my hair with a water/rose water mix every morning, and oil my hair 2x a week, sometimes less. That’s it! 4 products when u include the rosewater. My hair feels lightweight and soft. I don’t use the grease on my scalp as often as I feel I should, but it’s been okay. I plan on using the oil on my scalp and seeing how that turns out since Jojoba oil is close to natural sebum- almost mimics it and helps regulate. I have ACTUAL dandruff, not the dry scalp ppl confuse with dandruff. Like, my sh!t flakes and will scab if I go over 2 weeks w/o washing. Very itchy.

Sorry for the long message! What do you think of my routine? 🙂

Welcome to the journey and. I think if it works for you, do what works!

I started my locs but I keep having to take them a loose and redue them ‍♀️

I wash my hair once a month with it clarifying shampoo. I use Carol’s daughter black vanilla moisturizing shine is hydrating leaving conditioner I also at times use Taliah Waajid black earth products. Are these products good for my locs?

I tend to recommend against all of those products but if they are working for you, do what works!

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