When I started my traditional loc journey I always knew that I wanted thick locs, but with the way I maintained them you would have never guessed that. I was retwisting my locs every two weeks religiously (a big mistake) and, as a result, my locs were really skinny. By the 16th month, I had enough and decided to change. Not only did I decide to semi-freeform, I combined several locs as well with the hope of them becoming thicker. Fast forward to today and here is an update on their progress —good, not so good, and what I wish I had done differently.
The Good About My Combined Locs
I am happy to say that my locs have meshed together very nicely and you can barely notice that they were combined. Combining my locs actually saved several of them after I gave birth to my son. Yes, postpartum hair loss does affect women with locs; in fact, I lost all of my edges before it was all said and done. Thankfully, I decided to combine my locs before it was too late or before I found a loc on my pillow because I would have been miserable.
Related: 4 Tips to Overcome Postpartum Hair Loss
The Not So Good About My Combined Locs
With all the great things that came along with combining my locs — thicker roots, less maintenance time, and postpartum support — there had to be not so good news for balance, right? Yeah, I’ll tell you one thing, the first loc that I combined did not turn out as I hoped and I tried to pull it apart a few weeks later — EPIC FAIL. Tugging on the loc only made it spread and now I have one loc that is flat instead of cylinder in shape.
NOTE TO SELF: You cannot pull apart a loc.
Another, quirk about my locs is that the two-strand twist pattern from the combining session still has not disappered in a few locs— even after 20 months. You probably would never be able to tell, but I can tell and to be honest is does bother me at times. Similarly, the area where the combined loc stops in most of my locs is still merging together so I have a few “double-headed dragons” which are an annoyance as well. The fact that I haven’t cut them off is more so laziness versus necessity.
Related: My Method of Combining Locs
Would I Do It Again?
Absolutely! I would probably have combined them earlier if I could, but there are a few other things that I would have done differently with combining my locs. First, I would have re-parted my hair in some areas to make the combination look more natural. I still might, but we’ll see. Next, I would have done more research on the various ways to combine locs because I was not entirely sure what I was doing at the time. But now that I have attend formal training in loc repair and combining locs, I will be sharing the techniques in my Digital Loctician Academy so that you can avoid the same mistakes that I made.
January 4, 2016 at 8:54 am
At what point in loc maturation is it too late to combine?
January 5, 2016 at 10:23 pm
It is never “too late” but the results will be different depending on which stage you combine them at.
January 14, 2016 at 10:30 am
I am semi-free forming (mostly free-forming) and combined quite a few of my locs about 1 year ago; however, many of my locs have become flat. This is my 2nd set of locs (almost 2 years) — the 1st set I had for 11 years and all were cylindrical, they were also smaller and more manicured. Although I like the wilder and fuller look of my less maintained locs, I would prefer that they were all or mostly cylindrical.
I was thinking of palm-rolling for a little while as an experiment to see if they would round-out. What do you suggest?