What To Do When Your Hair Grows Away From Your Locs

Is your hair growing away from your locs?

First, let me say, welcome to the club! The “My Roots Grow Wild & Free” club, I am your tribe leader, Jocelyn— I’ve had locs for 10 years and my roots are still untamed. While, I’m sure you may be frustrated with the unruliness of your hair, I am here to let you know that you are not alone. Your roots and your locs are uniquely beautiful. As such, I am going to share with you a few tips to help you manage the loose hairs instead of fighting with them.

What to Do when your hair grows away from your locs

Loose hairs at the root of your locs are really common for people with wavy or curly hair patterns and/or fine textures of hair. This means if you have thick, coily hair you could freeform or semi-freeform your locs with no issues. But for the rest of use, here are 3 tips for controlling the hair growing away from your locs.

1. Stay Consistent With Grooming. It is a misconception that everyone can freeform or semi-freeform their locs without causing breakage. When your hair grows away from your locs, it is best for you to set a consistent schedule for grooming. Ideally, every 4-6 weeks for retwists or 6-9 weeks for interlocking. Staying consistent will help to train your hairs to stay within your locs and minimize frizz. However, keep in mind that you are constantly growing new hair, that is unloc’d, so regular grooming is everlasting.


RELATED ARTICLE: Does Semi-Freeforming Cause Thinning


2. You can use a crochet hook. Personally, I like to use a micro-crochet hook to pull those really long loose hairs back into my locs. This is safe to do at home, as long as you use the right size for your hair texture.


WHERE TO BUY: Micro-Crochet Hooks for Locs


3. Always Control Flyaways. This is particularly important after you shampoo your locs. I’m sure you know this, but just as a refresher— It is not recommended that you retwist your locs after every shampoo. So, if you shampoo your hair bi-weekly, at week 2 you are NOT retwisting. However, you also don’t want to leave your roots untouched. Instead, just wrap the loose hairs around the base, without clips, before you dry your hair. This will make sure that the foundation of your locs remain strong. If this sounds confusing, check out a quick tutorial in this video, “Techniques for Semi Freeform Maintenance“.


The difference between breakage and loose hairs

I believe it is important to make note of the difference between breakage and loose hair. When your hair is growing away from your locs, the hairs are actively growing which means they will be relatively long. Whereas, if you are experiencing breakage the hairs will be really short and unable to be included into the locs. Here is an example of the two, so that you can see the difference:

Hair Growing Away From Locs

Hair Growing Away From Locs

Breakage at the Root of Locs

Breakage at the Root of Locs


I hope this was helpful to you and makes you even more excited to be apart of the “My Roots Grow Wild & Free” club! At any point if you feel frustrated about the loose hairs at your roots you can always come back here and rant. Chances are I’ve experienced exactly what you’re going through and offer this post as a safe space! As for me, your tribe leader, I am considering solely maintaining my locs with the crochet method, but TBD. For now, I am sticking with my bundle retwists and the occasional crochet hook sessions for control.


what to do when your hair grows away from your 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

Thank you so much for this tip! I just washed my hair without retwist and didnt know what to do wit the loose hairs. I now know im doing it right. You are awesome Joselyn.

Thank you so much for this info. I was freaking out at my last retwist with all the loose hair ar my roots. I thought my locs were thinning.

Thank you for reading! I’m happy to hear this brought you comfort!

So glad I found this page…I too was freaking out at the thought of my baby locs were breaking off or thinning.

Thanks Digital Loctician. I have not tried the crochet hooks on my son’s apparently soft curly hair. His curl pattern was so tight I did not think this was going to be an issue. We use a technique with a sewing needle and a loop of thread to basically sew the loose hair into the loc. But I will check out these crochet hooks as well.

I’ve tried that technique before as well when I was reincorporating the loose hair from my postpartum shedding

Thanks for the information. I feel better with what I see my hair doing

Good post – especially about the new growth vs the hair growing away from the loc. I interlock mine by hand on a pretty random basis and I may order the hook you recommend, but it’s a little costly. 🙂 I’ve tried using a regular hook, but I haven’t gotten the hang of it yet. Fingers would pretty good for me.

Thank you for reading! Interlocking is an option too but for people that interlock, the notion of hair growing away from the locs is less of a concern because the grooming is done from the shaft to the roots anyway so all the loose hair is ultimately incorporated in the locs

What do you recommend for areas where it does appear the hair is breaking and not growing away from the loc? I have that issue in my crown and the growing away at my temples lol

If your hair is breaking off at the root you definitely want to understand why. You can check out this article “9 Common Causes of Thinning Locs” and/or schedule a Virtual Consultation and I can help you get to the root (haha pun intended) of the issue.

I enjoyed the tips. Thank you very much for telling me what to do about my hair that is growing away from the dread.

Thank you for reading the post!

I’ve been wondering what hair growing away from locs meant since starting my locs one month ago and this was very helpful. Thanks!

I thought it was just mine, thanks for sharing

Thank you for the tips. My hair grows away from the loc as well. Do you have any style recommendations for times when we shouldn’t retwist but just wrap hair around loc? I have a LOT of new growth and a lot of locs (150) lol

I love this post thank you! I have a LOT of hair growing away from the locs -If I want more volume in that area can I just lock up those unlocd hairs?

Generally speaking no that will not create more volume, just more locs. The parting system determines the volume. So if you have parting system that promotes volume it may work out for you that way.

So happy that the article helped, thank you for reading!

Good evening. I tried a crochet needle but it just kept sliding in and out of the dread. The needle is a 0.75 which is already on the higher end of what’s recommended. Any advice?

0.75 is definitely too big for use with grooming! I’d highly recommend the “Crochet Grooming Techniques for Locs” class as a step-by-step guide for crocheting your own locs!

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