Tips for Properly Shampooing Locs at Home

If you’re not properly shampooing your locs at home your hair is getting dirtier with each shampoo! A few signs that you may not be properly shampooing your locs at home include constantly dry hair, dullness, a white tint to your locs, and stiffness. I personally understand how much caring for your hair at home can save money, but don’t end up costing yourself more in the long run. Here are a few tips that I’ve learned for shampooing your locs at home.

3 Tips for Properly Shampooing Locs at Home

Use Water Soluble Products. The ingredients of the products you use are very important to maintaining healthy hair. Choosing to use water-soluble products means that with every rinse after you shampoo the product will dissolve away instead of building up in the locs. Fun fact: Any product that contains petrolatum / mineral oil is hydrophobic and is NOT water-soluble.

RELATED ARTICLE: What’s Inside Jamaican Mango & Lime Locking Gel

Water Pressure Matters. The typical shower head or sink, generally, does not produce enough water pressure to effectively penetrate deep within the locs to loosen buildup and/or any dirt/oils that may have settled since the last shampoo. With that being said, a detachable shower head or faucet with adjustable water settings to increase the concentration of water are a necessity when it comes to thoroughly cleaning your locs.

Rinse! And Rinse Some More! You should be rinsing your locs for a minimum of 15 minutes; longer if your locs are past your shoulders! Think about it, your locs are a lot of compact hair intertwined together. Always listen to your hair. Literally. After you finish rinsing for 15+ minutes run your hands through your hair and if hear that sudsy soap sound, rinse again!

RELATED VIDEO: Using the Waterfall Method to Shampoo Mature Locs

Implementing these basic shampoo practices will set the foundation for your locs to thrive and ensure that you are properly shampooing your locs at home. And if you still need help with dullness, how to keep your locs soft, or ways to remove past soap scum from your locs, I highly recommend you enroll in the Digital Loctician Academy!

What are some things you’ve learned with shampooing your locs at home?
Share your experience in the comments!

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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

Can I wash my locs after 2 months. I just started my locs on May 2rd. My hair is short.

Absolutely! You can shampoo your locs within 2 weeks of starting them. Check out this article for everything you need to know about shampooing starter locs: Congratulations on your new journey!

[…] the “key steps to keeping your locs moisturized“. Update: Read & bookmark “3 Tips to Properly Shampoo Your Locs at Home” to be sure your locs remain healthy and free of […]

[…] this is true if you don’t dilute it enough (i.e. – use too much) and aren’t properly shampooing. To err on the side of caution, having an extra spray bottle or container to make the shampoo […]

I’m 2 weeks into my comb coiled starter locks(did them myself). Your tips are life savers or ‘hair savers
I have really soft hair and I was lightly retwisting my edges for a more polished look but realized I just had to get over that! This is my third time locking and I plan on doing it right. Thank you for all your dedication with this site

I’m so glad my content is valuable to you!! They say the 3rd time is a charm 🙂

Hello Jocelyn! My name is Renee and I’m going to wash my locs tonight and for the first time I’ll be retwisting them
Myself. It’ll be 3 years in March that I’ve been loc’d. I have some lint and build up and wanted to do the ACV (what do you think?) and also do I condition the hair before or after washing it. I saw that you should do the cleanse after washing it, is this best?

You should NOT apply conditioner to locs. After your cleansing is when you do the ACV rinse.

Hi Jocelyn, I just came across this post and have a question…you stated that the ACV rinse should be done after the cleaning, but I thought the ACV rinse was considered a pre-cleanser and she be done before the cleanser and then follow up with a moisturizing shampoo, can you please explain…thanks

ACV can be used at either time, before or after, depending on what you are using it for.

Hi Jocelyn! My mother just recently started her locs the day before Thanksgiving and I think they are fairly healthy. I am struggling, however, because the person who started them did so with beeswax. Now her locs attract a lot of lint and have a mildly sticky feel to them. I retwist her hair once a month with just a little of Taliah Waajid’s Lock it up. What can I do to remove that build up and keep her hair moisturized?

Yikes! I am sorry that was the start of her hair journey because beeswax is completely unnecessary. I would also suggest not using the Taliah Waajid gel, it will only make it worst overtime. Beeswax is really hard to remove, but if you can catch it now, you may be able to get it all out.

For detox recipes and steps, check out this digital guide, “Detox Your Locs“. Also for suggestions for more natural products to use for retwisting, check out this article “7 Products for Retwisting Locs

Hi Jocelyn I have +1yr old DIYmicrolocs and am wondering if I should do a Baking soda and ACV rinse after each shampoo session , which is every 3 weeks. I still band n braid.. Can u plz offer me some advice .

Absolutely not! If it is necessary to do that, it should only be done no more than twice a year.

Hi Jocelyn,
I will wash my locs for the first time and also retwist. Can you direct me to information you have given on how to do both? I have had my locs for not quite a year yet. I’ve discovered that it is more economically smart to learn and do this on my own. I’m concerned I will look a hot mess!

Hi Ms Mary! Please visit the NuGrowth Academy for the full training on properly retwisting your locs, how to shampoo and condition them, as well as a bonus class on making your own locking gel:

Hello. My stylist used holding spray on my hair. Is that ok? Or does it cause build up?

If you’re going to her for maintenance hopefully she is using products that will remove all that was previously applied, otherwise yeah it may cause buildup.

My loctician does not rinse my hair for 15 minutes. Could I have buildup? Or is it different with the pressure from the hose?

Totally different. The water-pressure at the salon is high-powered in comparison to at-home water pressure, in most cases. You can easily tell if all the shampoo is out of your locs— if your locs feel hard immediately after shampooing, it is likely shampoo buildup still trapped inside your locs.

I started my locs using the finger coil method. Its been almost two weeks, is it safe to wash my hair and use honey when i retwist because my hair is soft and i have terrible night sweats? I do wear a silk bonnet at night so i wont get and lint.

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