A Twitter follower asked me:
“I want to start my Loc journey. I did my hair in two-strand twists about two weeks ago, could I start them from there? How long does it take to loc? Its itching and starting to frizz, should I take the two-strand twists out and do finger coils?”
How long does it take to lock?
This question is going to vary from person to person depending on your hair texture, hair density and hair care regimen. A more tightly coiled (kinky) hair texture will generally loc quicker than a soft, loosely coiled (curly) hair texture; however if you’re using the wrong products for either texture it could take months up to years before the hair actually locks. With my last two sets of locs, it took 18 months before my hair began to really loc because I was using the wrong products (doh!). Now on my current 3rd set of locs, my hair is already budded at month 3!
Related Article: The 7 Biggest Lessons Locs Teach You
What To Do About Frizz
With locs comes frizz. Having frizzy locs and/or roots is not really something that you can control, especially if your hair is soft. Using Aloe Vera Gel is an all natural way to help manage it, but by no means will it alleviate frizzness completely. To help control some of the itching, you can try using alcohol-free Witch Hazel or an astringent based moisturizer, such as “PURE SCALP”. And if you’re looking for more tips for at-home care with locs, like moisturizing your locs or preventing dryness, definitely check out “The Guide to Unlocking Moisture in Locs“.
And if you’re still not decided on starting your locs with two-strand twists? I recommend reading the “7 Methods to Start Locs: Advantages, Disadvantages and Drawbacks” article! And if you have already started your locs and you are looking for help retwisting and caring for them at home, I highly recommend joining the “DIY Loc Maintenance Workshop“!
April 28, 2012 at 7:41 pm
I started my hair with two strand twists. Ive had them for 5 months now and they have not swelled up yet and are still the same size. Only maybe a few of the twists are locing at the tip of the twist only.
My hair is not going thru the stages. I have coarse hair. Wash my hair every 1 to 2 weeks normally. I dont know whats going on…
April 28, 2012 at 9:32 pm
Starting locs from two-strand twists or any locs in general, the amount of time that it takes your hair to loc all will depend on your hair and your regimen. If you’re using conditioners and/or shampoos that don’t lend to loc’ing or your loc’ing pomade doesn’t allow the hairs to catch on to each other you’re basically just maintaining two-strand twists. Additionally for your hair you may be shampoo’ing too frequently… every week is definitely too much if you’re just starting out. They recommend waiting at least 3-4 weeks when you first begin to start locs.
We can chat more via email if you’d like, check out the “Contact” tab to send me an email. Either way, all the best…be patient.
July 18, 2012 at 7:25 pm
Hi, I just started my locs with two strand twist last Friday (well I went to the salon to get my hair two strand twisted). So I wanted to know the dos and don’ts. She told me not to was until about the 6 week, and to come back to get my hair interlock. Okay I searched that method, and don’t care for it. But I really want to know the do’s and don’ts and what to use or not use etc., please help. – a fellow loc starter
September 22, 2012 at 2:34 pm
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June 16, 2016 at 5:44 am
Your hair maybe so tightly coiled that it will not swell and simply loc together internally. After you retwisting after every wash? If so you’re likely thinning your hair out and preventing it from swelling.
Teezy So Dope
February 7, 2017 at 12:56 am
I’m four months into my Locs that I started with two strand twist. My hair is all of my Locs are budding and full. I’m blessed to have a smooth journey so far.
April 22, 2013 at 8:57 am
No disrespect to you, but I started my locs with two strand twists and have washed every 3-7 days from the beginning. Hair will loc whether you use shampoo and conditioner or pomade…look at freeformers!
This is my second set of locs, the first I started with comb coils and they locked much quicker than this set.
April 22, 2013 at 11:50 pm
Yeah I agree with you that you can start with whatever method you choose and regardless your hair will loc in its own time. I was offering recommendations for sizing and the method for the best foundation.
Thank you for sharing and blessings on your new journey!
February 25, 2021 at 3:38 pm
I’m starting my love journey with two strand twist…. I would like some recommendation regarding products. Thank you.
March 1, 2021 at 9:31 am
I highly recommend the NuGrowth Essentials collection. You want to be sure that you are at the minimum, clarifying every wash, using an herbal treatment or conditioner, and an herbal moisturizer, such as the Moisture Infusion, at least 2x a week. I can provide you more customized advice in a virtual consultation, which you can schedule by clicking here.
May 22, 2013 at 1:17 am
I Started My Locs 3days Ago With 2Strand Twist. And Im Pretty Okay With The Outcome So Far. But I Have Really Straight Ends. Its Not Permed I Had My Hair Bloen Out By Dominicans And My Ends Remained Straight But The Base Nd Root Of My Hair Is Fine. Any Tips I Can Do To My Hair Without Cutting The Ends?
May 26, 2013 at 1:54 pm
Unfortunately it sounds like you have heat damage from the Dominican Blowout service, which typically happens because of how they use heat. The only way to rid the straight ends is to cut them because the curl pattern is permanently changed. An alternative is to twist the straight hair and then thread the pieces together so that they’ll stay. Best of luck on your new journey!
September 19, 2013 at 3:09 am
I started my loc journey with two strand twists and used bees wax I don’t plan on using the wax again for my retwisting is that a good or bad thing that I started with bees wax?
September 30, 2013 at 1:32 pm
I really need help I got my hair two strand twisted Saturday so i can start dreading my hair, I used rubber bands on my roots because i have fine hair. When should I take the rubber bands off? Should I wash my hair with the rubber bands on after ywo weeks so the twist wont unravel Im lost n everything i read seem to talk about what to do when the hair have loc what do i do I am 2 days in the loc process…Help Me Please
September 30, 2013 at 1:36 pm
Also do i need to palm roll my twist after each wash? And how often do i need to wash them Any advice will help
January 11, 2014 at 12:48 pm
I started my journey recently with two strand twist with beeswax. I am wondering should I use it for the retwisting or not?
July 8, 2015 at 4:48 pm
I started my two strand twist a month ago i have retwist My hair but my hair frizz alot in itch alot what can i use to stop that
July 10, 2015 at 2:03 pm
Embrace the frizz it is part of the journey! For itchy scalp I made a mixture that works wonders, it is available in the NuGrowth Shop (Shop.CurlyNuGrowth.com) . You can also try witch hazel for your scalp.
July 11, 2015 at 2:35 pm
I started my two strands about three months ago and I just took them down and restarted them because I didnt like the way my parts looked. I made them much smaller this time im just worried if their going to turn out right. What should I do to make sure im making then turn into dreads instead of just maintaining twists?
July 12, 2015 at 10:08 am
Over time the twists will lose the twisted pattern and look more like locs, but it can take upwards of 2 years for that to happen depending on your texture. Patience is essential. Also be sure for at least the first 6 months to palm roll the entire loc, not just the nu growth to help the pattern diminish. As a general rule of thumb, the locs will swell to about the size of the parts.
July 16, 2015 at 3:18 pm
Is there a particular way to start the two strand twist because I see people using gels etc but wouldn’t that cause build up? Like do I create my two strand twist just like someone who is looking to do the two strand twist out method too? – If you don’t mind, would you tell me a the necessary products for starting two strand twist??
July 16, 2015 at 11:25 pm
Essentially yes you create two strand twists and don’t take them out instead maintain them like locs. A good lightwight product that you can use to start your twists that doesn’t buildup and is water soluble is OyinHandmade Shine & Define: http://www.oyinhandmade.com/hair/need/style/shine-define-4.html
July 19, 2015 at 8:30 pm
I want to start with the two strand method ..i am two months from 2 yrs being natural and i just want to know do i have to wash before and do them wet or keep my stretched hair and do them dry .. Do i have to use gel to twist my roots or could i simply use water ?
July 31, 2015 at 2:16 pm
I am only two weeks into my loc journey by way of two strand twists. I noticed that a few of my twists are starting to come loose and undone. I have this locking wax but I’m not sure if I should use it. Any suggestions?
July 31, 2015 at 8:49 pm
Congratulations on starting your loc journey! I definitely would not use any locking wax, beeswax, or pomade on your newly started locs because you’ll only attract lint and buildup in your locs and it will not help them to loc any faster. My advice would be to retwist the twists that are coming undone and try putting your locs into a style that will hold them in place as they try to settle. If styling doesn’t help your locs to stay in place, then I would try the Jane Carter Locking Spray to help hold your locs. You can check out the review of the Jane Carter Locking Spray here: http://bit.ly/1Mv5Kuo
August 17, 2015 at 3:22 am
I just started my lock journey a day ago with two stand twist and my question was. Is okay if you start your locs although you have a weak spot??
August 20, 2015 at 9:39 pm
Probably not a good idea to start with a weak spot. It is always best to start with healthy hair.
January 26, 2016 at 8:47 pm
I’m 2 weeks into my loc journey, I wanted to know how often should you retwist your hair? and my hair is not staying twisted at my root , any suggestions ?
June 12, 2016 at 12:50 am
Congratulations on your nu journey! I would recommend waiting at least 4 weeks in-between retwists. It is usually normal for some hair to untwist at the root as your nu growth grows in, the ends however should stay twisted to help keep the shape of the locs.
September 3, 2015 at 12:07 pm
Hi, I’d really appreciate an answer. I’m mixed race and my curls are a bit tighter than this https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f8/Jheri_Curl_Smile_(395044434).jpg.
I’ve been told I can do regular twists, but I’d have to use gel/wax often and they’d unravel easily. I really want a bunch of thin dreads (Over 100), so can I get a bunch of small two strand twists to get this look? Or can you only get thick two strand twists.
September 9, 2015 at 12:59 am
NO! Please, PLEASE don’t use any wax on your locs! You can start with two strand twists, braids, or interlocking (to give you “instant” locs) and maintain them using only oil and water or a light gel like Aloe Vera Gel or Flaxseed Gel!
September 10, 2015 at 5:31 am
Alright, thanks. It turns out I have a mix of 3c/4a hair, I should’ve mentioned this. A lot of people have been recommending me the interlock method but there’s just a couple things I don’t get. (Sorry, I’m new to this) Do I start with regular twists then interlock? Or do I get them interlocked at the very start?
September 10, 2015 at 10:18 pm
You can start directly with interlocking or you can get twists and maintain them with interlocking, it really depends on the look you’re going for.
Take a look at this video to get a better idea of what interlocking entails- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F50dvLtechU
October 6, 2015 at 9:13 am
I started a set of locks with coils. After about 5 weeks of washing every 3-5 days, avoiding conditioners, and using minimal moisturizers, I decided I wanted micro locs. I decided on the 2 strand twist method and it came out really really well. I used only a water and coconut oil mix (with very minimal amount of coconut oil). I don’t recommend using anything for twists unless you feel that you absolutely have to. I recommend misting the hair with water and twisting it while it is wet. Honestly, I think the reason my twists came out so well was because my hair and scalp had time to adjust to the minimal product regimen. I would recommend taking some time (1-2 weeks) to stop using anything in your hair that will soften it too much if you have a looser curl pattern before installing your twists.
If your twists are micro sized, you will need to interlock to maintain, so that you don’t break your locs. If your twists are pencil sized or larger, you should be able to maintain by just twisting the roots into a coil and clipping them down to dry and settle into place.
I do have very very coarse hair, however, I did texturize my hair back in February. So you could say my ends are like 3c pattern and my roots are like a tight 4c.
October 19, 2015 at 12:24 am
I agree minimal product use and giving your hair/scalp time to adjust is essential! Thank you for sharing your journey and lessons learned.
September 28, 2015 at 3:28 pm
I am interested in dreadlocks. I have found these ideas very interesting.
September 28, 2015 at 4:04 pm
I have just started to gel twist but I am not sure how long to wait until I wash my hair. I was advised not to get it wet.
October 1, 2015 at 9:00 am
It is recommended to wait a minimum of 3 weeks before shampooing your hair for the first time.
Here is how you would do it at home: https://youtu.be/2qZXmSK12Vw
5 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Got Locs
October 3, 2015 at 8:01 am
[…] Read: Starting Locs with Two-Strand Twists […]
7 Methods to Start Locs: Drawbacks & What to Expect
November 6, 2015 at 9:17 am
[…] RELATED: Advice for Starting Locs With Two-Strand Twists […]
January 11, 2016 at 6:56 am
You mentioned not to use Shea butter. Can you give more details, why not? And what to use when starting/twisting?
January 15, 2016 at 8:18 pm
You can read the article “Why I Stopped Using Shea Butter” and “7 Products for Retwisting Locs” for the answers!
January 23, 2016 at 1:49 pm
I’ve tried to click “Sign Me Up”, but it only directed me to a blank page!
January 25, 2016 at 2:02 am
Visit this link to join the mailing list.
January 24, 2016 at 7:08 pm
So then no product to start the two strand twist?? Just clean, dry, hair??
I’m interested in start with this method.
June 12, 2016 at 12:48 am
It is up to you whether or not you choose to use products, but I would definitely recommend starting with wet, moisturized hair not dry hair.
February 20, 2016 at 10:28 pm
Earlier in the blog you said we should avoid using Jamaica mango and lime gel. Could you expound on the reason?
February 21, 2016 at 12:05 pm
Yes, read the full article on Jamaican Mango & Lime.
March 11, 2016 at 3:50 pm
Its Notez the Photographer, I started my loc journey two days ago on March 9th. I’m a little nervous but more so excited 😀 .. I used coconut oil, a little gel and honey to do my two strand twist method. I was just wondering is it mandatory to wash them in 2 weeks..? I was told that if i keep them oiled, and palm roll them I can wait a little longer to wash them. Any feedback??
June 12, 2016 at 12:47 am
Hey Notez! I would suggest waiting at least 4 weeks before you’re first shampoo. Also, now that you’ve started them on the locking process, you can ditch the honey and embrace your nu growth 🙂
March 17, 2016 at 3:22 pm
I started my daughters locs with 2 strand twists about a month ago and i washed them for the first time last weekend. I used the mango and lime shampoo and conditioner and the locking gel on the new growth. My question is how often should i palm roll her twists and what product works best on 4c hair for this jouney?
June 12, 2016 at 2:13 am
Hi Ebony, you should throw the JML in the trash immediately.. that line is very bad for locs over an extend period of time. You can review my review of the products here. Products do not actually loc the hair, they are only mean for polish. In this article “7 Products for Retwisting Locs“, I list several different products that work well on locs depending upon your desired results. I hope this helps 🙂
March 24, 2016 at 12:10 pm
I started my lock journey with the two strand twist December of 2015 by a professional. I am in the military and we are required to keep our hair nice and tidy.. Is it healthy for the twist to be in a bun all the time? I have seen new growth. Also, I have permed ends, I plan on cutting the permed ends off after my natural hair reaches a certain length. I have not washed them yet, should I wash my hair? It’s going on 3 months. My hair does not smell. Please, give me the guidance I need to continue on with healthy locs. Thank you!
June 12, 2016 at 2:09 am
Yes, please shampoo your hair ASAP. You should not extend 8 weeks without cleansing your scalp. If you do have to keep you hair in a bun, try to change it’s position so you’re not tying it in the same place constantly which will cause thinning in the locs. Also, be sure the bun is not tight because that can cause a lot of stress on your edges.
June 12, 2016 at 5:57 am
Hello! I added my husbands locs to my hair. I love it because it’s nice and long, but the lady that did it didn’t do it neatly, his locs are sliding off or not connected to my roots -_- it’s really bothering me. What should I do? I don’t know anyone here in Maryland to fix it.
May 5, 2016 at 5:54 pm
always was inspired by my mother having locs, I did y research & started my dread process, started out with coils about a month in a half ago. they look pretty good I was my hair once a week , . i know its a process so im not really cornced about my hair being super long because i now it will take years for that. but how long I’ll it take to just hang, or to grow a full inch , how long will it take to look like little dreads?
June 12, 2016 at 2:07 am
Typically our hair grows 1in in two months but because we’re locking out hair we see less growth, especially in the early stages because your hair has to tangle together (think constant shrinkage). Generally, your locs are fully budded within 12-18 months.
June 14, 2016 at 8:50 pm
I two strand twist my hair and i would like them to loc would i have to by the dread loc gel or they lock on its own
September 4, 2016 at 4:18 am
They will loc on their own of course. Using product solely add shine and nourishment, it does not cause your hair to loc or loc and faster. Enjoy your new journey!
July 3, 2018 at 3:44 pm
You say do not use mango and lime locking gel on your locks is that the same for other mango and lime products?
January 22, 2019 at 1:06 am
Yeah, they are pretty much all trash.
September 9, 2016 at 8:00 am
My locs were started about a week ago with 2 strand twists and interlocked at the root. I have seborrheic dermatitis, and I fear that the things I am using to keep my scalp from flaking will prevent my hair from locing in the long run. Any suggestions?
November 24, 2016 at 2:45 am
I would need more information about the things that are you using and your lifestyle, hair history, etc to answer that question. Feel free to schedule a “Virtual Consultation” with me if you would like my professional recommendation for you hair.
November 15, 2016 at 4:39 pm
What is the average number amount of loss to start with? I twisted my hair yesterday and only have 46 twists in my hair. My goal is to have medium thick sized locs? I have thick kinky curly hair around 4B, 4C. I just want my hair to look full.
November 24, 2016 at 1:34 am
The fullness is dictated more so by the parting system than the number of locs because the number of locs will vary based on each individual’s hair texture and density.
November 27, 2016 at 10:02 am
I have natural hair, but allergic to products can I loc without products I have two strand twists using no products
November 29, 2016 at 11:40 pm
Yes of course! Products do NOT lock the hair.
November 30, 2016 at 2:35 am
I d not want them to be free form, how can I keep them neat. Did you say black castor oil is not good, I use a little on my hair line where years of relaxing has thinned it
December 4, 2016 at 9:24 pm
I just got two strand twists for the first time. I’ve had them in for 3 days and i was wondering if my 4c hair will dread on its own or if I’ll need to do something to them
December 5, 2016 at 1:03 pm
Your hair can naturally form locs, you do not need to specifically do anything to “make your hair lock” but you do need to take care of your hair!
December 8, 2016 at 3:30 pm
Have you had any experience using alo Vera gel on locs
December 14, 2016 at 12:29 am
Yes, aloe vera gel is great for locs!
May 1, 2017 at 9:17 am
ive started my locs out with 2 strand twist and its been a little over a month she used some khemet hair wax i believe and i now have build up in the back of my hair i dont know if i should return to her because i had shoulder length hair and she told me since my hair was that long it would cost me 110 in order to start and she also has told me not to wash it for a month i dont know what to do with this build up in the back of my head smh and she also used this lime and mango locking products
May 1, 2017 at 9:41 am
Horrible! I definitely would not go back to her! Ever!
December 30, 2019 at 7:54 pm
Hi, so I would like to know one thing about the two strand twists. I want to start my locs with the two strand twist but is it fine if I never retwist my hair? Not even once? Will they still be locked one day?? Or if I retwist my hair, will they be locked more faster?
January 22, 2020 at 9:58 pm
Great question! Short answer, if you retwist the twists they will look and feel loc’d faster. However if you never retwists them, depending on the length, yes one day they will look like locs but it will take much longer.
June 6, 2020 at 6:26 pm
I just started mine with the 2 strand twist today what do I do next ? I plan on keeping them covered up for a while is that ok or bad and I just want to use straight coconut oil the organic kind is that ok?
June 17, 2020 at 1:57 am
Welcome to the journey! I would suggest not covering your hair, if you can help it, so that you don’t flatten your starter locs, dry them out or cause lint accumulation. I also generally advise against coconut oil but if your hair/scalp like it, then go for it. Alternatively, you can check out this article, “Top 5 Oils for Locs” and also check out this post “Top 3 Things You Need For Retwising Locs“. I hope this helps!
September 12, 2020 at 8:10 am
I just had my 2 strand twist done a week ago as part of my journey to dreads. I have a 4C hair and the twists are about 200!! Is that okay?
September 22, 2020 at 8:25 am
Yeah, sounds like you have microlocs.
February 24, 2021 at 12:35 am
So I tried twice to start my loc but they have now loc,I have soft hair n am not sure which products to use
March 1, 2021 at 9:33 am
You don’t need products to lock your hair, just patience. With softer textures of hair, and/or longer lengths, the process will take much longer. Stick with it!