Why I Detox My Locs, Even Without Seeing Buildup

I never use baking soda to detox my locs— its way too harsh! Actually, I take that back, I did use baking soda and ACV on my locs one time and it was SO drying. I remember, back in 2013, watching Youtube videos that showed how mucky and dirty the detox water became. At the time, I just wanted to have a video like everyone else showing how my water transformed from clear to dirty brown. Such a disgusting goal, I know. But what I learned after doing my first detox soak, was that a detox soak removed buildup WITHIN my locs and made them feel really light and airy. So, I knew adding a routine loc detox soak was a necessary addition to my regimen to maintain healthy locs. Now, here I am 7 years and 2 sets of locs later still doing detox soaks for my locs. The only difference is now my locs are also twice as thick and twice as long!

How I Do a Loc Detox Soak At Home

I strive to detox my locs at least twice a year, and by that standard I am overdue by at least 6 months. Thankfully, last week I discovered this extra long basin in my kid’s bathroom and figured it would be a great time to do a much needed detox soak. One of the reasons why I had been avoiding doing a detox was because my my last detox I was very painful. The position that I had to be in to get my locs and scalp in the bowl was so uncomfortable. I think my back and neck were hurting for a good week afterwards. So as I was contemplating doing the detox and scheduling my next Chiropractor appointment earlier than usual— it dawned on me. Remember when you were a kid and your mom washed your hair in the kitchen sink and you laid on the counter? Why not use that same set up to do a loc detox?! Duh! So that Is what I setup, but instead of putting my head in the sink, I used the basin. It worked perfectly. I climbed my grown self onto my kitchen counter and I was able to comfortably get all of my locs and scalp into the detox!

RELATED ARTICLE: 5 Different Types of Buildup


My water didn’t turn mucky brown— it actually turned green— since my locs are dyed aquamarine. A lot of oils and what I am going to assume is sweat and/or grim were also present in the water. And I am sure there was a whole lot more residue removed from my locs that I couldn’t see. This is why I encourage everyone with locs to detox their locs regularly because once you start to see the buildup it is already a problem. Even if you use the most natural oil, the purest gel, or the tears of an African elephant to shampoo your hair you still need to detox.

RELATED GUIDE: Recipes for Detoxing Your Locs


Check out my recent loc detox setup and results in my latest video, “Loc Detox Soak With Thick Locs” and let me know if you have any questions about detoxing your locs! I will post a “Frequently Asked Questions About Detoxing Locs” article next week with answers to your questions!

Previous Post
Next Post

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

What ingredients do you recommend for detoxing your locs. I have never done this and have been loc’d for 9 years! Thanks.

I share several recipes for detoxing locs in the “How to Detox Your Locs Recipe Guide” that are broken down based on the different types of buildup. However, if you just want to do a general detox you can use apple cider vinegar.

Your locs are really pretty. I have never done a detox on my locs and would like to know the recipe that I would use.

Thank you.

Thanks so much! I will be posting an article this week with answers to FAQs about Loc Detoxing! Check back soon or join the mailing list!

Hi my hair is long onto my behind,would I get the same result if I did it while I am in the Barth,as that would be better for me.

Yes, with longer locs, I’ve seen people do their detox soak in the tub.

Receipe for detox I use sea salt & cider vinegar

How do your locs feel after that detox?


Inflatable basins may be more comfortable to detox locs. That is what I will use. I am 63 and don’t need anymore aches/discomfort in back or neck. The inflatable basin can be purchased at Walmart and possible other similar type stores.

I agree! I linked an inflatable basin in the post “Frequently Asked Questions About Detoxing Locs” as one of the “positions” to detox locs in because like you said, comfortability matters!

This is my third set of locs and they’re just pass my shoulders. I’ve never done a detox. My locs don’t feel heavy so I’m trying to imagine when you say they’ll feel light and airy afterwards. Since I know there’s buildup it would make sense to try this! Not looking forward to figuring out a way to soak comfortably though! The inflatable basin sounds like a good idea….

What did you put in the water?

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.