When Will Locs Start Budding?


When your locs start budding you should be excited— you have reached the beginning of one of the first milestones in your loc journey! But if you’re unsure of what it means when your locs start “budding”, you’ll likely have more concern than excitement. Common concerns that arise when locs start budding are “why is my loc pregnant“, “what is this lump in my locs“, “my locs are puffy in one area” and naturally, if this is your first set of locs you may think something is wrong— but don’t worry! The beginning of your loc journey is when your hair undergoes the most transformation.

Let’s talk about the basics of loc budding so that you will understand what’s going on and put your mind at ease.

Are your locs budding

What is Loc Budding?

When your locs start budding that means your hair is beginning to tangle inside the loc and form its own internal loc matrix. The internal Loc matrix is essentially a net within the locs that catches all of your naturally shed hair. The formation of this internal loc matrix causes your locs to swell and become noticeably frizzy.

Related Article: Locs Under a Microscope

You can take a closer look at what locs budding looks like under the microscope in my latest video:

[tg_youtube width=”525″ height=”295″ video_id=”bTr4110mmeM”]

When to expect your locs to start budding?

Typically, within the first 3-6 months you will notice the first signs of budding in your locs. Depending on your hair texture, product usage and initial method for starting locs the onset of this process can vary. The budding can appear anywhere along the shaft of the locs, but normally budding appears in the middle of the locs or closer to the roots first.

Locs Budding in Three Months

Once your locs have completely budded, from the roots to the ends, they will have matured into the teenage loc stage.

Related Article: The 4 stages of Hair Locking

What If You Haven’t Noticed Any Budding?

If within the first 6 months of your loc journey your locs have not begun to bud, I would definitely check your products first. Often times, if you’re not under the guidance of a Certified Loctician, you end up using the wrong products for locs; and without a proper regimen your locs take a lot longer to mature. But again, the timeline for your locs to start budding varies widely from person to person and hair texture to hair texture, so patience is essential for everyone.

Can the Loc Budding Be Avoided

You may hear reference made to the phrase, “ugly phase of locs” and how much of a struggle it is to get through it. Often times, it is assumed that the “ugly phase of locs” is during the budding process— as your hair transitions from coils or twists into locs. If you desire to skip that phase or the first 6-9 months of the locking process, you can opt for instant locs. Instant locs are instantaneous formation of the internal loc matrix such that your hair resembles a natural cultivated loc. However, it is important to know that your hair would still go through the remaining phases of hair locking, starting from the teenage phase. So the short answer is yes you can skip the initial stage of budding, but your hair would still go through the locking process.

Now that you understand the basics of loc budding, embrace this stage of your loc journey and look forward to the beautiful transformation that your hair will grow you through!

In the comments, share when your locs started budding and how you initially felt about it!

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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

I Am excited to say that Yeaterday was my first wash and retest (after exactly 3 weeks) and yup Almost 90% of my Coils have Budded Already!! Judging by various blogs it looks that my products and regimen must be Working!! I am Loving This Loc Life Already!! (Note my hair was coiled after already growing it into a natural Mohawk for a year so it wasn’t from the root when I stared)

Thank you for your info on the budding process; My loctician started the process in January with the the comb, I was loving it; now it is budding and after reading your article I am pleased to find that I am in my teenage journey. So so excited!!!!

Thank you my Sister for that exhilarating information. ..

This is my second loc journey, I combed out my locs after having them in for 13 years and decided to wear my hair natural. Didn’t understand my curl pattern, so I cut it all off in a tapered fro hawk style. I tried to deal with styling my natural hair for a year, learned it’s a lot of work.
I started locs again and have noticed after a week I’m budding. YESSSSS!!! I am so excited, never understood my loc journey the first go round. This second time around, I’ve educated myself and am extremely excited.

Hello!! This is my first time with locs and i’ve had them for 7 weeks and they started budding in 5 weeks.

My locs start budding around week 4 started my locs end of march this year (2017) at this point it’s been 2 1/2 months and almost all my locs are in the budding stage.

I started locking in mid to late October 2016 I started budding Janlate or early Feb. I thought I was doing something wrong my stylist did not explain the process. I have a new stylist today.

Hey there,
i Love My Loc Journey! My hair started budding during the 1st month. I am now growing into my locs and loving every moment of it. Stay strong y’all! God bless you all in Jesus name amen. ☺

Love this post. I started and maintained my own locks the first 6 months. I then went to a salon for wash and retwist and the stylist made me concerned about the budding. It started for me around 2.5 months. I have super curly hair so I didn’t think anything of it until she frightened me. So thank you for sharing this

I started budding after 2weeks of starter locs

What do budding locs feel like? In the portion that is budding, is it a soft squishy feeling or a harder feeling?

The back of my hair started budding within one month. I have only been loc’d for 2 months and the majority of my hair has buds. I guess that’s a good thing?

Hi! I have my sisterlocks installation on march, 30th and my hair have already started the budding process til week 2!
Now I am on week 5 and nearly all the locks have their buds on! It seems to begin very soon compared to all what I have read about buddind process.
I have very thin hair, 4 c or d. My loctician says that’s why it began faster.
Thank you!

I’m loving ALL the transformations my hair is going through. I grew up with a “southern mother” who thought that ONLY pressed hair, done every two weeks was the only way a respectable black girl wore her hair, (circa 1960’s) I threw the blasted hot-comb away in the late 1980’s and embraced the relaxer…which resulted in hair loss, scalp damage and even lower self-esteem. (I refused to have the dreaded ‘new growth’ and so would relax anytime I felt roots, I also went through a period of stripping color and dying it red, blonde and light brown) Finally, in the mid 90’s, I had a revelation. Got rid of the ‘creamy-crack’ and embraced who I was. I LOVED the feel of my natural hair, every curl, coil and soft fluffy texture of MY hair. I stopped doing a poor imitation of a white woman and embraced the real me. Three months ago, I started the locing process, it’s starting to bud and I’m loving it! I spritz it with water, and rub a little oil on the palms of my hands and gently run it over my hair, it feels so good through my fingers. My loctician is a diamond and has taught me so much about caring for my hair and scalp. (I have been told to try to keep my hands out of my hair! LOL) I just can’t say enough about beautiful, natural hair!

My hair has finally started budding all over and I think it’s beautiful.
.not ugly at all.


Dominique Washington

Can budding start as early as 2 to 3 weeks

Yes it sure can, depending on your hair texture.

Yea, I’m three weeks into the loc journey and my hair is already budding. And I’m shocked!

When you have stater locs and you notice what I think is budding , part of my finger coils I can’t recoil them, is it budding or should I get a comb and comb it out and then try to recoil it ? I don’t know

Sounds like its budding. You should definitely not comb it out… its beginning the locking process which is tangling!

I started my journey 12-7-22….Its been 29 days know, I’ve notice a couple buds in different areas. I’m loving the journey so far can’t wait to see the mature stage of my locs.

Yes,the back and middle of my hair was budding within 3 weeks.

I started my locs at a natural salon Feb 7-2020. Due to coved-19 I had to start my own maintenance. I am also a licensed cosmetologist so it’s not bad but I am starting to bud as well.
I look forward to more posts on your blog.

Yes I decided to put locks in my hair and I started of getting the yarn focx locks to start off. Is this a good way of locking my natural hair up if I don’t want to use wax and gel ? Or is there another way of me locking my hair?

Hi, my locs are thinning an inch from the tops what can I use to strengthen them

hello there! I started my loc journey in February 2018! The budding came in the month of June. At first, I was extremely paranoid ! I thought my stylist messed up my hair and/or that my hair gave up on me. However, my stylist reassured that everything is okay and that I should be glad my hair loc’d and is in the process of budding! I am only 19yrs of age and I absolutely cannot wait for my hair to grow!!

I am currently in the budding stage. I started my locs in June. I am wondering can I get them styled now or should
I wait a little longer?

I started locks in my sons hair about 5 months ago. His hair is budding and he is worried that his locs will stay chunky. Is this the anticipated size of his locs?

I started my locs in coils and my ear comes closely to my ear ive had them for 6 days now and they started budding WITHIN 3/4 days is that possibly a good sign? This is my first time at this i must say im embracing it and , i love it..fresh start to new beginnings

I have Used the freeflow twist and lock gel. Is this the right thing to use to start

Never heard of this. As long as the product is water-soluble it should be fine.

I’ve started my local journey on September 26,2018. I’ve currently have had my hair locked for 3 or 4 months now. I absolutely love my 4c hair! I started noticing my loc budding this December and I’m so excited!

Yay!!! Welcome to the journey! And enjoy all the stages!

After my first Retwist, I started noticing the budding. I started my process 5 weeks ago.

Yay!!! Let the fun begin!

I started my journey on December 29. My locs have started to but 5 weeks in!!! Excited

I just had my first wash and restwist after only 3 weeks and I have a full head of buds! They all haven’t budded yet, but I would say approximately 80%. I was shocked, but excited!!

I started my journey Sep 28, 2018. I have fine 4c hair. My locs don’t seem to have a lot of budding and are thin to me. Is this normal for this amount of time?

Hey I started my locs with two strand twists and they have been unraveling lately mostly around my eddges and also those pieces of hair is oddly straighter than the rest of my hair? Any tips? I’ve retwisted back and also added a few braided ones so they will stay, was this a good idea? Fairly the rest of my hair is locing up pretty well to have a month in already.

Thank you so much for this! I was one of those who thought the budding was a negative thing, but you have shed some light and now I can embrace the buds with love (when I get there)

Hi, I started my local the instant loc method 3 months ago and am now retwisting. Haven’t seen any signs of locking on new growth since and no budding yet. Is this normal? When will my retwists start locking?

I’ve officially started yesterday afternoon and I’m so happy that I decided to go ahead and do it after talking abt for over a year. The best decision I ever made and I feel free. I’m embracing my new look.

My Lock journey started November ’18. I noticed budding after the first 2 months, as I have very thick, coarse 4c hair. Now going on 5 months on 4/10, the budding has become more prevalent and I’m enjoying the teenage phase

I started my locs almost two weeks ago, I also have a 4b texture. Will they lock within 3-6 months?

I will be starting my locs this weekend. I can’t wait to start the process.

I just got my starter locs on 4/12/19. My loctican used the interlocking method. I have 4C hair type and just wondering when will I start to notice budding.

I started my journey on March 18th. It’s been a month and after my first wash and retwist, a friend noticed some of my locs budding. A little research led me here, and I am definitely happy knowing that I’m hitting a milestone in my journey.

My locs have not started swelling and it has been 11 months

My ends have budded an my hair has been loc’d for 10 months. Why is the length taking so long to grow?

My ends have budded an my hair has been loc’d for 10 months. Why is the length taking so long to grow? I have a guestion about Locaffela itch oil is it safe to use?

I understand that the budding process depends on how the locs are started. I recently started my 2nd set of locs 2 weeks ago with the rubber band method but they were twisted to start them off and I have about 30 of them and some are frizzy and really soft while the others are less frizzy but feel like they’re starting good. Do normal washes every 2-4 weeks (at the latest) and no products (other than coconut oil) help the budding start faster with some locs more than others due to different hair textures throughout your head? Oh and btw the stocking cap idea to wash my locs works perfectly.

Great information. Very encouraging! #10monthsin

I just started my locs like 9 days ago, and a good number of my coils have started budding..this early is it even normal?

I just start reading your articles and finds them very informative.
I’ve had locks for a number of years and really love them. My hair is not very thick but due to high blood pressure medication, my hair has fallen out on the top. Do you know of a professional in Brooklyn, NY that could help with this issue?

Thank you in advance

I am glad that I watched your video because I was waiting until my retwisting every 3wks before washing my hair I only started my journey on April 28 2019 so now that can use a stocking cap I am good thanks

I am about two months loc’s and not positive mine is budding. I had my first wash and my new growth got puffy, I retwisted and it just looks like a puffy loc. How do I know for sure if it’s just puff or budding?

I have been on my loc journey for 5 months now and I started to notice budding in month 4, love the process

I noticed mine budding after my first wash and retwist. It was 5 weeks. I have to consciously keep my hands out of my hair because it feels good to feel the buds!

What products to use on starter locs& teen locs& what to use on locs for moisturizer?

I started my locs 4 weeks ago. My coils have already started to “puff up” all over. I was nervous, and was ready to comb my hair out lol. Glad to know this is a normal stage. Thank you so much for sharing this info and educating folks like myself who are new to the world of locs.

I started budding in 1 day. Last week at 1 month I had my first retwist and out of approximately 100 locs all but 5 have started budding. I have 4c\z hair. My loctician called it amazing and she was shocked.

I hit my 1 year mark in October but my ends are still not loc’d. I was natural for about 7years before I decided to loc my hair. I don’t use any product on my hair when I retwist because I want them to loc naturally. What am I doing wrong for my ends to not be loc’d, yet? everyone is saying it’s my hair texture.

Good evening, hope all is well. Thank you for this website. I started my locs journey in August 2019. The buddy has started for about a month and half. My hair type is 4c. My questions is what retwisting sustain would you for grooming my locs.

Thank You

Hi started my locing journey 1 month ago. Is it safe to braid over the loc?

My hair is starting to bud but my hair is really curly what good product should I use to hold my locs and keep them nice and manicured

I just started and super excited

Okay I’m in the budding stage & my locs are startign to become flat how do i correct this

Started my lock journey a week ago! My hair seems to already be budding. I’m very excited about the journey but I know it’s a process to endure. Any advice?

what can i use to my locs so it grows faster


It’s a relief to know other people go through bidding at the early weeks I started my loc journey a month ago and I noticed some budding too is it because I spray my starter locs with water mixed with jojoba oil. They are also getting really frizzy and I can’t do anything about it omg !!! Im still in love with them ayayyayayhhh!!!

Hello I am 6 months into my loc journey. This is my second set of locs . However this time around I’m noticing a lot of shedding. I moisturize often with rose water or leave in conditioner. With a light oil. I also use Sauve clarifying shampoo. Do you think this is drying out my hair? I use to use claire’s daughter with my first set and had no problems. I also shampoo every 7 days. Can you please advise me thank you.

Peace Shalonda! I would love to help you with your hair care regimen! Visit my website and schedule a “Virtual Consultation” at your earliest convenience: https://nugrowthsalon.as.me/virtual-consultations

I started my locs November 17 and I stared seeing some budding after my first month now majority of my hair has started budding 10 weeks in now.

Hi, my had a two strands twists done in September 2019 – however my twists were done too tightly, can this affect the budding process negatively?

I just started my LOCs 3 weeks ago. Today was my first shampoo and retwist and I already see some budding. I also have a little length. I have been shaking my head all day, just to feel my baby locks swing from side to side. I’m elated.
I should have LOC’d my hair years ago.

4 months into my locs love it

I started my loc journey Jan 3, 2020. When I got my 1st retwist at my 4 week mark I saw budding. I am so excited to be budding already. I have 4c hair but my sides are like 4a. I am excited about the process but a little nervous because my sides are thinner than the rest of my hair.

Congratulations on your new journey!!!!

Hi, how long does the budding stage typically last? Thanks.

Check out the “Stages of Locs: How Locs Evolve From Beginning to Maturity” post which shares how long each stage lasts and what you can expect!

Hi! Can I use treatment on my locs? My locs are 5 months old now and couldn’t be prouder!

So I have soft curly hair and my budding as came making my ends of my locs look like matted flat hair how can I help this? Or is this the process?

This is known as bunching. You can help remedy this by elongating the hair every time it is wet and doing loc rubbing consistently.

Hello, I have juste started my locs journey with the instant locs method as my hair is halfed relaxed, and I was wondering if it would take more type in this case, for the hair to bud.
Another question, does instant locs get thicker by the time, like it does for other methods?
Thank u!!

*More time for the hair to bud…

The instant loc method creates the budding so your hair does not have to grow through that stage. The locs will not change in size. The size that the instant locs were started is the size that your locs will continue to be, maybe slightly smaller over time.

Hi Jocelyn,

I’m going on 10 months and it seems as if only a few of my locs actually budded around months 4/5. I never experienced a full blown budding nor teenage phase. I get my retwists done by a loctician every 3-4 months, I use rosewater/glycerin every other day, and massage my scalp with castor oil once a week. I don’t wash my own hair. I wait until it’s time to to get a retwist to have my loctician wash it. Do you think my hair will still go through the budding or teenage phase before they are fully matured?

Thank you!!

Hi Tashaunna! All locs have to grow through a budding phase so I am sure yours is still coming. 10 months is still very young. You may not see the budding because you are not washing your own hair… that is where the magic happens! Wishing you all the best on your journey!

I think I shocked my locs. I had been growing them since 2009, 3 different locticions and in 2018 what was down my back I cut into a bob for my 50th birthday. The front has grown back to length but the back is still upset, although not as short as it was, the first go round from 2009-2018 did not take nearly as long to grow seems like

As you age the cycles that your hair grow in begin to slow down, so it is normal that you are not experiencing the same growth rate that you saw a few year ago at this point in your journey. Just keep growing!

Hi Jocelyn,

I’m totally new to the life of locs. I’m looking for a loctician, but for now considering starting my own l own locs due to the COVID19 crisis. My edges in the front are thin from the tension of past braid and twist styles. Any suggestions on how to deal with this issue while locing?

Hi there Denise! There are so many suggests that I would advise with your new journey. I will work on a blog post and/or video about it, but overall please be gentle to your edges and don’t add any additional tension!

I’ve had small locs for 10 years with g great length, however they are thinning at the root. How can I restore thickness and growth to my thin edges

Great question Carolyn and that is so amazing that you’ve had 1 set of locs for 10 years! Cumulatively, with all my sets of locs, I have had locs for 10 years as well but this is the longest I have had one set— 4 years. I would suggest checking out an article I posted about the “Common Causes of Thinning Locs” to see if there is a solution there for you, or you can setup a Virtual Consultation with me and we can discuss specific recommendations for you.

Hi Jocelyn, I am 7 months into the loc journey and I dunno if my hair is budding. There is a lot of loose hair strands that are not locking
What should I do?

I would definitely invite you to join my Digital Txt Club, that way you can send me a picture of your hair and I can offer a realistic suggestion.


I just wanna start by saying thank you for this website. I unintentionally started my loc journey w/ finger coils that i didnt want to take out. I am going on 3 weeks in, I washed and retwisted my hair last weekend completely on my own. I have been researching properly loc care from sun up to sundown. I want to know how to make sure Im on the right track tho, cuz this is all so new to me. What would you suggest?

Congratulations on starting your new loc journey Shannon! I would suggest checking out the article “How To Part Your Hair For Starter Locs” which talks about parting systems. Review that post to ensure you are comfortable with your foundation and then from there embrace the process of the journey! I also have a workshop “How to Retwist Locs At Home” which details at-home care for traditional locs available in the NuGrowth Academy.

I hope this helps!

And definitely join the mailing list for tips straight to your inbox!

Hi!!! I always wanted to loc my hair but was always afraid of how it would look. I’ve been natural for almost 2 yrs and on April 10th decided to started my loc journey. I have notice budding already especially in the back and the middle. With no heat to my hair, I have seen a lot more growth than I did before. I know I am in the “ugly”/early stage lol so my question is when I get my locs retwisted what can I do so that the front of my hair continues to look nice and neat instead of looking like I need to get my hair done even though it was done two days ago?

My best advice is to trust the process! Your roots will swell. Your locs will unravel. Your hair will be wild. It is all apart of the process. I would also encourage you to change your mindset about the locking process that you’re growing through… there is nothing ugly about it. Wishing you the best on your journey!

OH, also check out this video “Edge Control Tips for Women with Locs“.

I appreciate that. Thank you!

I started my loc journey on May 9th, and I did my first retwist on May 21st with out washing. My question is, how long should I wait to wash? I do not want to wash too soon and cause them to unravel, because my hair type is 4B. Thanks!

First, you should definitely wash your hair. 4 Weeks is the longest you should ever go without washing your hair. Washing your hair may cause unraveling and it might not but even if some of them unravel, just put them back in and continue with the process. Never sacrifice your scalp health for “neat hair”.

My hair starter budding the 1st month. My second retwist I would day 70% or more of my hair has a bud somewhere on the shaft of my hair.

Hey Danielle. I started my journey the same day as you, and did my 1st retwist the same day as well. I was also worried about my hair unraveling, but it really needed to be washed. So I read a tip to use a stocking cap when washing starter locs to keep them from unraveling. I feel it definitely helped keep my locs together at the ends. Hopefully, it will help you as well.

Thank you Shannon! I was thinking of washing this weekend, because the itch is crazy!!! I just wanted to do some research first before I did so. Since we are lock twins, we should keep in touch to follow each other’s journey!!

Girl Yess!! ‍♀️ loc twins indeed!! I would be more than happy to share this journey wit you. And definitely do your research. Real talk thats how I found Jocelyn Reneé and this site… and im so happy i did now. Send me your info

Thank you for providing such great information. I am 3 weeks into my third loc journey. I am excited. I wish I hadn’t relaxed my hair because I have some straight ends, but I am looking forward to this new journey!

Same here! I was doing research, and ran across this site! Glad I did too! Both of my kids had dreads before, and I would retwist them, but I never really did any research until I decided to get them, because my grade of hair is much softer. I wonder how I can share my info with you without it being open to the public.

I been trying to figure that out for the last 24 hours. Lol. I just created a public email. Shoot me a message and we can exchange info.

Ok! emailing you now!!


Elizabeth Edwards

I started my locs April 17 2020. My hair has already started to bud lumps in my locs frizzy everywhere & my coils are filling in.

Yay! Happy 3 Month Locversary!!

Im a teenager starting locs for the first time and after my first retwists thé ends of my locs are frizzy and unraveled looking.. how do i tell the difference between budding and unraveling?

I didn’t know about the budding stage so I forcefully interlocked my locs,,will it cause damage in the long run?

Damage— unlikely. However, depending on what pattern was used you may see an indentation in your locs where the interlocking occurred.

Nice reading about everyone starting their loc journey. This is my second time round doing them. This time I started in October 2020 so I’m just past the 3 months stage. Started with relaxed hair two strand twist method. Obviously the relaxed hair is not locking but the roots are starting to bud now which is good. I started with relaxed hair the last time too and it never looked bad just gave the ends a bit of length. I slowly chipped away the relaxed hair over time. (Do not ask me why I didn’t continue the first loc journey- I deeply regret it) so here I am again and loving it. I’ve gone a little thinner this time round.

It’s nice not having to put too much chemicals in my hair because I have to dye my grey roots and became too much dying and relaxing my hair so I’ve stopped one chemical treatment now with doing locs. Can’t wait to get past my first year then I can stop counting the time and months. It has gone quite fast though already and being on lockdown really helps

I just started mine an it’s only a month now I have soft hair an haven’t seen budding yet but I’m goin to keep goin with it

hi! just found your site by doing some research and i love it already !

my question is that i wanna loc my 4C hair in the near future but my hair is thinner around the front perimeter of my hair. which parting style would you recommend please ?

I started my sister locks journey on Aug 8, 2019, professionally installed. Professional loctician installed my locs and would not tell me what product to use for washing my hair. I was told in my consultation that my pricing included my first wash and I would get a sampler shampoo kit that was never provided. Hair has not shown any signs of locking, budding or maturing, I was having a lot of slippage and was using whatever shampoo I wanted to for natural hair as I was told and then using It’s A 10 and Nairobi styling foam doing as she instucted me to do. I decided to change locticians and for the last few month I’ve seen a little formation no budding, no swelling yet. I’ll be so happy when I get to this stage. My locs were at the ugly stage for a long time. I was told to use baby shampoo and no oils or anything. I’ve never used oils from the beginning. Waiting patiently for progress on this journey. OMG.

Thanks for this info! At 43 I finally decided to loc. I was always afraid to commit. Looking back, I’ve grown thru at least 5 stages of letting my hair grow and always ended up cutting it off. Most recently had a sponge brush mohawk. I went to a highly recommended loctician on 10/14, got a retwist 10/31, and go back in 4 weeks. I’ve seen so many beautiful loc journeys and am looking forward for to the process. Literally googled starter locs budding and found this.

Peace Mark,

Welcome to the loc journey, your process sounds like it’s progressing well. thank you for the support.

So I’ve had my starter locs for six weeks now and they have started to bud. Thank goodness I had read up on the process. So I wouldn’t freak out. So I’m enjoying my new journey!! So much to learn but I’m loving it!!

Hello, I started my locs June 2 with sponge method because I had a very short hair and it is 6 months now and my hair is yet to show any sign of budding, it is just thin. I question is if I’m still on track with my journey or I have to start again

It sounds like you are or attempted to freeform your locs, which not everyone can do. Most hair types will actually thin when not regularly groomed. I cannot say for certain what is going on with your journey without a consultation, but I would suggest grooming your locs to help with their integrity.

Thank you (and Damian Walter) for your great information. After researching locking since March 2020, I finally pulled the trigger. I felt confident enough to start my own locks on November 5th. My first retwist was November 23rd and there was budding!!! I am excited but have a question. My hair grew 2.2 inches in those 3 weeks, is this an expected growth rate? Am I stretching my locks or are they really growing that fast? My cosmetologist (Tresses at Tiffanys) sent me some serum when I told her I was locking my hair, could it be the source of the growth? I just don’t want my locks to grow long quick and sacrifice strength. Suggestions?

Welcome to the journey! The “growth” is a likely a result of unraveling at the roots, which made the area loose. On average, hair grows about 1/2 inch per month, so 5x that is highly unrealistic.

I’m so glad I found this article! My hair is budding, everywhere and at first I definitely thought it was a bad thing. I previously had locs for 8 years and I’m restarting. (I do not know why I cut them!) anyways, I started locing in September 2020 and the budding I assumed was my hair not properly being twisted. Should it be crocheted down/together? Or palm twisted to make the loc whole again?

Welcome back to the journey!

I am not sure what you mean by making it “whole again” but you do definitely want to groom the entire loc in the beginning. There are big differences between palm-rolling and crocheting, so you want to choose whichever method aligns best with your desired outcome and lifestyle.

Hi Jocelyn,
Why is it important to groom the whole loc in the beginning stages? I am one month today (2nd loc journey) :D! I have had maintenance done with a loctician, but now that I have moved abroad, I will be maintaining them myself. I just want to make sure I do the right thing. I have around 76-78 locs, and I’d like them to be thick, but I don’t want to over twist them/ palm roll them, and make them too skinny.

Thank you!


Hey, I just received my first sister lock installation on yesterday. I did the big chop 2 weeks ago, got my hair comb coiled and wore that style for two weeks. When i went to get my sister lock installation, I was told my hair was 4A and my ends were very straight and that she was afraid my hair would unravel. She recommended that i wear the bantu knots until my first retwist. I work in the corporate world. I’m scared if I unravel the knots, that my hair would come down. Any suggestions? I go back in 3 weeks for a follow up.

My hair texture is curly like the goddes loc look (curly ends and all) I started budding around 9 months and I hated it because it was like hyper budding meaning my buds were joining each other on some locs and I hated it. I started training hem and now onwards I’ll continue to.

I’ve just started my loc journey on the 2 January 2021. I’m nervous about the size of my locs. I didnt want too many but at the same time don’t want them to look too few.I have started to notice a few buds and was wondering would the loc thicken to the size of duds?

Generally speaking, most locs will amount to the size of the bud, but some may be slightly smaller.

Ok this was really helpful cause I’m three months in and haven’t experienced any budding. I was alittle worried because most persons I know started from one to two months.

Yes, have patience and trust that your process may not look like everyone else’s!

Thank you for all the information you provide! I got my locs September 23, 2020. My locs are interlocked, but they are not sista locs, but are semi-small (I have 187 locs) and, according to my loctician, they should become thicker. Will I see budding with interlocked hair? I haven’t noticed any yet, and I’m almost 6 months in!
Thank you!

Most localist in my country use loc- moulding gel and beewax, I know beewax isn’t recommend, what can I do to self retouch my locs, I started my lock journey last month and I’m already budding too.

Please don’t use that stuff! Stick with aloe vera gel or make your own flax seed gel.

Hi Jocelyn,

So I had instant locs a week ago today from a great loctitian in Paris.

I was not thrilled with the sizes (I have 43 installed because of the density of my hair).
The loctitian told me, same as your information that it won’t get any thicker, however my hair is looking a little thicker. I was wondering if the ‘instant locs not getting thicker over time’ a general rule and varies from person to person?


Hi Lola! That is a general rule. Even though they are “instant” they still have to grow through the locking process, which will involve expansion but will ultimately condense to the size you’ve seen.

Oh, I see.
Thank you so much for clearing that up. My natural hair is usually a lot thicker when I have double strand twists on my loose natural.
Either way, I am content with my decision to loc my hair and I am positive I will grow to love them more and more as they grow 🙂
Thank you!!!

I started my started locs with very little hair , I’m on month 3 going on to 4. I got my last retwist on the 28th of this month. I haven’t seen budding yet. But I haven’t washed my hair yet either because my mom says they’ll come a loose is that bad?

Yes you should absolutely shampoo your hair! And the budding can’t happen without wetting the hair.

Im about 1.5 mos into my loc Journey and I noticed budding in the center of my locs and the center of my head since my hair texture there is coarser. I’m super excited for my whole head to bud.

I’m in between in loving and lack of love but I didn’t know this stage but I’m now embracing it because it makes up my story.

O have just started to loc my hair ( start in June of this year) I have notice the budding, but I thought that was my hair breaking off. My hair is soft and curly

I got my starter locs 10/16/21 and my first retwist was 11/19/21. I already have several locs that have begun to bud. So excited for this journey!

I started my loc journey on October 25th 2021. I have 3 questions. First, currently I put my hair in six braids every night. So my question is, does this slow down the budding process? how often should I wash my hair ? How often should I moisturize my hair?

Hello, my daughter got some starter locs a month ago and just had them washed and retwisted. We noticed the budding within the first two weeks on her soft hair. Is that normal? Also when she went to the salon and got her locs wash and retwisted, the budding and frizz were left undone and only retwisted at the roots? Is that typical? I notice on YouTube that some people recoil the budding. I’m not sure what technique is the best.

Yes it is normal that she is budding quickly, but it is not normal that the length of her locs were not groomed. Please advise that “Loctician” that you need the length groomed as well.

I have had my starter locs since July 27 and I haven’t noticed any budding ? I keep them in a style should I stop getting styles ? And I get them washed and retwisted once a month! My stylist use Loc N gel … I really need some of your feed back

Yes you have to let your locs down, and not style so much. And likely shampoo more. We can discuss more in a Virtual Consultation or if you join the Loc Goals Club we have a live Q&A call once a month.

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