You’ve waited patiently (or impatiently) for your dreads to grow. They’re finally coming in nicely but you’re starting to have some thinning and breakage at the ends or in the middle of the loc shaft.Here are a few ways to help avoid it before it becomes irreversible.
- Stop Twisting Too Often or Too Tight – This is one of the biggest contributors to breaking locs. Our hair grows approximately half an inch every 4 weeks. Twisting along with this pattern is important. Twisting bi-weekly or even more frequent will weaken the loc shaft as there will not be enough new growth to sustain the re-tightening and you will twist hair that has already been twisted. Twisting every 4 to 6 weeks is often enough and is dependent on your hair growth. It is also important to not over-twist the loc shaft. If your locs are twisted until they start looping around this is too much. Not only will this cause weakening but can also damage the hair follicles resulting in permanent hair loss.
- Wrap Them Up At Night – Something as simple as sleeping can contribute to weak, frail locs. If your locs are shoulder length or longer you’re even more at risk for them getting tangled around your head and each other while you sleep. Keeping them covered with a breathable scarf, sleep cap or wrap can help lessen the chance of them breaking.
- Go Easy On Styles – Whether you like styling, prefer them for work or your stylist is just the most amazing, styling can significantly contribute to loc breakage. Pulling your hair back in one too often, doing tight barrel rolls, poking with pins and constantly wrapping rods and rubberbands can weaken the loc shaft, pierce the locs or damage the hair. Avoid styling as much as you can as this can cause long term loc damage especially when done too tight.
- Lighten the Load – I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had clients come into the salon going bald because their hair is too heavy for their roots. I understand they are attached to their hair and some would even rather go bald than take a couple inches off, but for me i prefer to maintain with trims once every two years. After your locs get to a certain length they may start getting too heavy for the roots to carry. Don’t compare your hair or journey to someone elses. Yes, someone may have longer hair and their roots are still strong but you can’t always do the same. You can also try to keep it up in wraps to lesson the pulling on the roots.
- Avoid Coloring – Colored dreadlocks are beautiful when done by a professional and maintained properly. However, people seldom take great care of color treated hair. Even then, bleaching and lightening is very harsh on locs. It can make them weak, pourus, dry and brittle all of which eventually lead to breakage. Chemical cuts are also quite common. This is when their is a noticeable breakage along the color line.
- Eat Well – Maintaining a healthy balanced diet is key to hair health and strength. A diet rich in protein, Biotin, Iron, Omega 3 and Vitamins A & C are key to hair health. As we age and experience stress, menopause and other health related issues, it becomes even more important to maintain a healthy balanced diet or take supplements.
- Use products that contribute to hair health – Every product in our Lockology line is made with all natural and organic ingredients that help to strengthen your locs without building up or coating your loc shaft.