If you have had locs for a while, you more than likely have encountered a problem or two. Whether it is thinning, to one that is super lumpy, there are several common locs problems that arise in the journey and there, of course, are ways to repair them.
Lumps & Bumps
This is a common occurrence with locs, especially in the earlier stages. If your locs are still new, you rest assured that this is a part of the journey, especially if your locs are traditional. They may resemble cheese puffs at some point, but again, this is typical behavior with locs.
But if your locs are more than one year old, they should begin to smooth out. But in the event you do have bumps, you can simple palm roll the length of the loc to train it to smooth out. You do this by taking one loc at a time and placing it between your palms. Some rub the palms back and forth, smoothing the loc out and some rub in one direction starting from root to tip, but the preference is yours.
Lumps or bumps can also be trimmed away with sharp thinning shears. You must use caution when using the shears so you don’t pierce your locs or accidentally cut them off.
What you would do is to use the scissors along the loc to shave off the excess. Be sure that your are opening and closing the shears fairly quickly when you do this. You can also use a straight edged razor, however, there is more risk of losing a loc with this tool.
Stray hairs can be a beast sometimes. But pretty much everyone who has locs will have stray hairs at some point. To fix this issue, you can palm roll the strays into the loc, using a little gel. You can also take a crochet hook and interlock the stray hair into the loc. To do this you would open the latch on the hook and stick it through the loc where the loose hair is. Place the loose hair into the latch and close it. Then pull it back through the loc. Repeat this until the stray hairs are gone.
You can also use a needle and thread to fix strays. You can do this by threading a needle and being sure to make a knot in the thread, forming a loop. Place the needle through the loose hair, then take the loose strands of hair and pull them through the loop, next pull the thread through the loc. Repeat until all the strands are incorporated.
Y’s & Holes
Y’s and holes can more than likely be fixed, if the loc isn’t severely damaged or too thin. To fix these, you will need a latch hook. Find the loc and located the “y”, next place the opened latch hook through the base of the “y”. Then you place the end of the loc in the latch and close it. Finally, pull it through. Do this from the base of the “y” toward the scalp. This ensures that you close up the “y” and the holes as well.
Almost all locs become thin over time. This is due to constant twisting, styling and sometimes just with age. It is good to examine your locs regularly so you can catch thinning locs sooner than later. There are a few ways to fix thin locs.
You can combine a thin loc to a neighboring loc by simple twisting the 2 together or latching the new growth of the 2 together. If you are really skilled in using a latch hook, you can latch the 2 together all the way down the length of the loc.
You can sometimes tie a single knot in a loc that is thinned out. You will want to tie the knot right where the area is thin and then palm roll the knot to smooth it out. Be sure not to pull too tight as you can rip the loc completely off.
- Clip & Sew
You can also trim off the thin end of the loc and then reattach it to the existing loc, higher up where it is stronger. You simply take clear thread and a needle and use it to sew your loc back onto the end of the loc. The clear thread should be unnoticeable and over time, the fuzzyness of the locs grow over the thread and disguise it further.
- Add Hair
You can also wrap thin areas of a loc with a very small amount of human afro hair, then palm roll it onto the existing loc. It will blend in the older it gets.
If all else fails, it won’t hurt to cut off thin locs. You can toss them or use them to beef up other thinner locs by sewing it onto an older loc.
If you have locs that aren’t exactly uniform and one or more are too thick, you can fix this too. Loc splitting is something that is not highly recommended, but for very thick locs, you can split them and make 2 or 3 smaller locs from this one loc. There are 2 ways to split a loc. The first way is to create a “y” in the locs. You can do this by placing your finger in the new growth of the loc and pushing your finger through it. Next, get the end of the loc and pull it through that hole you made with your finger. Repeat this until there is a noticeable “y”. It will take a few months for those 2 sections on either side of the “y” to form into a solid loc but when that happens, you can then cut the length of the loc. One will be shorter than the other, but you can add a little human hair to the end to extend the length of it-or you can sew on a loc that you previously cut off.
The other way to split the loc is by cutting it. You will want to be careful doing this. Simply take the very thick loc and use sharp shears to cut it up the middle toward the scalp. Next, palm roll each loc to smooth.
You can also pick the loc apart and then create new locs from that one. To pick the loc apart, soak in hot water and apply a creamy conditioner. Use a dental pick (with the pointy metal end) to pick the loc apart from the bottom to the top. Then make your new locs however you choose (ie. Palm roll, latching, braiding, twisting).