Hairlocking is a natural hairstyle that spans generations. There are many different methods today, to start, maintain and grow healthy locs. Because so many techniques exist, different tools and products are used for each method.
Locking methods consist of comb coils, finger coils, twists, braids, interlocks, free forming and extensions. Each of the methods has a different time length to be installed and requires different tools and products. Below is a break down of common tools and products used for hairlocking.
- Traditional Locs are usually started by creating finger coils or comb coils in the hair. Comb coils are best started on hair that is less than 4 inches long. You can switch to finger coils for longer lengths. Tools needed may include a a rat tail comb for parting and creating coils, or a barber comb, hair clips for sectioning and a non flaking, waxless styling pomade or spray.
- For locs created with braids or 2 strand twists, you will need a rat tail comb for parting and a moisturizing styler such as whipped shea butter or a light, non flaking gel to minimize frizz. This method is best used on longer hair or wavier hair that is prone to frizz.
- Interlocks are created with tools such as a latch hook, Sisterlock tool or Nappylocs tool. Other alternatives that have been used are paper clips and bobby pins. This method is very tedious and should be installed by someone else, so they can see where they are working and create uniform sizes. It is often recommended to not use products outside of shampoo to start and maintain this locking method. This method is also the longest locking method to start, but takes on the appearance of mature locs sooner.
- Free formed hairlocking often involves no tools or products. You can use a towel or sponge to rub in initial locs and from there, maintenance is free. Just let them grow out. You will want to still wash your hair ot prevent dirt build up and unsightly debris in the hair. There is such a thing as free formed CLEAN locs.
- Loc extensions can be created with human or synthetic hair. A series of techniques is used to create locs in the hair that include braiding, wrapping, smoothing and pruning. Extensions are often done to avoid the “ugly” stage or to start with a length that is styleable.
Choosing the right method depends on your hair texture, lifestyle, dedication to maintenance and your desired outcome. Check out our comprehensive locked hair guide for more details about hairlocking.