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Locked Hair Guide

Stages of Locking

The stages of locks can best be described in “life stages”.

Baby Locks: Locks from conception to the point of matting for the first time. They are generally soft and pliable and can come apart easily. It is important in this stage to be very careful with them, not to wet them too often. It is recommended that you wait at least 3 weeks before immersing them in water, but use witch hazel or an astringent to cleanse the scalp during this time. If your hair is on the wavy or straight side, you will certainly want to wait to get them wet, but it is less crucial when using other methods like interlocking or braiding. This stage lasts about 3-6 months, give or take, depending on your hair texture.

Styling baby locks: Using clip on barrettes, thin head bands, and even a cowry shell or beads can adorn your baby locks and give them a little sass! You don’t want to over do it with products and accessories, though. Just a little bit can go a long way.

Teenage Locks: The funky, in between stage when locks aren’t hanging or well formed. They stand up, uncoil, flatten and may be hard to style. There isn’t much you can do at this stage while they are “wild ‘n out”, but you can begin to shampoo them more regularly. When doing so, it is best to remember to pull them apart, or keep them separated so they don’t join. Also you may have more styling options by now. This stage lasts from about 6

-12 months. Much patience is necessary during this stage.

Styling Teenage Locks: A wider headband can be used now, and even bigger clips. There are so many. You can also do some combination styles, like flat twists in the front and a starburst of locks in back. This stage often is a “hat stage”. There are many beautiful hats, crocheted, wool and more to floss up your locks. It’s always neat to allow the locks to peek through when wearing a hat. If you are even more creative, roller sets on sponge rollers or jherri curl rods are a great way to disguise the various lengths and textures your locks are in.

Mature/Adult Locks: (You may even want to call this the Promised Land!) We long for this moment when the locks are matted from top to bottom with no gaps or loose ends. They are strong and pretty much the same size from tip to base. You can shampoo your hair as often as you like and you can wait a longer time to maintain them. Styling mature locks, well there are endless possibilities from corn rows to flat twists, curl and updos. You can do just about anything without much worry.

Be aware, however, of keeping locks from drying out. They can become brittle no matter how old and long they are, and can fall off right at the scalp!!!


  1. LaShaun P.

    This blog is very helpful. Do you braidlock hair? I love what you did to your daughters hair!

  2. LaShaun P.

    Do you braidlock hair? This has been very helpful

  3. Sh"Ray B


    • admin

      Hello and thank you for visiting!

      I started mine with coils, not done by a comb, but the result was the same. I started my locks with a non alcohol based gel. Once I started my locks, I waited 2 weeks for the first shampoo, but then after that it was once a week. After I towel dried my hair, I used a cream pomade to retwist the new growth. A good product is the Jamaican Mango and Lime Locking Gel. It runs about $5 and should last you a couple months, depending on how often you shampoo your hair, swim or perspire. There may be some unraveling but that is normal, and still over time, the hair will lock.

      Congratulations on your journey!

  4. Shamekia

    Great article! This has helped me out tremendously. I was considering giving up on locking because I was afraid that I was doing it wrong and going in the wrong direction. It is good to have sites like this for sharing and encouraging one another. I have started my locs through the single twist method and using non-alcoholic gel. It has been a month and really, I do love them! In any case, do you offer anymore suggestions? How often should I wash my hair in this beginning stage? When my hair unravels, should I retwist with gel or leave it? Again, thanks for your post! Have a great day!

  5. T. Marshall

    I really enjoyed this article. It has answered a lot of my questions about Dreadlocks, as far the type of locks thats suitable for your hair. I didn’t have knowledge of the various types of dreads. I had in my mind that I was go try the Sisterlocks but after reading this article I believe that I would like to go with the braidlocz instead.I am really considering taking the next step I have been wearing braids for the last couple of months and I kinda like the natural look. Its really great that they have websites like this, willing to take the time and get in detail with the nature of the topic….Thanx a bunch

    • admin

      Hello! I am glad that you were able to find this guide and use it as a resource. When I went Natural, I didn’t know much about the internet and when I finally found something, there was only one site. Now I have found so many resources-each offering a different perspective and experience 🙂 Braid locks are a wonderful way to start your locks. That is what I did for my daughter, and her hair is growing beautifully. Feel free to email me any questions you may also have, I’d be happy to help. Happy Holidays to you and yours and Congratulations on your decision to lock your hair! It’s a journey that is SO worth it!

  6. Faahla

    It’s also wise to change your products with the change in climate.
    Summer:Peppermint shampoo/soap
    Queen Helen mint shampoo
    Alomond shampoo/soap
    Jamican lime & mango all products ie. shampoo,conditioner,catus root
    Winter:Creame of nature most all products

    Doo Grow most all products as well
    Black Earth most all products
    Organic root stimulater styling pudding good for braid outs and roller sets.
    I have used all of these products and like them and they work for me just have to find which one works for you:)

    • admin

      Thank you for visiting and sharing your product choices, I will also make this a post. Doo Grow products worked well for my daughter and I use Jamaican Mango and Lime products also. I used the Organic Root stimulator when I was a loose natural as well. These days, the simpler, the better for me. My leave in conditioner and coconut oil have been working well with my locs.

      Happy New Year!

  7. Faahla

    Here is some info on a new product I found:
    Creme of Nature with Argan Oil.

    Indigenous to Morocco, Argan Oil is a precious and rare oil that has supplied radiance and nourishment to hair for centuries. “Liquid gold” as it is lovingly referred, Argan Oil is organically grown and rich in vitamin E and essential fatty acids that are good for hair and skin. It is also light-weight and said to have restorative and age-defying effects, making it one of the hottest ingredients introduced into the beauty industry as of late.

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