If you’ve done any amount of research on the subject of locs or locking, you know there are about 5-6 ways to go about it. More than that if you count the various offshoots of some of the foundational methods.
After making this discovery, you’re now left to wonder which method is best.
The answer will vary, depending on who you ask.
While some are biased and will go as far as pitting one method of starting locs against another, there really is no “best method” overall.
So rather than asking which method is best, what you really want to ask is…
“Which method is best for ME?”
How do you determine the right method for you?
There are a few factors you’ll want to take into consideration when deciding how to start your locs:
– Lifestyle: Which of your daily activities may affect your hair such as: frequent working out, swimming, etc.?
– Hair length: Is your hair long, short, or medium?
– Hair texture: Is your hair extremely soft and curly, wavy, straight or coarse and tightly coiled?
– Personal aesthetics: Do you want your locs to be perfectly groomed & manicured, do you want them more on the “wild”, natural side, or somewhere in between?
Once you’ve determined those things, you can take a look at the various methods and choose the one that will best fit your needs and personal preference.
6 of the Most Popular Methods of Locking
The following is a list of the most common ways to start locs. There are others, but they’re more than likely nothing more than offshoots of these basic, foundational methods.
1. Comb coils
This method is very popular on hair that is too short to braid or 2-strand twist. One single-strand twist is made in small to medium sections of the hair using a locking product.
The hair may take longer to lock, due to the fact that the coils unravel a lot during shampooing – which is why scalp cleansing with an astringent is often recommended until the locs settle enough to shampoo without disturbing them too much.
In the beginning stages, the twists tend to unravel and can begin to look very fuzzy and wild. Although this is a part of the process, many people cannot and/or do not want to deal with those stages.
While any hair texture that has a natural curl/wave/coil pattern can be locked using this method, I’m of the opinion that tightly coiled hair would be best and unravel the least.
2. Two-strand twists
Most lock-wearers choose this route to start their locks because they hold up better than single strand twist (comb coils).
The hair is sectioned and twisted with two strands of hair as opposed to one. The twists look very nice when first done and when they mature, they produce very beautiful locks.
Another method of starting your locs is to braid the hair into small to medium-sized plaits.
This option is excellent for those whose hair may not hold up too well in coils or twists, or those who desire to be able to shampoo their hair sooner than normally recommended with single or double-strand twists.
Interlocking is basically creating a pattern in the hair by using a type of weaving pattern. There are various ways to lock the hair using “tools” such as a latch hook, crochet needle, or a locking tool that was actually designed for interlocking.
Interlocking generally holds up better than other methods. And while they can still unravel, it’s nowhere near as much as with other methods.
Locs that were started with interlocking can be maintained the same way. In fact, this can be a great way to retighten locs started with any method.
And this is a great option for those who may have relaxed ends or straighter textures of hair, although it can be done on any texture of hair.
5. Guided Freeform
Guided freeform locks are typically started using one of the aforementioned methods, but the roots are not re-twisted or retightened and the locs get separated when they start trying to join/marry together.
Although the roots do eventually lock up on their own, there is typically an inch or so of “mini-fro” at the base of the locks. Some people prefer this look, while others don’t care for the puffy roots. Personally, I love this look!
6. Organic/Natural Freeform
With organic locks, you would start off with all natural hair, usually short to medium length.
Typically the hair is just washed and allowed to form into locs on its own, but some start with the “rub method” where you use your hand or a damp cloth to rub your hair in a circular motion until it separates into chunks.
However, I’ve also seen people start off with coils, twists or braids, and from there, allow the locs to do what they do.
Either way you start organic freeform locs, your hair is shampooed and moisturized regularly, then left alone with no twisting or separating whatsoever.
The ball’s now in your court!
Based on this knowledge, you can make a decision as to which method of locking you’d want to use.
Again, there is no “best method” of starting locs overall, only what’s best for you.
If you’re still unsure, you may wish to schedule a consultation with up to three Lociticians in your area. But ultimately, the decision is yours.Blessings & Warmest Regards,