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Saturday
Oct292011

Baby Loc Saturday: Starting Locs Organically or With Coils

Bob Marley With Organic Baby DreadlocksIn 1998, I decided to loc my hair but didn't have any idea how. I'd known many people with organic locs and assumed the small light coils I'd seen on a couple were how their hair grew. My hair is a mixture of zig zag textures, so I wasn’t sure if that look was possible for me. I was lost until I ran into an old book called Hair Locking, Everything you need to know. This was the only book available to me and I devoured it like manna. Looking at it now it seems silly, esoteric and quaint; At the time, it was a revelation. I had a choice... I could start organic locs or I could coil my hair. 

Starting organic locs is probably the most simple and difficult way to start you locs. Organic locs can be started on almost any hair type. While straighter hair may take years to mesh and look nothing like afro textured organic locs... the hair will mesh over time. Organic locs are often linked to strong religious or spiritual feelings but not not always. They are simple because you literally just leave your hair alone.

Frequent washing and conditioning will help the meshing process and keep your scalp and locs healthy. This technique takes patience as it may be months or years before you notice signs of locking. Unfortunately, this style of locking is also seen most negatively by society. You must be deeply determined  and able to face comments from bosses, friends and family. Organic locs decide their own size and make a statement. These locs are loved or hated, but few feel neutral about organic locs. 

Coils are far more common in the west as they allow the wearer to decide the size and parting of their locs. When I read the title of the book “Nice Dreads” by Lonnice Brittenum Bonner. I bristled because of the negative connotation toward organic or freeform locs. But when most people think of “nice dreads” comb coils are often what they imagine. They're usually more cylindrical and even when compared to other methods of traditional sized locs. 

My third set of baby locsThis was the technique I chose for my 1st-3rd set of locs. My hair was less than an inch long so, while my siblings attempted to comb coil my hair, many were finger twisted and way too much product was used. I loved my coils because they were easy to put in and budded quickly. I hated them because they unraveled constantly and the product made my scalp itch. Every time I washed my hair, I had to re-twist most of my locs. They were frizzy and unruly unless re-twisted more often than I thought healthy. If you are considering coils and your hair naturally coils this may be the perfect method for you. It may also be a perfect method if you only need to wash your hair every couple weeks or see a loctician frequently. Banding, or washing your locs through mesh helps prevent them from unraveling. But for my zigzag textured hair that needed to be washed twice week, coils were a struggle. Luckily I discovered other methods for my future locs. Next week, I’ll talk about starting with 2 and 3 strand twists. 

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