If you are thinking about locking your hair, then you are probably curious about what the experience entails. The hair locking (dreadlocking) experience can be trying for many newbies and uninformed individuals. Dreadlocks, by nature, are locked and become a permanent hairstyle. Because of the permanency of the hairstyle, you want to make sure you have all the possible facts before you make this big decision.
It is important to first realize that deadlocks don't just come into existence. This is not an overnight thing. They require care, patience, and care knowledge. In essence, locks are the result of your hair matting and locking together, which takes time to happen. In fact, it takes a lot of time depending on the texture and thickness of your hair. The amount of time it takes for your hair to FULLY lock can take anywhere from 1 year to 2 years (or even longer). Being FULLY locked means that your hair cannot be EASILY taken down or loosened by conditioners, washing, or other situations where your hair is manipulated. Overall, the entire experience is hard to deal with when you don't know what to expect. Understanding the stages of locking help to make the locking experience easier and tends to make the locker happier while they are locking. This article will discuss the 3 basic stages of locking. Though every experience is different, most Lockers will experience the following stages: the Baby Locks Stage, the Teenage Locks Stage, and the Adult Locks Stage. If you're committed and up for the challenge, you will have the honor to experience each one.
The Baby Locks Stage happens (on average) during the first 7 months of locking. This is the stage when your hair is just starting to lock. This stage is not dependent on the method in which the locks are started. During this stage you DO NOT want to wash your hair too often (no more than once every 4 to 6 weeks) because your hair has yet to lock. During the beginning stages you'll be required to continually have your hair re-twisted or otherwise maintained. This stage lasts for a few months.
After the Baby Locks Stage, you will experience the Teenage Locks Stage which occurs (on average) during months 7 to 17. This is the stage of your locking experience when you have had the style for a few months and you now can wash and style your hair more often. The main reason this is called the teenage stage is because just like a teenager you hair will not want to do anything that you tell it (smile). During this stage you WILL experience poofy, frizzy, messy hair. That is ok! As your locks get tighter, the frizzies will eventually go away. You have to be patient otherwise the frizzies will distract you from the final result. This stage will last for a FEW months. Then you will be ready for the next stage. During this stage you do not want to condition your hair. Like real-life teenagers, this may be the stage where you wonder what's going on with your hair. Too short to lie down easily, your teenage locks may seem to sprout all over your head and go in the directions they want to go. This can be a tough stage (especially if you have to put up with negative comments), but if you can persevere, you'll enjoy what's coming.
The Final stage and most beloved is the Adult Locks Stage. This stage happens (on average) about 17 months after beginning locks. This is where the real joy begins because your locks are finally long enough to lie flat or hang down. You don't have to re-twist your new growth as often; you can shampoo and condition your hair more often; you can style your hair without reservation; and you can officially say you are locked. During this stage, your locks are usually thick enough to support themselves. This is the stage when you can do most things to your hair. Also, during this stage your hair is the most obedient. Once you reach this stage, your locks are firmly in place. Your hair care routine can be simple or complex, depending on what you like. However, during this stage you really do not have to do much to them.
Knowledge is power especially when it comes to the decision to lock your hair. It is important to keep your eyes on the final result you are seeking. Also, it is important to remember that locking is a PROCESS and COMMITMENT! Being familiar and knowing what to expect during the Baby, Teenage, and Adult Locks Stages of the locking process helps making the decision to lock that much easier. Happy Locking!