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What I Have Learned In Five Years With Microlocs

By Terez Howard

(Affiliate links are included in this post).

Five years with microlocs… as of Oct. 29, 2015.  The photos that follow were taken a couple weeks after my anniversary date, and since then, I got a little trim.  More on that later.

For now, I would like to share what I have learned over these past five years:

  1. A super flaky scalp can be remedied.  I have always had a lot of dandruff, flakes, dry scalp chunks, whatever you want to call them.  The only constant my scalp seems to accept is change.  I know.  That sounds ridiculous, but hear me out.  I found that the Video Locktician’s Ooh Oil calmed down my flakes substantially for several months.  However, like the bottle warns, you should eventually use it less and less.  Well, I didn’t follow that advice and ended up with build-up, which turned into… you guessed it!  Flakes!  So, I decided to incorporate an apple cider vinegar rinse into my weekly washing.  That worked wonders.  Not only were those flakes lifted, but my actual locs felt softer.  But once again, after about a month of this, the dandruff came right back.  My latest experiment included conditioning with Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen Grow and Restore Conditionerand ACV then rinsing after a few minutes under a shower cap.  I was flake-free again!  I know I can’t do the same process week after week.  In the end, I’m still experimenting.  I know that my scalp might like one routine one week, but the next week had better have something different going on.  I’m still learning.
  2. Trim those locs.  When I was a loose natural, I could easily see when I needed a trim.  I knew that when my wide
    locs trim

    After my trim, I lost a little length.

    tooth comb fought against my tight coils and lost the battle, it was definitely time to snip those ends.  Well, no combing is required with locs.  So, I didn’t know when I needed to trim.  I have read that the ends might start coming off of locs, but I hadn’t had anything like that.  My hair always has grown unevenly, in a sort-of layered look, so I didn’t ever expect perfectly even locs.  But after I got the trim, I knew it was long overdue.  As a future rule of thumb, I need a trim when my ends look extraordinarily chubby to raggedy thin wisps.  My ends had such a huge range in appearance that a trim got them looking much more uniform.

  3. Simple styles, no stress.  I love to style my hair.  I am a fan of very simple hair styles that don’t require a lot of time.  So, no complex barrel twist updos or even loc petals.  Don’t get me wrong.  They are gorgeous; they just are not for me.  Because I have length now, buns of all shapes, sizes, and locations on the head are my favorite style.  I know this might seem contradictory, but since my trim, my buns have been much easier to maneuver, probably because the hair is a more uniform length.  I try to always give my hair a break because too much pulling will stress out those edges and cause breakage, which leads to my last point.
  4. Broken locs.  The first loc that broke off was found in my towel after drying freshly shampooed hair.  I was mortified.  Then I decided to “trim” a knot.  Goodbye, loc.  After that, following several weeks of swimming, I noticed some haggard-looking locs that were thick at the root and tip, yet virtually hanging on for dear life in the center.  Soon enough, a couple more were gone.  I don’t like seeing my locs break off.  The lost ones are all in the front, which really stinks.  However, I’m no longer mortified by this.  Each broken loc had a definite cause, which thankfully wasn’t due to any health issues.  Now, they are growing back, and I’m trying to not repeat my same mistakes.  No tightly wrapping my towel to dry my hair.  No knot trimming.

I enjoy seeing the progress my hair has made over the years.  As for the future of my hair, my goal length is mid-back, a few more inches longer than what I’ve got now.  Once my shorter layers grow a little longer, I want to cut my longer layer to the length of my shorter layer to add some volume.  Until then, I’m enjoying the ride.

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