By Terez Howard

Braidlocs, also known as braidlocks or bradelocz, are locs achieved by braiding the hair.  All you need is two inches of hair, or enough hair to hold a braid, to start these locs.  You actually do not have to start with all natural hair; you can have relaxed ends and cut them after your natural hair grows out.

Braidlocs are great for ladies whose hair type does not hold a twist or coil well.  The braids will stay tight as well as not frizz much on their own.  Braidlocs will get frizzy after a washing, but that is usually the case with whichever method you choose to use to start locs.  You can maintain braidlocs with a latch hook, by finger latching (without the use of a tool), palm rolling or twisting.  Generally, braidlocs are maintained by latching.

What is latching?

Latching, either with the use of a latch hook or with your fingers, is a method used to retighten new growth at the roots.  A latch hook might be known to crafty folks as a device used to make rugs.  But to ladies with locs, it is the tool used to tighten locs.

When you latch your hair, be sure to not insert the latch in the same spot each time because this will create a hole in the loc.  Alternate the direction that you latch your natural hair locs, whether you use a latch hook or your fingers.

Braidlocs Pros

1. You can wash your hair as often as you want.

Because braidlocs are started with braids, you will not have to worry about them unraveling when you wash them.  In general, the braids will remain in tact.

2. You do not have to retighten your roots in one sitting.

If you choose the latching method, you can retighten part of your new growth one day and do the rest on another day.  You can latch your natural hair wet, damp or dry.

3. Braidlocs can be small and offer greater styling options.

Because braidlocs can be created very small, with some braidloc wearers rocking 500 locs or more, you have more opportunities for intricate styling.  Of course, with any locs you have a variety of styling options.  But with small braidlocs, you can achieve more defined styles.

Braidlocs Cons

1. Your head might look scalpy in the beginning.

Newly installed braidlocs have a tendency to show a lot of scalp in the beginning.  The braids will be very tight, so scalp exposure usually cannot be avoided initially.

2. You will have to retighten your natural hair every 4 to 6 weeks.

Perhaps you would put this on the pros list.  But for some naturals, getting out of the 4- to 6-week relaxer “touch-up” routine was freeing.  You might not want to return to a routine that requires you to retighten your braidlocs on a schedule.  If you wait too long between tightening your roots, you will experience damage and breakage.

For More Information on Braidlocs:

Check out Cherie King’s e-book, The Bradelocz Ebook Guide – http://bradelocz.com/blog/

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