By Terez Howard
Unmanicured, puffy roots might have been something you expected when you locs were due for a retwist. But the constant battle with puffy roots was not something you expected to see on a daily basis. What can you do with that unmanicured look?
1. Retwist more frequently, but not too frequently. If you are only doing loc maintenance once every couple months and can’t stand your puffy roots, perhaps you should start doing your retwist/palm rolling every month. I would not recommend tending to your roots more than that because frequent retwisting can weaken your locs and possibly cause breakage.
2. Start latching. Latching with the use of a latch hook creates a definite tight pattern in your locs, which will diminish over time. Latching creates thinner dreadlocks, and these locs are very difficult to remove once installed. If you are going to latch your locs, I would say that you should start doing this at the beginning of your loc journey. It will encourage locs to appear neater, tighter. If you already palm roll and want to switch to latching, it can be done. Loc Rocker showed a series of videos on her blog to help with the process.
3. Wear styles that stretch your roots. I like to do this when my hair is due for a retightening. Braid-outs, Bantu knots or flat twists can stretch your hair, and when these styles are removed, the bendy texture masks puffy roots. A headband also is a great accessory to fall back on.
4. Accept your hair type. If you have a looser curl pattern, you might find that your hair in its locked state appears frizzier than those with a tighter coil. When your new growth starts to appear, your loose natural hair type becomes more and more visible. If it is naturally frizzy, puffy roots will be a norm for you.
At the start of your loc journey, you will stress about every little thing, from a spec of lint to a patch of dandruff. Give your hair time to adjust to its environment, and try not to sweat the small stuff. As your locs mature, your hair will not look as puffy. Or, maybe it will if that’s what your hair wants to do! If you have thick, dense hair, you might always maintain a tiny fro beneath your locs as your hair grows. Learn to love it. It’s you.