Friday, March 19, 2010

Marrying/Combing locs...

The recent reader question about thinning locs prompted me to do a post about how I try to prevent my own locs from thinning.

-For one, I damn sure won't be bleaching my own locs anymore. Remember the purple loc? I had to bleach it so that the color would take. Wellll, the genius that is me did not completely rinse out all of the bleach. When the purple faded away, I was left with a white tip. A good 3 inches of the loc is so thin. It is dry and brittle and is a reminder of my stupidity. Ah well...we live and learn, right?

-I try not to wear the locs in ponytails too often. As hot as they are in my face, I'd much rather wear them down because I know there isn't any tugging.

-I massage my scalp nightly.

-I marry them! Combining locs is a popular method in the loc'ing community. To be honest, I never wanted to do this. I never considered that thinner locs would force me to do it and for that reason I have dealing with thoughts like, "Maybe I should cut my locs off and start over with a new set of thicker locs". I doubt I'll do that but I think about it often. Thanks to the advice from my fellow loc sisters, I'm a little more confident about combining my locs to get the look I want.

In the meantime, here's what I do...

Take these two locs...

See how skinny they are? Well, NOT skinny but too skinny for me. Paranoia tells me that as they get longer and mature, they'll get even skinnier. And eventually they may pop off. So I marry them.

I do this by 2-stranding the two locs together.

I am sure to go in the same direction as my hair is twisted. I also make sure that I have at least an inch of new growth to work with.

The ends of married locs are tricky. While I don't mind the double loc look, I wouldn't want them ALL over. I find myself having to pick the ends of the each single loc.

After I've got a bit of 'fro  hair' to work with,  I twist and viola!

The good news is, most of the locs that have to be combined are covered by non-married locs.

This is good for me because I don't like newlywed locs to stand out as much.

If you plan on combining, start early! Here's a loc that I combined within the first 6 months or so.

You can't even tell that they were two locs, can you? My plan is to completely combine as many locs as I need to within the next month. My locs are still fuzzy and far from mature so combining shouldn't be a problem now.

And here's a double loc/2 headed dragon loc...

I have about 4 of them. I remember seeing these in my friends' locs and wondering how that happened. His entire head of locs all the double end like that. Definitely not my preference but I'd rather have those than have super skinny locs. I will more than likely cut the ends of those on day.

Don't give me that look. I'm not against cutting my locs. Shooo....I live in Florida and I haven't had hair growing down this long since 2004. It's hot!

Those that latch, I'm assuming can combine by latching two locs together. I hear that Sisterlock'ers do the same.

Chime in and tell me how you combine your locs. Any tips or tricks?

If your preference is skinny locs, rock on! You have to do what works for you but lately I've really been embracing the look and maintenance of thicker locs. I have about 170-somethin' locs but I'm sure I'll have a good 150 by the time I'm done combining. That's almost 50 less locs from when the locs were first installed!


Hibiscus Niki said...

So funny that you posted this today because the past couple weeks I have really been contemplating combining. I have sisterlocks but ABSOLUTELY LOVE, LOVE, LOVE larger locks. My hair is kind of fine so I am not sure combining will be good, they might look too thin. Decisions, decisions! What texture is your hair because it doesn't look thin or too thick?


B said...

Combining really is a tricky subject and feat. It took me forever to figure out what to do. My texture? It's pretty thick. Like around 4a. But from the middle to the back of my hair, it's like 3b-ish.

sabrina said...

I've combined 4 so far and will probably combine the rest on my back two row. I simply can't get those to hold.

msfullroller said...

I combined about 10 locs in the early days by latching the new growth together then 2 strand twisting them together. I combined 2 on this last retightening and have been thinking about combining the nape rows and a some others for a few months now. Since it's been awhile on the earliest ones and I like the way the early combos slimmed down, I've finally decided to do it on this next retightening.

Redemption said...

Funny enough I just combined two locs recently. They were getting a bit thin, but that wasn't what compelled me to combine them. It seemed that within the 2 weeks of retwisting they decided to elope (haha...get it?). I was retwisting my hair and they were just stuck together. Trying to separate them looked like a lost cause, so I just twisted the newgrowth of the newly wed loc as if they were one to begin with.
This isn't the first time two of my locs have eloped either, but I figure that sometimes my locs know what's best for them; as long as they look nice, i'm fine with it.

P.S. - I never did think to twist the ends together; that does make perfect sense.

Mrs. Honey Dip said...

I combine my locs on a regular basis when they get too thin. I usually just twist them and let them form 2 headed dragons. Sometimes after a few months, I'll cut one of the 'heads' off. That just depends on how I feel. Lately, I've been doing the two strand all the way down but I don't like the way they look in a sea of mature locs (7yrs). I don't have a head full of dragons so I usually just let them form like that.

NESSessary said...

check out my blog, I have posted pics of my hair when it was first installed versus how it looks now since i've married them. It was the best thing I did for my locs! I know thicker locs or combining locs may not be for everyone but from my experience it makes maintenance so much easier in the long run.

NESSessary said...

oh and about those tips, you can always tie a rubberband around them, i have done that recently and it has prevented my locs from having those two headed dragons. i've only done this to a couple of my locs, the rest of them i was just patient with them and let them loc and marry together on its own. you can also sew them together, but i think a rubberband is just easier, plus they will eventually just fall off anyway (just make sure they don't melt in your hair lol).

*Coop* said...

I combined with the nappyloc tool. It's super easy. I'm combining more and more every month.

trese said...

Hello ladies,

I have a question. I really would appreciate your feedback. I have thin locs and would to to combine hm...maybe a good 20 or more. I tried to latch just can’t caught on, am so awkward. Okay, can I use hair glue to marry the hair together? Thank you :)

B said...

Girl no! I don't think glue is a good idea. It may cause build-up later on. If the latching isn't working, I'm thinking you should just combine the ends via 2-strand twists or braiding and closing with rubberbands.

Unknown said...

Hi, I love your detailed explanations of your journey! I, too have combined some locks due to thinning from a medicine. I started with small to medium sized locks that have had quite an adventure. 3 years now, my locks are maturing and they are still quite small, despite the combining. I chose the smaller size in order to be able to wear a very full head of hair and lots of curls, but I am seeking to have medium sized locks by my 5th year...thank you for sharing your journey.
Peace and Sound,

B said...

Megan---> I LOVE your blog. And I'm so glad you commented because now I've got you on my RSS feeder. Stay beautiful and we'll be in touch.