Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Reader Question: Thinning Locs (help me, help her)

Hey y'all! I got a question a few days ago and don't really know how to go about my answering it. This seems like a question more fit for my Sisterlock'ers and mature loc'ers. I tried my best but I need you all's help to.


"Hi B!!! I love both of your blogs and I really hope you can help me with this. I have had locks for thirteen months now. Almost as long as you have had yours. I have terrible thinning around my hair-line and even some of the locks in the middle of my head are thinning. Why is this? I don't ever remember having this problem when I had regular natural hair. Not even when I had a perm. Please help. I have sisterlocks. Thanks!

My response:

Hi lovely! I can understand your frustration at thinning locs at the tender age of 13 months. I've heard of mature loc'ers having this problem, but it seems like our babies are too young for that. Or so I've always assumed. One of the reasons why I will opt for bigger locs the next go round is because they don't seem to thin out as easy. I have married (combined) over 10 locs because I found some of them to be entirely too thin. I don't want them popping off in the coming years. Locs will get heavy over time and thinner locs may not be able to hold their weight (no pun intended). I think your best bet is to consult with your Sisterlock specialist or other Sisterlock'ers because I think they can give you better answers.

In the meantime, remember to be gentle to your locs. Don't put them in tight ponytails. Don't pull on them. Don't rub on them as much as you want to. With your permission, I am going to post this on LocRocker and see if some of the other ladies have any suggestions that can help you and other folx who may be going through the same thing.

Also, here's a video where my locspiration, big sis and editor of On the Road to Queendom talks about thinning.

Dewdrop also recently did a video about combining her Sisterlocks and taking the traditional locs route. I'm not saying you should do the same but I think her video is very helpful.

Okay, y'all....what do you think? What should she do?


NESSessary said...

well, the best solution to thinning locs is combining. i had to combine the majority of my locs because my loctitian started them off way too small and too thin to begin with. If and when I start a second set, I am going to go for thick double strand twists. Not only do i think thick locs are sexier but you deal with less problems along the way. I would also say that maybe if thinning locs is an issue she maybe should consider starting over but at 13 months i know that ain't easy lol. Hope this helps.

Bajan Lily said...

A good starting point is to work out the 'root cause' of the thinning. New baby? stopped/started birth control? Change in diet? Recent stresses and strains? Hair reacts to environmental as well as internal changes so it's good to have a look at what has changed in your life as well as examining other factors.

Another cause can be over-tightening of the locks or retightening too frequently which can place a strain on your new growth and cause it to snap off from the root - thus weakening the base and resulting in 'thinning'.

The micro lock look isn't for everyone but when properly installed and maintained, 'tiny' locks can be just as strong as larger or traditional locks - in some cases stronger because there is less hair in the lock bundle theoretically resulting in less weight or tension at each lock site i.e. a more even distribution of weight. Of course traditional loc wearers will point out that the thicker the rope the stronger it is - which is also a valid point.
I do hope you are able to determine the root of your issue and wish you all the best on your road to recovery.

Chizzy D said...

I think starting over is the best thing to do because she is only at 13 months, it may get worst. Comb out her current locks and start again with bigger locs.

*Coop* said...

Edges are super sensitive, especially when you're using a technique that weakens the root with retightenings (even just a little) like SLs. I'd suggest not pulling them in tight ponytails. No ponytails at all would be ideal.
Also, make sure the person(s) retightening your hair uses the same pattern each time. If they switch that up, your locs may start to weaken.
And, some of the thinning could just be a natural thing. My hair thinned at my crown in high school. Had it continued, I would have been bald within a year. It stopped. My hair is still thin there -- the follicles died -- but the rest of my hair and scalp are fine.

Oh, another thing, massage your scalp when you wash. Don't scrub. And between washes, massage your scalp with essential oils or a think leave-in conditioner.
I have SLs too (3 years old) and I understand your concerns. Don't worry. I think much of what you're experiencing is perfectly normal.

Kreyola said...

Thinning hair is thinning hair...I have sisterlocks and I too started to see my hair was thinning out and hence my lock were thinning out as well. I always had this issue even before I had sisterlocks install. I truly don't believe the size of your locks is the issue, because if your sisterlocks are done properly then it is strong! My consultant locks are as small as mines and trust me when I say her locks are long. Please see a dermatologist to find out the root cause of your hair thinning. Any locks can be strong as long as the foundation is strong!

Anonymous said...

hi, im also thinning in the center of myhead, im unsure if it is because of how i lay down on my head or other organic reasons. i have thinning period, but also 2 locs in that are that are extremely thin(hanging on by a few threads). I have no idea what to do, because they are too far apart to combine, and there is no surrounding hair to wrap around(because of the thinning). Do you have any advice?