Friday, April 9, 2010

The 5 stages of locs

Gosh, this is something that I should have posted a LONG TIME ago. I still refer to it every now and then and it helps put my journey into perspective. I got it from from Lisa who got it from the book Nice Dreads by Lonnice Brittenum Bonner. Great read, by the way. I don't own it but I borrowed it from a friend.

This post will be a sticky in the right column of LocRocker to help other prospective loc'ers and those on their journey. Keep in mind that there is no timeline when all of this should be happening. Remember---everyone's hair texture and method of loc'ing is different. Stay on your path and stop complaining about the fuzzies enjoy the journey!

Feel free to add any other characteristics that you've noticed in your coils, buds, teenagers and beyond!


The 5 stages of locs/dreads

1. Coils — Coils resemble tightly coiled springs that look like baby spirals and can be as small as a watch spring or fluid and loose as fusilli. Hair can be as short or as long as one likes. The key factor here is that your hair is able to form and hold a coil, but the hair within the coil has not yet begun to intertwine or mesh.

2. Sprouts and Buds — Known as Sprouting or Budding is that miraculous moment when the magic has begun. First, you shampoo your hair and notice that all of a sudden, the coils don't all wash out like they used to. You may notice that some of your coils have little knots of hair in them, about the size of a small pea. This knot is more or less the nucleus of each lock; the hairs in your coils have begun to intertwine and interlace. Individual coils may seem puffy and lose their tightly coiled shape; this is part of the process and shouldn't be disturbed. What is important here is to keep the original scalp partings, to allow the spinning process to become established for each individual lock. Don't redivide your budding locks, twist them to death, or get to patting them down, trying to make your hair look "nice," because you'll just end up with a badly packed, busted-out do.

3. Teen or Locking Stage — This is when the buds and sprouts truly begin to look like locks and few, if any, locks shampoo out or come out during sleep. The peas you saw and felt in the budding stage have expanded, and the hair has spun into a network of intertwining strands that extend throughout the length of individual locks. The locks may be soft and pliable or feel loosely meshed, according to your hair's texture. This is the growing stage of lock development, and it extends into the lock's mature stage. Shampooing doesn't loosen these locks. They have dropped, which means they have developed enough to hang down versus defying gravity. This is when you start to relax and feel more confident about locking.

4. Mature Stage — Each individual lock is firmly meshed or tightly interwoven. Some loosely coiled hair textures may retain a small curl or coil at the end of the locks, but most will probably be closed at the ends. You will begin to see consistent growth because each lock has intertwined and contracted into a cylindrical shape. Think of each individual lock as a hair strand in itself. The new growth is contained in the loose hair at the base or root of each individual lock, and regular grooming encourages it to spin into an intertwined coil that will be integrated with the lock.

5. Beyond Maturity — Think of this stage as akin to the shedding stage of hair growth. After many years, depending on the care you have lavished on your locks, some locks may begin to thin and break off at the ends. For the most part, this deterioration can be minimized and controlled by monitoring the ends of your locks for signs of age and getting regular trims.


NESSessary said...

Yay I'm glad you got your hands on this book too! I borrowed it from the library, it was definitely worth it. I wish I could have borrowed this book when I first started, just to get a concise and convenient manual to reveal to me what I was up for. Not that youtube, fotki, and other websites didn't help, but it's also nice to hold something physical in your hand that tells you what the locking journey is all about :) Great post!

LeshaLaine said...

Mine are in the budding stage at the moment which fills me with hope that the fuzzy stage will soon enough come to an end- I can't take it anymore!

Loced Lioness said...

When I first thought about locing my hair that book was my bible. I studied it like I was taking a course in Locing 101. I still refer to it sometimes.And being perfectly honest as much as I love the length I have now,I miss the beginning stage when I was getting to know my natural hair and I had all those little buds on my head and it took two seconds to run my fingers through them and make them stand up. Ahhh the good old days

WooHoney said...

Great Post!!! Wish I had of bought the book before I…right! So, I have had my locs for 4 years but they are only shoulder length because I cut them to my neck every year (around New Years). I cut them because I am trying to eliminate... No, I do not mean what you think. I am trying to get rid of all the extensions. Yes, I impulsively decided that I needed a change and I did not want to comb my hair anymore after my father past 4 years ago. I avoided the Coils stage because I thought my face was just too fat for that look. I cheated…I went into the shop with a shoulder length perm and came out with shoulder length locs, $400 (after tip). I always thought about locs but never knew I’d actually have them especially since a long curly weave was my favorite style for years! Even though I cheated the first stage my new growth went through all the stages to get where I am today. If you looked at my hair you’d never know they were fake unless I told you. Take a look…see the dark hair on the ends? Those are the remnants of the extensions. I color my locs and the extensions were synthetic and won’t color. I admit that today, I am proud and enjoying the beyond maturity stage of loc rockin. However, my journey has been non traditional.

Raxxie said...

i'm currently a teenager and i gotta say i love it now. i got here kinda quickly and have been in it for awhile! earlier on a hated the teenage stage cuz it was MAD unruly! lol but it has since calmed down.. maybe its adolescent now lol.

this is a great post! thx!

Bsquared86 said...

My name is Bsquared and I appove this message! LOL

I think I'm finally in the "Mature" stage. Feels wierd saying that. I still think of them as my babies.

eMCee said...

Thanks so much! I need to order that book online for real! I'm in the sprouts and buds phase and was wondering why I had knots, thought something was wrong!

Ms. Tee said...

Thank you for this! Mine are still babies, so I'm definitely in the first stage.

S. Wilson said...

@ WooHoney, there's more than one way to skin a cat (sorry feline lovers), meaning there's more than one way to go natural. The most important thing is that you were able to transition from relaxed to natural hair, but I hope that one day you cut off all the extensions on the end of your locs so you won't have to keep repeating the big chop every year, so to speak.

Dee said...

I love this book, (after reading it cover to cover) is when I officially decided to go through with loc'ing my hair. Tomorrow I get my starter locs installed...yay! :)