Friday, April 15, 2011

Loc Challenge: Trapped build-up and lint

If you haven't seen any posts from me about loc challenges that's because for awhile, I didn't have any. It seems like the more my locs mature, the less issues I have. I've gotten over and pruned the frizziness. The scalp is chronically dry but I kinda just deal with it. And the locs grow without any issues.

BUT---I have come across a problem that had me in the mirror for hours.

Trapped build-up and lint. 

This is bad. This is very bad...

My loctician told me many horror stories about veteran loc'ers who had to CUT off their locs because of trapped build-up and lint. It can be quite a problem. Especially if you don't tackle it immediately.

'Hole up, B. How do I prevent this from happening? 

Everyone's locs are different and but for me, the best way to prevent this is to stay far away from hair butters and creamy conditioners and to wear a satin bonnet to bed. There is no way around this. I don't even lounge on the sofa without covering my hair.

How to get rid rid of build-up or lint?

First you have to identify which is which. And here's my little trick. If when you wet your loc, the white stuff disappears, it's build-up. If it sticks around and is still noticeable, it's lint. Removing lint is relatively easy. Tweezing it out may take some time but once it's out---it's out, build-up on the other hand is a whole 'nother demon. One that I find can be removed by one of the following steps:

1) Cutting the loc off. Not an option for those of us who are new to locs and don't want to chop them yet but veteran loc'ers may not mind chopping off a few inches to get themselves of the linty locs.

2) Dyeing the locs. The dye can totally cover up the build-up and lint.

3) Performing surgery on the locs. This is my method of choice. Here's what I do. First...more lovely pictures of the build-up trapped in my locs.

I used a creamy conditioner  a few months ago. Just to SEE if I would have build-up issues. And I did. And I thought I washed it all out. But I had 2 locs that that kept the conditioner trapped inside of their loc'd up selves. And because I hardly look at the back of my head, I didn't notice. Which brings me to another lesson, purchase a mirror and get in the habit of looking at the locs in the back.

I took tweezers and removed as much of the build-up as I could. It's hard to get it ALL because it is not only outside of the loc but inside as well.

If you're good you can get quite a bit. You'll loose some hair with it alas there is a sacrifice to everything. I am STILL working on removing the build-up from these locs. I do a little bit a day. I plan to scrub them with baking soda and castile soap to remove what I couldn't get out with the tweezers.

Anyone else with trapped build-up and lint issues?