If you have had dreadlocks, you’ve probably been asked a myriad of shocking questions about your hair. If you don’t have locs, you may have a lot of misconceptions about the hairstyle. And, if you are thinking about starting locs, there are a few things you should know before you get started. This blog post explores 10 myths about dreadlocks that you should know.
- YOU MUST STOP WASHING YOUR HAIR TO LOC? You do not have to stop washing your hair for it to loc up. Plain an simple. You can wash your hair weekly or even more often (without unravelling depending on your method of loc’ing and washing). Your hair may even loc faster. I guarantee – stop detangling your hair after washing and it will loc. Hair mattes and locs. That’s just what it does naturally.
- THE NUMBER OF LOCS YOU HAVE IS IMPORTANT? The number of dreads someone else has, has no bearing on your hair’s thickness. Each person hair thickness and density is different so having 90 locs does not guarantee thick hair (or thin hair). If you are confused, speak to a specialist if you plan to get your locs started using the “loc count” method.
- LOCS ARE A RELIGION? Dreadlocks are a hairstyle and not a religion. You do not have to keep them forever or even for a very long time if you don’t want to. They are a commitment if you want mature dreadlocks, but they are surely not a religion. Still, Rastafarians are known for wearing this hairstyle. Similarly, not everyone who wears head-wraps are of a certain religion either.
- LOCS ARE COURSE AND HARD? Dreadlocks can be soft. Yes, they can. You just need to do regular hot oil /conditioning treatments and moisturise your hair between washes. Now, if your loose natural hair is course or soft, you are likely to have similar loc textures when they mature but you can still control the feel and optimise softness through proper hair care.
- YOU CANNOT CONDITION LOCS? You can condition your hair, and should do so regularly if you want healthy-looking dreadlocks that do not break or thin.
- LOCS CANNOT BE DAMAGED? Oh this is so wrong. Many people dye their hair too often and do not care for it regularly. If you do not care for your hair, it will become dry, thin and break.
- YOU MUST USE WAX OR GEL TO LOC? Hair locs – especially curly hair. Curly hair locs very quickly but even naturally straight hair will eventually loc. Still, many people use products to accelerate the locking process. However, if you want residue-free dreadlocks, you can avoid the use of gels and waxes on your hair.
- LOCS ARE PERMANENT? While locs are considered a permanent hairstyle (unless you have done artificial loc extensions) dreadlocks can be combed out. Combing out your locs can take anything from 24 hours to 24 days. It is a commitment… but even interlocked hair can be detangled with a pick, comb and some really good oil or conditioner.
- LOCS DAMAGE YOUR SCALP AND HAIRLINE. Any hairstyle can damage your scalp and hairline. If you don’t comb your hair or re-tighten your roots tightly, your roots are likely to experience no more damage than it would with another hairstyle.
- DREADLOCKS LIMIT YOUR STYLE OPTIONS. Uhm, I find this one amusing. Most people I know with relaxed hair (not weaves) wear two basic styles – (1) Their hair down and curled and (2) their hair in a ponytail. There are few limits to what you can do with your locs. They can be curled and styled into an unloimited number of updos, much like loose hair. You can even apply braids and weaves to locked hair. There is a lot of room to experiment and change up your styles.
- Bonus FYI – not everyone who wears dreadlocks are smokers.
Keep it loc’d and lovely ladies. You are not limited by these myths.