Locs Maintenance: 6 Tips for Successfully Deep Conditioning Dreads

deep conditioning heat cap
Heat Cap

If your hair is starting to feel dry and brittle, it could be because you are not deep conditioning your dreads. This is an important hair care regimen that should not be overlooked. Here are some top tips to keep your locs moisturized all year round.

Should You Use Conditioners on Locs?

Many people who are new to locs or even those who’ve had them for years, have stayed away from deep conditioning because they heard that conditioners are bad for dreads. This is not necessarily true, unless your locs are not yet mature.

Baby Locs and Conditioners

If you have starter locs or locs that are not fully matured, deep conditioning can do more harm than good, which means it would soften your hair, causing your locs to unravel. Other than that, there’s no damage I know of, that conditioners can do to your hair.

In fact, before I knew much about locs, when I had starter locs, I used conditioners, but didn’t let it stay too long in my hair. I mostly concentrated on my scalp, then rinsed it out gently.

Deep Conditioning Locs

Apply the SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Intensive Strengthening Masque to your locs. If you don’t have this, you can use whatever conditioner you have available. Put a generous amount of conditioner, starting from roots to ends. Massage it in, then cover with a shower cap.

Why Use Heat When Deep Conditioning Locs?

Applying heat when deep conditioning your locs, is an important step you don’t want to skip. The heat will open up the cuticles of the hair, allowing the conditioner to penetrate the hair shaft, which helps to retain moisture.

Best Way to Apply Heat When Deep Conditioning

You can use a deep conditioning heat cap to apply heat to your locs. This is a more convenient way to get the job done. These caps are cordless, so you don’t have to sit one place. You can walk around and multi-task. For best results, leave the deep conditioner in for 15-30 minutes.

How to Retain Moisture After Deep Conditioning

After deep conditioning your locs, closing the hair shaft is necessary in order to lock in moisture. The way you do this, is to rinse your hair with cold water. Rinsing with cold water not only closes the hair shaft, locking in the moisture, but also prevents frizzy hair.

 

The Big Chop: The Secret to Relaxed Hair Transition to Natural

natural hair moisturizerAre you planning on moving away from relaxed hair? If you are, there will be a transition period between completely getting rid of the relaxed hair and achieving fully natural hair. This transition requires patience and dedication.

Big Chop or No Big Chop

When you stop relaxing your hair, it takes a while to grow out the relaxed hair. Sometimes even more than a year. Some people cut off the relaxed part of the hair, while others grow out their hair for a year or so. This is a decision that you will have to make on your own.

Set a Goal for Growing Out Hair

It is best if you accept the fact that growing out your relaxed hair is going to take some time. If you don’t want a big chop, you should set a goal of maybe a year or so to get as much new growth as possible. During this time, find ways to speed up the growth of your hair and keep it healthy.

Dealing With Kinky Hair New Growth

Those of us who have relaxed our hair in the past, know how it bothers us when our hair starts to grow out. We start thinking about when to relax the new growth. Well, if you are serious about going natural, you are going to have to ignore your curly, kinky roots.

Seeing new growth would be a good sign in this case, since this is a sign that your hair is growing out and you are reaching one step closer to your goal.

Signs Your Perm is Growing Out

These welcoming signs of new growth usually comes in the form of puffy hair, two different textures. You will notice that the relaxed ends are much more thinner than your roots. If you wet your hair, you will see the difference in the new growth and the permed hair. Relaxed will be more straighter than your new growth.

Looking Stylish During The Transition Period

Just because you are going natural doesn’t means you have to spend the entire time during the transition process looking blah. You can sew in hair extensions, braids, weaves, etc., to get a more trendy look.  If you choose the human hair extensions, you can dye it, curl it, or do whatever process you would normally do to your relaxed hair.

Using Different Hair Care Products for Natural Hair

Changing your hair products is a must to ensure that your new growth grows thick and healthy. Use a wide-tooth comb to untangle your hair without causing damage.

Keep your hair moisturized by using oils to seal in moisture. Oil your scalp and massage it in, to promote faster grow-out of your relaxed hair.

Be tender with your new growth. They are delicate, so take it easy on the roots and edges when doing your protective styles.

Growing Out Your Relaxed Hair: Transitioning to Locs

wild growth for hairGrowing out your relaxed hair before going for locs may seem like it’s taking forever. No need to be impatient during this transitioning time. You can make it a fun experience, while speeding up your new growth. Here are some useful tips to help you grow out your natural hair before the big chop.

Using Protective Hairstyles

When you growing out your relaxed hair, it is best to find an alternative styling method, such as protective styling, to take the stress off your new growth and relaxed ends.

Preventing Hair Damage When Transitioning

Find a safe protective style that is stylish while transitioning from relaxed hair to locs. Wearing hair extension is a great way to give your hair a break from everyday styling. Human hair extensions are quite versatile, as you can style them easily. Extensions such as the Brazilian virgin hair instantly curls up when you add water and conditioner.

Faux Locs for Transitioning from Relaxed Hair

If you want to try something fun while you transition from relaxed hair to natural locs, go for the faux locs, which is typically prelooped to make installing them easier. This is a simple, yet stylish hairstyle for protecting your real hair while it grows out.

Mini Chops for Faster Hair Growth

As you transition over to natural hair before getting your locs, you can speed up the new growth with small mini chops every 3 months. Snipping a little off the ends will not make your hair too short. In fact, it will help to encourage faster hair growth, so that you can reach your goal even faster.

Castor Oil and Massage For Hair Growth

Another simple way to get your hair growing faster, is to use some Jamaican Black Castor Oil and massage your scalp every other day. You can mix the castor oil with a carrier oil so that it’s not too thick. Virgin coconut oil, jojoba oil, grapeseed oil, and sweet almond oil are just some of the few carrier oils you can use with the castor oil.

Dealing With the Ups and Downs of Transitioning

This may not be an easy transition for some people, especially if you had relaxed hair for years. To learn about what to expect while growing out your hair for locs, do as much research as possible.

Use this time to embrace your natural curls. This would be a good time to start documenting your journey by creating a natural hair journal. During this time as you start to see progress with your hair growth, you will get a glimpse of what’s in-store for you at the end of your journey.