Do your locs feel stiff and dry or sticky after you shampoo them? Wondering what all that “white stuff” in your locs is? Well, chances are you’ve known locs to be carefree and therefore are ok with “whatever works” or think any product with “For locs and dreads” is a must have item— but that’s a big mistake!
COMMON MISTAKES WITH LOCS
A few of the common mistakes that are made with locs include: improper partings, weak foundations, poor product choices, and too much manipulation. Of these common mistakes, poor product choices are the most detrimental because they can lead to scalp issues, build-up, breakage, thinning of locs, and internal health issues. Did you know that product mistakes made in the beginning or early stages of your loc journey can take years to manifest into devastating problems, some of which require the damage to be cut out. Think about all those years of growth thrown away. Literally.
Related Article: Why I Stopped Using Shea Butter
PRODUCTS TO AVOID USING ON LOCS
Avoiding the following products in the beginning stages or discontinuing their use after a thorough locs detoxification will benefit your scalp health and length retention.
- Wax. Products that contain wax, including beeswax, are detrimental to the entire loc over a period of continued use because they are very hard to wash away, especially from within the locs. Over time, the wax builds up and can make the locs unnaturally heavy, leading to breakage and thinning as the hair grows longer; and the hair will be dry because the wax prevents moisture from penetrating the cortex of the hair.
- Brown Gel. Sure “brown gel” may give you a lasting hold but it is full of parabens, artificial colors, and excessive protein. Overuse of protein can cause breakage and weakness in your locs by making your hair hard and brittle.
- Heavy Cremes. Products that are creme based are often too heavy and thick to allow your hair to intertwine and form into locs. Using creme-based products can slow down the loc’ing process and lead to heavy build up.
- Unhealthy ingredients. Products with tons of ingredients listed on the container, many of which are hard to pronounce, are often filled with cancer – causing parabens, formaldehyde, phthalates, and/or irritating preservatives that damage your scalp and health.
Related Article: 5 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started My Locs
HOW TO IMPROVE HEALTH OF LOCS
Don’t wait until locs are so thin that they’re about to snap or the day when you wake up to locs on your pillow because they have broken off. Improve the health of your locs now!
Read Labels & Be Aware
Begin by turning over every product that you use, reading AND understanding what each ingredient does. Also, view the product knowledge section for common products that have already been decoded for you. Meanwhile— A few ingredients to be on the look out for are:
- SD alcohol 40, denatured alcohol, ethanol, and isopropyl alcohol because they are alcohols that dry out the skin/scalp.
- Formaldehyde products and its derivatives, DD hydration, Diazolidinyl Urea, Methanamin, Quarterium-15; because they are known skin/scalp irritants and have been linked to cancer.
- Very toxic phthalates such as DBP, DEHP, DMP, DEP, dibutyl/diethyl ester, and 2-benzenedicarboxylate which are linked to cancer, birth defects, and other health issues.
Shop with Brands that care
Look for brands that care about hair care and the science of hair. Brands with integrity often share facts about the ingredients of their products and the health benefits of the product formulations. So before you go randomly buying “natural products” at the general beauty supply store check out brands that will improve the health of your locs and body. I highly recommend that you check out brands that are specifically designed for locs such as NuGrowth Essentials!