Are Locs Low Maintenance?
You may be surprised to find out that I do NOT believe that locs are low maintenance. Personally and professionally, I find that locs are pretty high maintenance. However, the level of maintenance definitely depends on the person and the type of locs that you are trying to cultivate. So let’s explore the financial and time commitments that locs require.
The Time Commitment of Locs
You will often hear people mention the freedom they gain with their life once they loc’d their hair. Especially, if that person just started their locs and previously wore loose natural hair where they struggled with the detangling process. In that respect, I totally agree that locs save you time and energy because you no longer have to spend time detangling your hair. However, the flip side to detangling is drying your locs. With loose natural hair, you could wash & go after detangling or blow dry your hair and quickly style; but now you are sitting under the dryer for at least 45 minutes. Or 2 and a half hours in my case— more on that in another post. You will also spend a considerable amount of time frequenting a Loctician or grooming your locs yourself. So, yes you no longer need to detangle and/or style your hair every morning, but the time you spend shampooing, grooming and drying your locs definitely adds up.
The Financial Commitment of Locs
When it comes to financial commitments with locs, this is where the type of locs you have will determine what type of budget you should create for your locs. For traditional locs, your main cost will be your hair care products which range from $40 – $120 every 3 months. Overall, this will be a cost-savings because you no longer have to horde products. However, you want to be sure the products you purchase are for locs or risk them causing buildup. And with that said, loc-specific products tend to be more costly, because they are not produced in large batches, the ingredients are often botanically based and, more than likely, you will need to have them shipped versus picking them up at the store.
On the other hand, with Sisterlocks or Interlocks, your primary cost will be retightening appointments which range from $100 – $300 every 6-8 weeks. If you are someone that is used to getting extensions or protective styles every few months, the investment into your locs may seem comparable to having loose natural hair, but if you’ve been a DIY Stylist the cost may seem steep. I won’t even get into the costs associated with coloring your locs, but be warned— it’s A LOT!
I would say that this is just the tip of the iceberg with things to consider when deciding to lock your hair— hence why I always recommend a consultation before starting locs so you know what you’re getting into. You can also hear a few other considerations about the true cost of maintaining locs in the video “Are Locs REALLY Low Maintenance?“. In that video, you will see that I believe cultivating locs is a high maintenance and intentional undertaking, but in the comments most people believe locs are “lower” maintenance than loose natural hair. And with that, I would just say, instead of thinking about how you can fit the maintenance of your locs into your life, think about how you can align your lifestyle with cultivating your locs.