Maintaining Locs at Home
When to Shampoo New Locs
You can try to wait at least two weeks before your very first shampoo with your new locs, but it is not completely necessary. I generally wait about 9 days between each shampoo experience. The 9 day period usually gives the natural oil, sebum, that your scalp produces a chance to reproduce and lubricate oil your scalp. That week and a half will also allow your hair time to intertwine to evolve through the loc’ing process. If you’re shampooing your locs, on average, before 7 days, you’ll probably experience dry scalp because your naturals oils aren’t being given a chance to reproduce before you cleanse them away again and your hair may take longer to lock if you’re not using the proper shampoo.
So as a recommendation I would say one week at minimum between shampoos, but on the flip side you don’t want to wait too long either. Locs are a natural process of hair interlocking and matting and during this process (typically) we produce dandruff. So if your hair is producing dandruff and also matting and you’re waiting a very long time between shampoos you will effectively loc your dandruff in your locs. Not ideal, right?! So you should shampoo your locs as early as every 7 days but not wait beyond 4 weeks.
Products To Shampoo New Locs
If you’re maintaining your locs with light, water soluble products, you can use a gentle cleansing shampoo and/or normal moisturizing shampoo on your locs. If you’re using heavy butters, beeswax, or if you’re experiencing buildup or aren’t sure if the products you’re using are water soluble, I would recommend mainly using a cleansing/clarifying shampoo and do one moisturizing shampoo in the end to add hydration.
How to Prevent New Locs From Unraveling
In addition to the types of shampoo you use, I would recommend using a stocking cap while you’re shampooing your new locs to help prevent them from unraveling during the manipulation until they start loc’ing. With any shampoo, I recommend using a spray bottle because it is extremely helpful and will direct the shampoo to your scalp and prevent you from having to overwork your hair to emulsify the product. If you’d like to see and learn the technique for shampooing Starter Locs, take a look at my recent video “How to Shampoo Starter Locs“.
Update: Read & bookmark “3 Tips to Properly Shampoo Your Locs at Home” to be sure your locs remain healthy and free of build-up!