The first thing I want you to know is that products do NOT lock hair. Wait, what? Yes, you read that right— think about people with freeform locs that don’t retwist their hair or use products to lock their hair, yet their locs are immaculate.
Now, you may be asking yourself “well, what’s the point of using products?” The purpose of using products during your retwist is to add shine, create a polished finish and/or to nourish the hair. I would like to share with you a few products that I’ve used and love, and also expose you to a few brands that have products for retwisting locs that you may want to try on your locs. Because there are different philosophies of hair locking, I’m going to share a little something for everyone.
It is very rare that you can walk into a store, even a beauty supply store, and find products that will meet the needs of loc’d hair. Instead, I’ve learned that you need to shop with small businesses that create products specifically for locs and/or natural hair. A few commercial brands that have products for retwisting locs include:
Dr. Locs – Imani Locking Spray. This product is used after you have retwisted your locs to give them hold, shine, and nourishment. Because it is a lightweight spray it is designed not to cause build up. This would be especially good for locs in the starter phase because it is so light.
Lockology – Locking Gel. This product is a lightweight gel created to moisturize, condition and provide a light hold while not causing build up. With less than 12 ingredients in this gel, it could be used on locs in the starting phase or mature locs.
Sauntay’s Originals – Loc Elixir. This product was developed by a stylist and gives amazing shine to the hair, as well as a light-medium hold for retwisting locs. Because this is a shea butter based product, it would be better suited for the early stages of locking instead of use on mature locs.
NuGrowth Essentials – Divine Hold. This product gives a flexible hold, without using any chemicals or ingredients that can cause build up; and it does not cause flaking! Because this product is all natural, it is great for locs at any stage of the locking process.
My Favorite Products for Retwisting Locs
In the beginning of my loc journey, I was using any product that had the word “hold” in the name because my hair texture is really soft, but I quickly learned how damaging that was for my locs. After detoxifying my locs, I now try to practice more of a holistic philosophy when it comes to retwisting my locs and they have never been healthier. On any given wash day, I use one of these products for retwisting my locs:
Aloe vera gel. For me AVG gives good hold and does not build up or cause flaking. I prefer to use homemade aloe vera gel over the kind that you find in the store for retwisting my locs because I can ensure that it is truly aloe vera gel and I can add in my own custom blend of essential oils to address my hair care needs.
Water & oil. After I shampoo my locs, I oil my roots and the length of my locs then proceed to palm roll my locs. No additional product is necessary. This will hold until my next shampoo if I style my locs (braids, twists, curls, etc) or at least a few days if I take care of my locs at night and don’t workout too hard.
Related article: 4 Products to Avoid Using on Locs
My motto for product usage on locs is “less is more”. No matter which product you are using, I encourage you to adapt that same principle as well so that you won’t have to deal with excessive buildup later on, thinning locs, or locs that are heavy from an internal accumulation of products. I do not believe you should attempt to “glue” your hair together because if you look at how locs are made, you will see that the hair will naturally intertwine together and do what it needs to do.