When Will Locs Start Budding?


When your locs start budding you should be excited— you have reached the beginning of one of the first milestones in your loc journey! But if you’re unsure of what it means when your locs start “budding”, you’ll likely have more concern than excitement. Common concerns that arise when locs start budding are “why is my loc pregnant“, “what is this lump in my locs“, “my locs are puffy in one area” and naturally, if this is your first set of locs you may think something is wrong— but don’t worry! The beginning of your loc journey is when your hair undergoes the most transformation.

Let’s talk about the basics of loc budding so that you will understand what’s going on and put your mind at ease.

Are your locs budding

What is Loc Budding?

When your locs start budding that means your hair is beginning to tangle inside the loc and form its own internal loc matrix. The internal Loc matrix is essentially a net within the locs that catches all of your naturally shed hair. The formation of this internal loc matrix causes your locs to swell and become noticeably frizzy.

Related Article: Locs Under a Microscope

You can take a closer look at what locs budding looks like under the microscope in my latest video:

[tg_youtube width=”525″ height=”295″ video_id=”bTr4110mmeM”]

When to expect your locs to start budding?

Typically, within the first 3-6 months you will notice the first signs of budding in your locs. Depending on your hair texture, product usage and initial method for starting locs the onset of this process can vary. The budding can appear anywhere along the shaft of the locs, but normally budding appears in the middle of the locs or closer to the roots first.

Locs Budding in Three Months

Once your locs have completely budded, from the roots to the ends, they will have matured into the teenage loc stage.

Related Article: The 4 stages of Hair Locking

What If You Haven’t Noticed Any Budding?

If within the first 6 months of your loc journey your locs have not begun to bud, I would definitely check your products first. Often times, if you’re not under the guidance of a Certified Loctician, you end up using the wrong products for locs; and without a proper regimen your locs take a lot longer to mature. But again, the timeline for your locs to start budding varies widely from person to person and hair texture to hair texture, so patience is essential for everyone.

Can the Loc Budding Be Avoided

You may hear reference made to the phrase, “ugly phase of locs” and how much of a struggle it is to get through it. Often times, it is assumed that the “ugly phase of locs” is during the budding process— as your hair transitions from coils or twists into locs. If you desire to skip that phase or the first 6-9 months of the locking process, you can opt for instant locs. Instant locs are instantaneous formation of the internal loc matrix such that your hair resembles a natural cultivated loc. However, it is important to know that your hair would still go through the remaining phases of hair locking, starting from the teenage phase. So the short answer is yes you can skip the initial stage of budding, but your hair would still go through the locking process.

Now that you understand the basics of loc budding, embrace this stage of your loc journey and look forward to the beautiful transformation that your hair will grow you through!

In the comments, share when your locs started budding and how you initially felt about it!

Previous Post
Next Post

Jocelyn Reneé

Jocelyn Reneé is a Licensed Cosmetologist, Loctician and Textured Hair Educator. She was born and raised in the Washington DC area and is a graduate of the Aveda Institute Cosmetology Science program. With over 14 years in the Hair Care Industry, from Salon Assistant to Natural Hair Blogger to Professional; Jocelyn is passionate about cultivating healthy hair.

Blog Comments

Dominique Washington

Can budding start as early as 2 to 3 weeks

Yes it sure can, depending on your hair texture.

I have Used the freeflow twist and lock gel. Is this the right thing to use to start

Never heard of this. As long as the product is water-soluble it should be fine.

I’ve started my local journey on September 26,2018. I’ve currently have had my hair locked for 3 or 4 months now. I absolutely love my 4c hair! I started noticing my loc budding this December and I’m so excited!

Yay!!! Welcome to the journey! And enjoy all the stages!

After my first Retwist, I started noticing the budding. I started my process 5 weeks ago.

Yay!!! Let the fun begin!

what can i use to my locs so it grows faster


Hello I am 6 months into my loc journey. This is my second set of locs . However this time around I’m noticing a lot of shedding. I moisturize often with rose water or leave in conditioner. With a light oil. I also use Sauve clarifying shampoo. Do you think this is drying out my hair? I use to use claire’s daughter with my first set and had no problems. I also shampoo every 7 days. Can you please advise me thank you.

Peace Shalonda! I would love to help you with your hair care regimen! Visit my website and schedule a “Virtual Consultation” at your earliest convenience: https://nugrowthsalon.as.me/virtual-consultations

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.