November 5, 2017

Do You NEED to Wash Your Locs Every Two Weeks?

Photo by CreateHER Stock

Now, please bear in mind that I'm not a professional. My goal with my hair posts is to share my experiences with you so that you don't feel alone, lost, or completely clueless on your loc journey. So, like I say in the video below, even when watching "experts" on Youtube, please do your research and use your discretion - take the advice that resonates with you, and discard the rest.

My reason for making this video (months ago) and writing this post is due to a realization that some people with locs, especially newbies, seem to be experiencing a significant amount of pressure figuring out regimens of loc maintenance and care. You may feel that if you don't follow certain rules, schedules and recommendations from gurus and youtube experts that your locs/hair won't be healthy, won't grow, and won't look like your loc crush's locs.

So to answer the question of whether you need to be washing and retwisting your locs religiously every two weeks? Let me just cut to the chase and say, NO.

FIRST OF ALL... you could follow every rule there is on loc care and your locs still gon' do whatever the hell they want to do. WHY? Because you grow them, but you don't necessarily control them.

No, you do not need to wash (and retwist) your hair every two weeks. However if you are washing your hair every two weeks and it's working for you, you don't need to stop!

If you want to know how frequently I wash my hair you'll have to watch (or listen) to this video. I also include a few tips for bongo or freeform locs. Ultimately though, here are the main points that I want to share with you whether you watch the video or not:
  1. What works for someone else may not work for you. Just because you see a Youtube guru saying they wash and retwist every two weeks (and you think their locs are #goals) it doesn't mean that will work for you - whether that is based on your schedule, health, capabilities, proximity to a good stylist etc.
  2. What works for someone else may not work for you - Part Deux. Those of us on Youtube and other platforms giving "advice" are often coming from personal experience. Even professional stylists on Youtube, while speaking from a background of education, training and professional experience, tend to speak generally. This is because they aren't sitting and consulting with you about the unique needs or concerns of your hair. Neither guru nor expert can guarantee that their advice will definitely work for you because your hair needs could be the exception to the rules.
  3. Overly frequent washing may lead to dry hair. I've said this before in a previous video and I go into more detail in this one about my experience in the first year or two of my locs. The prevalent advice at the time was that washing starter locs mutliple times a week with shampoo *only* would help the hair to loc faster than average. I followed this advice for a while before I realized that my hair was excessively damaged. My hair was also color treated at the time. Not conditioning & treating your hair is one of the biggest mistakes you can make when your hair is colored. Really pay attention to what your hair needs - if that means it needs to be conditioned every time you wash, then do just that!
My color-treated and eternally thirsty starter locs that I shampooed multiple times a week... no conditioner. 😩
  1. YOUR hair care regimen should be determined by YOUR specific needs. You'll often hair me mention schedule, disability, and health issues when I speak about loc maintenance. That's because those are important factors that have major potential to affect how consistent you are or can be with a regimen. I don't want anyone who, for whatever reason, is unable to say "I wash my hair every first Sunday and third Tuesday" to feel like they are failing at caring for their locs adequately. Yes consistency helps, but it isn't the end all be all of the health of your hair. There are tips that I've shared previously that can help with maintenance in between washes, use those and any other methods that work for you.
  2. An inconsistent wash schedule alone (within reason) does not automatically mean your locs are unhealthy. I state in the video the typical length of time that lapses between my washes. However there are periods when that time maybe shorter or longer. I take factors like the weather (wintry dry hair), my level of sweat generating activities and activites in general, scalp flakiness, and just really paying attention to what my hair feels like. e.g. There have been times on vacay that I washed my hair two or three days in a row after getting my hair wet at the beach. 
  3. Make sure to use products that fortify your hair ad meet your specific hair needs, especially if you are washing and retwisting twice a month. I advocate for ✌🏾boring✌🏾 styles like protective twists and braids because sometimes your hair will need that break from frequent styling. Updos and pin-ups are cute but wha dem edges saying? Are your locs getting thinner with each visit to your stylist? Are you lowkey obsessed with seeing your parts because you think your hair looks unkempt other wise? Reflect on that.
My overall message for you is please do not feel pressured to do things a particular way. There is no right or wrong or one singular approach to loc maintenance that will guarantee healthy hair. You have to do what is best for you at the time that it is best for you if it is within your means and capabilities. 

I saw a video a couple months ago of a woman who started her locs and quit after a month or two because she felt the way she was caring for her locs was disrespectful to people who take their locs seriously. She felt this way after watching a licensed stylist who has a youtube channel speak about loc maintenance rules, and since she wasn't following those rules she felt she'd already failed at caring for her locs.
My healthier locs that I do not wash religiously every two weeks.

Your hair, much like your life, cannot be done for the benefit or approval of others. It is very much a personal choice and journey. As a black woman, and as a person with very kinky hair, I'm very familiar with the pressure we experience from others about the state of our appearance, and by extension our hair. Do not fall into the trap of letting other people project their feelings and insecurities onto you. Their feelings about your hair are not your responsibility. Even if the critique is coming from folk who look like you? It's still none of your business and not your responsibility to make them feel comfortable about your hair. Exercise patience, enjoy the process, and release the stress.

How often do you wash your locs? Do you reloc and style everytime you wash? Have you ever felt self conscious about going long periods not washing your hair?  Let me know in the comments, Or hit me up on Instagram @LanomRah.



Unknown said...

A breathbof fresh wisdom. Thank you!!

Unknown said...

A breathbof fresh wisdom. Thank you!!

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