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The Complete Guide To Maintaining And Styling Locs

The Complete Guide To Maintaining And Styling Locs

Locs are a unique and elegant way to rock your natural hair, especially if you don't want to deal with the hassle of maintaining loose curls and coils. However, although locs are pretty low maintenance, they still need to be properly cared for to keep them healthy and help them flourish.  

In this article, we'll be discussing the key steps needed to maintain healthy locs. Plus, we're talking about all things styling. If you think having Locs means you can't wear different hairstyles, think again and read ahead to learn how to style your locs.

The Different Stages Of Loc Growth:

Locs go through five stages of growth before becoming the gorgeous strands of matted hair we have all come to know and love. To give your locs the proper care they deserve, it is essential to know what stage they are in. So, let’s briefly break down the five stages of locs. 

1. Starter Phase:

This is basically the baby phase of your loc journey after they have been installed. At this stage, your locs will likely be quite small and soft. The starter phase starts from day one of your locs being installed and lasts up to six months.

2. Budding Phase:

After six months, your locs will progress into the budding phase where they start to get thick and slightly firm. At this stage, you may start to notice the parting lines become less visible. 

3.Teen Phase:

The teen phase starts when your locs are up to 12 months and can last up to six to seven months. At this stage, your locs will begin to take their true shape and can start to look puffy and rough as they become firm. 

4. Mature Phase:

As the name implies, this phase is when your locs have grown longer and can maintain their shape without frequent retwisting. This phase can last between 18 months to two years. 

5. Adult Phase:

The adult phase of your loc journey occurs around two years after your initial loc installation. Also known as the rooted phase, at this stage, your locs would have fully evened out in length and shape and will likely be extremely long and feel slightly heavier than they were at earlier stages. 



How To Take Care Of Locs:

Shampoo With Care:

Keeping your scalp and locs clean is one of the most crucial parts of any loc maintenance routine. Sweat, dirt, and product build-up can accumulate on your locs if left unattended, and over time, they can leave them with a dull and frizzy look. You may even notice a build-up of lint and an unpleasant smell. So, to prevent this, use Sofnfree’s Hydration Shampoo to wash your locs twice a month. When shampooing your locs, be sure to focus on your scalp as that is where most of the build-up of oil and dirt lies.  

If your locs are newly installed, wait around six weeks to give them time to mature before shampooing them. This is extremely important as washing new locs in the starter phase will cause them to unravel. 

Condition Regularly:

Conditioning your locs is also very important for preventing dryness and breakage. However, avoiding thick or heavy conditioners is important as they may require more work to fully rinse out of your locs. Opt for lightweight conditioners like our Moisture Rich Conditioner and apply it immediately after shampooing to replenish your locs with moisture.  For a more intensive conditioning treatment, you can use our Manuka Honey & Avocado Deep Conditioning Mask once a month. This will help improve the shine of your locs while keeping them fully hydrated.  When applying your deep conditioner, use a small amount and avoid putting too much on your roots to prevent build-up.  

Additionally, if your locs are in the starter phase, it is best to avoid deep conditioning them since they are not firm enough and could easily unravel. 

Keep Your Locs Moisturised:

To prevent breakage and dryness, it is important to keep your locs moisturised. However, you will need to use lightweight water-based products like Sofnfree's Everyday Curl Refresh to prevent product build-up. Spray your locs with our Curl Refresh 1-2 times a week and seal in the moisture with a few drops of our Hair & Scalp Oil. 

Be sure to apply the moisturiser and oil using the prayer hands techniques to allow even distribution and proper penetration. To do this, simply rub the product between your palms and rub down the full length of your locs with both palms together. 

Dry Your Locs With Care:

There is no doubt that properly drying your locs after washing is extremely important if you don't want them to smell. However, it is also very crucial to dry them using the proper technique to avoid frizz and keep them from unravelling or breaking. Instead of wringing and twisting your locs to get rid of excess water, wrap a microfiber towel around them for a few minutes and gently use the towel to pat down your locs from roots to ends.  

Keep Your Scalp Nourished:

Most people focus all their attention on nourishing their locs but maintaining a healthy scalp is just as important. Since your hair literally grows out of your scalp, it is important to keep it hydrated and nourished. This will help prevent dryness that could hinder the development of your locs. Apply our Strengthening Oil to your scalp 1-2 times a week and gently massage it to hydrate your scalp, fortify your follicles, and improve loc growth. 

Protect Your Locs Before Going To Bed:

Before going to bed, keep your locs protected with a silk or satin scarf. This will prevent your locs from rubbing against your bedding, reducing the risk of breakage and dryness. Keeping your locs covered before bed will also keep them from unravelling if they are still in the initial baby stage. If keeping your scarf on through the night seems like a difficult task for you, wear a satin bonnet or switch out your cotton pillowcase for a silk one. 

Keep Up With Your Retwists Appointment:

Retwisting your locs is also important for keeping them neat and healthy while preventing matting at the roots. If your locs are in the starter stage, try to get them retwisted every 2-3 weeks. They can easily unravel at this stage, so it is important to ensure they are tightened at the roots. Once you progress into the budding and teen phase, you can start to retwist every 5-8 weeks. At the mature and adult phase of your locs journey, you only have to retwist every 8-12 weeks. 


3-Step Guide To Styling Locs:

1. Hydrate:

Hydration should always be the first step of your loc styling routine as dry locs are hard to style and may not produce the best results. Spray sofnfree's Everyday Curl Refresh all over your locs, making sure to gently rub down from roots to ends.  

2. Use A Mousse:

Once your locs are hydrated, you can proceed to styling with our Flaxseed Oil Curling Mousse. This formula will help improve the shine of your locs while setting them into whatever hairstyles you create. The sky's the limit when it comes to styling your locs so feel free to try as many looks as possible. You can style them into cornrows, two-strand twists, Bantu knots, braid outs, and even twists out. Just apply the mousse evenly on your locs to smoothen each section first. 

3. Slay Your Edges With Gel:

To give your loc hairstyle a little more flair and drama, be sure to style your edges with some of our Curl Elongating Gel. The addition of cute swoops and swirls will not only elevate the entire look but will keep your loc style neat and sleek. 

5 Ways To Style Your Locs:

Twist Outs:


This is a lovely hairstyle that will add volume and definition to your locs. Just apply a tiny bit of our Curl Elongating Mousse while twisting to enhance the curl definition of your final look. 



Cornrows are undoubtedly one of the most timeless hairstyles in the natural hair community and if you thought having locs meant you had to give them up, think again. These locs cornrows are an incredibly stylish way to spice up your look. 

Short Bob:


A short bob is an iconic look that exudes confidence and sophistication. This loc style is perfect for those in the starter and budding phase of their loc journey as it requires very little manipulation. 

Kamikaze Twists:


If your locs have you missing protective styles, you can try Kamikaze twists. They are a unique variation of regular two-strand twists that will look lovely on anyone. 

Bantu Knots:


Want a fun hairstyle that keeps your locs out of your face? Try Bantu knots. This style is ideal for those with micro Locs that can easily be manipulated. Be sure to use our Flaxseed Oil & Rosewater Gel to style your edges to complete this look. 

Loc maintenance requires dedication and a consistent routine to keep the hair healthy and stylish. Whether you have sister locks, free-form locs, or traditional dreadlocks, as long as you stick with the tips we discussed in this post, your hair will flourish and remain beautiful at every stage of your loc journey.

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