Is your knowledge of loc types and methods up to date? Despite popular belief, there are actually several different types of locs and dreadlocks. Our ultimate guide will help you learn everything you need to know about locs, whether you’re considering locing or just curious about the wonderful world of locs. All 7 main loc-creating methods are explained below, including sisterlocks and comb coils.
1. Palm rolled locs
Palm-rolled locs are formed using a specific technique known as palm rolling. This technique involves using the palms of the hands to roll and shape the dreadlocks, which helps to compact the hair into shape. The process of palm rolling involves twisting the hair around the fingertips, and then rolling the fingertips along the length of the loc. This action compacts the hair and helps to create a smoother, rounder shape.
Palm-rolled locs are often used as a maintenance technique to help keep traditional locs looking neat and tidy. However, they can also be used as the primary method for creating locs, especially for individuals with curly or kinky* hair who want a tighter, more defined look. The palm-rolling technique can be used on freshly formed dreadlocks or on mature dreadlocks that need to be reshaped.
2. Interlocked Locs
Interlocked locs are created by interweaving the hair together to form a single, solid unit. The process involves dividing the hair into small sections and then twisting each section around itself to form a loc.
The locs are then interlocked with each other, typically using a crochet hook, to create a tight and secure connection between them. The interlocking process helps to prevent the locs from unraveling and helps to promote the matting process.
Interlocked locs are often used as a maintenance technique to help keep traditional dreadlocks looking neat and tidy.
3. Braided/Twisted locs
Braided locs are formed by braiding or twisting the hair. The process involves dividing the hair into small sections, and then braiding or twisting each section tightly and securely.
Over time, the braids/twists will fuse together and form loc. This technique is commonly used on natural hair, but can also be used on other hair types with the use of extensions* or synthetic hair.
Braided/twisted locs offer a more defined and structured look than traditional locs, but they can take a long time to fully mature.
4. Freeform locs
Freeform locs are formed without the use of any specific techniques or tools. The name “freeform” refers to the fact that the locs are allowed to form and mature on their own, without being manipulated or shaped in any particular way. The process of creating freeform locs involves simply allowing the hair to mat and tangle together naturally, without the use of any twisting, braiding, or interlocking techniques.
Freeform locs are often used by individuals who want a more organic and natural look to their dreadlocks. The lack of manipulation allows the hair to form in its natural pattern, resulting in unique and individualized locs. This style can be achieved by simply not combing or brushing the hair, and allowing it to form dreadlocks on its own over time. Freeform locs can take several months or years to fully mature, but the results are often worth the wait for those who desire a truly natural and authentic look to their dreadlocks.
5. Micro Locs
Micro locs are a type of dreadlocks that are smaller in size compared to traditional dreadlocks. The term “micro” refers to the small diameter of the locs, which are usually less than 0.5 inches in size. Micro locs are created using a variety of techniques, such as twisting, braiding, or interlocking the natural hair.
Micro locs offer several benefits compared to traditional dreadlocks. One advantage is that even though they take more time to create initially than traditional dreadlocks, the smaller size of the locs requires less time for matting and locking so they mature faster. Additionally, micro locs are often more manageable and easier to care for, as the smaller size makes it easier to separate and clean the individual locs. Micro locs also offer more styling options, as they can be styled in a variety of ways, including braids, twists, and updos.
Sisterlocks are a type of microlocs, which are small, individualized dreadlocks that are tightly and uniformly spaced throughout the hair. Sisterlocks are created using a specific technique that involves separating the hair into small sections and then using a specialized tool to secure each section into a neat, tight loc. The locs are then shaped and groomed to create a uniform and streamlined look.
The Sisterlocks technique was created by a woman named JoAnne Cornwell, who was inspired by traditional African hair styling techniques. Sisterlocks offer a unique and versatile alternative to traditional dreadlocks, as they provide a more defined and polished look while still retaining the textured and natural feel of dreadlocks. The small size of the locs also allows for greater styling flexibility, as they can be styled in a variety of ways, including updos, braids, and twists.
7. Comb coils
Comb coils are a type of hair styling technique used to create a textured and voluminous look in natural hair. The name “comb coils” is derived from the tool that is used to create the style, which is a comb.
The comb is used to separate the hair into small sections and then twisting each section around itself to form a coil-like shape. The resulting style resembles small, tightly coiled curls, which give the hair a unique texture and volume. The comb coils can be styled on their own, or combined with other natural hair styles to create a more complex and interesting look.
If left alone, these comb coils will eventually become locs although it can take a while for the coils to loc fully if you have longer hair.
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