Understanding The Process
Because this is a permanent style, the installation is crucial. It is easy to create loc extensions that are beautiful on day one, but the true quality of the work is revealed months later when your natural locs grow out. To ensure that loc extensions are great over the years, careful consideration must be made to the client’s root system. The density, volume and texture are contributing factors to the formation of the natural loc. The size of the extension must be determined according to the size that the natural loc will be. Improper installations usually produce heavy bulb-like extensions hanging from a smaller loc. To avoid this, choose a skilled and experienced stylist. The quality of work is more important than the set price. When vetting a stylist look at pictures that have been taken after the natural locs have grown out as well as the day of installation.
The process takes about 7-8 hours on average. Many variables contribute to how much time the process takes. Smaller or longer extensions take more time to install. Voluminous hair will also add time to the process. Installation time can be estimated after determining the customizations, however an exact time is next to impossible to determine. Patience goes a long way. It is worth investing the time needed to have this process done properly.
We use 100% human kinky hair. Just like with natural hair, kinky extensions have various curl patterns. Some are kinky curly, some are wavy, but it is the kinkiest hair with the tightest curl pattern that makes the best loc extensions. The texture of the hair is exactly like Afro hair, which is great for locking. If the extension hair is synthetic or not kinky enough the loc won’t form naturally and may never solidify. There are only a handful of brands that produce hair just right for locking.
The hair typically comes in 10 inch or 16 inch. This winds up being more like 4-6 inches after accounting for length lost by the coil pattern and the wrapping motion during installation. For these reasons, the base length of the loc extensions is about chin length. For longer locs, the extensions must be linked together. Every additional 3-4 inches of length adds about 2 hours to the service time. This causes pricing upgrades of varying degrees depending on how long the desired length is.
Initially it will appear that your hair is locked, but your extensions require a maturation period of at least 3 months before the hair forms into a permanent loc. It’s best to do as little as possible to your locs during this period to allow the process to unfold naturally. Loc extensions are durable, but not at their strongest during the maturation period. They are particularly vulnerable to slippage while wet. Avoid cutting, abrasive shampooing and excessive styling while the loc is forming. After the maturation period, loc extensions can endure styles, cuts and curls the same as natural locs.
The toughest part of having loc extensions is the need to initially avoid shampooing. Although they can be washed, it helps to wait as long as possible before the first shampoo. There are many products for cleaning the scalp without submerging the hair. A good dry shampoo, scalp cleanser or old fashion witch hazel will do the trick. Locs should be kept clean and sanitary, particularly the connection between the extension and the natural hair. Dirt, product residue, dandruff and lint can get caught in the connection and the loc itself. If not cleaned the dirt will be trapped inside as the loc solidifies.
New growth, if left ungroomed for long periods, will give the locs a frizzy look. The main purpose of loc grooming is to maintain the new growth. Interlocking and twisting are the two primary ways to do that. Twisting usually has to be redone every 2-3 weeks or after the hair is washed. Interlocking lasts for 2-3 months and typically maintains its neat appearance after washing or swimming.
Cleanliness is of the upmost importance because some substances will not wash out of locs. The best way to avoid build up is to use products that don’t leave a residue in locs. Thick, waxy products, some gels, shampoos and conditioners can be dangerous. Stick to products that are tried and true to locs and avoid castile-based shampoos. Locs are not like loose hair. They hold on to stuff. They need to be washed, cleaned and maintain with careful consideration to product use. Daisy’s Garden Products are lox-friendly and non toxic.