Help for Damaged Locs


Many of us are twisting our hairlines out of existence.  The longer your hair grows, the more it weighs, the more stress it places on your hairline.  Add excessive twisting and tight ponytails to that mix and you will soon have a receding hairline.  The new trend seems to be to twist as tight as you can to hide any remnant of nappiness.  Continue on this route and eventually, you won't have any nappiness as most of your hair will have been pulled out.  Less vain dreadlock wearers are more unlikely to have this problem.

About Thinning and Hair Loss

The reason dreadlocked hair flourishes is because the hair is left alone the majority of the time and hair that is usually shed remains twisted into each loc.  This is the same way braided hair always seemed to grow more.  The reality is, everyone’s hair, of every race grows.  But, the hair growth can’t be noticed if we constantly pull the hair out and cause breakage with extreme processes.

Hair loss and thinning is natural and should be expected.  The front hairline is well known for being the first area to show signs of baldness.  Some hair loss patterns are hereditary or simply because of an inadequate diet.  However, some hair loss occurs when we handle the hair too much (excessive brushing, combing, permanents…and now with dreadlocks, excessive twisting). Too much twisting (outside of the starting stage) causes thinning at the root section.  A loc with a thin root section is going to break.  You can temporarily solve the problem by twisting another loc in with the thinning one, but you’ll just have more hair relying on two thin root sections.

The same way excessive twisting can cause thinning, not twisting or lubricating your locs at all can cause similar damage.  While it's good to have some accumulation of new growth before twisting, leaving the new growth unattended for months at a time causes thinning at times too.  Especially if you constantly pull the hair back tightly or cover the new growth with a tight scarf.

Wearing the hair tightly banded and not removing the bands for several days can cause thinning at the point of contact with the band (this is any type of band, not just rubberbands).  Hair shouldn't be left banded in the same spot from more than two days.  Ideally they should be taken out daily.

Some of us have reached an "atrophy" stage.  After a decade or so, your locs may thin and break at any point along the loc.  The smaller your locs, the more likely this is to happen.  Tight banding will accelerate this process.

Finally, sometimes thinning occurs because the locs have grown so long that the sheer weight of them puts stress on the root section.  Wearers of the everlasting 'ponytail' put themselves into this category.  Remember that dreadlocks hold all the hair that would have normally been shed.  They are heavy (and even heavier when wet).  Constant ponytail wearers are placing this entire weight on their front hairline.  Those trying to vanquish nappy new growth add even more stress by pulling or binding the hair down extra tightly.  You can alleviate this stress by wearing the hair up on top of the head most of the time and not pulling the hair so tight.

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Help For Thinning Hair

We recommend the following:

  • Vitamins specific to hair and nails

  • Not twisting the hair and not wearing your locs pulled up or back too tightly, at all, for a while

  • Moisturizing the entire length of your loc (not just the scalp)

In the beginning when your hair was shorter, oiling the scalp provided enough moisture, but remember, the longer your hair grows, the more difficult it will be for your scalps natural oils to reach the ends.  You must moisturize the entire length of the loc, preferably while damp for maximum absorption. 

It is good to loosely tie the weak sections in a nice dressy knot (try our eBooks for knot ideas), leave it alone for a week or two (refreshing the knot daily, of course) while allowing the new growth to fuzz up underneath.  Use theto conceal, what some might deem, unsightly new growth.  Theis smooth all around and won't cause rubbed out areas of hair when worn in moderation.  Overuse of any type of wrap can cause damage and rubbed out areas.

If all else fails and the loc just has to go, check out our new DIY Loc Repair eBook.  It details a simple no-frills way to reattach broken locs.

How often you twist your locs is up to you, but beware...sometimes there are negative consequences from over twisting.

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