The decision to start locs is a very personal one, and should not be taken lightly. It is a commitment and a re-affirmation to self, regardless of your full understanding of any symbolism's connected to this process, at that divine moment.
This initiation should be filled with sound advice from a recommended Natural Hair Care professional, about the maintenance for you natural. Choose someone who shows genuine concern for natural hair and who does not mind answering ALL of your questions. You will need to be ready for a journey that will require you to be devoted, patient as well as consistant.
Growing locs is the true definition of a 'perm', yes, it's permanent. Unless, you cut them off or spend days picking them apart, which will surely damage your hair. Locs form once the hair is sectioned and twisted and left to nature. Locs may be started from long or short natural (virgin) hair. They may be formed small or thicker, which will depend on the thickness of your hair. As your locs start to form in the first 2-3 months, they will take on different characteristics. They may become very fuzzy, and unkempt, this is normal for some people due to their hair texture. This process will sometimes make you feel like you want to turn back and it is at this point that Spirit is checking to see just how committed you really are to this beautiful transformation. If you make it through this challenge, the rest will be well worth it! Locs do not happen over night! It takes at least 4-5 years to grow shoulder length locs and hopefully, you have been taking care of your body temple, by taking in quality water, foods and juices. Proper nutrition will insure that you have enough nutrients for the added luxury of growing a strong, healthy grown of locs!
A few ways to starts locs are...
'Free form' which is achieved by simply washing your hair with a natural shampoo and herbal conditioning treatment. Then allowing your hair to grow without any combing, twisting or shaping.
Another 'free form' technique is done by towel drying short hair into circular motions, the hair freely forms into tightly separated twists/curls.
The 'guided form' also known as "salon locs' or 'society dread' are determined by shaping the hair into twists, braids or palm rolls and stylized into neat, uniformed locs. Salon trained locs require the most care and attention.
If you prefer low maintenance locs ( not to be confused with NO MAINTENANCE) then 'free formed' locs are for you.
All types of Locs require regular grooming, depending on the method you choose, twisted locs need to be shampooed, conditioned, oiled ,separated and retwisted at the roots (new growth). Free formed locs require shampooing, conditioning and scalp care. Remember, 100% natural products for natural hair. Always allow your hair the proper drying time so that your locs don't mold. Please see links section of this site for detailed history on locs. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/dreadlocks