Along with the ‘myth’ that locs are maintenance free, some also believe that locs do not need to be protected in the winter. It doesn’t matter how you wear your hair—loose or loc’d, your scalp can become dry due to cold weather as well as central heating because both affect the amount of moisture in your hair and scalp.
Renee Prophet is a loctician, the founder of Friends for Hair Freedom (a grassroots organization advocating for those who have been discriminated against in the workplace) and owner of Naturalcentric Salon located in Maryland. She shared the following tips to keep your locs protected in the winter.
First off, she advises those who are interested in locs to have them started and maintained by a professional loctician, not a hairstylist that “does it all.” “A professional loctician is a stylist who has training in the overall maintenance of locs, beyond making them look good. They will not use Mizani and/or Motions on your locs, or whatever brown gel is on sale, they will use products that nurture your hair in its natural state,” she states.
Loc wearers should deep condition regularly (all year round). A mashed avocado can be used, as well as REAL mayonnaise. She also suggests that loc wearers invest in a good hooded dryer (the type that comes on a stand) to dry your hair thoroughly if shampooing at home. “Table top dryers aren’t worth a food stamp for loc wearers!” she adds.
She also warns, “Keep fuzzy, lint ball forming things away from your hair, including certain scarves, sweaters, and blankets. Anything that forms lint balls in the wash will collect in your hair.”
Tempie Satcher-Ducosin, loctician, founder of DC Love, Locs and Natural Hair Expo and owner of Asaze Natural Hair Salon in Washington, DC, agrees. She states that loc wearers should wear hats with a silk or satin lining. She adds that, as an alternative, loc wearers can put on a silk/satin scarf under caps or wear a satin scull cap or Loc Soc.
Tempie also teaches her clients to care for their hair from the inside out. “As the weather changes from warmer to cooler months, locs need more moisture. Drink plenty of water and the correct amount—half your body weight in ounces,” she says. Also, as far as keeping your hair and scalp moisturized, she suggests that loc wearers alternate between deep conditioning and hot oil treatments after every wash.
She maintains that deep conditioning can be done with a mixture of eggs, mayonnaise and/or olive oil. Let the mixture sit on your hair, covered with a plastic cap, from 5 to 10 minutes. Hot oil treatments can also be done with olive oil. After both, rinse thoroughly and let dry. “Remember to always sleep with a satin/silk scarf at night,” she adds.
– Laquita Thomas-Banks