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Different Styles for Starting Locs

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Baby locks

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Once you decide you want to grow locs, you'll need to choose a starter loc style. Basically, this is a loc-friendly hairstyle that, with proper maintenance and time, will eventually grow into mature locs. You may find it helpful to consult with a loctician in your area if you're unsure which style best suits you and your lifestyle.

For some people, growing locs will seem to be a breeze -- their hair maintains its growth pattern with little manipulation and before they know it, their locs are at their shoulders. For others, it can seem a long, hard road to growing locs. Thin locs may break off and buds may constantly come untwisted. It can be a frustrating process, but try to remember that growing locs does take time.

Any of the following starter loc styles will eventually result in a headful of locs to be envied. Choose according to your stylist's advice and your hair texture.

Palm Rolls:

As its name suggests, this style is created by rolling sections of hair between the palms of your (or your stylist's) hands. It's great as a stand-alone style as well, but by leaving your palm rolls in, your hair will loc over time.

Decide how large you want your sections to be before beginning to palm roll. Make sure they're as uniform as possible. A light hairdress or gel is best for fashioning palm rolls -- beeswax should be avoided as it's too tacky, difficult to wash out of the hair and will attract dirt and dust.

You'll probably find it necessary to twist your palm rolls as new growth comes in, so you or your stylist should be sure and continue twisting in the same direction so that the locs stay tightly coiled.

Two-Strand Twists and Twists:

Just like palm rolls, two-strand twists are their own style, but can be left in to grow into locs as well. You may find it necessary to hold your twists in place with rubber bands at the root and/or the ends until the locs begin to form so that they don't unravel.

While you'll need at least a couple of inches of hair to form two-strand twists, simple hair twists can be formed on shorter hair with the aid of a soft bristle brush. Brush over the head in a circular pattern in the same direction, clockwise or counterclockwise. As you brush, small balls or nubs will form. You then have the option of applying a light gel to help hold the twists in place.

Braids:

Braids may be the go-to starter loc style for people with a looser hair texture. This can be anything from loose waves to small curls. The natural growth process that allows kinky hair to grow and mesh together when it's uncombed takes longer in hair that's not as kinky. Looser hair textures can also unravel in the beginning loc stages, particularly when the hair gets wet.

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