Q: Why can't I use gel in my locs
A: To answer this question we must first look at what's the main ingredients in most gels. The main ingredients in hair gel are beeswax, alcohol, and petroleum jelly. They can contain humectants, a plasticizer, or a water-soluble polymer. More complicated polymer formulas exist; e.g., a copolymer of vinylpyrrolidone, methacrylamide, and N-vinylimidazole. Hair gel is a hairstyling product that is used to stiffen hair and hold hair in place. In the book that I'm currently writing I'll be going into greater details about Locs and hair gels but right now let's look at the obvious. Most/all store bought hair gels are packed with chemicals. In order for it to hold your hair in place it has to be. Now I'm not saying that hair gels are bad. When it comes to perms, relaxers, curls, and even ordinary natural hair, gels works wonders and can make your hair do what you want it to do; However when it comes to Locs/Ras, it's the worst thing you can put in your crown. As I've previously stated, locs is formed from tangled hair. When adding unnatural products that's not easily absorbed into the scalp and hair i.e. gels, waxes, creams, moisturizers, etc. it can cause build up and becomes extremely difficult to remove from your locs. Gels can also prevent and stop hair growth. How? Not only does it make your locs become heavy, but also when added on the scalp, it clogs the pores and hair line layer thus preventing you strands from growing to its full potential. Most importantly by clogging the pores it prevents oxygen from getting to your scalp.
Q: Why should I oil my scalp and not the actual locs?
A: The hair outside of your scalp is psychologically dead, it has no blood, nerves or muscles. This goes for finger nails also, that's why hair and nails are considered 'dead cells'. Hair grows from a single follicle. At the base of these follicles is the Papilla, the bud of the hair where most growth takes place and this is beneath the scalp. To nourish hair you then want to focus on that area so the outer part of your hair can reap the reward and be healthy. Like I said, you have to look at your hair like it's a plant, so when putting your Castor Oil at night be sure to massage it into the scalp. Now I'm not saying to neglect your locs, but putting too much stuff in your actual locs can cause build-up and cause your locs to feel heavy and trap dirt and odors. For my clients I recommend one of my best products. It's light and natural. Organic Root Stimulator Olive Oil Sheen can be used in the day time. I suggest to my clients that they use the castor oil at night and use the olive oil in the morning. You can spray it on both your scalp and locs and not have to worry about your crown feeling heavy and clammy. Olive oil is one of my best oil for stimulating growth and keeping your locs and scalp moisturize. You can purchase this at most pharmacies or beauty supply stores.
Q: Where should I put the oils you mentioned, on my locs or on scalp?
A: I can't stress this enough about how the location of where you oil your hair is important. I tell all my clients and people that call or text for advice that you have to look at your hair like it's a plant. When we water a plant we hardly ever water the bark, leaves or branches, instead we water the soil or root so the plant can be healthy and grow. Just like a plant it's important you focus more on nourishing your scalp so you can achieve full healthy locs.
Q: How do I get rid of dandruff if I can't wash my locs with ordinary shampoo?
A: Allot of people confuses dandruff with dry scalp. 'Dry Scalp' which is self explanatory is caused from lack of oil or moisture in the scalp causing it to get 'flakey' and have that dry feel and look to it. To prevent dry scalp I tell my clients to oil their scalp properly everyday or at least every other day. Dandruff on the other hand is a skin/scalp condition caused by the shedding of dead skin sells from the scalp. As the epidermal layer continually replaces itself, cells are pushed outward where they eventually die and flake off. For some people, this is a chronic condition. Now to be honest with my clients, followers and readers I have never suffered from dry scalp or dandruff; however I have many clients who have one or both conditions. Part of being a 'locologist' is to constantly research and read on many natural ways to maintain healthy Ras/Locs. With that being said I have found a few natural cures for dandruff and have personally recommended them to my clients, and they have seen results. If the ones listed below does not help, you can also Google 'natural cures for dandruff' and find what works for you. Remember knowledge is power.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is a natural home remedy for dandruff. Tea tree oil has natural antiseptic and antibiotic properties, which make it best to get rid of dandruff. You can apply tea tree oil directly to the scalp, or add few drops to your regular shampoo i.e. Dr. Brooner's Peppermint soap. I love Tea Oil because I use it on both my hair and skin.
Warm Oil or Hot Oil Treatment Massage on Scalp
Luke warm oil massage is considered as one of the best home remedy to get rid of dandruff. Luke warm almond oil, coconut oil, or olive oil is used to massage on scalp to prevent dandruff. Leave it on scalp overnight.
Olive Oil Treatment for Dandruff
You can get rid of dandruff with the consistence use of olive oil. Olive oil is natural clarifying and moisturizing agent. It is one of the most admired home remedies for dandruff. A lukewarm oil treatment of olive oil can help you to treat your dandruff. Don't make the olive oil too hot. Apply the olive oil to the problem scalp in circular motions before going to bed.
Vinegar to get rid of Dandruff
Vinegar is extremely effective for the treatment of dandruff as it is rich in potassium and enzymes, which will help to cure an itchy scalp and dandruff. There are several ways you can make use of vinegar to prevent dandruff. You can massage apple cider vinegar into the dandruff scalp 5 to 7 minutes. Apple cider vinegar will help you to get rid of the dead skin cells, which are responsible in clogging the hair follicles and lead to dandruff flakes.
Lemon juice and Coconut oil
Blend together 1 tbsp. of lemon juice with 5 tbsp. of coconut oil. Apply to the scalp to get rid of dandruff. Lemon juice is a natural home remedy for dandruff and will clear away flakes from your scalp. There is a myth that lemon juice can lead to hair graying. However this is not true. Leave this remedy on the scalp for 20 to 30 minutes and then wash with your Dr. Brooner's Peppermint soap.
Q: How do I prevent build up from forming in my locs?
A: as I stated before, putting the wrong products in your locs forms ‘build up’ in your locs. You have to remember locs are not like ordinary hair. It can't be combed or brushed hence the reason it can easily trap lint, dirt, odors, build up, etc. Putting 'heavy' products or products that's not easily absorbed into your scalp or root of the hair can cause build up, like bee's wax, gels etc. For all my clients I recommend healthy and 'light' natural oils. Oils such as, castor oil, vitamin E, olive oil, carrot oil, tea tree oil, just to name a few can not only nourish and stimulate growth but it does not stay trapped in your locs causing white creamy build up and they don't leave your locs feeling heavy and clammy and most importantly, they are easily washed out.
Q: How do I get rid of the build up in my hair?
A: I give people from all over the country 'Loc Advice' and this is a question almost everyone has ask me over the phone or via text. "I have allot of white creamy build up and no matter how much I wash my hair, it's still there, how do I get rid of it?" . I've been dealing with locs for over fifteen years and as far as I know there's is no shampoo on the market for people with locs. I tell this to my new clients all the time. Think about this for a second, have you ever seen a shampoo commercial showing someone with locs? No!!!! You've never seen it and I doubt you ever will. Like I said in my previous post "locs are not like ordinary hair hence the reason it has to be treated completely different". Now many of you reading this have experienced or is currently experiencing buildup embedded in your locs. Using the wrong products in your locs e.g. gels, bee’s wax and even creams cause buildup. The truth is, you will use bottles of shampoo and your hair still won't be rid of buildup. To get rid of build up from your locs the only thing that will work is LEMON DISHWASHING DETERGENT and only lemon scented and nothing else. Yes I know it sounds insane but I'll explain why this inexpensive product works. First of all lemon cuts grease. Fast. As you wash your hair with very warm water with the dishwashing detergent it loosens and breaks down the grease that's been sitting in your locs since you first started locking your hair. Wash your hair at least 3-4 times or until the color of the water is no longer a dirty brown (and I promise you, it will be dirty brown when you start washing it) and after washing your locs with the detergent you then wash your locs with the Dr. Brooner's peppermint soap. As I stated before in previous post, you already know the benefits of peppermint soap. Now after washing your hair with the detergent your locs will feel very dry. Remember you just stripped it of all oils and build up, so it's important you re-moisturize your hair and scalp with natural oils e.g. castor oil, coconut oil, vitamin E oil, tea tree oil, etc.
Q: Yannie, do you style locs?
A: If I had a penny for every time a new client or potential new client has asked me this question. When clients ask the infamous 'styling' question my answer is always the same, "I'll only style your locs if your hair is strong and not thinning out". Most beauticians, stylist, hair dressers and lockticians make their extra money from styling, and don't get me wrong I admire their work because most of them are very good at it. I've seen some of the best loc styles; however I don't hold those titles. I'm not a loctician, I'm a Locologist. My work is about the health of hair first and foremost When a new client walks into my studio before I even proceed to wash their crown I examine it. It's important for me to see how much damage the client's hair has. I'll say 80% of my clients has damaged and thinning locs and over styling is another cause of the damage. When locs are styled it's being pulled and taunt from being styled too tight, too often and the style being kept in the person's hair for far too long. If I think the client's hair is too weak or thin I'm not styling it. For me, the emphasis is not about giving the client an intricate style or about an extra tip, it's about preserving my clients locs. I tell my clients all the time that if I don't take care of their hair and give them the necessary information for them to take care of their hair also then their locs will continue to thin thus causing them to get frustrated and cut it off. I'll then lose a client for life. My job is to help the client keep their hair as long as they can. Now I understand some people wants to style their locs for special occasions but I always encourage them to oil their hair during the time it's styled and try not to keep the style in their locs for more than a couple of days, and when I do style the client's hair I make sure it's not done tight.
Q: What can I use to make my thinning hair thicker?
A: Most people have thinning hair and it can be due to many causes such as, genetics, medication, over processing, stress, illness, diet, permanent hair dyes, etc. When dealing with locs allot of clients have the same complaint for thinning hair that is due to their locs being twisted and the use of gel, clips and hair dryers. There's hope for people with thinning hair and it comes from a very inexpensive product. "CASTOR OIL". Yes the same Castor oil we all hated to drink as kids. During my research I not only read up on Castor oil and how it does wonders for both your hair and skin but I have also used it on my clients and myself and we have all seen results. It does work. Now I have gone a step further when my mother introduced me to a more potent form of Castor oil called "JAMAICAN BLACK CASTOR OIL". I can go on forever on how good this product works, but please don't take my word for it, just go to you-tube and see the many videos on how well it works and you will see for yourself. Two additional oils that works just as well as castor oil, is 'Emu Oil' and 'Wild Growth Oil. No, you don't use them together. you pick the oil that works best for you.
Q: How do I wash beeswax out of my hair?
A: Beeswax is a type of wax that has been used for centuries to tame unruly hair and most importantly start and maintain locs. This product, if used incorrectly can leave a build up of dirt, excessive oils, lint and odors. As I mentioned before people with locs should never ever wash their hair with ordinary shampoo; well if you have beeswax in your locs then this stands true even more. Shampoo will NOT wash beeswax out of your hair. To remove beeswax from locs one should apply a specific grease cutting agent. Dish washing liquid is a good example of a product of this type. It is safe to use on the hair occasionally, though overuse can lead to the hair becoming dry and frizzy. It's more important you use lemon dish washing detergent. Lemon is best for cutting grease and oils from your hair and it will also help your hair to lock. On the other hand after washing your locs with the lemon dish washing detergent, it's imperative you re-add the oils that washed away. A hot oil treatment will be suitable after using the detergent. It will not only moisturize and 'naturally' condition your locs but it will also replenish the hair follicles and new-growths.
Q: Why is my locks/hair thinning?
A: Thinning hair for anyone with or with out locs can be due to several factors such as, medication, illness, stress, diet, genetics, just to name a few. For people with locs that don't relate to any of these reasons but still find that their hair is thinning should consider how they care for their locs. 'TRACTION ALOPECIA is the number one reason for hair loss and thinning in the loc community. Traction Alopecia is a small or localized hair loss area caused by repetitive or persistent pulling or force on hair roots. Tight braids and ponytails can pull hard enough on hairs to make them fall out. If this happens, it's best to choose hairstyles that put less tension on hair. The sooner this is done the better to avoid permanent damage. Most people 'twist' their locks to keep it neat. Twisting is extremely harmful for locks. Twisting pulls the follicle of the hair from the root of the scalp. This process not only causes hair loss and thinning after a long period of time but it can cause permanent damage to the root thus preventing hair regrowth; therefore I never twist or palm roll any of my clients locs.
Q: Should I wrap my locks up at night?
A: Yes of course; but the more important question should be; what do you wrap your hair with? Many of us sleep on cotton sheets and pillow cases. Cotton linens, no matter what the count is, causes friction to our hair, thus causing breakage. This damage is an on going process. When clients ask me this question I always recommend they invest in silks scarves. Silk not only prevents friction and breakage, but also prevents all the oils that's keeping your locks healthy and moisturized, from being absorbed into your cotton pillow cases. After eight hours of sleep this leaves your hair feeling great and moist the next day.
Q: What are 'Hot Oil Treatment' and is it good for my locks?
A: I personally Love hot oil treatments for my clients and myself. It does the same exact thing conventional conditioners do but more importantly, it's ALL NATURAL. Hot oil treatment is used to give hair moisture as it gives the look of conditioned hair without having to worry about your hair detangling. The hot oil can help repair damaged and weak hair as every strand gets the treatment it needs instantly when the oil is applied to hair and scalp. There are many hot oil treatments on the market but those of us with locks, the natural way is the best way. It can be very simple and inexpensive. After washing your hair I recommend you replace all the oils you washed out, however giving your hair a hot oil treatment at least once a week is important. You can use the same oils I mentioned above in your hair while it's still damp then place your hair in a shower cap or ordinary plastic bag (if it's too long for a cap) for a few hours once time permits. I tell my clients to pic a day when they are off from work and they have the time for their hair to get a NATURAL STEAM while the hot oil treatment is in their hair. I never wash hot oiled treatments out of my hair or my client’s hair. I believe once you are giving yourself a 'natural' hot oil treatment it should stay in your hair so that it continues to work as the days go on. I'll be adding more info about this simple process in my book.
Q: What natural products should I use for my locks?
A: There are many 'natural' products sold at beauty supply stores that can be used for locks and helps prevent dryness and breakage and at the same time promoting growth. Some of my personal best are; vitamin E oil (which is an anti-oxidant and is great for both skin and hair, Castor oil (helps thickens hair) coconut oil and most importantly olive oil. Using some of these oils into your scalp while massaging it is important because having healthy hair starts from the scalp. You might also want to consider putting them in your hair before you go to bed so that they can do their moisturizing magic while you sleep.
Q: Should I use conditioners in my hair?
A: I never use conditioners in my locs and I don't use it for my clients either. Though conditioners are great for people with normal hair that wants tangle free, bouncy, shinny hair, it's the worst thing for people with locs. Besides the many chemicals found in conditioners, one of the most harmful ingredients for people that have locs or wanting to grow locks are detanglers. Most detanglers are acidifies and have low pH's 2.5 to 3.5. They close the cuticle of the hair, which cause tangles. Some "shield" the hair shaft with polymers (polymers are strings of "like" molecules- a chain). Some detanglers are instant, some take 1-5 minutes to work. Locs are created from tangled hair so for people with locks or most importantly starting locks, conditioners will not only slow down the 'locking' process but it can also prevent it.
Q: What should I use to wash my locks?
A: Locs should never be washed with ordinary shampoo. One of my favorite products I use to wash my own hair is 'Dr. Brooner's Peppermint Soap'. Dr. Brooner's soap is 'anti-residue' and while washing, it helps strip the locks of excess oils that accumulates during the days or weeks between washing. Most importantly the peppermint also removes odors and leaves your hair smelling great and feeling light. Peppermint also promotes growth my stimulating the follicles.
Q: How often should I wash my locks?
A: How often you wash your hair depends on your lifestyle and your personal grooming habits. Yes it's true that locs are more prone to odors, excess oils, lint, etc., but over washing locs/hair can cause dry scalp that leads to flaking and itching which then leads to breakage. It's not about how often you wash your hair, it's what you wash it with that's more important.
LOCS CARE QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Over the years allot of my clients have asked me what are the best products for locks and the best way to take care of their beautiful crowns. Below I have added a few of those questions along with the answers. Some of the pictures posted is to show the damage hair and scalp can sustain if not treated properly with the correct NATURAL PRODUCTS and techniques. As Time goes on I plan on adding more, so stay tuned. Thanks to all my clients that inspired this page.