The Anatomy of Locs

Kimberly Ratcliff

Here at Locs’ Brew, we love to see luscious, healthy, hair! We understand that the first step to maintaining healthy natural hair is understanding the makeup of your hair and knowing what makes it happy. Keep reading to learn all about the different parts of locs.

The Core

When you begin the loc journey there are many styles you can use, but the main objective is to allow your hair to “set”. If left to its own devices, when gathered into rope-like sections, the inner strands of the hair will begin to naturally knot and tangle.

If you look closely, you’ll see that each loc is a tightly woven, somewhat uniformed, rope of hair. It’s amazing how the hair can naturally do the hard part, but some maintenance can be done to keep the locs healthy and looking good.

Read more about the different starting methods and what type of hair they work well with, here and here.

The Stages

The Starter Stage

This is the stage where you style your hair using one of the methods we mentioned above and let your hair stay in that style permanently, to allow the hair to start the locking process.

The Budding Stage

The next stage of loc development is the stage in which the internal matrix of the loc begins to form. As this happens you will begin to see knots forming that will cause small puffy sections to form near the root or middle of the loc. When that happens, the locs are starting the structure that will eventually mature into fully locked hair!


In this stage you the loc is becoming stronger and more solid, but a good maintenance routine is still key to helping your locs along. Using the right products to encourage the budding process, while keeping your hair clean abs healthy, can work wonders! For more on products that can enhance your loc journey, click here.


The Teen Stage


After months of budding, you will begin to see and feel your hair losing the structure of the starter style and congealing into solid locs. At this point, you won’t be able to see the original pattern of the twists or braids as much. Your hair will have interwoven into a tight unit that forms each loc and you won’t have to worry about the ends unraveling as much. 


The Mature Stage

In this stage, you’ll have fully locked hair.  You’ll be more comfortable styling your locs and you’ll know what products and processes work best for you. This stage usually comes after a couple years. 


The Rooted Stage


This stage your locks will have minimal frizz, feel quite heavy, and have some serious length. At this point, caring for your hair will help to avoid the signs of age, like the occasional breakage.


Note that there are dangers to not caring for your locs, like mold, mildew, and residue buildup inside the locs that can cause all sorts of problems. So, stay tuned for information on how to avoid those issues.


What stage are you in on your loc journey? Have you started your locs? What method did you use? What questions do you have? Let us know in the comments. We’d love to hear from you and help!

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