You don't know how to get crochet ready. It's about time you do it right.
Before you get your crochet locs installed, you’ve got to prepare your roots and tresses. A protective style like goddess locs will last up to two months. Your curls will be tucked away in cornrows (or even individual braids) for a while.
Prepping your hair beforehand ensures that your natural hair will remain safe and damage-free when wearing crochet locs. While there is no quick and dirty process for preparing your hair, the time and effort will pay off in the long run. We promise.
First, Clarify your Curls
Our curls are magnets for dust, dirt, and product build-up. Co-washing is one option for hair prone to excessive dryness and breakage. When the time comes to install your protective style, you need to start with a clean slate. Unfortunately, co-washing conditioners fail to pack enough cleaning power. Instead, cleanse your scalp and curls with a clarifying shampoo. There are many types of shampoos on the market. Shop for shampoo based on what you are trying to accomplish. Clarifying shampoos are one of many kinds. These shampoos gently strip the hair of the build-up from the products that have been applied over time. Be sure to give your scalp and strands a deep clean periodically, especially when you are getting ready to tuck your hair away for the next month or two. Or three. (we see you, long-haul protective stylers). To stay fresh, you have to start fresh.
A clarifying shampoo we love is from a tiny black-owned brand called Sunny in Denbigh. They have an excellent African Black Soap line that is specially formulated to gently but deeply cleanse hair. Sunny In Denbigh’s products promote hair growth without commonly added irritants we all know we should be avoiding (sulfates *cough*). Best of all, it is made in small batches by another ambitious Black female entrepreneur.
Next, Deep Condition
Find a deep conditioner that will fortify your curls with the protein and moisture needed to resist weakening and stay strong. You may have heard that cold water is the way to go when washing your hair. That's not necessarily true. Cold water seals the cuticles of your hair, keeping nutrients and proteins from entering. Warm water OPENS thoses cuticles and allows for all the good stuff in your conditioner to get in each strand. Gentle heat is your friend (more on that below). Deep conditioning is also the perfect time to methodically detangle your curls. Some ladies swear by finger detangling to combat stubborn knots. However, if you’re into using tools to assist during the process, check out Felicia Leatherwood’s Detangler Brush. Its flexi-bristles are specially designed for the complexities of curls and coils. This brush works by reducing the force typically transferred from your arm to your strands.
*** Pro Tip: If you remember back from high school chemistry, heat is a catalyst. That is, heat helps speed things up. With a little bit of heat, you can skip sitting for 2 hours with conditioner dripping down the back of your neck. While the product is in your hair, add some gentle heat by sitting under/using a dryer for 10-15 min before rinsing under cool water.
Third Step, Moisturize
There are two newer schools of thought on moisturizing curly/coily hair: LOC or LCO method. The ingredients are essentially the same:
- Leave-In Conditioner
The definitive difference between the two is the order each product is applied. Finding the right approach for your hair will result in maximized moisture retention, growth, and shine. Some science exists behind choosing which order works best for you based on how your hair behaves when placed in water. Click here for a deep-dive on this.
The LOC Method: Liquid-based conditioner, then a lightweight oil, then finish with a heavier cream or butter.
The LCO Method: Liquid-based conditioner, then heavier cream or butter, finish off with a lightweight oil
Every curly/coily girl is different. Some of us have several hair types on our heads that require different approaches to moisturizing. Pour some out the ladies that have that going on! Pick a method to prep your curls for your boho locs. Take notes on how the curls react in different sections of your head. Mix and match to find the best moisturizing routine for you. Be patient. This takes time, sometimes months. You’ll rejoice once you get the right product combo for your hair! We promise.
If you’re shopping for a liquid-based conditioner or oil, check out CurlMix. They have varying product lines of organic ingredient products that provide incredible slip and nourishing shine. We'll admit: it is a bit on the pricier side, including for us. Now and then we splurge and add one more of their products to our hair care collection. Don’t judge: It's hard out on these entrepreneurial streets!
Last Step, Streeeeetch (your hair)!
Stretching your curls while they are still damp, before styling, will help to prevent breakage and tangling during styling by preventing strands from curling back into each other. You’ve made it this far; ensure it remains worthwhile. When the time comes to install your crochet locs, you won’t need to stress your washed and dried hair with excessive combing. You can do a blowout on medium to low heat with your favorite heat protectant, or you can go heat-free and use flat twists, two-strand twists, or plaits to stretch your curls.
Faux locs, crochet locs, boho locs, whatever you choose to call them are great for protecting your hair while still maintaining a laid-back, easy-going vibe. If you haven’t tried goddess locs before, browse the Crown Locs site to see what we have available. You might even come across some upcoming surprises not yet released!