Basic dreadlock maintenance: Lock Lacing

Hair Lacing


Today I am going to discuss a type of lock maintenance that is not for the masses: lacing. I’m sure that there are many different names for this technique but I don’t know any of them, I call it lacing. The reason I say that this technique is not for the masses is that it makes your locks permanent. Some people assume that locks are permanent but this is not true. Locks are simply a controlled form of hair matting and it can be combed out – it just takes patience. One MAJOR exception to combing out dreadlocks is lacing.

Lacing is a technique that loops the lock end through the new growth at the root to create a knot. The amount of times each lock needs to be laced will be determined by the amount of new growth available. Some people using lacing rather than palm rolling as their sole form of new growth maintenance because lacing doesn’t pull the roots of your hair (and thus is kinder to your edges than palm rolling) and it doesn’t wash out. I do not use lacing as my primary form of new growth maintenance because it is very time-consuming. It takes me about double the time to lace my hair than to palm roll my hair. Typically, I lace my roots about once or twice a year.

Start with a clean head of hair. It really doesn’t matter too much if the hair is wet or dry with this technique, unless you also plan to wetset your hair at the same time. It is important to make sure that the hair is moisturized and not so dry it is brittle, however. Brittle hair could possibly snap with this technique. I like to moisten my fingers with a little Miss Jessie’s Curly Buttercream before starting each lock.

Steps
Step 1: Take a lock and grasp the new growth. Smooth the hair with your fingers until it is straight enough to make a divide in the new growth with your fingers.

smoothing new growth

Step 2: Divide the new growth into two sections with your fingers

divide the new growth into two sections

Step 3: Grasp the end of the lock and thread it through the new growth divide that you created

thread the lock through the new growth divide that you created

Step 4: Pull the hair through the divide to create a knot.

Pull the hair through the divide to create a knot

Step 5: Repeat until the majority of the new growth is knotted, changing the direction of the knot each time. If you do not change the direction of the knot you will end up with a “V” separation in your new growth and (eventually) your lock.

That’s all! Repeat these steps for each lock in your head.

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Locks on the Street – DC: Brandon

Brandon

How long have you been locked?
4 Years

What made you decide to lock/go natural?
To really be honest, I started my dread locks because I felt like it was better and less costly way to have hair and not have to have maintenance done every week.

Who does your hair?
I go to a salon

If you go to a salon, what is the stylist’s name and salon?
Stylist: Sade
Salon: Le Touche Beauty Salon
2615 Columbia Pike
Arlington, VA 22204
703-920-5666

What hair product could you not live without?
Jamaican Mango & Lime No More Itch Braid, Twist, and Lock Gel

Tips?
Keep your locks maintained! Go to the salon every two weeks.

Brightening Lemon Hair Rinse

I love to rinse my hair with rosemary, but rosemary darkens hair overtime. While I love the exoticness of my dark brown hair, I also love my blonde and gold streaks. 🙂 In order to keep my blonde streaks as bright as possible, I started rinsing my hair with this lemon rinse after applying any rosemary.

Brightening Lemon Rinse
Lemon oil is a great hair tonic as lemon is good for making hair shiny and removing dandruff. Lemon oil also has bleaching qualities, so it helps to lighten blonde hair and counter-act the effects of rosemary rinses (which darken hair). This rinse leaves your hair shiny and smelling of lemons.

1 16oz bottle
10-12 drops lemon essential oil (or 2 tbsp fresh pressed lemon oil)
16 oz distilled water

Pour lemon essential oil and distilled water into bottle. Shake well. Use to rinse hair after washing.

Knots on the Street – DC: Patrice

Patrice

How long have you been natural?
9 years

What made you decide to lock/go natural?
I decided to go natural in high school. I was looking at my hair and felt like the perm made my hair look dull and dead, so I cut it off.

Who does your hair?
I go to a salon.

If you go to a salon, what is the stylist’s name and salon?
Stylist: Ashley
Salon: Noire Salon
8225-A Georgia Ave
2nd Floor
Silver Spring, MD 20910
301-335-6257
301-440-0224

What hair product could you not live without?
I love olive oil!

Knots on the Street: DC – Donna and Dana

Donna (afro) and Dana

How long have you been natural?
Donna – 7 years
Dana – started transitioning in Jan 2, 2010

What made you decide to go natural?
Donna – perm burns on my scalp/ scabby scalp
Dana – It was just something I wanted to do. I wanted to do my own natural hair. It was time

Who does your hair? How long does it take?
Self

What hair product could you not live without?
Donna – Magic lasso (to make my afro puff)
Dana – Tie between extra virgin olive oil and Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk

Honey Mayo Protein Hair Mask

Honey Mayo Hair Mask

Every winter the cold damages my hair. Natural hair needs a lot of moisture and winter rips it away much faster than I can add it, so my locks have been shedding a lot lately. In order to combat this hair stress, I’ve been treating my hair with a protein mask (recipe) that I got from Freakz & Geekz. This recipe has been the savior of my hair for a couple of months now.

Honey Mayo Protein Conditioner
Because hair is a protein, protein conditioning treatments penetrate easily, getting deep into the hair-shaft. Use of protein masks/treatments stop hair breakage, rebuild hair structure and makes your hair shine and grow. If your hair is healthy, only use a protein treatment once a month, if necessary. If your hair is damaged (chemical damage, shedding, etc) use a protein treatment 2-3 times a month, no more than once every other week. Protein treatments are great right after having a chemical service (color, bleaching, highlights, etc.), too.

Note: Do not use protein treatments daily or weekly! Protein treatments penetrate the hair-shaft, so too much protein will cause the hair to become brittle and have breakage.

Ingredients
Eggs are rich in protein, which helps to make the hair follicle stronger (thus less split ends). Eggs also smoothes the hair, has thickening agents, and adds body and shine to hair. Mayonnaise adds moisture and shine to the hair. Honey helps soothe itchy scalp and stops hair loss. Olive oil helps to tame frizzy hair, relieves hair damage, and moisturizes (especially in winter!)

1 cup hair conditioner (I use Aussie Moist)
¼ cup olive oil
2 eggs (shoulder length hair, 1 egg if hair is shorter)
3 tbsp honey
½ cup mayonnaise

Mix the conditioner, olive oil, honey, and mayo until blended. Add eggs. Whip until frothy and smooth. Separate hair into four sections. Apply conditioner – one section at a time – until hair is evenly saturated. Wrap hair in plastic and let sit for 5 hours or overnight.

Rinse conditioner out and wash with moisturizing shampoo if needed.

I start by parting my hair into four sections. I braid each section loosely and tie them off with a covered rubber band. Section by section I apply the conditioner, making sure to completely saturate my hair, especially the ends and any damaged sections of locks. Once I have completed a section I re-braid the hair.

Once I am finished applying the conditioner I take bobby pins and pin the sections of hair onto the top of my head (nothing fancy, I just want it off my neck), then I wrap my hair in plastic. Because I sleep with this conditioning mask on I also cover the plastic with a scarf before sleeping at night.

Knots on the Street: DC – Melba

How long have you been natural?
4 years

What made you decide to go natural?
I was tired of relaxers plus my sister is natural and I loved the way her hair looked and felt.

Who does your hair? How long does it take?
I do it myself.

What hair product could you not live without?
Curl Activator Gel with Aloe Vera and IC Gel – The curl activator gel is moisturizing without being greasy

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