Want To Add a Little Extra Oomph To Your Locs? Trying Adding in Curls

Here's a step-by-step guide.

Person with curly locs
Photo: Unsplash/InStyle

Locs are a great styling option for anyone who wants to embrace their natural hair, but also wants a look that requires minimal daily upkeep. However, don't think that just because your hair isn't loose, you're limited in terms of styling options.

There are a plethora of looks that can be crafted with locs, and adding curls to your hair is a great way to add a little extra oomph to the style. You can add texture for your next special event — or just do it for a simple refresh. To help you achieve curly locs, we tapped hair artist Jennifer Lord to create a step-by-step guide.

Keep reading for her expert tips.

How Do I Prep My Locs to Be Curled?

When you have locs, your wash day schedule may look a little different from those who have loose hair. However, if your hair is dirty, you'll want to cleanse it before you get started. Otherwise, you can just rinse your locs to begin.

"You can achieve curly locs by just adding a spritz [of water], however, the curls may not be as tight or last as long if you don't use sufficient moisture," Lord advises. "Make sure the locs are wet."

Which Products and Styling Tools Will I Need?

Depending on the type of curl you're going for, you'll want to have a few different roller options handy. You'll also want a spray bottle filled with fresh water and a light oil or transparent leave-in.

"Pipe cleaners will allow for a very tight curl and will last the longest. Perm rods are also a great option because they come in different sizes and can accommodate locs at different lengths. Flexi-rods are awesome for people with really long locs," Lord explains. "You should also have clips and hair ties to keep the bulk of the hair out of your way while you're applying the rods."

However, the stylist recommends not using sponge rollers, as the material can break off and get trapped in your hair.

VIDEO: 6 Twisted Hairstyle Ideas for Anyone with Natural Hair

Alright, I'm Ready. What Do I Need to Do Next?

Glad you asked, because we've got a step-by-step tutorial for you.

  1. First, you'll want to make sure your locs are wet, and if you want a sleeker finish, Lord suggests retwisting any new growth before you begin. "But you can also add curls to locs that aren't freshly retwisted for a more voluminous effect," she adds.
  2. Next, you'll want to start at the back of the head for easy placement, then grab one to two locs, and starting at the ends, begin wrapping the hair around your roller of choice. "You can also start from the root by placing the rod there and then wrapping the excess loc around to the end," Lord explains. "Secure the rod as you move along, and use the water bottle to re-spritz the hair to keep hair wet."
  3. Repeat until finished, then sit under a hooded dryer for up to two-and-a-half hours, or let curls air dry overnight. When you're ready, carefully remove the rods, then style and part your hair as desired.

Love It! How Long Will My Curls Last?

"The curls will loosen and fall [as time goes on] but they will remain intact," says Lord. "The various stages of the curls are fun and offer many styling options. But depending on how tight you curl them, curls on locs will usually last until your next wash."

This is All Natural. From the kinkiest coils to loose waves, we're celebrating natural hair in its many forms by sharing expert tips for styling, maintenance, and haircare.

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