Category Archives: Loc Care

9 Natural Tips that Give Hair Growth a Boost

Our hair is an important part of our personality. It frames our face and lustrous, healthy hair adds to the overall beauty. In earlier days poor hair growth and hair loss were normally associated with aging, but with our busier than ever lifestyles, poor diet choices and all the styling products hair problems are faced by everyone. Don’t we all envy women with long, lustrous hair? Well, these women understand the basics of hair care. What are they; don’t we all want to know that?

The best products when it comes to hair growth tips are the natural products. Chemical laden products and styling tools are the main culprit behind rough, unhealthy hair. If you’ve been trying to grow your hair for some time, it’s time to say good bye to all those and start using some of nature’s gifts. Read on to find out how you can give your hair growth a boost by using some natural tips.


1)Coconut Oil

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Coconut is one of nature’s best gifts. Its benefits were unknown for a long time, but recently the beauty gurus cannot stop raving about its benefits. It is rich in potassium, iron and essential fatty oils. Massage your hair from roots to tips with this oil, leave it in your hair for at least an hour or two and rinse. You will see a difference after the first application. It gives instant shine to hair and moisturizes your scalp. The potassium and the iron help in the hair growth. If you don’t have a lot of time on your hands put it at least half an hour before your shower. Try doing this 2-3 times a week.

2)Onion Juice

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Onions!! You might say, yes smelly but very effective. As we grow old our hair loses the natural collagen, onion has a high sulphur content which boosts the production of collagen tissues naturally. It also makes hair bouncy and adds a fabulous sheen to your hair.

You can use onion juice in two ways. Grate 2-3 onions and blenderize them. Then strain the juice out. Massage your scalp with this juice and leave it in hair for at least 2 hours. Rinse with a mild shampoo. If you can’t do this every time you need to wash your hair; chop a big onion into very fine cubes. Add this to the bottle of your shampoo; leave it for fifteen days, before you start using this shampoo. Use it like your normal shampoo, massaging it well into your scalp and follow with a conditioner.

It might get a while to get used to of the smell, but the benefits of this all natural remedy are immense.


3)Potato juice

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Yes, another vegetable and this one doesn’t stink. Potatoes are rich in Vitamin A, B and C. Potatoes are a great source of minerals and rich in a substance called alopecia, this helps in new hair growth. Potato juice improves the overall health of your scalp and makes your hair shiny and healthy. You can simply grate a potato, squeeze out all its juice and massage it onto your scalp. Leave it in hair for at least an hour or two before rinsing off.

You can even make a mask using pulp of three potatoes, one egg and two tablespoons of honey. Leave in hair for at least an hour before rinsing off.


4)Egg Mask

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Women with beautiful hair from all parts of the world have been benefiting from this gift of nature. Eggs are an excellent source of protein. Protein escalates new hair growth. They are also rich in iron, sulphur, phosphorus and zinc. Eggs by themselves can be a bit drying. It is a good idea to make a mask with eggs using one egg, adding a tablespoon of olive oil and a tablespoon of honey to it. Off course you can double the quantity to cover your hair completely from roots to tips.

The mask penetrates deep into the scalp and invigorates your follicles. This gives a boost to hair growth. Try using this mask at least once a week. Leave it on for at least 20 minutes; try covering your hair with a hot towel for added benefits. This is your all natural DIY protein treatment which is a lot cheaper and much effective than what you pay for at the saloon.


5&6)Yogurt and Banana Mask

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Another DIY home remedy which repairs sun damaged or chemically treated hair is a banana and yoghurt mask. Why? This is because bananas are rich in minerals and iron. Yoghurt is an excellent source of calcium, phosphorus and Vitamin A. honey is another one of nature’s gifts with immense benefits. Take a banana squash it and whisk it together with about a cup of yoghurt, add a tablespoon of honey and whisk it more. You can also add a few drops of lemon juice and olive oil to this mask. Apply it generously to hair, covering your whole crown. Leave it for at least an hour before you rinse off. This mask has a cooling effect and is great for those summer months. Regular use of this does wonders to your hair.


7)Indian Gooseberry

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Indian gooseberry (or Amla) can be safely called the powerhouse of nutrients. It accelerates hair growth like nothing else. If you are unfamiliar with this fruit, don’t worry it is easily available in powder form. It can reverse premature graying and helps in maintaining the overall health of scalp.


  • If you have the fresh fruit available take 5-6 of these gooseberries and cook it with 250 ml coconut oil. The oil will become dark in color. Take out the gooseberries and let the oil cool. You can apply this oil whenever you want to. Leave it in your hair for at least two hours before rinsing off.
  • Some women even make a tea out of gooseberry powder, by boiling a tablespoon of the powder in 2 cups of water. Let it cook for about fifteen minutes. When washing your hair rinse it in end with this water.


8)Fenugreek Seeds

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This golden seed has been part of the beauty rituals of women from South Asia, Middle East and Africa for centuries. It promotes healthy hair growth and escalates hair growth. You can make a mask of the fenugreek seed. We are giving you two very easy methods


  • Take about a teaspoon of fenugreek seed powder; mix it with enough coconut oil to form a thick paste. Apply it to the scalp. Massage gently using your fingertips. Leave in hair for at least an hour and before washing off.
  • Another way to use this is by adding a tablespoon of the powder to 200 ml of yoghurt, and add some olive or coconut oil to this. Apply this mixture to your roots and scalp. Leave it for at least half an hour. Wash with slightly warm water, and see your hair transform after 3-4 applications.


 9)Green Tea

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Green tea is rich in antioxidant properties. It removes product buildup and stimulates a healthy scalp. You can use stewed green tea to rinse your hair with as an after-wash rinse.

Another way to use it is by applying slightly warm tea from used tea bags to your hair directly. Instead of squeezing the bags in the cup, do that on your hair. It works as a great all natural leave-in conditioner.


10)Apple Cider Vinegar

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Apple cider vinegar promotes hair growth by maintaining the pH level of your scalp and removing any product buildup. It cleanses the hair thoroughly. All you have to do is use it as an after-wash rinse. Add 2 tablespoons of ACV to 2 mugs of water, and if you are bothered by the smell of it add a few drops of lavender oil to this rinse. This adds instant bounce and shine to your hair. After a few rinses you will feel the lost luster coming back.

You can chose to use any one or even try combining two or more of these remedies. There are going to be no side effects, just benefits as these are all natural products. Remember, these tips are to give your hair growth a boost and not magic. You will see the results with a little persistence but once you see the results of your hard work you will be hooked on to these. Good luck!

Article by Catherynne Johns – Senior Writer for

Leave a comment and let us know what you think 🙂

Nyesha Samuel – Publisher/Master Loctician for

Natural Hair Care for Locs

When you choose natural hair care products for your Locs, they should be quality enough to help you keep your hair at its healthy best. There are various products that can help you repair and maintain healthy hair.

Hair Care Products

African American hair has a different texture than other types of hair, and so, it needs hair care products that are targeted toward its unique texture. African American hair tends to be brittle and dry, occasionally weak and very curly. If you use natural hair care products, your hair will grow more normally, and you can avoid some of the stresses that over-styling causes.

 Hair care products that are formulated for African American hair should be used regularly, including taking time to shampoo and do a deep conditioning at least once a week.  You should use a moisturizer such as a natural hair oil or leave in conditioner at least 3 times per week. Shampoos that you use should be made without any type of alcohol, because this can dry out your hair.

African American hair will benefit from moisturizing conditioners that do not contain sulphates. Find hair care products rich in protein to replace lost moisture and prevent the breakage of hair.


Natural shampoos and good nutrition will help to lead you to overall hair health. Shampoo can be a help or a hindrance to healthy African American hair. The wrong kind of shampoo can strip your hair of natural oils, which are replaced when you use a conditioner. The proper shampoo will add moisture to your hair just as well as a good conditioner will. Be sure that you always rinse well with water, as this will remove any remaining dirt or debris, before you use a conditioner.

Select shampoo products that have organic and natural ingredients, and a minimum of artificial ingredients. In this way, you can maintain a healthy balance of natural and artificial oils in your hair, so that it remains – or becomes – bright, shiny and healthy.

Natural Hair Care

Healthy African American hair care is not just about what brand of shampoos and conditioners you might use. It also involves taking care of your mental and physical health. Having a positive attitude about your hair and eating halthy in addition to exercise helps hair grow healthy.  Chemicals that you should avoid in shampoos and conditioners include sodium laurel sulfate, propylene glycol and any parabens. These chemicals may have harmful effects on your hair, and you’ll need to read labels closely to find natural hair care products with none of these ingredients in them.

Shampoos are designed to clean hair and conditioners to replace oils, so it is generally not a good idea to use all-in-one products. These products attempt to do both things at once, with the end effect of doing neither one well. Shampoos help to open your pores and clean built-up pollutants, dirt and oil. Conditioners close the follicles’ scales back down and fill the follicles with protection and clean moisture. You need to be sure to do both steps, regardless of the type of hair you have.

Leave a comment and let me know what you think 🙂

Healthy Scalp, Healthy Locs

Nyesha Samuel – Publisher/Master Loctician for

Quality African American Hair Care Products

It can be difficult for many people to find quality African American hair care products. Herbal and organic products will help you to maintain healthy hair.

Hair Care Products

Books could be written about the chemicals that are added to many hair care products. In fact, at least one book has been written on this topic, and it gives you a look in close detail of the many additives that could be in the ingredients of the shampoos you buy. You can order it by clicking HERE.

Synthetic materials are also added to some products for African American hair. Even what looks like natural ingredients on the label may actually be synthetics. One of these misnomers is a synthetic jojoba oil that is used instead of the original in some products. Aloe vera is sometimes watered down, as well, before it is added to the hair care products you buy.

In some products, natural ingredients are not for the better. People who have allergies to natural products may even shop for products that don’t have all-natural ingredients in them. Synthetic blends of ingredients may be helpful in those cases. You will normally want your hair care products to have minimal dyes and fragrances added.

Herbal Products

You can find effective cleansing shampoos and conditioners among herbal product that are available for African American hair. These products are all designed to help you to maintain your natural hair style and they promote the growth of healthy hair. True herbal products that are all-natural will have no artificial cleansing agents, surfactants, preservatives or fragrances.

Herbal products may well include natural formulas, with proteins, sunscreen, minerals, organic extracts and herbs included. Make sure you look for products made with no sodium laureth, which helps shampoos to lather, but which is also hard on your hair.

Safe and natural conditioners that are sold as herbal products should contain similar ingredients as herbal shampoos. Henna is included in some products, and they are made from the desert plants’ powdered leaves. Henna should be 100% organically grown and natural. There should be no artificial colors, synthetic additives or pesticide residues.

Henna products will coat your hair and seal in the oils, giving your hair a healthy shine. Henna by itself does not have hair lightening properties, so choose a shade that complements your existing hair color. Natural henna herbal products will have effects lasting up to three months.

Healthy Hair

When you are seeking to promote healthy hair growth, use organic and natural hair care products. Many conditioners and rinses have chemicals that can damage African American hair. Regular shampooing and conditioning with all-natural products will help to keep your hair beautiful and healthy. Select products with essential oils, panthenol, biotin, vitamins A & E, keratin, coconut or jojoba oils and wheat germ. Massage your scalp as you shampoo, because this helps energy flow and aids in good circulation. When possible, avoid using hot curling irons and hair dryers, because letting your healthy hair dry naturally will help it to stay full and luxurious.

Leave a comment and let me know what you think 🙂

Healthy Scalp, Healthy Locs

Nyesha Samuel, Publisher/Master Loctician for



Royals: The Locumentary

Hello Healthy Locs Family 🙂
Below is a letter and a video clip i received from a young up and coming filmaker named Doh Tarr. I’m a documentary lover and i hope most of you are also. Please take the time to check out his trailer and donate to his project if you can.

Healthy Scalp, Healthy Locs

Nyesha Samuel, Publisher/Master Loctician for


Good afternoon,

My name is Doh Tarr. I am a filmmaker from Atlanta, GA. I started locking my hair in February of 2013. I refer to that moment as one of the best life decisions I have made to this date. Since wearing my locs I have seen that there is an ignorance of locs and of the people that choose to wear their hair in this manner. The news and media likes to only show the negative side of it because that is a more popular story. The story of the guy who is a great person and very successful and has locs is not an uncommon story, but it is seldom told. I plan on changing that.

ROYALS: The Locumentary is the name of the documentary that I am currently working on. It will address: the different reasons why people decide to grow locs, and individuals sharing their experiences during their own loc journey. Also, it will address the stereotypes and stigmas of locs and the people who wear them and what can be done to reverse some of these negative stereotypes. This story will shed light on the individuals who wear locs in the US and the great things that they are trying to accomplish in life because they dawn the hairstyle of kings and queens of the past (ROYALS).

So far we have raised a total of $11,116 of the $56,000 needed to put this film into production, so I am emailing your business for a donation so you can be apart of the revolutionary film that will help to be the solution to the ignorance instead of adding to the problem. As of right now the plan for this film is that it will be played for theaters in 3 days in Atlanta, 3 days in Washington D.C., and 3 days in New York. After those theatrical releases the film will be on streaming services like Netflix and the Urban Movie Channel. We are also currently working on a deal to get the film on Georgia Public Broadcast television and ROYALS will also make rounds in the film festival circuit being played at different festivals across the nation and even some internationally. This is just the basic plan that I have for distribution of the film with the funds received, but obviously, if the film receives the critic acclaims like it can it will be a much bigger release that will be seen by a lot of people.

The trailer for ROYALS: The Locumentary is up on Watching that shows some of the interviews that I have already done and gives you a slight idea of how the full-length film will be. Please spread the word and donate if you are able and are interested. Anything helps. Thank you for your time.

To Pick or Not To Pick?

This is a great write up by one of our guest Bloggers, Kevin.  In it he explores his decision to possibly get rid of his locs.  I went through this journey myself.  Unlike Kevin I didn’t think it through for too long.  I just started picking out lint and accidentally picked a whole loc out lol From there it was on! I kept going and love my now loose natural hair.  But i will say I miss my locs everyday and will eventually be locing again.  One thing to always keep in mind is what will you do with your hair after you take the locs out or off.  Its work people!  Locs are definitely easier lol Leave a comment below and let Kevin and I know what you think about picking out locs verses just cutting them off 🙂

Healthy Scalp, Healthy Locs

Nyesha Samuel, Publisher/Master Loctician for

To Pick or Not To Pick? – By Guest Blogger Kevin Tarver

There’s comes a time in your natural hair journey where you reach a crossroads. You reach a peak of what I like to call “tress distress” because you no longer know what to do with your healthy natural hair. You’ve twisted it out, you’ve done every up-do known to mankind, you’ve accessorized your hair to to no end, and you’ve tried every color dye that you could think of to liven up your kinky natural hair. And so you may ask, “What’s wrong with that?” And I say, “Absolutely nothing!”

Our natural hair is uniquely versatile, taking on many styles that suit our fancy. Alas, I’m at a place where I’m thinking of doing something different with my locs since I’ve had them for such a long time, 8 years to be exact. Admittedly, I’m a low maintenance loc wearing dude, so, you may not catch me with fantastic loc accessories or luxurious natural hair dyes all up in my head, although I’ve heavily considered those options. Nope, I just stick to keeping it either in a bun or ponytail. Daring, ain’t it?

But I dare consider doing something completely different to my healthy locs. I’m contemplating picking my locs out! Yes, I’m thinking about changing my whole natural hair game up by taking a good quality rat tail comb, or some variant device, and picking my locs out. You see, I could just snip each individual loc, then let my barber do the rest, but I feel that since I took the time to grow out my locs, I might as well take the time out and unravel them myself.

Sure, you can speed of the process by having a few good friends help you out, along with some good snacks, good music, and some good laughs, but I feel it would be somewhat spiritual just to have that alone time with yourself and your healthy hair. From what I know, it will take some days, maybe over a week to complete, so if you’re always out and about, you may need a backup plan, but I mostly work from home. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still contemplating the decision, but I do know if I were to ever let my locs go, I still want a full head of my African American hair dancing atop my head. Besides, loc picking isn’t the only way for me to let my locs go while maintaining length or fullness of my natural unloc’d hair.

I had a good friend who decided to let her locs go, but kept a good amount of her unloc’d natural hair. She allowed her new growth to flourish, never getting her new growth twisted or interlocked into her locs. Imagine the surprise of classmates when she left class with auburn locs swinging pat her shoulders only to come to class the next day with her natural hair “stretched,” possibly pressed, almost shoulder length hair. I tell you, the versatility of our hair is something major.

So, I have a few things to think about as my healthy locs are pulled back in a wild bun. I mean, I still have so many options to explore, like dying my locs, or rocking a funky afro-punk loc style. However, I want to make a change, and a simple loc trim won’t do. Whatever I decide, I’ll be sure to let you know!

So, talk to me, should I pick my locs or try other styles? What would you do?

What’s Inside Jamaican Mango & Lime

By Jocelyn Renee

Some professionals will tell you NOT to use the Jamaican Mango & Lime Locking Gel, while other Dreadheads will say it’s their favorite product; so who do you listen to? The facts.

Jamaican Mango & Lime Locking Gel on the Shelves

When you pick up a jar of the Jamaican Mango & Lime Locking Gel you’ll see claims of “Long Lasting Hold” and “No Build Up” and the promise that it will “start and maintain locks and twists naturally”, yet when you look at the back of the jar the ingredients appear unnatural.

Jamaican Mango & Lime Locking GelBack of Jamaican Mango & Lime Locking Gel

Personally, I can’t pronounce half of ingredients so I would put it back on the shelf but more than half of consumers do not read labels or research the ingredients. So let’s take a look at exactly what’s inside this yellow jar of locking gel.

Jamaican Mango & Lime Locking Gel Ingredients

The 15 ingredients in the Jamaican Mango & Lime Locking Gel as listed on the label (July 2014) include:

Deionized Water, Polyquaternium 37, VPDMAPA/ Acrylate Copolymer, Propylene Glycol, Diazolidinyl Urea, Methylparaben, Proplyparaben, Mango Butter (Mangifera Indica), Lime Extract (Tilia Cordata), Virgin Coconut Oil (Coco Nucifera), Chlorophyll, Green Tea Extract (Camellia Sinesis), Fragrance (Parfum), Yellow #10 (CI 47005), Red #33 (CI17200)

After reading that label, would you use it on your hair? Maybe.

But let’s read the ingredients list in terms of how “good*” they are for your hair.

Understanding What’s Inside Jamaican Mango & Lime Locking Gel

It is assumed that the ingredients are listed in order of strength, from most concentration to least.

  1. Deionized Water– Good Ingredient – Used as a solvent.
  2. Polyquaternium 37– Cautionary Ingredient – Used to keep down fly-aways due to static electricity. Also used as a hair fixative, so this means it can build up in your hair with repeated use, making it sticky or crunchy.
  3. VPDMAPA/ Acrylate Copolymer– Cautionary Ingredient – Film-forming/ plasticizing polymer. Can build up and get sticky.
  4. Propylene Glycol– Cautionary Ingredient – Is a form of mineral oil, an alcohol produced by fermentation of yeast and carbohydrates. Humectant that is a clear, colorless, thick liquid that can also be used to dissolve ingredients and carry moisture in a product.
  5. Diazolidinyl Urea– Cautionary Ingredient – Preservative that has had some controversy for being a formaldehyde-releasing preservative that can cause skin irritation. Works best against molds and yeasts but it needs to be used with other preservatives, such as parabens.
  6. Methylparaben– Cautionary Ingredient – A food grade preservative that is potentially harmful.
  7. Proplyparaben– Cautionary Ingredient – A food grade preservative that is potentially harmful.
  8. Mango Butter (Mangifera Indica)– Okay Ingredient – Used for conditioning and as a humectant.
  9. Lime Extract (Tilia Cordata)– Avoid Using Ingredient – Can be drying to the hair and irritating to the scalp and it may cause skin irritation and/or sun sensitivity.
  10. Virgin Coconut Oil (Coco Nucifera)– Good Ingredient – Very good moisturizing oil. Can penetrate the cortex, so it may be able to make hair stronger.
  11. Chlorophyll– Okay Ingredient – Classified as not expected to be potentially toxic or harmful and its not suspected to be an environmental toxin.
  12. Green Tea Extract (Camellia Sinesis)– Good Ingredient – Green tea comes from the leaves of an evergreen bush or small tree from Asia. It is soothing and can reduce inflammation on the skin but it can’t do anything for the hair.
  13. Fragrance (Parfum)– Cautionary Ingredient – The word “fragrance” or “parfum” on the product label represents an undisclosed mixture of various scent chemicals and ingredients used as fragrance dispersants such as diethyl phthalate. Fragrance mixes have been associated with allergies, dermatitis, respiratory distress and potential effects on the reproductive system.
  14. Yellow #10 (CI 47005)– Okay Ingredient – Yellow food coloring found in products for teeth, bath products, conditioners, and shampoos.
  15. Red #33 (CI17200)– Okay Ingredient – Red coloring ingredient used in lipstick and blush.

Professional Recommendation

I would not recommend using the Jamaican Mango & Lime Locking Gel in locs because it can cause build up in the locs, as identified within the first 3 ingredients, and there are many additives in the gel that are not beneficial to the hair Additionally, the Jamaican Mango & Lime Locking Gel also contains a lot of parbens which are known carcinogens.

Loc Maintenance Product Recommendation

There are a couple of commercially available and holistic products to use instead of Jamaican Mango & Lime Locking Gel. I personally would recommend using either of the following products:

Homemade Aloe Vera Gel
Homemade Flaxseed Gel
“Shine & Define” by OyinHandmade

*Also “Tropical Hair Butter” by Nyraju Skin Care

Original post appeared on –

*You can find my Guest Blogger Jocelyn Renee by following her at;

Instagram | @CurlyNuGrowth
Facebook | CurlyNuGrowth
Twitter | @CurlyNuGrowth
YouTube | CurlyNuGrowth


Healthy Scalp, Healthy Locs

Nyesha Samuel, Publisher/Master Loctician for

Taliah Waajid World Natural Hair Show October 2014

Hello everyone.  Ok,  so I know the show was two weeks ago but I’ve been so swamped with hair clients that this is the first chance I’ve had to post anything about the show.  So here it goes…… I had a blast!!  I hadn’t been to the show in a few years and was excited to get back in the mix.  Thankfully this time i was invited back as part of a class that was taught by my mother, Juliette Samuel (esthetician/aromatherapist of Nyraju Skin Care) and Delbra Morris (aromatherapist of Aromatherapy Essentials).  The class was Aromatherapy and Essential Oils for Natural Hair Care.  We had a great amount of attendees for both our Saturday and Sunday classes.  Class got so good at one point that Delbra ended up doing a reflexology demonstration with essential oils as well 🙂 I’m excited to let you know that we will be back with a class for the show in April 2015.  I will of course keep you all posted on the dates as I receive them. Below are some pics from our class.

In between classes i had the chance to walk the show floor a bit and saw Lyfe Jennings perform for a bit. I also had the pleasure of meeting the inventor of the Q Redew.  Her name is Heidi Schmid.  Its a fantastic styling tool for all hair types but especially 3b-4c.  It helps to add moisture to your hair and gives you the chance to reshape it in between shampoo days. Below are more photos from the show itself.

If you attended the show leave a comment and let me know what you thought about it 🙂

Healthy Scalp, Healthy Locs

Nyesha Samuel, Publisher/Master Loctician for

Black Hair Care: The Korean Monopoly the Industry

This is a fantastic documentary about the beauty supply industry and the attempted shut out of Black owners by Korean owners.  I live in the Atlanta,GA and I make sure that whenever i’m in Marietta to work with a hair client I go to Atlanta Beauty Depot.  Its a black owned beauty supply store on Cobb Pkwy.  If you know of any black owned beauty supply stores in your area, no matter where you are, that you would like us to support here at please leave the name and contact info of the store in the comment area below.

Healthy Scalp, Healthy Locs

Nyesha Samuel, Publisher/Master Loctician for

Loc Maintenance

Maintenance for natural African American hair is important. We take pride in our hair, and the best way to show how much we love our natural locs is to develop some type of hair maintenance routine. Now, we can search Google all day and watch many YouTube natural hair gurus break down their hair regimen; however, I’ve learned over the years that what works for  some may not work for most, so it may take some trial and error to get a maintenance routine that works best for you. No matter the methods and products you use to maintain your healthy  locs, the heart of every loc maintenance routine begins with moisture.

Remember, our natural hair is a kinky garden, and with any garden you have to keep the roots moisturized. The methods in which you choose to keep your hair moisturized is completely up to you. Our hair doesn’t have to be washed everyday; however, you can retain hydration by simply keeping your scalp lubricated using your favorite natural hair friendly essential oils and conditioners. Because I’m a low maintenance kind of guy, my go-to hair pick me up is a combo of a few essential oils mixed with purified water in a spray bottle. My little concoction allows me to hydrate my scalp, all while working in my favorite oils to condition my locs. If you must wash your natural hair in between appointments, you could try co-washing..

Co-washing means to wash your hair using conditioner instead of shampoo. Co-washing your hair allows you to keep your hair clean without stripping your natural hair of the good oils that keep your locs feeling healthy and soft. Make sure to use conditioners that are natural hair-friendly and free of any ingredients that add to the build up you’re trying to lessen while cleansing your locs. Most conditioners are detanglers, so you have to be careful using conditioners with ingredients that aid in detangling your locs. Another route is to wet your scalp and locs, then saturate your head with a few essential oils, such as coconut, put your hair up in an insulating shower cap, wait for about 45 minutes to an hour, then wash as much oil out as you can. This way, your scalp is lubricated and your locs have been penetrated with enough oil; all you’re doing is washing out the excess oils. To finish off your loc maintenance is the fun step of styling, specifically protective styling.

So, you’ve gone through your tried and true hair regimen, but you’re in between appointments or you just don’t feel like trying to retwist all of your locs, what can you do? Well, there are many things you can do! Your hair is feeling lovely, clean, and soft, so you have a kinky playground to do as you wish. For me, I usually just ponytail it, then wrap it all into a tight awesome ball, then tie a durag or scarf around the rest of my dome. No fuss, no muss. I’m good to go to sleep, go to the gym, go to the store, etc. If you’re feeling inventive, go for some Bantu Knots or do a few hanging braids. Really, protective styling is all about keeping your natural hair protected from the perils of Mother Nature when you just don’t feel like letting your locs flow free, especially during those colder months. If you should want your natural locs to flow, but have some new growth that needs tending to, only re-twist the more noticeable locs, leaving the the rest as is.

Maintaining healthy locs can be simple and fun. A few key things to remember is to keep your scalp moisturized and your locs hydrated. Make sure to use essential oils or natural hair-friendly conditioners to aid in moisture retention. Keeping your hair styled in a protective manner will reduce any type of damage due to weather as well as lessen the amount of debris that may accumulate within your locs. Finally be proud that you have developed a personalized maintenance routine that suits your needs and your hair just fine.

– Kevin L. Tarver

Nyesha Samuel, Publisher/Master Loctician for

Best Products for Locs

The best products for healthy locs doesn’t have to be name brand products you find at a high end beauty supply stores. Even those top products may contain not so loc-friendly ingredients may do more harm to your hair than good. You can achieve healthy locs using simple and affordable products that benefit your locs without all the extra chemical ingredients. The goal here is to work with less chemicals and additives found in those products by singling out the product’s selling point, and only using that particular ingredient. In other words, instead of buying a brand of coconut hair gel with one part coconut oil and the rest hard to pronounce chemical compounds, why not just buy 100% coconut oil from your grocery store? You get all the benefits of the coconut oil without worrying about other ingredients that work against your hair and health. Also, you’ll probably end up getting more for your money with a product that will last longer than the little tub or bottle that costs around the same price.


You can find a majority of these products at your local grocery store, your farmers market, your pharmacy/health food store, or you may even find these products in the cabinets of your own home. What’s even better is that many of these products can be used all over your body. Again, the best products for African American natural hair are minimally processed with no harmful chemicals added that will add any further build up to your locked hair. Axe the wax, my friends! No sulfates, please. Locs may be considered dead hair, but you’re very much alive, so keep the formaldehyde for those going to meet Glory. Your overall health is what makes for healthy locs, so always read the ingredients of any natural hair product before purchasing. Better yet, why not just buy your own ingredients and create a concoction that is chemical free and great for your natural hair?

The following details below are items I have found in places like the ones listed above. Most are affordable and simple to use on your hair. It’s broken down into these categories: oils, butters, and cleansers.


Oils are plentiful, many offering the same benefits; however, they work even better when combined with one another or other essential oils. You can use these products to condition your natural hair. No worry about much build up, and when mixed with purified water in a spray bottle, you have the best moisturizing hair refresher in town! Check out some of the following oils below. These are just a few out of the many oils that will keep your locs healthy.

● Coconut oil – Penetrates and conditions your locs, leaving them smooth and soft.

● Olive oil – Aids in retaining moisture as well as keeping the outer locs protected and shiny.

● Almond oil – Provides good vitamins and good fats that’ll aid in strengthening your locs, and it may also aid in hair growth. If it can do wonders for your body, imagine the good it can do for your natural hair.

● Tea tree oil – Helps eliminate dandruff with its antifungal and antiseptic properties because it refreshes and cleanses your scalp. If nothing else, always keep a bottle in your cabinet. A few drops in a spray bottle of purified water goes a mighty long way.

● Jamaican castor oil – Boosts natural hair growth in those spots that just don’t seem to ill in; however, it takes time and patience. If you can wait for your hair to loc, then you should have no problem waiting on those edges to come to form. Your edges will be happy!


When you think of butters for natural hair, only two may stick out. One is shea butter and the other is cocoa butter. These butters are versatile when purchased raw. They can be whipped, melted, and blended with some of the essential oils listed above. A little bit goes a long way when used correctly. Keep in mind that since both butters get clumpy when solidified, build up in your locs will occur, so use caution when handling these products. Most people use these butters as twisting agents for their locs. Bonus to these butters is that they benefit your skin in so many ways. Stretch marks be gone!


You don’t need shampoo full of parabens and sulfates when you can use natural cleansers that get the job done just as well without the hard to pronounce chemicals stealing the spotlight. Also, these cleansers are a bit more gentle on the hair and scalp. For example, castile soap is a gentle, multi-purpose cleanser. You can also use black soap as well. For tougher jobs, when gunky build up takes over your locs, you may opt to do an apple cider vinegar cleanse. This method goes different ways. Some saturate their scalp and locs with ACV, wait a few minutes, then wash it all out using castile soap. Others use a combo of ACV and baking soda in a sink or tub of water, then soak their locs until squeaky clean. Consequently, all this acid will strip your hair of all oils, and possibly color if your hair is dyed. I would only recommend this method if you’re transitioning away from using waxes to twist your locs or any other product that has caused too much build up in your natural hair. Also, only do this at most twice a year, and be sure to follow up this cleansing with a deep conditioning using a combination of the oils mentioned.

Healthy African American hair can be achieved using many of these products, while hopefully saving you a few bucks. These products can last for quite a while and are usually not hard to find. Switch it up from time to time to see which products work best for you. The good thing about trying each product is that you KNOW what’s going in your natural hair, so there’s no need to worry about any damaging effects on your overall health. Tell me, what products or ingredients do you consider best for your locs?

– Kevin L. Tarver

Nyesha Samuel, Publisher/Master Loctician for

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