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10 Questions for Locs Answered: Q&A with Ugonwa Anyanwu

by | Jul 12, 2022 | Ask a Hairstylist, Locs

Hey loc fam! Grab a pen and take notes! We reached out to Ugonwa Anyanwu, a Philadelphia-based loctician and owner of Shop Shabazz, to answer all of your loc journey questions. So, whether it’s your first time getting locs or you’re five years in the game, you’ll want to sit in on this one. 

Let ‘s dive in!

1. How long should your retwist last?

Retwists should last anywhere between 4–6 weeks. The retwisting method combines new growth with your established locs, an important step in your growth journey that helps train your locs. 

2. How often should I moisturize my locs?

You should moisturize your locs as often as needed, since dry locs can become fragile and more susceptible to damage. Ugonwa recommends using rose water daily and oiling to seal in the moisture. 

3. What is a good hair length to start my locs?

Ideally, you’ll want your hair to be a minimum of six inches. You can still start sooner, Ugonwa explains, as long as you’re willing to spend the extra time on maintenance.

4. How long will it take for hair to initially loc?

It can take anywhere between six months and two years to get mature locs, depending on your hair texture and locking method. Be sure to research a few different ways to start your loc journey beforehand to learn which method best suits your hair and preferred maintenance style.

5. How do you wash locs?

You’ll want to start with wet dreadlocks and scalp. Next, pour a bit of shampoo into your hand and work it into your hair. Once you’ve lathered your hair enough, start massaging your scalp all over using your fingertips. Rinse well afterward, ensuring soap is completely removed.

6. How often should you touch up new growth?

Just as the average lifespan of a retwist, you should touch up your locs every 4-6 weeks. 

7. What’s the difference between the retwist and interlock method?

​​Interlocking is the process of intertwining loose hair into the loc using a tool, which is also a form of retwist. Palmrolling, another method, is the art of using your hands to manipulate the loose hairs into the loc. 

8. What products should you avoid with locs?

One of the main loc care myths debunked is the need for heavy products. The truth is, oil and moisturizer buildup can obstruct your loc process. Ugonwa advises people with locs to avoid wax based products, heavy creams, and brown gels. 

9. What’s the best method to start locs?

Ugonwa ensures us that there is no particular method that is “best,” as there are so many to choose from and find what works for you. You can even start your locs with permanent human extensions, enjoying the style and length during your growth journey.

10. Is it safe to color/dye locs?

Lastly, it is important to always consult a professional when wanting to color your locs. Ugonwa doesn’t recommend coloring your locs, especially for those who are experiencing dryness, thinning, or breakage. Some colors need to be permanent or long term decisions. She also strongly suggests avoiding box dye. 

Hopefully we’ve answered some of your common questions! Since, many more are sure to arise during your loc journey, check out our directory to find a loctician near you!

Ashley Cottrell
Ashley Cottrell

Ashley is a freelance writer and natural hair enthusiast, living on the sunny island of Puerto Rico. She’s in love with her 4B/4C coils and enjoys searching online for new ideas. When she’s not writing or styling her own hair, you can find Ashley jogging on the beach or trying a vegetarian recipe. For more hair inspiration, you can follow her on instagram @ ashley__amor

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