Thursday, February 4, 2010

Loc Breakage by Thierry Baptiste

When one thinks of loc breakage, the very first scenario that comes to mind is what they or someone who is grooming his or her locs is doing something wrong, in which you can painfully be wrong about.

Before you look for a outside source of why your locs are breaking, one needs to take a look inside and ask what is going on inside your mind, body, and/or soul that may be causing your locs to want to separate from you?

Your mental state of health is very important to maintaining healthy locs. One should always have a healthy outlook on what their locs look like. That is even if they don’t look like you think they should. Eventually you will realize that you have no control over that. If you are stressed on the job or your home life is at odds, these things can take a toll on your locs and cause breakage.

An improper diet or lack of the proper intake of water can cause your locs to want to separate from you. What you feed your body will determine the degree of growth that your locs achieve. If you do not eat healthy food and drink plenty of water, your locs will want to separate from you.

In some cases, the resolution to your breakage problem is merely a change of lifestyles.

Your grooming regiment can also cause breakage. Grooming is somewhat a catch 22 subject, because you have two problems that may occur, which are total opposites. One is neglect and the other is over grooming.

Neglect is when you go for months without separating your locs and when you finally do decide to do it, the base of your individual locs are lost, which means that sometimes you can grab two locs which are the same size and pull in opposite directions, but because the base is lost in the thickness of your new growth, the loc will not separate equally and one base will have what it needs and some to support the loc and the other will be short and the weight of the loc without the proper base strong enough to support the loc will weaken and break. The resolution to this problem would be to take time at least every 4 to 6 weeks to separate your locs while wet, even if you decide not to groom. From my experience, locs that haven’t been separated for 2 months or more are likely to have uneven bases, which can cause breakage.

Now the catch 22 part of this is the over grooming. When palming rolling locs I only allow the locs to go through my palm once. Anything over that can cause too much tension and possibly a knot at the root of the loc. This tension can weaken the strength of your new growth that is needed to support your locs. Sometimes over grooming comes from us being natural, but still holding on to those European standards of neatness. You do not have to always see your scalp when you grooming your locs like you do when you are palm rolling. At times, I shampoo, condition with oils, and braid my locs to the back without palm rolling and take it down when dry and I have a wonderful textured style and my bases have been separated.

I have a few clients who rod their locs all the time and this tension too can weaken and sometimes break your locs. If you like the curly textured look, try an alternative to the rods and sometimes pin curling your locs to achieve a Regal curly style that last for weeks when done wet. And if you don’t know what pin curls are, please ask someone over 40 years old who was wearing all of these styles that we are wearing today long before curling irons, rods, and rollers came out.

Finding that happy median between neglect and over grooming is sometimes a tricky situation depending your texture of locs, but once you establish a healthy regiment based on your individual situation and stick to it, you shouldn’t have any problems with breakage.

DISCLAIMER: This article by no means should be a authority on how we as individuals groom locs. The information here is based on my experiences and we all know that there is a million and one ways to skin a cat.

this page is for us, so please share your advice and techniques as well!

Written by Thierry Baptiste

1 comment:

  1. your information is difficult to red in that font and color.