Once you have your starter locks, if you are like most may be impatient to be completely locked. It is understandable but remember that locks are a lesson in patience. No matter what way you start your locks there will be an amount time that you will have to wait before they are completely mature. The amount of time will depend on your hair type and the method that you used to start your locks.
Knowing the locking stages will help you to as you are waiting. You will know what to expect and also when you are making progress. There are three basic locking stages baby locks, teenage locks and mature locks.
The baby lock stage starts from the moment you start your initial locks until they first start to bud and mat. That could be anywhere from three to six months all depending on your hair type. If your hair is coily or curly it may be on the shorter side. If you have wavy hair that is soft and fine you may have to wait a little longer for this stage to pass.
During the baby stage you will need to be extra careful with your hair if you have started your locks with coils, or rolls. You need to give them some time to set so you will want to wait at least 3 weeks (but no more than 4) to allow them to settle. During that time you can cleanse your scalp with an astringent and you will want to have your hair retightened by palm rolling or twisting.
If your hair was started by double twisting, braiding, interlocking, or with extensions. You will not have to worry as much about your locks coming undone but you still need to be careful while washing especially if you have a resistant hair type.
The teenage time is characterized that may want to do their own thing. They will be budding, forming little balls of solid matted hair, in the middle and at the tip. Your hair may look very fuzzy and frizzy. And it can be frustrating to know what to do with it at times. Don’t despair all locks go through this stage. It only last for a few months to a year.
Avoid the temptation to gel the strands in to submission, over twist or stress about your hair. It will turn out right in time. Just stay on top of your maintenance – re-twisting, palm rolling, or interlocking – for your lock type. Remember to separate after washing to keep your bases from joining and continue being patient.
If you started your locks with coils you will want to wash your hair every two weeks. If you want your hair to stay looking neat you will have to palm roll or twist your hair each time you wash. If you started your hair with braids twists or interlocking you have a little more freedom to wash your hair more often.
Mature Locks are characterized by locks that are completely locked from tip to base. They are stronger and can stand up to most handling. Most locks reach maturity within two years. If your hair is coily or curly it will probably reach maturity sooner.
Once your lock are at this stage you may decide that you want to wait a little longer between maintenance or you can keep the same schedule. You will be able to wash your hair as much as you like and you can use some types of conditioner, which is not really recommended during the other two stages of the locking process.