The process of locking one’s hair is a journey that takes place in five stages. These stages of dreadlocks will vary in length depending on your hair’s texture and growth pattern.
1.Shaping-Depending on how you choose to start your locks whether with coils, twists or palm rolls the initial stage is shaping the textured hair to intertwine with itself which later on will coil into the lock.
2.Budding- budding occurs when a small bud of intertwined hair forms at either the end or middle of the forming lock. This bud is the beginning process of formation of the lock.
3. Locking– the buds have now expanded and the length of the lock should be intertwined. During this stage, your short dreadlocks should begin to fall down instead of lifting up. Depending on your hair’s texture some dreadlocks might feel loose.
4.Mature- During this stage of dreadlock formation, each individual lock should be tightly meshed. During this stage of consistent growth, the new growth is twisted to add to the already formed dreadlock. Each lock should be treated as an individual hair strand.
5. Shedding- this stage is similar to the shedding stage of loose natural hair. After years of the locking stage, you may notice that older locks will begin to thin or break off. To reduce this problem schedule regular trims with your loctician and monitor ends of the dreadlock for signs of age.
NOTE: Each stage varies in time length based on the growth pattern of your hair. Hair generally grows an 1/2 inch each month which equals to 6 inches a year. Until locks are developed it is best to focus on the health rather than length.
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