From Pinterest to Instagram, we’re seeing faux locs hairstyles in all lengths, colors, and sizes all over our social feeds. This protective hairstyle can look gorgeous on both women and men and it’s a pretty simple style to maintain. However, when it comes to protective hairstyles, especially for Afro-textured hair, it’s important to care for your strands properly to maintain their health and length. And hair maintenance should start before installing faux locs and continue throughout their wear and after. So if you’re thinking about getting faux locs, check out these editor tips for prepping your mane before installing them and learn how to remove faux locs without causing unnecessary hair damage.
How To Prep Your Hair Before Installing Faux Locs
Since faux locs are meant to be kept in for some time, you’ll want to make sure you start off with a clean scalp and fresh strands to prevent major product build-up. Check out these hair prep tips, complete with product recommendations below to learn more.
Tip 1. Use A Detox Cleansing System
Installing faux locs on hair that hasn’t been washed is a huge no-no. Any product buildup in your hair can lead to damage and it may get worse if left untreated while in a protective style. So reach for a cleansing system, like the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Scalp Care + Detox Scrub, L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate Free Scalp Care + Detox Shampoo, and the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate Free Scalp Care + Detox Conditioner. All three products are made to deeply purify and cleanse your scalp and strands by removing excess dirt, product residue and excess oil. Each product is also formulated with menthol and neem leaf extract, to leave the scalp feeling fresh for up to 24 hours.
Start off by applying the detox scrub while your hair is wet, gently massage it into your scalp then rinse it out. Follow up with the shampoo and conditioner. Be sure to use a wide-tooth comb or detangler to gently remove any knots or tangles, which can easily form in the process.
Tip 2. Apply A Nourishing Hair Mask
You’ll want to treat your hair with as much nourishment as it can get since it’ll be harder for your strands to receive nutrients while your faux locs are in. Follow up with a hair mask like the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Total Repair 5 Power Restore Multi Use Treatment right after conditioning. It’s formulated with repair concentrates and proteins to help strengthen weak, brittle, and damaged hair. You can use it as a rinse-out mask or as a leave-in to repair current issues and protect against future damage.
Tip 3. Moisturize Your Mane
Faux locs can be installed in different ways but no matter the method used, your hair will need to be braided to achieve the style. Be sure to apply a small amount of oil to your strands while braiding to keep hair smooth and hydrated. Try the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Extraordinary Oil Treatment. It’s infused with nourishing ingredients, such as coconut oil and sunflower seed oil, and won’t leave your hair feeling weighed down thanks to its lightweight formula. Apply the oil to the lengths and ends of your hair.
Since wash day can take up quite a bit of time for some, you may opt to prep your hair the day before getting your faux locs installed. If so, make sure to style your hair in large braids and wrap them up before going to bed to prevent breakage and to keep your hair from getting knots.
Now that you know how to prep your hair beforehand, it’s time to move on to the aftercare process.
How To Remove Faux Locs From Your Hair
To prevent hair loss from protective styles, the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), suggests changing your hairstyle after two or three months. Wearing a protective style, extensions, or weave for a longer period of time can increase your risk of developing traction alopecia. So be sure to keep track of how long you’ve had your faux locs in.
While faux locs are meant to last long, it’s not a style that you should keep past the recommended time (most stylists suggest no longer than eight weeks). When it’s time to finally take them down, consider the following tips to prevent hair damage.
Tip 1. Detangle With A Leave-In Conditioner
When taking down your faux locs, it’s essential that you take your time and work gently with your strands. Since your hair has spent a few weeks or months under the locs, your strands may be a bit fragile due to a lack of moisture. You may also notice buildup, which may make it hard to detangle. Try applying a small amount of leave-in conditioner, like the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Curls Non-Stop Dreamy Curls Leave-In Conditioner or the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Super Curls Cream Leave-In, or use a detangling spray on your braids to help soften up the buildup. Undo your braids and then use a fine-tooth comb or your fingers to gently detangle your lengths.
Tip 2. Use A Hot Oil Treatment Before Washing
When all your faux locs have been removed, apply a generous amount of oil to your entire mane. Add a deep conditioning cap and apply heat to your hair by popping it into the microwave first or by sitting under a hair dryer for 10–15 minutes. This will help soften your strands and prepare them for washing. The AAD also notes that those with Afro-textured hair should use a hot oil treatment twice a month to add additional moisture and elasticity to their hair.
Tip 3. Use A Deep Conditioner
After the hot oil treatment, you can go ahead and wash your hair. Since your tresses have been wrapped up tightly for many weeks, they will most likely need some extra TLC. So be sure to add in a deep conditioning treatment to give your strands an extra boost of nourishing ingredients. Reach for the L'Oréal Paris Elvive Total Repair 5 Rapid Reviver Deep Conditioner. Formulated with sweet almond oil and a conditioning serum, this lightweight treatment works to reinforce the hair fiber for smoother, healthier hair.
Editor’s tip: Remember that you may see more hair shedding than normal because those hairs have been wrapped up in your locs with nowhere to shed for several weeks. So don’t worry — it’s completely normal.
Edited by: Shalwah Evans, Photo Credit: Shauna Beni
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