Loc’d and loaded: How my DIY microlocs journey got started

It’s been about three and a half months since I’ve been able to physically go into the office because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic but one thing I was determined to keep “normal” during this completely abnormal time was my morning routine.

Sure, most of my days are spent in and around the house, but for me, part of feeling like a productive human being means looking like I at least tried to put in some effort. So like clockwork, I got up every weekday morning at 5:15 a.m. to take my shower, brush my teeth and struggle with my hair.

It’s hard to believe I found the process of styling my hair so cathartic. I could literally stand in front of the mirror for hours bending, twisting, pulling and molding my hair into styles that only lasted for a few hours. And that was if I was lucky.

Then, I heard about microlocs.

According to the Loc Addict website, “microlocs are classified as any loc smaller than the size of a pencil.” I was drawn to them because they’re neater looking than traditional dreadlocks in my opinion, have greater versatility and are easier to maintain. Most important to me was the promise of easier, more efficient styling.

Before I started looking into it, I just assumed all locs were the same and they’re not. After doing my research, I narrowed my choices to two techniques: microlocs and sisterlocks. You can read more about the difference between the two here.

I ultimately chose to DIY my own microlocs for two reasons: cost and time. Apparently, professional locticians are in high demand. Many that we checked into weren’t accepting new clients until mid-2021. And, the couple we did manage to track down locally quoted prices ranging from about $900-$1,500. That was just for the initial establishment. Maintenance, which would need to happen every 4-6 weeks would likely run another $200 per visit.

Since I didn’t want to wait that long or pay that much, my next step was figuring out how to accomplish the look on my own. I’ve literally watched hours of YouTube “how to” videos, but this one was probably the most helpful to me in terms of providing easy to follow instructions on how to achieve the look I was after.

Fortunately for me, my actual start-up costs were less than $30. Maintenance will be $0 because I plan on doing that on my own as well. The products I used to microloc my hair included an interlocking tool needle like this one from Nayoo. I anticipate as my hair grows longer, I’ll need to switch them out and this one came in a beautifully packaged 3-in-1 combo.

I also used this rat tail comb, which was perfect for all the precision parting that is the hallmark of any microlocked style, these double-pronged clips to keep my hair nice and neat throughout the process and finally a water bottle to keep my hair hydrated as I went along.

If you’ve been thinking about locking as an option for your hair, why not go for it. If I can do it (with help from my daughter), you can do it too. Maybe you can even find some inspiration on The Crown Act page on Instagram, which celebrates the beauty of natural hairstyles and our right to wear them in the workplace.

I highly recommend you do your research first, choose the right tools and power up on patience. It will take time, but for me, it was well worth it.

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