6 Tips to Make the Best of Muay Thai When You Wear Locs
Muay Thai has been and is still part of my life, even if I am not training at a professional level anymore. For those who are not too familiar, Muay Thai or Thai Boxing is the a traditional martial art, form of close-combat and (now) national sport from Thailand. It is also referred to as the art of 8 limbs (using 8 points of contact as weapon – fists, elbows, knees and feet). There are still debates over Muay Thai history and heritage but most sources agree that it was used back in the 17th century by Thai warriors on the battlefield.
Training Muay Thai is excellent for general fitness and confidence and I would encourage everybody to try it out, regardless of level of fitness, age, gender etc. It’s just great fun and you of course don’t have to compete or fight.
As for me, I trained Muay thai at a professional level and even had a few pro fights, but that meant my weeks were quite busy: training at the boxing gym 3 times a week, going out running twice a week and add a weight training session when I wasn’t too tired. Alongside a demanding full-time job, of course. I loved my locs but training on a daily basis could be challenging in terms of maintenance so I thought I would just drop 6 tips that really helped me keep my hair healthy during that time.
Photo credit: The Loctyte Tool
If you do palm roll, I would highly recommend to switch to interlocking. Depending on your hair texture, and given that you train, sweat and steam on a regular basis, palm roll twist/retwist are not going to last. You will probably end up retesting your locs way too often. Interlocking will provide a better foundation to keep your hair tight a bit longer.
2. Tie your hair during training
This is a no-brainer, right?
Remember to bring a rubber band to tie a ponytail, a du rag or a wrap cap to cover your entire head. I have to admit the wrap cap doesn’t look very sexy but hey! It’s all about being efficient.
I always opted for the combo rubber band/ponytail as it would prevent my locs knocking someone out or slap me in the face (yes, locs are heavy and it hurts).
3. Wash your hair more often
I love locs but what I love even more is having them fresh and healthy. At some point I was washing my locs 4 to 5 times a week, and you now understand why interlocking is important as it would allow my hair to stay together a bit longer. Be careful though as over washing can cause dry scalp and then lead to flaking and/or itchy scalp.
4. Use a hair dryer
I am not a big fan of using hair dryer for natural hair but you should consider this option, especially if you wash your hair very often. During summer you might be able to get away with it but you need to get you Locs dry during winter if you don’t want to end up with a pneumonia.
5. Invest in good products for your scalp
Depending on your scalp sensitivity, working out very often and ealing with abundant sweat can get it itchy and irritated. Over washing can also lead to a dry scalp. I had a very sensitive scalp so really needed to protect my hair. It can be a bit expensive but invest in good products so your beautiful Locs can stay fresh and healthy. Not all the products will go well with your hair so you might need to try out a few different brands but I found out that Taliah Waajid range was working best for me in terms herbal cleansing, scalp stimulation, locs wash etc.
6. Style your hair for fight day
A day or two before my fight I used to book a loctician to get my locs twisted. It was like an ancient ritual when warriors had get ready for war by appearing at their best. Getting my hair done before fight day was actually relaxing, a time for me to think about fight tactic, listen to good music (Locs salon usually have amazing playlists!) and have a laugh with staff. All in all, it was very helpful to help me keep my nerves.
I was also always asking to style my hair with cornrows all the way, so my locs didn’t alter my vision by being in front of my eyes.
Do you have tips and advice for your Locs or natural hair during workout?
CEO & Founder of Afrocks
Photo credit: Evolution Leisure