The 5 Different Stages of Locs Journey

The 5 Different Stages of Locs Journey

Getting the locs you have always wanted takes a process, and it’s important to know the different stages of locs journey so you can know what to expect. There are five stages of locs, namely the starter stage, budding stage, teen stage, maturity stage, and rooted stage. The entire stages can take 18-24 months upwards, after which you will be able to have the long, thick, and shiny locs you desire. Without further ado, let’s get into the details of what each stage entails.

The 5 Different Stages of Locs Journey


1. Starter phase

The starter phase is the baby stage of your locs development, and it can last anywhere from 3-6 months. The duration depends on your hair type and how fast your hair grows, but the key factor here is that your hair is able to form coils entirely through from roots to ends.
Starter locs are easy to identify as they’re usually small in size, neat and are in clean parts. At this stage, you’re excited as you wait for them to bud.

Tips to maintain locs at the starter phase 

  • Try to wait at least two weeks before your very first shampoo
  • Use a residue-free shampoo whenever you wash your hair to keep your scalp clean whenever your locs get itchy
  • Apply conditioner daily to your hair to keep your scalp and baby locs moisturised
  • Never detangle them again
  • Leave your locs alone and let them grow as, please


2. Budding phase 

Also known as sprouting, the budding phase is the miraculous moment when the magic starts becoming obvious as you might notice your new growth is puffy. In other words, your hair will start to intertwine at the tops of your coil after shampooing, and the coils will start to have some thickness. This is the time you need to consistently and thoroughly shampoo your hair or clean them to avoid buildups, bumps, and weak spots.
You will also notice that at this stage if you choose to start your locs with twists or braids that are your starting patterns, those lines in your hair will start to diminish. This is part of the process, and you shouldn’t let it disturb you. Just make sure you keep the original scalp partings to allow the spinning process to become established for each individual loc. Budding locs are easy to identify as they’re usually frizzy and swell in size.

Tips to maintain locs at the budding phase 

  • Cleanse and cultivate your hair regularly
  • Shampoo regularly but be careful, so you don’t unravel the hair
  • Don’t re-divide your budding locs or twist them to death
  • Practice a light re-twisting routine to promote new growth
  • Refrain from frequent re-twisting as it can lead to thinning locs and breakage


3. Teen phase 

 Some refer to this phase as the locking stage, while others see it as the ugly phase, but it all depends on how you look at it. It is the exciting time when the buds and sprouts truly begin to look like locs as they have swelled up to almost twice their original size. This is also an excellent time to rock your hair by investing in accessories so you can play around with a few styles. At the moment, shampooing can no longer loosen locs since the growing stage of your locs development where your locs have developed enough to hang down.
If you have waited quite long enough for this stage, you may either feel elated because you are now seeing the magic clearly, or you might begin to wonder, could possibly be going on with your hair, thinking you have made the biggest mistake of your life. The reason you may wonder is that the locs at the teenage stage double their original size and often look like they’re not growing lengthwise or they’re shrinking.

Tips to maintain locs at the teen phase

  • Be highly selective of products you use to avoid buildup since your locs are just starting to lump
  • Experiment often with pressure styles (such as ropes twists and curly sets) to control some swelling
  • Wash your locs regularly and keep them moisturised


4. Maturity phase

Your excitement climbs a notch higher as your locs become denser in size, noticeable in length, and there’s minimal frizz. The duration of this adult stage is around 1-2 years, but the speed at which your locs will grow depends on your hair’s texture, your hair care regimen, and the products you use.
You know you have reached the mature stage when your locs are closed at the ends, and they are finally long enough to lie flat or hang down. At this point, your locs are firm, and there’s no more reforming, so you don’t have to re-twist your new growth.

Tips to maintain locs at the maturity phase 

  • Engage in a regular shampooing and conditioning routine
  • Use the right products to prevent buildup and unravelling
  • Properly re-twist your hair to avoid weak locs and excessive frizz once they are mature



5. Rooted phase  

This stage is akin to the shedding stage of hair growth, and it happens after the second year. Normally, by this time, your locs should have all grown to the same length and will feel heavier and at the same time, more slender. You can choose to let them go below your waist or trim them if you want a more manageable style.
After a few years of wearing your locs, there’s a good chance that some locks may begin to think and break off at the ends. Caring for your locs and being consistent at it can help minimize signs of age.

Tips to maintain locs at the rooted phase

  • Use natural oils (such as Argan oil and Avocado oil) to keep your tresses moisturised, long and shiny
  • Get regular trims to control deterioration at the ends of your locs
  • Deep condition your locs every 1-2 weeks
  • Wrap your locs at night with a satin scarf to prevent breakage and dry locs
  • Dry your locs thoroughly to prevent odour


If you’re looking to start locs, you now know what to expect throughout each phase. As you can see, the journey can take anywhere from 1-2 years, so you will need to be patient and take care of your locs so you can get the results you desire.

Latest Posts
Avocado oil, Argan oil…What are the best oils for Locs?
5 October 2021

Locs are an incredible way to rock your hair, Read More

10 Exquisite Ways to Style Short Afro Hair
23 September 2021
Every woman wants to look beautiful and fashionable. This me Read More
Top 10 Most Common Cornrows Questions and Answers
14 September 2021

Cornrows are timeless and unifying hairstyles Read More