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I am sharing my hair care regimen with you as I have been asked how I keep my locs healthy. Because I love sharing as well as receiving knowledge, I have taken the time to jot down what works for me. I hope you find these tips helpful. Enjoy the journey!
I started my locs journey in 2009, at the time my locs were very short; just past my ears (even shorter than in the photo gallery picture of me on this website). After a while, probably about 2013, my hair began to lack luster and started to thin at the base. I quickly realized that the culprit was the products I used to wash and groom my hair. These products contained chemicals that were not natural (even though the products were advertised as natural) and conducive to breakage. It is also important to note that I have never dyed my locs, the brown tips you see in the photo was my natural hair color as my locs grew.
Thus, I did my research and formulated Cocoa Charms products with ingredients that were healthier for my hair. And ever since I have had no issues with my locs, as a matter of fact they are so long and strong that I think about cutting them sometimes because it's hard to keep them out of my way! But they are such a beautiful part of me that this ain't gonna happen, plus my daughter threatened me. : )
Sooooo, without further ado, I will share with you what I do and what has worked for me.
I maintain my own locs, grooming every 2-3 months, I definitely don't over-groom by palm rolling too often because this is in part can cause breakage. I make sure to keep my hair and skin hydrated, eat healthy, drink water, and sleep with a satin hair cover over my hair religiously!
Cocoa Charms products I use for locs maintenance:
1. Shampoo every 2-3 months (or as needed) - African Black Soap all-in-one (face wash, body wash, & shampoo). I avoid washing too often because this strips the scalp of its natural oils.
2. Hydrate daily - Premium Rose Water Mist to hydrate my scalp and locs, as needed when they start to look and feel dry.
3. Moisturize daily to every other day - Cocoa Black Castor Oil hair moisturizer for hair growth and thickening. I start with my scalp and work it down the length of my locs,
Note: I also prepare a hair spritz containing distilled water, argon oil, peppermint or tea tree oil. I add these ingredients to a spray bottle and use the mixture to hydrate my scalp and locs as well, especially if my scalp is a bit itchy. Tea Tree Oil is great for dry, itchy scalp relief and Peppermint Oil stimulates circulation (just one of the many benefits of these powerhouse essential oils).
Clarifying soak treatment at least once a year:
I prepare a clarifying solution in a portable inflatable shampoo basin (I got mine from Amazon for about $20) consisting of warm water, 3 cups of Bragg's apple cider vinegar, 1/4 cup baking soda, 1 tablespoon of sea salt, and lemon juice from a fresh, medium-size lemon cut in half. While lying on the floor, I soak my locs in this solution for approximately 20 minutes; empty and make a fresh batch to repeat as needed. I read a book or listen to music during this time.
The first time I performed this clarifying soak, I did a total of three soaks in a session because the water was pretty gross with a literally muddy appearance from all of the build-up over the years. Even though I washed my hair, pollution, dust, dirt, and lint found it's way into my locs, but I had no idea it was to that extent!
After the clarifying soak, I rinse my hair and wash it thoroughly with Cocoa Charm's African Black Soap shampoo (all-in-one), rinse out the shampoo, condition with my favorite conditioner (most of the time I use Cocoa Black Castor Oil as a leave-in treatment). Once I have conditioned my locs, I then palm roll, and as I palm roll, I don't use product or gels of any kind. I use the spritz solution that I create to ensure my hair doesn't dry out as I am grooming. You can also use distilled water only if you'd like, just keep your locs moist as you palm roll. I have also read that some use aloe vera gel to palm roll, I haven't tried this yet but I am thinking about it. If I do, I will let you know how it works.
The last step is to sit under a warm hair dryer or blow dryer to set your locs. I don't allow my locs to get bone dry (dry completely), but just enough to where they are mostly dry.
I really noticed a huge difference in the feel, appearance, and 'weightlessness' of my locs after this clarifying soak. It is important to note that this soak is definitely going to reveal a lot of buildup and lint that might be in your hair!
I hope these tips are helpful. Always do what is best for you and seek the advice of your doctor if you are not sure.
Peace to your heart,
Rita - CEO
This photo was taken in 2014, 5 years after I began my locs journey. Now my locs are past my bottom!