I’ve invested quite a bit of energy (and cash) into my hairstyle choice, and a good bit of that energy has gone into research. While I’m no expert, the following guide is meant to be a summary of the most useful information I’ve found on the internet as well as some of my own meandering experience.
1. If you have the option, use a professional at least to start your locks. It save your energy and time if you get it done right in the first place. But if you really want to do it on your own then make sure you know what you’re doing. Locks can look terrible if they’re not done right.
2. Keep ’em clean. So you won’t be washing your hair as often for the first couple weeks, but you don’t want bugs to start pitching camp tents inside your ‘do. And a tip: don’t use conditioner.
3. Stick to one method of locking hair. There are a variety of lock start-up regimes out there, depending on your hair length and texture. What you want to do is pick one and stick with it. It’s definitely not recommended that you start out interlocking and then switch to palm rolling a year later. (Or starting free form and then switching to interlocking. No. Just… no). It looks neater when it’s uniform.
4. Don’t be afraid to change hairdressers if you don’t think they’re doing it right. Not everyone knows the proper techniques to interlock hair, and it’s your damage if you stick with someone you know is doing a bad job.
5. You can get your locks maintained as often or as seldom as you want. Of course in certain fields, neatness is a priority and that means you’ll probably be spending a lot more money on your hair than someone who’s career is more laid back.
6. I would definitely recommend to everyone considering locks (for reasons other than just fashion) that they learn to do it themselves. It saves you time and money at the hair stylist and it keeps you from being too dependent on them, too.
But that’s just my two cents.