Are you tired of the same hairstyle all year long? Box braids, million braids, twists, and regular crochet braids have been rocked by classic ladies and celebrities over the years. I’m quite certain that you weren’t left behind either as well.
However, if you’re looking to switch things up, no worries, because there’s a new and attractive hairdo currently in vogue which you will love to wear because of its gorgeousness: it’s called Microlocs!
This beauty is worth the effort and time spent on fixing it. It is good for any weather due to its lightweight nature which resists excessive heat and sweat.
Microlocs are usually made to cover every little bit of gap in your hair so that it comes out looking full. That feature makes it also suitable for cold weather as you feel warm without needing a hood.
Let me give you more insight into what microlocs are and how different they are from other locs.
Table of Contents
- 1 What are Microlocs?
- 2 Microlocs Vs Other Locs
- 3 How Long Should Your Hair be For Microlocs?
- 4 How Long Will Your Hair be After Microlocs?
- 5 How Long Does it Take to Install Microlocs?
- 6 How Much Do Starter Microlocs Cost?
- 7 Installation of Microlocs [Step-by-step]
- 8 Microlocs Aftercare
What are Microlocs?
Microlocs are either twisted, coiled, or braided natural hair strands to form the appearance of regular dreadlocks. But in the case of microlocs, the size of each loc is smaller than your pinkie finger or almost like the diameter of a standard pencil but a little thinner.
Microlocs range from a minimum of100 locs and could be as much as 1000 micro locs as people have been known to carry.
However, the size you choose for your microlocs, the fullness of your hair, and the size of your head all determine how many locs you end up with.
Microlocs can be washed, braided on, cornrowed, dyed, cut to form a variety of styles and layers, or bonded into a ponytail. You do not need special training or experience to install microlocs.
You may decide to use a crochet tool to fix your microlocs or just freestyle it by merely braiding your hair using twists or the regular three parts braids.
Microlocs Vs Other Locs
1. Microlocs Vs Traditional Locs
Microlocs are similar to traditional locs in various ways. They both have the same method of installation which could be coiling, braiding, or twisting. They could also be fixed using interlocking tools by pulling the tip of your strands through the roots.
Traditional locs are approximately 10mm or more in thickness. Microlocs are smaller versions of traditional locs with a size range of between 6mm to 9mm thick.
Both microlocs and traditional locs pass through the same maturity stages. These stages are four in number which include the starter stage, the budding stage, the shooting stage, and the final contracting stage.
2. Microlocs Vs Sisterlocs
Sisterlocs are quite different from microlocs in several ways. Microlocs are approximately smaller than the size of a pencil, whereas sisterlocs are much thinner. You can imagine sisterlocs to be like the diameter of a straw or spaghetti strands.
The cost of installing sisterlocs is way higher than what is required to fix microlocs. The reason for that is the expertise needed to install sisterlocs. An interlocking tool is necessary for fixing sisterlocs toward the ends without exerting pressure on the roots.
Microlocs on the other hand only requires wax or gel to style the locs and keep them in shape after braiding or twisting.
Sisterlocs require maintenance within every 4 to 6 weeks where interlocking has to be redone to make your locs last longer and stay stronger.
Microlocs do not need too much maintenance like sisterlocs. You can wash and reapply your locs care products every 6 to 8 weeks intervals. Sisterlocs also take longer to install than microlocs.
3. Braidlocs Vs Microlocs
Braidlocs are done in a similar manner as microlocs. The secret behind the style is just the method used to start the loc process.
If you use braids, then you can either call it braidlocs or microlocs although microlocs do not require any special tool for maintenance.
Braidlocs, like sisterlocs, need a particular interlocking tool for keeping your locs intact during maintenance stages.
4. Microlocs Vs Interlocks
Interlocks are made by the ordinary free-form method of parting your hair and applying a locking pattern to create a dreadlock outlook.
By making interlocks, you are creating a brick layered pattern like the grid pattern of sisterlocs although interlocking can be installed by anyone, even yourself.
Interlocks are normally larger than microlocs in diameter and do not necessarily need to be braided first like microlocs before palm rolled with wax or gel. Interlocks are more like regular or traditional dreadlocks when it comes to size or thickness.
How Long Should Your Hair be For Microlocs?
If you have virgin hair, then a length of about 2 inches is enough to start microlocs. Otherwise, if your hair is relaxed or permed, then allow your roots to develop an undergrowth of virgin hair up to 1.5 inches.
The reason you should wait is that permed hair does not lock, and only virgin hair locks. So if you want your hair to grow longer and healthier, it is recommended that you only apply your wax or gel to your new growth.
As your hair grows longer, you can trim off the relaxed portion on the ends to give room for your natural hair to grow.
Straight hair takes longer than wavy or kinky hair to lock. Therefore, with curly hair of as little as 1 inch, you can get microlocs installed. If your mane is straight, allow it to reach 2 inches at the least to give you enough room to treat it regularly.
How Long Will Your Hair be After Microlocs?
Healthy human hair grows at a normal rate of half an inch every month. Don’t worry, I already did the math! It will grow as long as 6 inches every year.
The same thing goes for microlocs. After locking your hair using twists or braids, you should expect it to get past your shoulder length in less than 2 years. That is if you started with long hair.
Starting with shorter hair could give you a shoulder-length or almost within a year and a half.
How Long Does it Take to Install Microlocs?
It takes between 48 to 50 hours for microlocs to be installed at a stretch. The idea is to cover every gap in your hair, and it requires complete dedication of time and energy to get it done.
However, you may need to consider installing the locs across a number of days instead of spending the entire 48 to 50 hours at a stretch.
It is advisable to do that to avoid ending up with cramps, and to also ensure that you can carry out other tasks.
If you would prefer breaking it down into comfortable sessions, you can spend 10 hours a day for about 5 days. If you have full hair and are planning to DIY, then you may need to dedicate more time to the process.
You should book an appointment with your loctitian or hairstylist well before the actual day you need the locs. Go to the salon with your snacks or homemade food to avoid wasting time going home or visiting an eatery for lunch.
Take your iPad or Android phone along with you to keep you entertained with movies, music, or social media while you go through the process.
How Much Do Starter Microlocs Cost?
To install microlocs from the starter stage, the charges range from $150 to $400 in a salon.
You can also choose DIY option using the household items like your comb, mirror, and gel, DIY method will not cost much because hairstylist fee is the major cost in getting Microlocs.
However, the effect of doing it yourself is that in the long run, there may be holes in the hair that can lead to severe hair loss and damage. Also, with DIY, you might not be able to make the strands of hair as tiny as a loctician would.
There is no need for applying too much wax or gel if you don’t want your hair to develop an excessive build-up of hair products. You can maintain your locs subsequently by yourself to reduce the cost of maintenance.
Installation of Microlocs [Step-by-step]
Here is a detailed procedure that you can follow to get your microlocs done at home. It can also be a great guide for you if you are a hairstylist that wishes to learn how to install microlocs without prior experience.
Wash your hair thoroughly with shampoo only to remove any oil or waxy build-up. Aveeno Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo (Sulfate-Free) Shampoo is a good shampoo option for your hair.
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Do not use conditioner after shampooing to prevent your hair from being too soft as that can cause the locs to loosen after a few hours or days of installation.
A week or two before the day of installation, you can deep condition your hair to give it maximum strength in preparation for the locking process.
Detangle your hair by parting it into sections first before combing. Use a wide-tooth comb while it is still damp to avoid breakage. Tie each section loosely with bands and allow them to dry naturally without blow-drying.
At this stage, you should be ready to begin braiding or twisting. There are different reasons for deciding whether to braid or twist your locs.
Two strand twists have a certain outlook that gives you the artificial dreadlock appearance for a couple of weeks before it finally starts to blend in.
Whereas, braiding has a similar outlook to sisterlocs but it is very tedious to install by yourself. You do not want to end up with smaller and well-locked braids at the back and loose/bigger braids at the front.
Complete each section and knot it before untying another section to continue braiding or twisting.
This is the final step of the installation process. By the time you are through with braiding or twisting the entire head of hair, get your loc wax/gel and apply it to the ends of the locs to prevent frizz and tangles.
The Jamaican Mango and Lime Rasta and Twist Locking Creme Wax is a great choice of gel for this stage.
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You may then style your locs as you wish. Dying can be done after 4 weeks from the installation day to allow the locs to gain strength.
How Many Times a Month Should You Wash Microlocs?
Washing your microlocs at least twice or thrice monthly is generally fine. If you assume that having dreadlocks means you don’t need to keep your hair clean, then you are wrong.
Your scalp must be kept in a clean and healthy condition no matter your hairstyle. Clean hair will avoid any kind of infection, and also microlocs grow nicely. You can use this Dreadlocks Shampoo for great results.
How to Make Thin Microlocs Thick?
Making thin locs thicker works best if your installation is less than four weeks old. All you need to do is, take two strands of locs and twist them together. As your locs grow older, the strands will merge and form thicker locs.
But if you still want your locs to be thicker than that, then after the first set has merged nicely, use rubber bands to hold two or three locs together at the root.
Leave the ends still hanging separately because it will be difficult to get the tips to merge. As your hair grows, the base will lock and extend out gradually. With time, you can then cut off the ends and let the thicker strands develop individually.
How to Condition Microlocs?
Keeping your locs moisturized is a great way to achieve healthy hair. But try to avoid chemically based conditioners as they can cause breakage to your strands. Generally, conditioners are not good for locs as they slow down the locking process.
Coconut oil is a very good conditioner and moisturizer with natural qualities. It helps to lock in moisture to your hair without causing any buildup of dirt. Use coconut oil daily on your microlocs to get the best out of them.
Now, the choice is yours to pick a date for installing your microlocs. We have covered all you need to know about fixing and maintaining these locs in this post. Endeavor to follow every tip and procedure to avoid ending up with a damaged hair or locs that don’t last.
Also, take note of the aftercare tips and follow them to ensure that you get the best out of your hair. Good luck with your microlocs installation, and enjoy your hair!