Have you been curious about dreadlocks but do not know where to start? Microlocs might be a good option for you.
Among all dreaded styles, microlocs represent a unique one. Smaller than traditional dreadlocks, they can both flexibly combine appearance and convenience, and meet your expectations of fullness.
In this article, I’m going to explain the origin, types, pros and cons of microlocs and ways to install your own microlocs.
What are Microlocs?
Microlocs, as suggested by the name, are a kind of locs which are smaller than average dreadlocks, generally with 0.017-0.023 inches in diameter. That is to say, the size of microlocs ranges from the diameter of a shoelace to that of your pinky finger.
As a member of dreadlocks family, microlocs share a lot of similarities with average dreadlocks. For example, both of them can be formed by a multiple of ways including twisting, braiding, or coiling.
How to Install Microlocs?
There are two different methods to help you make your favorite microlocs styles.
Microlocs Started with Interlocking (Step by Step)
Step1: Measure the diameter of each microloc. Use a ruler or a paperboard to measure the diameter of each microloc. This procedure will help you take an appropriate amount of hair for each microloc and ensure that you can get the size you want.
Step 2: Twist each microloc from the bottom of it. Twist the bottom of a microloc and hold on to the bottom. Then go ahead with the four point rotation.
Step 3: Maintain the tension of each microloc. In this process, when you transfer a microloc to other fingers, keep pinching the Microloc in order to make sure that it is secure and intact. This will make it easier for you to do the rotation.
Step 4: Use a small metal tool to help you further twist microlocs. Get across the hole on the tool with the end of a microloc and use the piercing side of the tool to divide the bottom of a microloc into two parts. Then get through the division with the piercing side.
Step 5: Take out the tool from your microlocs. Slightly pull the tool in a downside direction and the tool will be removed from your microlocs. This process can add tension of your microlocs, and will make your hair more curly and more closely attached to each other.
Two Strand Twist Method (Step by Step)
Step 1: Part the foundation of your hair. For example, you can divide your hair foundation straight from the middle into the left part and the right part. This is an important step because it will lay a basis for your following steps.
Step 2: Divide your hair into four gid sections. You can further divide the left side into two smaller parts. Similarly, the right side will be separated into two parts as well.
Step 3: Further divide each grid section into four smaller sections. You can do this according to the condition of your hair. After finishing this step, we will have 16 grid parts (4 multiplied by 4 equals 16). And do not forget to tie each part with a rubber band to make sure that each part can hold together.
Step 4: Lock your microlocs up. Use a lock-it-up hairdressing product and apply it to your loc to lock it up. While doing this step, try to get each loc as nice, straight, and square as possible.
Step 5: Braid each loc at the root, and then twist down. When you get to the end of a loc, keep braiding the end so that the loc will not be unraveled.
Pros of Microlocs
There are some advantages of this hairstyle you should know before you try it.
Microlocs are indeed friendly to starters. Most people may find it easy to get on installing their own microlocs because of its easy operation.
Generally speaking, the microlocs DIY can be divided into several steps: preparation, styling process, measurement, and interlocking process. Each step involves some dos and don’ts, so please check them carefully before you start in case of unnecessary inconvenience.
For instance, you can prepare some products which you might need afterwards including a deep cleansing shampoo, a braiding needle, a sizing tool, and some hair clips. Usually, you will find these tools easily in the market, and the operation process can be searched on the Internet.
Sometimes, people can even learn installing skills by watching some videos online. This DIY process will bring people a lot of fun as well.
Microlocs are versatile loc styles. You can use a variety of loc stylings and make a personalized one for yourself on the basis of your own preference.
But remember to choose the most suitable styling by taking your hair texture and length into consideration. For those who have fine textured hair, microlocs started with interlocking may be a good choice for them. And microlocs started with braids is recommended for those who have long hair.
What’s more, for those who prefer medium or large sizes of microloc, they can install microlocs started with twists. In addition, other stylings also include microlocs started with braids and microlocs started with coils.
Microlocs can make your hair look full. Due to the small size of microlocs, they will leave little void on your scalp on the one hand; on the other hand, small locs bring less tension to your scalp, so your hair may look thick and fluffy. The more locs you have, the less likely your scalp will be seen by others.
To conclude, the large number of locs will act as a cover on your scalp. Therefore, if you are pursuing fullness of your hair, Microlocs would be a good option.
Microlocs are friendly to scalp, which means that it can reduce the tension of your scalp. Although the number of locs will increase, each lock can bear a part of the strain.
In this case, the average tension undertaken by each inch of your scalp is relatively weaker, so your scalp will not feel too much pulling force at the root of your locs because each small loc weighs less. In other words, microlocs will bring smaller harm to your scalp.
Microlocs are relatively low maintenance compared to other types of locs, because of their less frequent upkeep. When interlocking, it is likely that your will reduce your maintenance needs.
However, it is still recommended to do proper maintenance regularly in order to maintain their health and appearance. For example, you can wash and moisturize them by yourself, but it is also important to visit a stylist for touch-ups and maintenance.
Cons of Microlocs
Despite all the above advantages, microlocs still have shortcomings. Thus, if you are a beginner in particular, please pay special attention to this section before making your decision.
Microlocs are quite time-consuming. Although the duration of installing microlocs depends on your hair length, texture and thickness, it will still take at least several hours to install them. If you want to install a special styling, chances are that you may spend more time on design and measurement.
Just imagine that you need to repeat the above steps for every loc, and then you might calculate how much time you should spend on the whole styling. Although installing microlocs is an exciting and refreshing experience for most beginners, the long and repetitive installing procedure has made many of them think twice.
What’s more, you had better know that it takes more time to remove microlocs because it is always recommended to do some added hair care then.
Therefore, before you make a decision to install microlocs, please make sure you set aside plenty of time both for installing and removing, and for daily maintenance and care.
Microlocs are fragile. Because of their small circumference, microlocs could fry or fall out easily. If your hair texture are fine and soft as well, it is more likely for your hair to break. Sometimes a casual pull or drag may cause fracture to your locs, and your scalp may also be hurt in these accidents.
Potential breakage may happen to your microlocs as well. For example, if you did not part your locs evenly or correctly, chances are that you will find yourself have an asymmetrical head of locs with uneven partings. These messy locs are likely to become entangled with each other, and some of them will break off afterwards.
What’s more, these uneven partings will not only influence your appearance, they may also bring harm to your scalp and make some area bear too much tension. Once the health of your scalp is affected, the locs may not grow on it safe and sound, thus leading to potential breakage.
Affected by Hair Types
The type or texture of your hair also decides the final result of your microlocs. If your hair is curly or coil naturally, it is easy for you to install microlocs because it will help locs to interlock with each other. This hair type also helps you to do the maintenance afterwards.
On the contrast, if you have straight hair, it is suggested that you should curl your hair first.
Microlocs are cheaper than sisterlocs because of their smaller size and quicker installation, but it still costs several hundred to several thousand dollars based on where you live and the professionalism of the stylist. Salons in high-class residential areas or advanced commercial streets usually charge more fees for their good environment and service.
For most starters, they will go to hair salons or turn to stylists because of security concerns. These services provided by professionals usually cost more money than DIY, with its prices ranging from several hundred dollars to more than one thousand dollars.
Most importantly, do not forget to have a maintenance appointment regularly and do not miss it. Once you miss it one time, the price will move up next time because of your newly-grown locs. Because stylists need to make extra efforts to deal with your newly-grown hair at the root of each loc to maintain the overall appearance of your styling.
Thus, my suggestion is that please find a proficient or experienced stylist and stay in touch with him/her.
FAQs about Microlocs
How long do microlocs usually last?
Most people would choose to keep their microlocs from several months to several years because new hair will grow from the root. More importantly, please remember to do your maintenance every 4 to 6 weeks so as to keep your locs healthy and clean.
Are microlocs bad for your hair?
Fundamentally, microlocs are not bad for your hair provided that you install and maintain them in a proper manner. Only unprofessional installation or maintenance will cause damage to your hair or scalp. Therefore, please keep in mind that you should consult professionals and follow their instructions earnestly.
How many microlocs should I have?
People usually choose to install 150 to more than 400 microlocs. But that number also depends on the thickness and texture of your hair, your desired length, and the amount of money you are willing to set aside to maintain these locs.
Are microlocs better than sisterlocs?
Directly speaking, the choice really rests with your personal preference and how much money you are willing to spend. By comparison, microlocs are generally cheaper than sisterlocs because it is easier to install them, and you can even install it by yourself at home.
Microlocs are a relatively low-cost and highly personalized hairstyle. During the process of installing and maintaining this styling, you might know more about your hair texture and the charm of dreadlocks. For starters, you can choose either professional beauty service or DIY, and I believe either of them will give you an unique experience.
However, remember to ask for professional instructions or operation before you have a try. What’s more, please be patient and make sure that you can set aside adequate time for installation and regular maintenance.