Starter Locs for Men: Create & Care

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Starter locs are typically the starting point of your dreadlock-wearing journey. As a man, when you’re getting your locs for the first time, you’ll initiate the new hair adventure with starter locs.

They befit fashionable men with a twist of style because of their low maintenance. Not only that, but the fact that they possess the versatility of styling and an ability to catalyze quicker hair growth.

Locs are not gender-restrictive. Mostly, they are associated with women, giving the thought of a one-gender hairstyle. 

We’re here to show men that starter locs are also appropriate for men. So, wade through our article. 

What are Starter Locs for Men?

In terms of a straightforward definition, starter locs for men are a hairstyle technique that evokes dread-forming in men’s hair. 

The first approach is introducing the locs to your tresses through certain dreading methods. As time goes by, the starter locs begin to matt, and the hair strands within the locs intertwine on their own. The starter loc styles can be braids, palm rolls, comb coils, or two-strand twists, depending on the dreading method.

Basically, starter locs spark the beginning of the starter or baby dreadlock stage. This baby stage marks the foundation of all dreadlock types, both the freeform traditional locs or the crotchet natural locs. In other words, all dreadlocks start with starter locs. 

As the name of the locs in the infant stage, starter locs are also known as baby locs or beginner locs. Usually, the starter locs look neatly parted and thin and may be tightly coiled spirals or in the form of ringlets. It’s a popular hairstyle among Afro-centric people and thrives best in afro-kinky, coily, or curly hair, mostly hair type 4. 

7 Dreading Methods Used to Create Starter Locs for Men

Getting your starter locs as a man requires you to indulge in one of the following methods. 

These methods are dissimilar, and the results depend on your hair texture, thickness, and length. These factors also determine how long each method takes, but expect a duration between 1-5 hours.

The installation time is highly dependent on the skill level of your trusted loctician. And if you’re wondering what’s the perfect hair length, the least you can proceed with is 4 inches of hair for an easy installation. Nevertheless,  worry about no pain if in the hands of a professional loctician.

1. Twisting (Two strand/ Three Strand Twists)


This is the most preferred method by most people when creating their starter locs. Between the two-strand and the three-strand, a majority opt for the two-strand twist starter locs

Anyone can do the two-strand or three-strand twists as they are easy to come up with. Therefore, twisting is ranked as the most excellent DIY method for starter locs. Somebody totally novice to dreads will easily adopt the twisting technique while starting out their locs.

Two-strand twists make the most fluffy and bouncy starter locs. For a stronger foundation and infrequent unraveling, three-strand twist locs pose to be the better option. 

Achieving the style involves twisting the strands in opposing directions. Over time, the locs thicken out as they bud, and the twisting pattern disappears.

2. Braiding Method


The braiding method brings about three-strand plaits. Aside from twisting, it’s one of the most commonly applied methods to achieve starter locs for men with short hair.

People with soft hair love the braid locs because they’re more prone to unraveling than the twist locs. It involves intertwining three strands of hair to form the braid pattern. 

Like twist locs, the hair interlocks as time passes and puffs up while the braid pattern fades away. However, the fading takes longer, could take up to more than a year, or never fade completely. 

Keep in mind that the loc will be more flat than round. So, you’ll have to implore ways to shape them circularly over time, like palm-rolling. 

3. Comb-coiling


Rather than twisting with your fingers, you can twist the section of hair with a comb to make the loc piece. The comb coils are also a popular DIY starter loc style for men. They are otherwise referred to as single-strand twists.

It’s the most effective method for very kinky and rough hair textures. With a rat tail comb and gel applied, coil the hair in a rotary motion, moving down to your ends. The starter loc eventually appears like a springy coil.

This loc design creates uniform cylindrical locs from the base to the ends. Despite the nice lustrous appeal,  comb coils are frail, especially in the first few weeks.  You need to be careful they don’t touch water or steam to avoid unraveling and retain the coil shape.

4. Interlocking


Another starter loc technique prevalent at dreadlocking salons. Interlocking involves pulling the loc strand through the base with a crotchet hook severally until the loc is tight and neat. 

Mostly, the method needs a loctician’s assistance to achieve the desired results. It works best with fine-textured hair if other methods prove unsatisfactory.

Interlocking creates the strongest loc bases as the loc gives itself support at the roots. It makes the most tidy roots and defines the parts. 

5. Backcombing


If your hair is resistant to locking, backcombing is the best shot. It’s widely practiced on Caucasian hair or people with straight hair. 

Creating a loc with the backcombing method entails teasing the hair sections with a comb. The loose hair is pushed back towards the scalp and palm rolled until there’s a loc forming.

Backcombing models locs that do not unravel. Even though the process is tiring, the locs mature slightly faster into robust locs.

6. Palm-rolling


Palm rolling locs is mostly considered a loc shaping and retwisting technique for loc maintenance. But you can start locs by palm rolling and make wonderful starter locs for men. It’s the most conventional approach to installing locs.

To form a loc with this method, the sections are positioned between the palms and rolled. The palms slide against each other for the round loc to show. 

It takes the least amount of time, but the chances of unraveling are very high. You will have to palm roll the locs often in the first month and continue at less frequency till the starter stage lapses. 

7. Brotherlocks


Here comes the masculine version of sisterlocks. Brotherlocks are the most intricate way to attain starter locs for men and necessitate stylists. They are the tiniest locs created out of very small hair sections and can amount to hundreds of locs. 

The idea is time-consuming, taking between 10 -20 hours or more to install, depending on your hair density. That means you may have to sacrifice 2 days out of your busy schedule for the installation. 

On the upside, brotherlocks create locs instantly. The tininess makes the hair strands so close and immediately interlacing. Moreover, they are great for short-length hairstyles. 

Which is the Best Dreading Method for Starter Locs for Men?

For beginners, we advocate for DIY methods because they’re simple techniques. According to personal preference and hair type, they can do with twisting, braiding, or palm rolling. 

Otherwise, most people in the loc community believe twisting is the best method for starter locs for guys. Two-strand twist starter locs are the most sought-after starter loc style among men. 

It guarantees a strong hold on the hair as it locs gradually, and the locs will turn out thick.  Some love the two-strand twists because they look good and are independently a hairstyle while waiting for the locs to mature. But overall, the two-strand twist starter locs are easy to start; many get their first installation by themselves. 

How to Start the Starter Locs for Men: Installing Them

Men, to achieve nicely done starter locs, there are to-do’s before going in with your preferred dreading method. Below is a rundown on how to have the best installation and enjoy comfort after installation.

1. Personalized Consultation with an Expert Loctician 

Logically,  you require surety that you understand how to go about the installation right before doing it. That’s why consultations with professional locticians are deemed important and inevitable.

Get yourself in contact with them. It doesn’t matter whether it’s an in-person consultation or an over-the-phone meeting. During the consultation, ask all questions you have in mind regarding starter locs for men. 

The first thing should be thorough analyses. One is to assess whether starter locs are suitable for your hair type. After that, the conversation can deepen to levels of recommendations on the best loc’ing method. 

Through these consultations, you also receive advice and tips on installation and aftercare. Prefer not to walk down the starter loc road alone. Two heads are better than one. 

2. Getting Recommended Products and Tools

When you now know the dread method that works for you, assemble the products and tools you’ll need. That’s if you’re DIYing at home.

Jot down a list from the loctician consultations. All methods require you to have a rat tail comb and alligator clips on standby before anything else. Later, think of how to get the rest, such as a crotchet hook for interlocking and brotherlocks technique.

As for installation products, it’s good to go organic if you can. But if your hair is resistant to the technique for texture reasons, get a locking gel or curling cream for the hair to keep hold of the style. And buy cleansing shampoo, too. 

3. Cleansing the Hair

You ought to ensure you wash your hair before getting the starter locs. Your hair should be as clean and residue-free as possible to encourage the interlocking. 

Traces of oil buildup limit the hair’s ability to intertwine. Plus, your starter locs will begin to itch too early, creating discomfort, yet washing is unrecommended in the first few weeks. 

After washing with the loc-friendly shampoo, avoid applying a conditioner as it will make the hair slippery. Then you’ll have a hard time fixing the starter locs. Dry the hair completely before proceeding with the installation. 

4. Sectioning


Next, grab your rat tail comb and begin the partitioning along the scalp. Divide the hair into sections, either square, diamond, or round sections. Start from the back of your head when creating the sections and fixing the starter locs. 

5. Oiling

Comb out each section and oil with a natural lightweight oil like castor oil or argan oil. Oiling makes the process easy as the hair is moisturized and slightly non-tangly. Splitting into strands for twisting and braiding goes on smoothly. 

6. Going in with the Dread Method of Choice


Lastly, employ your preferred method of installation. If it’s twisting, start twisting. Comb coils and braids; the same applies. The patterns should look smooth and uniform from the roots to the bottom. 

Are Starter Locs for Men Different From Starter Locs for Women?

The design, appearance, and nature of starter locs for men are not any different from starter locs for women. Starter locs are gender-neutral and not discriminative based on age, race, ethnicity, or nationality.

How they are easy to start and install in men, that’s how they’re easy to install in women. 

 But for men, it’s much easier because most men have short hair. So you find that installation of starter locs for men takes a shorter time. 

Similarly, the installation and maintenance procedures are the same, including products for use. Generally, starter locs are low maintenance. And they are a protective hairstyle, especially for men who love long hairstyles.

Starter Locs for Men Care and Maintenance

Once you have your starter locs for men installed, next is care and maintenance. That’s important in getting the desired loc look when they mature. And they can easily be taken care of using the following grooming tips.

1. Managing the New Growth

Starter Locs for Men Care and Maintenance: Managing-the-New-Growth

When the new growth is too fluffy and overgrown, consider retwisting them. That’s probably in the second or third month of starter locs. 

You may retwist or retighten them by interlocking them every 4-6 weeks. However, you may choose to go freeform and avoid combing or manipulating the new growth.

2. Cleansing Regularly

The general rule of thumb for your starter locs to last longer and stronger is washing and drying them completely. When washing the starter locs for men, focus more on the roots and apply a residue-free clarifying shampoo to remove the dirt and buildup.

Not forgetting, the best time for a proper cleanse after the first installation is 4 weeks later.  Wait for that duration for the starter locs to set and bud a little so that they cannot unravel. The next washes should be at least once or twice a month. 

3. Moisturizing and Oiling

Also, keep the starter locs hydrated to provide a healthy environment for the starter locs to thrive. Mist the starter locs for men every couple of days, not every day, to help with the locking. After misting, seal the little moisture with natural oils such as castor oil, coconut oil, or argan oil for dreadlocks. 

4. Night Care


At night, cover your head with a  silk bonnet or scarf before going to bed. And avoid sleeping with wet hair. Also, ensure the covers you use are kept clean whenever they oil up. 

5. Regular Palm Rolls


Conduct palm rolls on each starter locs every day for about 30 seconds, especially in the first 8 weeks. Plam rolling helps maintain the round shape and discourages flattening. Additionally, it contains frizz, although frizz is not completely inevitable. 

6. Avoid Dyeing

As the starter locs are still fresh and young, dyes affect their overall health. And that may impede the strength and maturity speed of the locs. If you really want to dye your locs, wait until they’re mature and fully strong to withstand the dye’s impact. 

7. Use Small Amounts of Products

While it appears petty and ignorable, using small amounts of loc products on your starter locs is crucial. Little applications are sufficient. If you splash plenty of the oils and mist, the excessiveness stimulates buildups and mold faster, yet we know both are lethal. 

8. Avoid Cutting Dead Ends

Never cut the dead ends of your starter locs or trim them till 6 months after completely locking. Cutting or trimming the starter locs for men exposes them to unraveling. You don’t want to delay your loc maturity by months. 

9. Preventing Lint in the Starter Locs


Lint itself doesn’t pose a danger to the starter locs but interferes with their aesthetics. It makes them look untidy and triggers the accumulation of buildup and product residue. To prevent lint in starter locs for men, opt for lint-free beddings and cover clothing.

Avoid cotton scarves and bedding such as pillowcases and bedsheets. If you enjoy caps and hats for a stylish look, wear satin-lined ones.  

How to Make Starter Locs for Men Grow Faster

Making starter locs for men grow, and loc faster requires consistency with your care and maintenance routine. By refraining from bad habits and harmful practices, you keep maintenance in check, too. 

Beyond the TLcs, we’d like to emphasize these extra hints for your locs to grow up to several inches within a year. 

1. A Healthy Diet


Incorporating a balanced mena loaded with proteins into your diet accelerates hair growth. A healthy diet supplies important nutrients to your blood, augmenting the blood circulation to the scalp. 

At the scalp, the hair follicles receive nutrients from the bloodstream, building the hair that extrudes faster out of the scalp. Besides that, take lots of water to fully hydrate your hair and scalp and avert dryness and irritations.

2. Adequate Protection

Always protect your starter locs from harm at all costs. Be it damage and breakage due to excessive heat, adverse weather and seasons, or sweat. That’s in addition to the night care protection in order to provide safe grounds for the hair to flourish and the locs to grow quicker. 

3. Patience

Patience tops every piece of advice towards growing your locs faster. If all the aforementioned tips and your care routine are strictly followed, you leave the rest to time and nature. Train your mind to patiently await the results rather than falling for risks that may damage your locs. 

FAQs about Starter Locs for Men

How much do you expect to pay for starter locs as a man?

Expect to pay a price within the $100 -$200 range, depending on whether you want a full-head installation or not. The cost range varies with hair texture, length, personal gender, and technique used. 

What are the best starter locs for men?

Most men prefer two-strand twist starter locs as their favorite starter loc style. They love how good-looking the twist pattern is, even on short hair, and how easy they are to install. 

How long do starter locs typically last?

Starter locs are installed to last typically for 3-6 months, the point in time they’ll have fully matured. That means they’d have started to bud and can’t unravel. At the end of the starter loc phase, you can now mold the locs into whichever dreadlock type you want. 

How do starter locs differ from fully matured locs?

Fully matured locs are firm and tightly interlocked, unlike starter locs. They tend to hang down on their own at the mature stage. 

As for starter locs, they appear slightly frail and loose and can come undone at any time if not managed well. They’re the baby locs that set off the dreadlock journey. 

Are starter locs suitable for my hair type?

Starter locs are suitable for all hair types, whether straight, curly, coily, or afro-kinky hair. For the starter locs to hold up nicely in your hair, choose the right dreading method with regard to your hair type. However, the best advice is to seek consultations with a professional stylist for guidance. 

Final Thoughts

Starter locs for men are basically the normal starter locs. Keep following our guide to maneuver around the installation and care with ease. 

Our counsel isn’t final. Talk deeply with your loctician who may supplement our information. Take meaningful advice from all corners and merge them into one useful output: beautiful and healthy starter locs. 

Best of luck as you kick off your starter locs for men. Remember to leave your sentiments in the comment box below.

Author: Charity Nasike


Charity Nasike is a passionate wig wearer and basically has diverse knowledge related to wigs' care and maintenance. When she's not writing, she's either in the kitchen trying out new recipes or on social media advising fellow ladies tricks to apply on their wigs.

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