Starter Locs with Extensions: Ways and Tips

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Want to try starter locs with extensions? Free-flow afro hair is cool, but delicate. From time to time, you might need to switch to protective hairstyles like locs to give it a rest.

“Starter locs look funny to me.” You frowned. Don’t worry – We are not at the time when Princess Rapunzel grows her hair from scratch. With extensions, your starter locs can turn into a dazzling cascade within a day!

In this article, I will walk you through everything you need to know about starting locs with extensions. Hope it will make your loc journey a lot easier.

How to Choose the Right Extensions?

How -o-Choose-the-Right-Extensions

Well begun is half done. The extensions are going to sit on your head for weeks, during which you meet your friends and clients and know new people. So, make the right decision.

Human Hair vs. Synthetic Hair

Generally, human hair is recommended over synthetic ones. Once installed, they have less chance of unraveling; they can withstand heat styling and dyeing. The only worry is cost: quality ones can be pricy.

Synthetic hair, in contrast, is more friendly to the pockets. If you are not a fan of hair ironing and have no plan to change your hair color, synthetic extensions are a good choice to cope with a limited budget.

Texture and Color


Natural afro hair comes in various textures, from soft curly 3A hair to tightly coiled 4C. Hair extensions are diversified accordingly. The best extensions resemble your original hair: they merge seamlessly with existing locs and match new growth. 

You have more flexibility in choosing hair colors, though. Black never goes wrong; middle brown with dark roots is popular. You also get to experiment with bold colors – they only last a few weeks and can be taken off anytime – what can you lose?

Length and Loc Size


Rapunzel’s seventy-feet hair is stunning, but with loc extensions, this is no joke! Organic or synthetic, loc extensions are heavy. Wearing them past waist-length can cause tension or even headache. If you already have hair loss issues (or “alopecia” in medical terms), I would recommend keeping the extensions above the shoulder blades.

If you buy pre-made locs rather than loose hair, pay attention to loc size. The smaller the size, the more locs you will have to buy. More importantly, loc size determines your final look.

It is recommended to buy extensions at local beauty supply stores, where you can see the real thing. If you’ve already got your locs installed, shopping at a brick-and-mortar can make sure you get pre-made locs that perfectly match your existing ones.

How to Start Locs with Extensions?


Hooray, you’ve got some beautiful extensions! If you are handing the rest to the hairstylist, you can skip this part. But for DIY enthusiasts, this is where you take notes.

You may Need:

  • Hair Extensions
  • Fine-toothed comb
  • Rat tail comb
  • Hair clips
  • Crochet needles

Step-by-Step Tutorial:

This tutorial focuses on pre-made locs installation, which is more beginner-friendly than adding loose hair. The tutorial starts with preparing loose hair, so if your hair is already locked, skip to step 3 (4:43 of the video).

Step 1: Prepare your Hair

Make sure it is a really good bath because the next big shampooing is weeks away. Rinse thoroughly to remove all the dirt and buildup. Follow up with a deep conditioner and dry it completely.

Step 2: Loc Your Hair

Use a rat tail comb to create sections (Remember to match the loc size with that of the extensions!). Then create locs by twisting or braiding. Leave the ends open because hair extensions will soon be attached.

Step 3: Add Extensions

Open the tip of the extension to 1-2 inches long and line it up with your hair. Hold the junction between your thumb and your forefinger. Move the crochet needles in and out of the junction, continuously rotating the loc in the meanwhile.

Step 4: Security Check

Tug the locs gently to check if they are firmly installed. Examine each loc and tighten weak spots along the way.

How to Maintain Starter Locs with Extensions?


Hydration Tips

Hydration is key to keeping your locs in a prime state. Without moisture, your hair will soon frizz. Maintaining hydration requires daily upkeep. A popular way is to apply rose water or essential oils.

Mist hydration products onto the scalp and massage gently. Run your hair down the locs to moisturize the hair. Avoid using heavy greases or cream conditioners because they can lead to buildup.

Cleaning Tips

You may want to wait a week or two to give your newly installed locs a first shower. Afterward, you can determine washing frequency based on personal hygiene preference and how the loc performs. Generally, don’t wash your locs more than twice a week.

When cleaning your hair, use residue-free products and rinse thoroughly. Acid substances like apple cider vinegar can lower PH and make your locs softer and shiner.

Be Aware of Mildew

You may remember a time when you rushed your hair-drying routine and slept with wet hair. The next day you thought your hair was dried completely, but days later, your hair began to smell unpleasant. This is mildew, more commonly called “dread rot,” a nuisance to loc lovers.

There are treatments for mildew, but I bet you don’t want to go through the tedious healing process. Dry your hair completely after every wash – if air drying takes too long, use a hair dryer.

Bedtime Routine

Friction is one of locs’ greatest enemies. The most serious battlefield? Bedtime!

During the night, your locs are rubbed against the pillowcase. While this cannot be avoided (you have to rest your head on something, after all), you can minimize friction by using a silk pillowcase. The best solution is to wear a hair wrap to bed.

How to Remove Loc Extensions?


Between five weeks to two months, you may begin to notice frizzing and buildup on the locs. This is when you should consider saying goodbye to this loc journey. 

Removing loc extensions takes patience and skills, but it is simple enough to do it at home. If you are interested, follow this tutorial:

You may Need:

  • rat tail comb
  • scissor

Step-by-Step Tutorial:

Step 1: Figure out Where Your Hair Ends

Upon installation, you opened the ends of your locs to blend with the tips of hair extensions, remember? Now you have to figure out where these junctions are. They usually have a slightly different touch than the rest of the loc.

Step 2: Cut off the hair extensions

I recommend you cut 1-2 inches below the junctions. In this way, you have less chance of cutting your hair by accident.

Step 3: Detangle with a comb

Detangle your hair using the metal tip of the rat tail comb. Be patient and take one small section at a time. Don’t pull when running into matted hair – mist water or apply conditioner instead.




How Much Are Starter Locs with Extensions?

$60-$100, depending on what extensions you get. Loose afro kinky hair costs $60-$90 per pack. Pre-made, handmade human locs are pricier, about $95-$100.

How Long Should My Hair Be for Loc Extensions?

Approximately 2-3 inches long. The key is to have enough length to form a loc. If your hair is too short, your loc is easy to unravel due to the weight of the extensions.

How Long Does it Take to Install Loc Extensions?

6-12 hours, based on your loc size and density. Large locs are quicker to install, while fine ones may take more time. Leave a whole day for this activity. 

Will My Hair Grow with Loc Extensions?

Yes. With healthy follicles, your hair will grow with loc extensions. If you notice that your hair stops growing, there might be a problem. Unwanted tension at the roots can harm follicles, preventing hair from growing.

As your hair grows, your locs may start to feel heavy. If that happens to you, you may need to trim off the ends of the extensions to alleviate unwanted tension on the scalp.


Hair extensions not only offer protection but also speak for your personality. They allow you to get a long loc hairstyle without commitment. What could be better than that?

This article is intended to be a comprehensive guide. If there’s something I missed, feel free to leave a comment to let me know.

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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