People wear dreadlocks for various reasons. You can wear it simply as a fashion style or to make a political statement. To some, locs are conductors for wisdom and spiritual energy. Either way, thick locs can make these reasons bolder.
If you have been thinking about thickening your locs, then it’s your lucky day. This article will explain the benefits of thick locs and the various ways to grow them. You will also learn some maintenance tips you can apply to keep your locs as thick as possible.
Let’s get started!
What Are Thick Locs?
Thick locs are normal dreadlocks that are larger in terms of diameter. The wider diameter is achievable by taking wider sections of hair when creating the locs. According to the loc size chart, thick locs have diameters ranging from 12 mm to 15 mm and above.
Just like normal locs, you can start your thick locs from natural hair using the usual methods such as freeform, crochet and palm rolling.
While it’s widely believed that the method used to start the dreads determines their thickness, this is never the case. How thick your locs get is mainly determined by the following:
Sizes of Your Sections
The first step in growing thick locs is partitioning your hair into wide sections. Though not a must, it’s always a good idea to evenly section your hair at the scalp if you want consistent loc sizes.
Your Hair Density
How much hair you have is another indicator of how thick your locs can get. Lots of hair will obviously result in thicker locs than less hair. Research revealed that an average human being has about 800 to 1,290 hairs per square inch (124 to 200 hairs per square centimeter).
A person with more hair than the average number will have thicker locs. In the same manner, a person will likely have thinner locs.
Your Hair Texture
The thickness of your hair also affects how thick your locs can get in the future. People with thick hair might have a difficult time growing thick locs. The weight of thick locs might weigh down their hair, causing tension on the scalp.
Benefits of Having Thick Locs
Locs are fashionable no matter their length or size. If you are wondering why you should consider thick locs, here are five benefits you can expect.
1. Low Maintenance
Thick locs means less locs; hence, less maintenance needed. With thick locs you only need a few minutes for retwisting to keep them neat and clean. In addition, the amount of hair product required is also minimal.
2. Easy to Style
If you like trying out different loc styles, then you will love thick locs. You can easily sculpt them into any style you want. You can wear them in two-twist strands, various braid styles or curls.
In addition, thick locs are big and strong, allowing them to adapt to most styles without the need for hair-setting products.
3. Stronger and Durable
Thick locs are larger and stronger, making them more durable than thin locs. With proper care and maintenance, thick locs can last for long without falling off. Unlike thin locs, they require less retwisting to keep them in place.
4. Thick Locs Look better
A head full of thick and neat locs is just great to look at. They generally look good whether you style them or let them hang freely. Furthermore, they fit almost all face types: square face, round face,oval face, etc.
Tips for Growing Thick Locs
Whether you are new in the locs world or already have regular locs, growing thick locs may look like a difficult task. However, the process is almost similar to growing regular locs, but with more patience.
If you’ve dreamed of getting thick locs, here are some approaches to get you started.
1. Patience is Key
The most effective way to grow thick locs is to be patient. Regular-sized locs usually take months to almost a year to fully mature. With thick locs it might take 2–3 years before you see some difference.
You should also understand that your natural hair will affect how long it takes you to grow thick locks. As mentioned earlier, hair density and texture play a crucial role in the formation of thick locs. Don’t get discouraged if your locs take time to form.
2. Avoid Over-Twisting
When the locs start to form, avoid over-twisting them. The more you twist, the thinner the locs. We’re not saying that you completely stop. Twisting them once every 4–6 weeks is important if you want to keep them neat and tidy.
The occasional twist is also crucial for your hair and scalp. If you want thick locs, you want to avoid the undue tension that comes with over-twisting your locs.
3. Combine Side-By-Side Locs
Combining multiple locs is one of the easiest ways to grow thick locs. It’s also a good option for people with naturally thin hair. In this method, you only need to combine a few locs together until you get the desired thickness.
There are two ways to combine your locs:
- Two-Strand Twist
The two-strand twists are pretty easy. Take two locs that are side by side and twist them together. As your hair continues to grow, they will form a single loc that you can retwist as one during your retwisting sessions.
- Crochet Method
You can also use a crotchet tool to combine your locs. Hold two locs that are side by side, then pull hair from one through the other until you create a single loc. The locs will grow into one after some time.
4. Try Hair Extensions
If your natural locs are not cutting it, you can consider using hair extensions. Though temporary, hair extensions can give your hair the volume and texture you need to create thick locs. This will allow you to rock your thick locs while you wait for the natural ones to form.
5. Use the Right Products
Hair products also play a role in the formation of thick locs. Unfortunately, not all products with locs or dreadlocks on the label are good for your locs.
Avoid inorganic products that can lead to unnecessary buildup in your locs. Instead, use natural products such as aloe vera gel. In addition, only use sulfate-free shampoo when washing your hair. However, avoid shampooing your locs frequently. Once every 1–2 weeks should be enough.
6. Change Your Diet
Though usually ignored, maintaining a healthy diet is important when growing thick locs. Your hair needs nutrients to grow, so ensure you get plenty of proteins, vitamins and minerals.
While at it, remember to eat fresh fruits and vegetables and increase your water intake. Be healthy on the inside to see positive external results!
7. Only Retwist the Roots
As your hair continues to grow, you don’t have to retwist the whole loc as most of it is already locked. Instead, focus on the roots where the hair growth is.
To retwist the roots, begin by applying a small amount of a styler. Next, twist the hair using your index finger and the thumb until it flattens on your scalp.
Maintenance and Care Tips for Thick Locs
Proper care and maintenance are essential, no matter the style. Maintenance not only keeps your hairstyle tidy and durable, it also protects your hair from damage. Here are a few tips to keep your thick locs thicker and stronger.
1. Regular Washing
We recommend washing your thick locs regularly if you want to keep them neat and tidy. Unlike normal, which you can’t brush or comb, locs tend to trap more dirt and product buildup.
Avoid washing your hair using heavy products that build up in your locs. Instead, use natural products that are easy to clean and also promote hair growth.
Furthermore, always use sulfate-free shampoo when washing your thick locs. Avoid shampoos that leave residue in your locs, leading to dryness and itchiness of the scalp.
2. Keep Your Locs Dry
After washing your thick locs, be sure to completely dry them. Thick locs are notorious for absorbing lots of water, which can result in unpleasant odor. Try to squeeze as much water as possible out of your locs before allowing them to air dry.
3. Moisturize Your Locs
You also want to prevent your thick locs from drying and becoming brittle. If you know your hair is prone to dryness, make extra effort to ensure that your locs are always moisturized. You can use light leave-conditioners every few days to keep the locs healthy and hydrated.
As usual, avoid heavy products that build up in your locs. Only use products that don’t subject your hair to breakage.
4. Avoid Frequent Retwisting
Retwisting your locs ensures they remain neat and tidy as your hair continues to grow. However, frequent retwists might actually be bad for your thick locs. To be safe, consider retwisting your locs once every 4–6 weeks to prevent hair damage caused by tight twists.
5. Trim Your Locs
Trimming your thick locs can help remove the split ends which occur when your locs are dry or damaged. Trimming also helps in achieving a consistent locs length, resulting in a neater and tidy look.
6. Protect Your Locs When Sleeping
Your sleeping habits also need to change if you want to keep your thick locs thicker and stronger. You can always wrap your head in a silk or satin scarf since these materials help with moisture retention.
They also prevent friction and rubbing between your thick locs and the bed, thus reducing hair damage. If you don’t have a silk or satin scarf, use a pillowcase of the same materials.
Best Thick Locs Hairstyles
Besides their durability, thick locs are relatively flexible. If you are looking for ways to wear your thick longs, check out these trendy styles that you should definitely try out.
This is probably the most low-maintenance locs style you can try with your thick locs. As the name implies, it’s all about letting your hair grow naturally without the assistance of hair products and little to no manipulation.
2. High Bun
High buns don’t disappoint If you plan on making a bold statement. They are pretty easy to style, especially if your thick locs are long enough. As for occasion, you can walk into any formal or casual event with your head held high.
3. Half Up, Half Down
This flexible style allows you to show off your thick locs while also benefiting from moving them away from your face. You can put them up or pull them away but still show off other features, such as their thickness.
4. Side Swept
The side swept style is a good choice for both casual and formal looks. You can use a few locs as a hair tie, then let the rest of the locs over one shoulder. Even better, quickly craft some loc braids into one large braid that flows over one shoulder.
5. Braided Crown
Instead of reminding everyone at the prom or wedding that you are the queen, let your thick locs do the talking.
A ponytail is a nice way to pull your thick locs from your face and let your face draw the attention. You can go for a low or high ponytail depending on the desired result and length of your locs.
7. Double Buns
This is a cute and fun way of wearing your thick locs. It involves twisting and pulling your thick locs into two buns on top of your head. Double buns are perfect for experimentation and will definitely draw attention wherever you go.
8. Fishtail Braid
Braiding locs is pretty easy since they are already divided in neat and solid sections. If you are looking for a stunning style that is easy to braid, try the fishtail braid. They are gorgeous and perfect for any occasion.
9. Twisted Locs
Combine the protective powers of dreads and twists to enhance your thick locs. You can leave the twisted locs to hang loose or twist them into a beautiful bun at the back of your head.
10. Bangs Locs
Bangs have become a trendy addition to locs styles. You can sweep the bangs on the side or leave them in front of your face. This gorgeous style is perfect for various occasions.
We hope the article has provided you with an idea of what’s needed to grow thick locs. Thick locs are durable, easy to maintain and generally great to look at. Besides, they are just as flexible as normal locs.
If you are starting out or already on your journey to thick locs, drink lots of water, maintain a healthy diet and use the right products. Don’t get discouraged if your locs are not thickening fast enough. Be patient!