How Often Should I Oil My Starter Locs?

How often should I oil my starter locs

Lock hairstyles are popular hairstyles in which the sections of hairs are separated and the starter lock is the early stage or foundation of your locks. During this growth phase, taking care of your starter locs is important and one of the most effective ways of doing so has been putting oil on the hair to moisturize it. There are so many hair styling products available for dying or creating different designs and patterns on hair. Besides the products, people are also going for different treatments.

So, how often should I oil my starter locks? Starter locks are the baby locks that get matured with time. The locks need to keep moisturized and hydrated. As a result, they require some oils or moisturizing products. Oiling is very important because it keeps the lock healthy and soft. The frequency of oiling depends on your hair type, hair care routine, washing frequency, and so on. This article will provide you with some alternative ways or tips that can help you maintain healthy starter locks.

What are Starter Locks?

What are starter locks
What are starter locks

Starter locks are the foundation of your locks that determine the outcome of your locks. This is the beginning phase of locking your hair. This is why, the starter locks are also called ‘baby locks’. This phase can last from 3-6 months depending on the hair growth and hair texture.

This is the initial phase and early stage of the process where the hair is sanctioned. This is the foundation of fully-formed dreadlocks. Starter locks are the phase where the hairs are not fully locked rather the individual sections are separated. With time, the locks become more defined and resulted in more mature and traditional locks. The starter lock may last from three to six months which depend on your hair type. For getting your starter locks, you need to part your hair into different sections. The thickness and length of your hair will decide the size of your sections.

How Often Should You Oil Your Starter Locks?

How often should you oil your starter locks
How often should you oil your starter locks

Oiling the locks is necessary to retain the moisture and maintain proper hydration of your locks. Generally, it is recommended to oil your locks once a week to moisturize the starter locks. But, when you know your hair’s individual needs, it is time to change your oiling routine according to the hair’s requirements.

There will be customized hair care or oiling routines that will be different from one another based on their hair type and lock needs. There is no one-size-fits-for-all recommendation when it comes to oiling your starter locks. Depending on the hair type or hair care routine, it will vary and you need to choose your preferred oil routine. When you start your locks, generally it is recommended to oil once a week. When you experience dry and dusty hair, try twice a week. On the other hand, if you find that oiling has resulted in greasy and unnatural locks, oil just once a month. You need to find out what works best for you and not the others.

3 Factors to Consider Before Oiling Your Starter Locks

3 factors to consider before oiling your starter locks
3 factors to consider before oiling your starter locks

Your oiling routine of starter locks depends on some of the major factors:

1. Your hair type

First and foremost, it depends on the hair type to decide your oiling routine. Some people’s hair requires more oil because they have signs of dryness while others’ locks are naturally moisturized. So, they don’t require more oil to moisturize their locks.

2. Washing Frequency

Oiling the starter locks also depends on your wash day frequency. If you wash your hair very frequently, you need to oil your starter locks more often. Because washing will reduce the moisture of the locks. On the other hand, if you wash your hair less, you can oil your hair less.

3. Your Hair Care Routine

There are different types of oils to moisturize your starter locks. If you use heavier oils or products, you require fewer oiling sessions. If your oils are lighter, then you may need to increase your oiling session.

The Problem with Over-Oiling Your Starter Locks

Oiling your locks is very important because it helps to maintain the moisture and hydration of your skin. But, this does not mean oiling your locks unnecessarily. Excessive oiling is never recommended. Rather it may lead to some major problems.

Over-oiled starters are more likely to attract dust and dirt that can create buildup. The buildups can further cause itching and irritation to your scalp and locks. Over-oiling can also cause fungal or bacterial infections. Your starter locks may also get weakened from over-oiling. Excessive oil can make your locks heavier which put stress on your roots. The weight can further cause root thinning and finally lead to the loss of your starter locks.

5 Alternative Ways to Moisture Your Starter Locks

5 alternative ways to moisture your starter locks
5 alternative ways to moisture your starter locks

Oiling is a great way to keep your locks healthy and moisturized. But, oiling may not be suitable for all. So, they need to follow some other ways to moisturize their locks:

  1. Apply a leave-in conditioner: People who face problems with oils can go for a leave-in conditioner. This can help to reduce dryness and can add extra moisture to your locks.
  2. Use More Natural Products:  Some hair oils may contain ingredients like sulfates or alcohol that are harsh for your locks. In that case, take a break from these ingredients and go for more gentle and natural products to moisturize your locks.
  3. Wash Your Locks Less Frequently: If you want to skip oiling, wash your hair very less. Because washing will scrape away the oils and moisture of your hair. So, maintain a good wash session and implement that.
  4. Drink More water: For keeping your locks hydrated, it is very important to up your internal water intake. Drink more water and consume foods like fruits and vegetables more as they are high in water.
  5. Use Aloe Vera Juice: Aloe Vera gel is a natural ingredient that is very effective in locking the moisture of the locks. People use it because of its hydration benefits. If oil is not suitable for your locks, apply some aloe vera juice on your starter locks and see the result of your own.

8 Tips to Care for Your Starter Locks

Your starter locks require more care besides the oiling sessions. Here are some tips to maintain healthy starter locks:

  1. Commit to monthly retwists:  You do not need to shampoo your hair very often with the starter locks. It is recommended to deep cleanse your locks and retwist them to keep them clean.
  2. Wear a Silk or Satin Scarf While Asleep: For preventing lock breakage, wear a silk scarf while you are asleep. This will keep your locks soft and moisturized.
  3. Say “No” to tight styles: Do not put too much stress or pressure on your starter locks. Because tight styles may lead to breakage and scalp damage.
  4. Keep them moisturized: Keep your starter locks dry and moisturized. The frequency depends on the need for your starter locks. Moisturize only when they feel dry. You can use aloe vera juice, natural herbs, and essential oils to moisturize the locks and promote growth.
  5. Oil scalp weekly: You do not need to over-oil your scalp. Oil your scalp once or twice a week to keep it healthy and moisturized. Limit the oiling because it may lead to other problems. While choosing the oils, choose the lighter ones.
  6. Use a net or mesh cap while washing: While washing your locks, use a net or mesh cap that can work as a preventive measure for your locks. Be careful while washing your locks. Use your fingers to massage the shampoo and the scalp. Gently run your fingers and rinse thoroughly with water.
  7. Don’t Style Starter Locs Too Often or Retwist Tightly:  Limit styling your starter locks. Let them breathe and form naturally. Retwist them once a month and do not retwist them too tightly. Because this may result in weaker starter locks and they will be more prone to breakage.
  8. Avoid heavy styling agents: Avoid products that contain beeswax or other heavy agents. Because heavy products can create buildup and cause weaker roots. This will further cause breakage and damage to your hair. You can use aloe vera juice which is water-based and light-weight.


1. What oil should I use on my starter locks?

Use natural oils like coconut oil, olive oil, castor oil, etc. The natural oils work best to prevent your locks from becoming dry and help maintain your moisture.

2. What makes starter locks grow faster?

The increased level of blood circulation is very important to keep your locks healthy. Massage your scalp regularly as this will increase the blood flow of your scalp. Also, add pumping nutrients to make the locks grow faster.

3. Should I wet my starter locks?

You should not wet or wash your locks for the first two or four weeks. This may lead to lose of hair and it can also affect the appearance of your dreads. You can wet or wash your dreads after a month has passed.

4. Why are my starter locks getting thicker?

The thickness of your starter locks depends on the density, texture, or size of your locks. The starter locks are immature but when they get mature, they become a little thicker and stronger.

5. How do you tell if your locks are dry?

Dry locks can have a brittle and dull appearance.  The lack of moisture makes the locks easily break because they become more prone to breakage and split.

Final Thoughts

The starter lock is the baby phase of the lock’s development. These are the dreadlocks in the beginning stage. With time, the locks become more defined and mature. It is very important to keep your locks hydrated and moisturized. For this, oiling the locks is very important. The frequency of oiling depends on some factors like your hair type, wash day frequency, hair care routine, and so on. Over-oiling is never recommended as it can cause other significant problems to the starter locks or the scalp. Some people have sensitive skin or allergic problems. As a result, they can go for other natural alternatives to moisture the starter locks.

Key Points

  • Starter locks are the baby locks that determine the outcome of the locks.
  • The individual sections are separated in this process and we get more defined and mature locks from the starter locks.
  • Oiling is very important for the locks to keep the moisture and maintain the hydration of the starter locks.
  • Consider your hair type, washing frequency, and hair care routine before oiling your locks to get the best results from it.
  • You may also use a leave-in-conditioner or some natural products to keep the moisture of your starter locks.
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