What To Do If Your Starter Locs Unravel?

What to do if your starter locs unravel

Being crucial for anyone on their locs journey, starter locs is the foundation of locs. It determines the final result of locs afterward. Starter locs refers to the beginning phase of locking hair. It provides excellent hair growth and a little hair loss. There is no need to manage hair frequently because it is a permanently protective style. The hair strands experience less deterioration which just lets your hair grow and thrive. Before starting the process, a lot of thoughts are put behind. Like any intricate process, starting locs requires a lot of care and attention.

One of the challenges many new loc wearers face is the possibility of their starter locs unraveling. It can be disheartening to see your hard work seemingly come undone. But it is very common and there are practical solutions to solve it.So, you may be curious to know: What To Do If Your Starter Locs Unravel? I will explore the reasons behind unraveling starter locs and help you with step by step guide to going through this phase with confidence!

Starter Locs: 9 Factors That Make It Unravel

Starter locs, also known as “baby locs” is the early stage of the locs hairstyle. The locs are small and coiled twists. When someone decides to start growing locs, they begin with this initial phase. It gradually transforms into mature locs. During this period, the hair is usually in its natural state or minimally manipulated to encourage the strands to form into individual locs. The process of creating starter locs can be different based on hair texture and the result, but it involves one of the methods like comb coils, braids, two-strand twists, freeform locs, interlocking, and loc extensions. Following are 9 factors responsible for the unraveling of starter locs.

Starter locs: 9 factors that make it unravel
Starter locs: 9 factors that make it unravel

1. Lack of Initial Formation Without Delay

One of the main reasons behind the unraveling of starter locs is that the locs were not initially formed properly without any delay. You must ensure that your locs are started at once which provides you with a solid foundation to start with. An incorrect start will put them on the wrong path.

2. Lack of Right Techniques

Starter locs will start to unravel if those were made too loose or not started with the right techniques. Therefore, it’s crucial that you use the right technique and that your locs are secure from the start. This will prevent them from unraveling and also make your beginning locs look cleaner. To prevent unraveling and keep locs looking neater, the right techniques are essential.

3. Lack of Proper Drying

Lack of proper drying is another factor in unraveling. You can twist dry hair and let your locs completely air dry after maintenance to avoid adding too much moisture, which could compromise their structure.

4. Lack of Good Maintenance

Your locs will naturally become weak at the root as your hair grows out, which will cause them to unravel. This is the point where good maintenance becomes essential. You may prevent unraveling in the future by routinely retwisting the starter locs and using suitable products. Good maintenance is needed for removing the possibility of unraveling. A locking gel can help in the process.

5. Hair Texture and Type

How well your starter locs hold may depend on the texture and type of your hair. The texture of the hair is a bit softer during this stage of locs, and it makes the process hard. Again, some hair types are more prone than others to unraveling. If you have fine or straight hair, this would be the situation. Your hair’s behavior and the ease with which your locs unravel can both be influenced by genetics

6. Application of Chemicals

The application of chemicals on hair may also harm your locs. Many products on the market contain chemicals that can be harmful to your hair. They can make your starter locs unravel by weakening them in this way.

7. Frequent Heating of the Locs

Many people heat their starter locs very frequently. But heating your locs might damage those causing unraveling. Usually, this occurs as a person uses a hair dryer to dry their hair. In general, you should never use a hair dryer to dry off your locs.

8. Environmental Conditions

The long-lastingness of your locs may be impacted by external factors like humidity or water exposure. Moisture is necessary for the health of your locs, but it must be balanced. Your locs may expand and unravel if there is too much heat or dampness. So, give your locs protection from too much heat and moisture.

9. Buildup of Dirt and Products

Your locs will gradually fill with dirt and product buildup, which is normal for any hairstyle. Your starter locs could become loose and unravel if you let this buildup persist without washing. So, make sure to use the right products that are suitable for your hair type. Do not use heavy oils, gels, or creams which can result in buildup.

What To Do If Your Starter Locs Unravel: Step-By-Step Guide

What to do if your starter locs unravel: Step-by-step guide
What to do if your starter locs unravel: Step-by-step guide

It is completely natural to experience some form of unraveling during the starting stage of your locs. It is necessary to practice careful maintenance to reduce the risk of your locs unraveling. The proper maintenance of starter locs is necessary and it should be your topmost priority to ensure a healthy formation and growth of your locs. Starter locs can unravel at the roots, at the middle, or at the ends. But it will be very tough if starter locs unravel at the roots or the ends. Let’s discuss in detail what to do if starter locs unravel!

At the Roots: 3 Ways

If your starter locs unravel at the roots, follow these ways to prevent it.

  1. Go for Low Manipulation: Your locs will unravel from the roots due to excessive manipulation. If you touch, tug, style, or wash those frequently, it will make the locs loose and cause those to unravel at the roots. As a result, you must be patient with your locs and refrain from over-manipulating them, especially in the beginning while they are still emerging. Go for low manipulation styles, reduce the frequent touching and retwisting of locs, and avoid tight hairstyles. Be sure to be very gentle with your locs throughout the process.
  2. Create a Strong Foundation: A strong foundation is necessary to prevent the unraveling of starter locs. If there is a loose twist, it denotes a weak foundation. So, you should not create loose twists. Create a strong foundation between each interlock or palm roll during the initial stage of starter locs. It helps the starting locs to look neater and resist the locs from unraveling.
  3. Keep Up Regular Retightening: As hair grows, the roots of starter locs become looser naturally, which makes them unravel. The starting locs must be retightened again every 4 to 6 weeks.

At the Middle: 3 Ways

If your starter locs unravel in the middle, follow these ways to prevent it.

  1. Give Enough Moisturization to Hair: One of the reasons for the unraveling of your starter locs is dryness. Ensure enough moisturization with water-based hydrating products to reduce the chances of unraveling, such as oils or leave-in conditioners. You can give enough moisturization to your hair either by spraying water using a spray bottle or by pouring a little water from a water bottle in the hands and finally patting those on the starter locs. While the first process can more effectively moisturize hair.
  2. Avoid Tight Hairstyles: Tight hairstyles are not good for starter locs. The locs experience considerable tension from tight hairstyles, especially in the middle. It weakens and breaks the locs. The main cause of unraveling locs is the breakdown of hair strands inside the locs. It leaves gaps and holes in the middle of the locs. So, it is very important to avoid tight hairstyles to prevent the unraveling of locs.
  3. Avoid Excessive Use of Products: The excessive use of products in the starting loc stage might make the locs heavy and stiff from buildup. The reason behind it is that you want to wash the locs with less manipulation throughout the process. While butter and oils are good for fresh locs, using too much of either one can promote buildup and quick unraveling. Avoid using clarifying shampoos, strong styling products, and alcohol-based products because they can dry out your hair and give it a thin texture.

At the Ends: 3 Ways

If your starter locs unravel at the ends, follow these ways to prevent it.

  1. Palm Roll the Ends: Before the maintenance period of starter locs appear, those start to unravel. For preventing the unraveling of your locs, you can palm roll the ends of starter locs. Simply in a circular motion roll the ends of locs with your palms. This method holds the hair in place and prevents it from unraveling.
  2. Apply Suitable Products: Some products can also help in preventing the unraveling of starter locs. For example, a locking gel is formulated to support the locking process and keep the hair in place. At the ends of the locs you can also use a little hair adhesive. To prevent the loc ends from unraveling, some people knot those using rubber bands. If a rubber band is excessively tight, it can be harmful to the hair, whereas a little hair glue does not. Be careful while using rubber bands since excessively tight rubber bands might harm hair.
  3. Give Protection to Locs at Night: During the night, cover your starter locs with a satin scarf, hat, or pillowcase. These accessories lessen the possibility of your hair unraveling and frizzing at the ends by preventing friction between your hair and bedding. You may also go for a satin hat or scarf as these keep the locs so that they do not catch any dirt. So, it is crucial to know how to stop starting locs from unraveling at the ends since it will help to prevent split ends.

Suggestions for the Maintenance of Starter Locs

Follow these suggestions to maintain your starter locs.

  1. Give protection to the starter locs from extra heat and moisture.
  2. Air dry the locs instead of drying those with an electric dryer.
  3. Use a scarf or bonnet made of silk or satin at the time of sleeping.
  4. Make sure that the locs are not dropping moisture in large amounts.
  5. Use natural oils such as coconut oil, olive oil, etc to maintain moisture.
  6. Wash the starter locs after every 3 to 4 weeks.
  7. Use hair products in smaller amounts.
  8. Do not use deep conditioners in the starter loc stage.
  9. Follow up with a skilled stylist or loctician who offers a customized starter method for your locs.


1. Will my starter loc unravel if I wash my hair?

Yes. When you wash your starter locs, those could start to unravel. It is a wonderful idea to retwist them. Be sure to wait until your locs are totally dry after washing your hair before beginning to work on it.

2. Is it normal for starter locs to flatten?

There are several ways to part your hair to starter locs. While if you opt to use a more rectangular form, you run the risk of developing flat locs. As your hair will naturally try to twist, a rectangular form at the roots will be more likely to become flat.

3. Is it OK to touch your starter locs?

Starter locs are styled to maintain their shape until they require retwisting during the locs formation stage. As a result, starter locs are most fragile in this stage. So, it is necessary to stop touching your hair frequently and let it naturally appear.

4. How long do starter locs last?

Depending on the hair type and speed of growth, the starter stage of the loc process can take anywhere from three to six months. You can start your locs in a variety of forms, including braids, two-strand twists, comb coils, and palm rolls.

5. How long does it take to unravel locs?

The procedure for Dreadlock Removal can be completed within a few hours or weeks. Based on several factors, the time fluctuates greatly.

Final Thoughts

The journey of starter locks is not only exciting but also transformative. As the locs mature, they will become tighter and more defined, eventually forming the fully developed locs hairstyle. If the starter locs unravel, it can make anyone uninterested to continue the loc journey. There are 9 factors that cause the unraveling of starter locs. Try to avoid those to promote healthy locs formation so that the locs develop and mature beautifully.

Your starter locs can unravel at the roots, at the middle, or even at the ends and there are different ways to handle the unraveling. Following the ways is essential to ensure strong, beautiful, and well-established locs. So, with the necessary tips and tricks for unraveling starter locs, you can now continue to embrace the beauty and uniqueness of your locs journey!

Key Points

  • Starter locs, also known as baby locs, are the early stages of locs hairstyle, consisting of small, coiled twists. They gradually transform into mature locs, with hair being natural or minimally manipulated.
  • Starter locs unravel due to lack of initial formation without delay, lack of right techniques, lack of proper drying, lack of good maintenance, hair texture, and type, application of chemicals, frequent heating of the locs, environmental conditions, and buildup of dirt and products.
  • Starter locs start to unravel if those are too loose or not started with the right techniques.
  • How well your starter locs hold may depend on the texture and type of your hair.
  • Starter locs can unravel at the roots, at the middle, or the ends while taking care of unraveling of starter locs at the roots or at the ends will be difficult.
  • Go for low manipulation, create a strong foundation, or keep up regular retightening to prevent starter locs unravel at the roots. While palm roll the ends, apply suitable products or give protection to locs at night to prevent starter locs unravel at the ends.
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