Dear Locs: How To Remove Buildup From Your Locs!

What do we do initially when we feel like our locs are dry?


We typically add our favorite product that we feel will moisturize our locs. But, what happens when we add our favorite product which really isn’t good for our locs? It starts weighing your locs down, especially when we use the product excessively. Before we realize, our locs are suffering from build-up.


Buildup occurs when we add product on top of the product, believing it will prevent dryness, when in fact, it just makes your locs even dryer and looks dirty. What looks like a thick, pasty substance are embedded in your locs. The longer the buildup sits in your locs, the harder it becomes to wash out. For those with really long locs, it’ll feel as if you’re carrying a bag of rocks. What is really gross is that you can actually get mildew in your locs, causing a horrible odor and bacteria inside your locs.


How to get rid of buildup

The FIRST thing we’d suggest is going to your professional loctician regularly since she/he is experienced in removing buildup. However, if you choose not to, there are safe and cheaper alternatives to removing the buildup yourself.

Dishwasing liquid– Products like Joy & Dawn dishwashing liquids that eats through grease is the trick to getting rid of buildup. It could be a lengthy process, depending on how thick the buildup is. You’d have to fill your sink with lukewarm water and the dishwashing liquid. If you’re suffering from YEARS of buildup, use boiling water but remember not to apply the water directly to your scalp to prevent burning. Dip your locs in the water and let them sit until the buildup starts breaking.


Apple Cidar Vinegar Rinse– After you’ve successfully removed the buildup or at least most of it, an ACV rinse should follow, ensuring the removal of any leftover dirt &/or buildup from the initial process. ACV, particularly the Bragg’s brand, is the “go to” deep-cleaning solution because of its ingredients and their stripping capabilities. Fill your sink with lukewarm water only, then apply some baking soda and the ACV. You will hear sizzling as if you’re concocting a school chemistry project. Dip your locs in the sin and soak your locs for at least 10 minutes. Once you take them out, you’ll be surprised, as well as disgusted, with the brown murky water sitting in your sink. Repeat this process until your water becomes less brown. Unfortunately, ACV rinses could dry your locs, so it’s important to moisturize after washing with a clarifying shampoo. Moisturize with a leave-in conditioner that is not heavy or waxy, then let your locs air dry.  We’d recommend doing ACV rinses once every six months.


Products that cause buildup– Of course, in order to prevent buildup, we have to stay away from products that causes it. That includes any product with petroleum, ie. gels, waxes, and creams that don’t easily absorb into our locs. Opt for more natural products and essential oils for moisture. Your locs will thank you 🙂 LOcs + natural oils = gorgeous and healthier locs. i.e; vitamin E oil, Castor oil, coconut oil, & olive are just a few we love for locs.