Locticians and salons insist that locs need to be retwisted, often they suggest retwisting after every wash. Many suggest not washing your locs except every few months, when you make an appointment for a wash and retwist.
So why are they telling you that? And what is it they aren't telling you?
- Retwisting locs causes traction alopecia So what is traction alopecia? Traction alopecia is a form of balding caused by traction, another word for tension, or tightness. When the locs are retwisted tightly, it puts tension on the scalp. It does not need to be so tight it hurts, it just has to have tension, without relief over time. It takes about 3 months to recover from each retwisting, sometimes longer. The capillaries that feed the follicles are damaged, and the blood flow no longer reaches the root bulb, which dies, and will not grow back till blood flow is restored.
- Retwisting locs is just an excuse to take your money Often by the time traction alopecia is severe enough to have you concerned, you could have spent upwards of $10,000 to $20,000 and beyond. The worse part is, most continue to retwist after your balding, and they add in synthetic hair.
- Recovery from retwisting locs can take over a year, or become permanent Yes, there is a point of no return, after which only a hair transplant (costing over $15,000) will restore your hair. Even with the best recovery advice, it is possible to have thin or bald spots remain.
- Is retwisting ever safe? Is there ever a reason to retwist? Yes, and no. Salons and locticians create an unhealthy look and make you believe it should be desired. How? FEAR TACTICS yes, you will never get a job unless you keep them 'tidy' but they are the ones that are defining what tidy means. Unwashed for months with early stage balding. Yes, that is the tidy they tell you you need. Is it ever safe? well, if it is done twice a year, and not so tight as to expose the scalp, then it is perfectly safe. But is there a reason to? Do you have a reason to feel ashamed of having hair growing on your scalp like a mammal? Why let them tell you it is unsightly to have hair covering the scalp? The biggest lie of all, not 1 employer has ever said you need to have bald gaps between dreads.
Retwist and style
This is a triple threat!
The retwisting of the locs puts tension on them, then the styling twisted many locs together, very tightly, adding more tension. The locs are never allowed to hang free, each loc is pulled tightly into the style, and because they charge alot of money to do this, it is left in for long periods of time.
Notice the bald gaps with no hairs at all in them, are wider then the locs themselves!
Locticians plan ahead for balding. They make the sections much larger then the intended loc size. look at the photo to the left, imagine the hair between the locs was still thee. a healthy loc would be 4-5 times as thick as these!
On the right it looks like the head was shaved between locs. A normal head of hair has about 10 hairs per every 1 mm. All over this persons head there are 10-20 mm areas without a single living hair. Where did they all go? They died. Tension prevents the blood from flowing to the root, the only living part of the hair, without blood, the root dies, and will not grow back (have no fear until it is very bad, you can save them, just takes a long time)
Below the locs is an undercut, which is fine, however it is a very patchy undercut. Most likely the undercut was the result of dreads being lost, then just chopped off.
Locticians cause this on purpose! They make you think it should be desired.
And, 99% do not possess the ethics to stop doing it when thinning has already begun. There are a very small number of locticians who will refuse to style locs when they are thinning.
This is the most shocking example I have ever witnessed. Notice even with this extreme damage, the poor woman's sitting in a salon chair, having her locs retwisted!
You can clearly see the lines of tension, the sections were many times bigger then the locs. In fact, I would suspect that this particular loctician twisted several locs together once the thinning started.
The loctician is also styling them in a way to hide the baldness, most likely she had a style like the 1 above tat caused thinning mostly at the top. Now wearing it up all the time to hide the balding will only cause thinning around the back next.
This is beyond hope of repair. But if she had stopped retwisting before it got to this stage, the proper thing to do would be wear them loose, no tension on them at all, not pulled back, or tied up, (if long and heavy loosely stuffed in a tam to keep the weight off is good)
Saving retwisted locs and recovering from traction alopecia
The 1st thing to do is a no brainer, and should be enough for many of you reading this.
For most who only retwist about every 3-5 months, that might be the only thing you need to do.
Restoring blood flow for more severe cases:
Most loc wearers who trust locticians do not even notice the traction alopecia until locs fall off, or large bald spots appear. Remember, all this time they were telling you you should be causing traction alopecia cause that is "neat" "tidy" or "fresh". So early stages of traction alopecia are praised, and glorified. They even use it to advertise!
It's just my parts, is often the excuse used by those who want to ignore the problem. (Parts still have 10 hairs per mm and don't get wider over time). So often the issue is ignored, even defended till it has become a more serious issue.
At that point more aggressive actions are needed to correct the problem.
Scalp massage technique for traction alopecia
For several minutes each day massage the scalp deeply, the proper technique is to kneed the scalp, as if your trying to loosen the scalp from the skull. In fact, if you are doing it right after a 5 minute session it should indeed feel like the scalps softer, looser, and possibly a little tingly.
Herbs that stimulate blood flow to the scalp, promote hair growth, and help recover from traction alopecia
Basil, and most likely other members of the mint family, along with sage and rosemary all promote blood flow to the scalp. They also stimulate hair growth. Make a rinse out of these herbs, either as a tea, or a few drops of each essential oil in alot of water. Pour over head after each wash.
Calamus Root, should never be taken internally, but for more severe cases you can make a paste of it and apply it directly to the scalp
Vitamins and nutrition
Biotin is a vitamin that helps promote hair growth, but takes time to become effective. Take 10,000-15,000 mcg of biotin a day. After 3 months taking it daily your hair will grow faster, and stronger. Biotin is found in prenatal vitamins and hair and nail vitamins, or can be purchased as just biotin alone.
Eat good. Calcium and protein are the building blocks of hair, without enough hair becomes weak or grows slowly. Non animal forms are just fine. I have been vegetarian for 38 years and my hair grows like crazy!
Other factors in recovery from retwisting
Keep the tension off! I know it might be embarrassing if your traction alopecia has progressed to moderate stage, but resist the urge to style them or pull them back or up. Leave them hanging loose and free. Long heavy dreads however the weight might not be enough to cause traction alopecia, but might be enough to slow recovery. So wear them up LOOSELY in a tam.
Don't stress! Stress causes thinning on it's own, stressing over thinning will only cause more thinning.
Be patient. Depending how far the conditions progressed, it could take up to, and even over a year to recover.
And finally, the most important lesson of all.
Break free of the brainwashing. Why is it "untidy" to have hair growing on your head where it belongs?
This is one of our beautiful members here, who has never retwisted in her life.Notice her hairlines where hairlines should be, and the scalp is covered with the same stuff that used to cover yours.... Hair!
The locks (yes it is actually spelled with a k, they changed the spelling just to make healthy locks shameful) are thick from root to tip, instead of getting progressively thinner closer to the scalp. In fact, each lock is still pretty close to the size of the section. with no hair loss between.
"Brainwashing? I'm not brainwashed, I just like neat locs" might have run through your head. In fact, as I wrote it I heard many of you thinking just that.
But lets examine that next.
When unhealthy is prized as beauty and becomes epidemic
Many a young girl has had to deal with eating disorders when an extremely unhealthy "skinny girl' ideal of beauty pushes them to stop eating, right up till organ failure.
Women wanting a bigger butt have injected fixaflat and cement into their rears, and ended up dead.
In china for centuries women's feet were broken and bound, their toes curled under to become a part of the sole.
All these things were done to fit an artificial, and very unhealthy idea of beauty. Each example, like locticians causing traction alopecia purposefully, are medical conditions being caused BECAUSE SOMEONE ELSE SUGGESTED THAT IS WHAT BEAUTY IS.
That's right, you wern't born thinking "i'd like to lose my hair someday" no, the idea that traction alopecia is to be desired was put in your mind..by them
Unless you have healthy dreads you might not be familiar with this term, (and I apologize in advance, but it is the term many locticians use) shitlocks. They make you look down on all dreads that didn't cost thousands.
Let me share a personal story, I was at the beach, a group of about 15 people were surrounding me saying they never saw hair as beautiful as mine. (mine are very long so i get that all the time) A loctician walks up, with obviously synthetic "dreads" and says "your dreads are a mess I can fix them for you"
Point is, literally everyone I meet says my dreads are amazing, but every single loctician I ever met said "you look like you haven't bathed in a year".
Here is the irony! Every last person who goes to locticians I have to tell them to wash their hair! They are literally afraid to! Many locticians will tell you not to wet or wash the hair for a full year, then only once every 2-4 months when you make an appointment for a retwist.
How hair becomes locs or locks
Hair doesn't simply grow from the scalp already locked, if it did, you'd need a mighty big hole in your head for it to grow out of! No, it grows from the scalp as normal everyday loose hairs. When those hairs get long enough to tangle, that is exactly what they do. And that is where locks come from. Loose hairs are a part of having dreads, they don't stay loose forever, they find their way into a lock, all on their own.
What is the opposite of loose hairs? Well we just wen't over that.. No hairs.
The quest to eradicate every last loose hair works all too well, and those loose hairs simply die and don't grow back.
If you have been retwisting and now have thinning, join the site, we can help.
Traction alopecia statistics in the African American community.
African Americans are not the only community that is prone to traction alopecia due to hairstyle choices, but may have the largest numbers affected.
- 40% of all African Americans have had traction alopecia in their lifetimes, regardless of hairstyle choices.
- Of those who routinely wore braids, cornrows, weaves, and salon maintained locs, this is more like (estimated) 95%
- Children as young as 6 or 8 have had traction alopecia
- Last year approximately 50,000 19 year olds (just counting 19 year olds only) had to receive hair transplants costing thousands of dollars.
African hair is beautiful, with a unique texture all it's own. It is something to be proud of! Yet the very people you trust to care for your hair try to make you ashamed of its texture.
Enough so that they make you willing to sacrifice the health of your hair, and risk going bald.. over what? that itty bitty lil fro?
African hair dreads very short, no loose hairs get very long, they just cover the glaring scalp the salons glorify.
Try being Caucasian! haha Caucasian loose hairs tend to get to 4-6 inches before dreading.
But is that unsightly? Or, simply a healthy mane.
27 years growing dreadlocks the natural way
My dreads are over 10 feet long
also on the board of, and a student glider pilot with freedoms wings international - soaring for people with disabilities
updated by @soaring-eagle: 12/09/18 06:25:35PM