How Long Does Relaxed Hair Take to Loc?

How long does relaxed hair take to loc? Most people will say you cannot transition from relaxed hair to dreadlocks. However, that is not true. It is possible. But keep in mind the transition will be more difficult and will take longer than transitioning from natural hair.

Transitioning from relaxed hair to mature locs can take 18 – 24 months, depending on hair type, growth rate, and the duration since you had the hair relaxed. 

Transitioning from chemically relaxed hair to locs is a significant decision that requires careful consideration and understanding. It’s essential to understand that relaxed hair is weak. For this reason, if your hair tends to break, it’s better to cut it and start with fresh, natural hair

This guide will delve into how long it takes for relaxed hair to loc. We will explore the process, discuss the pros and cons, and provide practical tips to help you navigate this transformative journey.

Can I Make Dreadlocks From Relaxed Hair?

Yes, it is possible to create dreadlocks from chemically relaxed hair. However, it’s important to note that relaxed hair’s transitioning process may differ from natural hair. Relaxed hair typically has a different texture and structure, which can influence the duration and outcome of the loc formation process.

Relaxed hair is usually weaker than natural hair due to damage sustained during the chemical process. And if you had brittle hair even before relaxing it, I wouldn’t recommend making dreadlocks. This is because locs require a strong foundation. Putting locs on such hair will be disastrous. 

Moreover, don’t start with newly relaxed hair to get the best locs from relaxed hair. Allow the hair at least two months for the chemical to dissipate naturally. The roots will be natural and will loc faster. As we have explained above, relaxed hair is weak and, at some point, will break off. However, we recommend trimming the locs as they grow, and you will eventually be left with natural hair locs. 

How Long Does Relaxed Hair Take to Loc?

The time it takes for relaxed hair to fully transition into locs varies based on several factors, including hair texture, length, maintenance practices, and individual hair growth rate. Generally, relaxed hair can take anywhere from 18 to 24 months to fully loc.

It’s important to understand that this timeline is not set in stone and can vary for each individual. For instance, 1-2b texture hair will take longer to loc than 4a-4b hair.

Pros and Cons of Locking Relaxed Hair

The best way to start locs is to do so with natural hair. In fact, most locticians usually refuse to install locs on relaxed hair.

But if you don’t want to cut off the relaxed hair, you just need to find the right person to do it. Otherwise, if you are a DIY person, you can check videos on Youtube and learn how to do it. However, before you start, weighing the pros and cons is vital to determine if it is the best decision. 

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  • Longer starter locs – Most people who start locs with relaxed hair do so to retain the length of their hair. This can be because of the attachment to the hair or just because they prefer longer hair. 


  • Possibility of breakage Relaxed hair is usually weak and tends to break. Starting locs with weak hair means the locs will break at some point, and it’s not worth it.
  • Locking takes longer and is difficult – When you start locs from natural hair, it takes about 12 months to have mature locs. However, starting with relaxed hair requires double the time and effort. 
  • Ununiformed locs – You should know that the locs made from relaxed hair will look different from the locs formed from natural nair. So, you’ll end up with the same strand of loc with two different textures. 

How Do You Know The Hair is Locking Up?

Several signs indicate that relaxed hair is progressing towards locking:

  • Formation of coils or twists at the roots: As the new growth emerges, it may naturally coil or twist, indicating the initiation of the loc formation process.
  • Increased resistance when combing or detangling: As the hair begins to lock, it becomes less smooth and more resistant to combing or detangling.
  • The appearance of small knots or matting: Over time, you may notice the formation of small knots or matting in the hair, a clear sign of loc development.
  • Progressively tighter and firmer texture in the new growth: The newly formed hair at the roots will gradually become tighter and firmer, differentiating itself from the relaxed hair.

Methods of Locking Relaxed Hair

If you still want to proceed after weighing the pros and cons of putting locs on relaxed hair, there are various methods you can use. First, it’s important to wash the hair multiple times with shampoo and conditioner to remove as much relaxer residue as possible.

Please note the hair will not loc immediately, this will be a long journey, but when done correctly, you will be amazed by the result. Here are locking methods you can use on relaxed hair. 

  • Backcombing – Involves teasing the hair into a knot by repeatedly stroking the hair strands.
  • Comb Coiling: This technique uses a fine-toothed comb to twist the hair into tight coils. It provides a structured starting point for the locs.
  • Two-Strand Twists: Sections of hair are twisted in a two-strand pattern, allowing the hair to naturally lock over time.
  • Interlocking: This method utilizes a specialized tool to thread the hair through existing locs, promoting interlocking and matting.
  • Crochet hooking – involves using a very small crochet hook to install locs. It makes a very tight setup.

Why Keep Relaxed Hair Instead of Cutting When Starting Locs?

Keeping relaxed hair when starting locs allows you to maintain length while transitioning to your desired loc length. This option is suitable for individuals who prefer to retain their hair length or have concerns about the aesthetics of shorter hair during the transition phase.

However, it’s important to note that the chemically treated hair will eventually need to be trimmed as the locs mature to ensure uniformity and strength.

When Should You Not Start Locs With Relaxed Hair?

There are certain situations when it may not be advisable to start locs with chemically relaxed hair:

  • Severely damaged hair: If your relaxed hair is significantly damaged or weakened, it is recommended to restore its health before starting the loc process. This helps minimize the risk of further damage and promotes successful loc formation.
  • Recent chemical treatments: If you have recently undergone a relaxer treatment, it’s advisable to wait until your natural hair has grown out sufficiently before beginning the loc journey. This allows for a smoother transition and reduces the risk of potential hair breakage.
  • Scalp issues: If you have scalp conditions that require immediate attention or ongoing treatment, it’s best to address these concerns before starting locs. A healthy scalp provides a better foundation for successful loc formation.

How Long Should I Wait to Wash Locs After Installation?

After installing locs, it’s generally recommended to wait at least two weeks before washing them. This initial waiting period allows the locs to settle and tighten, reducing the risk of unraveling.

 However, it’s important to maintain scalp hygiene during this time by using dry shampoos or astringent sprays specifically formulated for locs. After the initial waiting period, a regular cleansing routine should be established to keep the scalp and locs clean and healthy.

How to Care for Locs to Help Them Loc Faster

To promote the loc formation process and help your relaxed hair transition efficiently, consider the following care tips:

  • Regular maintenance: Consistently retwist, or palm roll the new growth every 4-6 weeks to encourage maturation and maintain the desired loc shape.
  • Proper cleansing: Regularly wash your locs with a residue-free shampoo to prevent product buildup, which can impede the loc formation process.
  • Moisturizing: Keep your locs moisturized with water-based products or natural oils to maintain the health and elasticity of your hair
  • Protecting at night: Sleep with a satin or silk scarf or use a satin pillowcase to minimize friction and prevent unraveling or frizzing of the locs.
  • Be patient and embrace the process: Loc formation is a journey that requires time and patience. Embrace each growth stage, celebrate small milestones, and appreciate the unique beauty of your transitioning hair.

Final Thought: How Long Does Relaxed Hair Take to Loc?

Transitioning from chemically relaxed hair to locs is an empowering journey that requires dedication, care, and patience. Understanding the process, considering the pros and cons, and following appropriate care practices are essential for a successful transition. 

So, how long does relaxed hair take to lock? Usually between 18 to 24 months. However, the length, hair texture, duration since you relaxed the hair, and growth rate will determine the period. Nonetheless, embrace the uniqueness of your hair, enjoy the transformative experience, and celebrate the beauty of your locs as they gradually mature over time.

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