Phenomenal . . .

Phenomenal . . .
Life, Growth, and Connection (This sunflower was nourished by my hands.) 2010; Photography by Benita Blocker. Please become a follower of this blog.

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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Lock Buds: Remove Them or Not?

Some locticians remove these buds that sometimes form at the end of locks. The buds are actually welcomed by others because they mean the hair is not going to unravel out of the locking framework. Sometimes lock clients will remove these buds without the loctician's permission because they (the client) don't like them.

Pictured are some of the buds that I saved from my lock tightening with my third Sisterlocks certified consultant. She went through ripping as many of the buds off of my locks as she could.  I did not request this type of lock grooming, but she insisted that the buds are not supposed to be there.  I lost some length because of her ripping them off with her hands.  In hindsight, I realized that she should have just went through with shears and snipped what she wanted removed.

Now, jumping forward to present day, most of my locks have coiled back up and formed buds again.  Why?  I believe that it is my hair's natural behavior to "roll up and park."  So removing the buds at the end of locks where the client's hair naturally coils into itself is a waste of time and money.  

There are exceptions.  If the buds are too large to feed through the root of the lock without ripping the whole lock out of the head during an interlock tightening then the bud needs to be trimmed or reshaped to maintain the integrity of the lock.

Lock grooming is usually a separate session from the tightening session.

Also, I think the budding at the end of the locks are more synonymous with the interlocking method versus the twisting of locks.  The interlocking method actually uncoils the hair allowing the shedded strands to drop down the locking framework of the lock and rest at the ends.

As for me, I am okay with my buds at my ends.  Some may fall off on their own.  If not, it is all good with me!


  1. Oh, my i must get to work i could stay lost in your blog. Those arent buds. They may have been hair balls that will contribute to the sealed ends with your soon to be mature locks-if left alone. buds form along the shaft of the lock. These hair balls are necessary for the sealing of the locks and yes they are unique to certain hair types. I cut back my first set multiple times and it happens as the hair drops from the scalp, down the length of the lock. Some get trapped in the matrix. Others, release, others dangle. Mine always come back and thicken up at the ends. Eventually as locks mature they get thin. I had locks 7 years. That maturity can be seen after year 7. Bothers me that you went through this.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind reply. It bothers me too that the consultant went through ripping my locks. I can now tell where I lost some length because the part of the locks where there was still relaxer in the hair is what snapped off. Since I had plenty of relaxed hair at the time of my locking session, I lost a couple of inches off of some locks at her hand. But I was trying to trust the people on the Sisterlocks certified list . . . live and learn. It's been a true lock adventure. LOL! I had to get off that ride for a minute just for a sanity check. LOL! Thanks for the technical information on the "hair balls" as well!