The easiest DIY starter loc method of all is, arguably, two-strand twists. After all, everyone can twist two strands of hair together. Yet, there are some ins and outs that you need to be familiar with before you take the plunge.
That’s what we’ll be covering in this article – we’ll tell you why we recommend starting locs with two-strand twists, who should use this method, how to do two-strand twists, and the dos and don’ts you should follow.
Table of Contents
- 1 How Two-Strand Twist Starter Locs Work
- 2 Starting Locs with Two Strand Twists: DIY Process
- 3 The Locking Process for Twist Locs
- 4 Dos and Don’ts of Two Strand Twist Starter Locs
How Two-Strand Twist Starter Locs Work
To do two-strand twist starter locs, you’ll need to twist sections of your hair from roots to ends and leave them alone to lock on their own.
When your hair is first twisted, it will look like regular twists, but over time your twists will develop into beautiful traditional locs – a bit thicker than interlocked locs or braid locs.
You can maintain your twist locs with retwisting or interlocking, based on your preferences. Anyone with a few inches of hair can start their locs with this method.
Starting Locs with Two Strand Twists: DIY Process
Though doing two-strand twists is pretty straightforward, there are several ways that things can go wrong. So, here are some step-by-step instructions to follow:
How To Start Locs With Two Strand Twist
Before twisting your hair up, you should ensure that your hair is clean, conditioned, and moisturized. For the best results, you should use a clarifying shampoo to lift away any buildup you may have.
If you twist up your hair while it’s dirty, all of that gunk will get trapped in your locs.
After getting your locs clean, follow up with a moisturizing conditioner to replenish some of that lost moisture.
If your hair feels especially dry, feel free to deep condition it. Finish your hair prep with a penetrating moisturizer or oil. Apply it throughout your hair so that every strand is covered, but don’t apply too much.
Decide on Your Loc Size and Parting System
The size of your parts will determine your final loc size. Larger parts will result in larger locs, while smaller parts will result in smaller locs.
Locs come in various sizes, from microlocs and sisterlocks (the smallest of them all) to extra-large congos and wicks. The size of your locs is totally up to you, but two-strand twists work best for medium to thick locs.
Once you’ve decided on your loc size, it’s time to part your first section.
This is where many people go wrong – if you make your parts too large or too small, your locs won’t end up the correct size. To help you out, here are some sizing guidelines to follow:
- Microlocs – Make your parts ¾ of an inch or less.
- Small locs (pencil-sized) – Make your parts about an inch to 1 ¼ inches.
- Medium locs (pen-sized) – Make your parts between 1 ¼ and 1 ½ inches.
- Thick locs (sharpie sized) – Make your parts between 1 ½ to 1 ¾ inches.
- Jumbo locs (larger than sharpie sized) – Make your parts between 1 ¾ to 2 inches.
Once you determine what size you need to make your locs, it’s time to choose a parting system. Here’s some information about all of them:
- Square – Square parts are suitable for anyone who doesn’t want to bother with other more intricate parting techniques. When doing square parts, it’s best to use a bricklaying pattern to minimize the amount of scalp that’ll show after your locks are mature. A great thing about square parts is that they have straight sides, so parting them according to the size recommendations above will be easy.
- Crescent – Crescent parting requires you to make half-moon-shaped sections. They tend to make your locs look more organic. To create these parts, we recommend looking at some YouTube videos or pictures of crescent parts.
- Organic – Organic parting is the most carefree parting option, involving grabbing sections of hair with your fingers. You should still try to get the parts the same size, but if you’re doing organic parts, neatness isn’t a big factor.
- Diamond – Diamond parts are not as common as some of the other parting systems. And that’s likely because this parting system is very challenging to achieve at home. We think we can all agree that there’s something very striking about diamond parts.
Now that you’ve chosen your loc size and parting system, you’re ready to make your first section!
Part and Twist
- Section your hair into four equal sections with a rattail comb. If you’re doing square or diamond parts, the parts need to be absolutely straight.
- Secure each section with an elastic band. This will make your hair easier to work with. You don’t want to accidentally grab hair from another section.
- Make your first part in one of the back sections according to the parting system and loc size you want.
- After the part is made, separate the section into two strands and cross one strand over the other repeatedly until you reach the ends. If you want your twists to be more sturdy, twist both strands to the right, and overlap to the left repeatedly. This will give the twist more of a rope-like appearance. Be sure to twist all of your twists in the same direction.
- Continue parting and twisting until all of your hair is twisted.
- If your scalp feels dry, oil it with olive oil, jojoba oil, or any other oil you like.
The Locking Process for Twist Locs
Twist locs will get frizzier and frizzier in the baby loc and teenage phases. There’s no way around it. In addition to the frizz, you will likely notice some shrinkage – it can be extensive in some cases, depending on the texture of your hair.
Lastly, your twists may unravel quite a bit throughout the first few weeks, even to the point of frustration. If you notice a twist or two unraveling here and there, just twist them back down to the ends.
With two-strand twists locs, you should retwist your hair every four or more weeks. If you prefer to interlock your new growth, do so every eight weeks or more.
Two-strand twist starter locs can take anywhere from 6 months to a year or more to lock. They may start budding by month 3. The amount of time it takes to lock will depend on the texture of your hair, how often you wash your starter locs, and more.
- Dreadlocks Growth Stages
- Palm Rolling Dreads
- How To Install Dread Extensions (i.e., similar to faux locs)
- The Stages of Locs
Dos and Don’ts of Two Strand Twist Starter Locs
Here are some dos and don’ts to follow when you’re doing your two-strand twist starter locs:
- Add a lightweight gel to the sections before twisting if you want to reduce frizz. Just remember that, eventually, your twists will get frizzy. It’s part of the locking process.
- Make sure your hair is clean and moisturized before twisting. Dirty hair can result in hard-to-remove flakes and buildup.
- Rub some witch hazel onto your scalp to combat itchiness.
- Finger coil the ends of your twists to help keep them from unraveling. You could also put rubber bands on the ends of your twists for a few weeks if your hair has a loose texture, but we recommend using finger coils if possible.
- Don’t use wax on your twists. Wax can suffocate your hair, cause buildup, and attract dust and debris.
- Don’t repeatedly style your new two-strand twist starter locs. The more you manipulate them, the more unraveling you may experience.
We hope that this article is helpful to you as you take steps to start your locs with the two-strand twist method. If this method sounds too complex, check out this article on installing faux locs. We wish you the best as you embark upon your loc journey!
Kenneth Byrd holds a BS in Accounting and Management Information Systems and an MBA from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. With over 15 years of experience, Kenneth has been dedicated to hair care since 2008, when he co-founded Curl Centric® and Natural Hair Box alongside his wife. As a team, they promote healthy hair care practices through their comprehensive platform, Curl Centric. Curl Centric is a website operated by a husband and wife team that encourages healthy hair care. At Curl Centric, we aim to help our readers take control of their hair care journey and make good decisions about products, hairstyles, and maintenance techniques. We also have strict editorial integrity; here’s an explanation of our editorial guidelines and how we make money.