How to Retouch Dreadlocks & More About Locs

how to retouch dreadlocks using several techniques

Did you arrive at this post after Googling ‘how to retwist your own locs’ or ‘dread retwist near me’? If so, you must be interested in having your locs retwisted right about now.

READ ALSO: Unraveling the Chaos of Bad Hair Styles: Tips and Tricks for Taming the Mane in 2023

That is the subject of today’s post. Let’s get right to it. 

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READ ALSO: Easy Two Strand Twist Locs 2023

Automatic Dread Retwist/Automatic Loc Retwist

READ ALSO: Embrace Style and Ease With Half up Half Down Loc Styles Today in 2023

Are you wondering how to get an automatic dreadlock retwist, so that say, you are able to go swimming right away after retwisting your locs and not ruin them in any way? If so, you are in the right place.

Keep reading to find out more.

READ ALSO: What Does 40 Dreads Look Like? & More

How to Retouch Dreadlocks Without Wax

The tool you need to “automatically” retwist your dreadlocks is either a crochet needle, so you can crochet your new growth in and out of your locs so your new growth forms an almost instant mature part of your loc, or an interlocking tool, which allows you to interlock your regrowth (i.e., to form small knots with your loc itself).

Using either method, your incorporated new growth becomes firmly part of the rest of your loc and will not detangle.

READ ALSO: 6 Useful Hair Volume Tips

How to Retwist Dreads

READ ALSO: Embrace Your Unique Style with Soft Locs Styles in 2023: A Versatile and Trendy Look

How to Retwist Your Own Locs/How to Retouch Dreadlocks at Home

Suppose you can’t or don’t want to go to a salon to retwist your locs, is it possible to retwist your locs at home?

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Absolutely. In fact, that is what I do myself.

Here is a video showing you how to retwist dreads yourself. I use the same method but omit the hair clips.

READ ALSO: What’s Your Motivation to Grow Locs? & More

READ ALSO: Rope Twist Dreads & How to Twist Dreads

How to Retouch Dreadlocks With Wax

Retouching dreadlocks with wax is a common practice among individuals who have dreadlocks and want to maintain their hairstyle.

Wax can help to tighten and shape the locks, as well as provide a neat and polished appearance.

Here are some steps to retouch dreadlocks with wax:

  1. Clean your dreadlocks: Before applying wax, it’s essential to have clean and dry locks. Shampoo your hair thoroughly to remove any dirt, residue, or buildup. Make sure your dreadlocks are completely dry before proceeding.
  2. Choose the right wax: There are various waxes available specifically designed for retouching dreadlocks. Look for a wax that is natural, free from harmful chemicals, and suitable for your hair type. Beeswax and shea butter-based waxes are commonly used for retouching dreadlocks.
  3. Warm up the wax: To make the wax more pliable and easier to apply, you can warm it up slightly. You can do this by rubbing a small amount of wax between your palms until it softens and becomes easier to work with.
  4. Apply the wax: Take a small amount of wax, about the size of a pea, and rub it between your palms to distribute it evenly. Then, apply the wax to each dreadlock, starting from the roots and working your way down to the tips. Use a twisting motion as you apply the wax to help tighten and shape the locks. Ensure that you apply the wax sparingly to avoid buildup.
  5. Work section by section: To ensure thorough coverage, work on one section of your dreadlocks at a time. It’s best to start from the back of your head and move forward. This way, you won’t miss any sections or accidentally leave any dreadlocks untreated.
  6. Palm roll: After applying wax to a section, palm roll the dreadlock between your hands. This motion helps to distribute the wax evenly, tighten the lock, and smooth out any loose hairs. Repeat this process for each dreadlock.
  7. Clean up excess wax: After retouching all your dreadlocks, check for any excess wax that might have accumulated on your scalp or the surface of your locks. Use a clean cloth or towel to gently wipe away any excess wax.
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It’s worth noting that wax is not the only method for retouching dreadlocks, and some individuals prefer alternative methods like interlocking or crochet hooks.

Additionally, excessive use of wax can lead to buildup, which may be difficult to remove. Therefore, it’s important to use wax in moderation and clean your locks regularly to maintain their health and appearance.

READ ALSO: Beautiful Dreadlocks Styles for Ladies 2023 & More

How to Retouch Artificial Dreadlocks

How Often Should I Retwist My Locs/How Often Should You Retwist Locs?

There is no standard answer to this question. Essentially, it depends on your hair type, what method you use to loc your hair, and how your treat your hair in between twists.

A good rule of thumb is 4-6 weeks though. Once your hair is fully locked, you might be able to go months between retwists.

READ ALSO: 7 Actionable Steps to Mastering the Classic Slicked Back Hairstyle: A Timeless Look for Modern Gentlemen

Retwist Locs Near Me: How to Retouch Dreadlocks with Water and Oil

When it comes to products, though, there is another school of thought: one that says skip the products all together because they cause buildup.

What would these people suggest you use instead? Simply water and oil.

Watch this video to find out more.

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Ok, so what oil should you use if you choose to go the water and oil route? Here are some natural products that Yannie (from the video above) recommends to use when retwisting your locs:

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READ ALSO: Embrace Your Roots: The Magic of Starter Locs Two Strand Twists in 2023

How to Retwist Your Own Dreads: What Oil to Use

  • Vitamin E Oil
  • Castor Oil
  • Coconut Oil, and/or
  • Olive oil

READ ALSO: Unlocking the Secrets of China Hair Style in 2023: Timeless Elegance and Modern Flair

My original post:

Can I let you in on a secret? Although I absolutely love the look of dreadlocks, I don’t have the patience nor the commitment necessary to grow them.

It’s true: I’ve tried four times so far and no matter what I do, about six months into the locking process, I simply wash out my dreadlocks and do something else with my hair. (Update: I am pleased to share that I’ve now been loc-ed for more than two years. This time just might be the charm!)

how to retwist your own locs when they look like a mess

Still, every so often, I decide to try again.

As you can probably infer, I am flirting with the idea right now hence this post.

Want to flirt-with-the-idea along with me?

How about it?

Today, let’s talk about dreadlocks!

READ ALSO: How to Keep Your Sensitive Skin Safe This Summer

how to retwist locs: you can set them in twists so your retwist lasts longer

First, I’ll share with you a little of what I’ve learned on my previous four dreadlock journeys, including what I know about how to twist dreads yourself and then you, by leaving a comment on this post, can share what you know about growing dreadlocks.

Let’s begin!

READ ALSO: Master the Slick Back Hairstyle 2023: Unleash Your Inner Stylist


  1. Hiya Biche, haven’t been by in a while, but I’m glad to see that you are still chatting away! 🙂

    (I am curious to know what you gave up along with combing your hair in college – but that is for another day I guess! :-))

    Anyway. About (my) dreadlocks. Not being the most dexterous with hair dressing, I went to a salon to get started (Feb 2007) – and you are right, the cost is rather prohibitive but perhaps that is because there are still relatively few loctitians and yet the trend is catching on quite fast. Nevertheless I stuck with it for a month or two, but they looked so messy all the time that I finally quit and braided over them. Three months later I tried again, upon which I tried the self maintenance stunts – THAT didn’t work out – at one point I washed the hair and could no longer find the twists as the hair was all tangled up – so basically I had to start over YET again, and this time I just tried to go to the salon whenever I needed a touch up; when I balked at spending the money at the salon, my sister, who has kept dreads for five years or so, helped me re-twist them.

    As we speak, I have some decent looking locks – about eight months ago I decided to get bigger ones by sewing two or three together, and I really love the size now, although they do not stay neat as long as smaller ones!

    Perhaps what nags me a little sometimes is the limited variety of things one can do with locks – I hear that one can find all kinds of funky ways to dress locks up on the internet but I have yet to go there – perhaps I am not that nagged – I am just happy I don’t have to give ANY thought to hair for weeks at a stretch, and if I have a special function or something, I just make sure I have them professionally done the day before, and then make sure I have some nice make up on 🙂

    What I would say about successfully growing locks is that one needs a lot of patience and 100% commitment! OR, be 100% fed up with processed hair AND have unmanageable natural hair (like me) – I think all these factors combined made me stick with it. One should also be comfortable with not having perfectly slick hair all the time, unless they are willing to get it redone very often (at least once a week) – I usually do it every three weeks, and sometimes I’ll push it to four and wear a bandana, but that is my outside limit. I am toying with starting to twist them myself but for now I have put them on my monthly beauty budget and they haven’t broken the bank yet.

    Ofcourse they do not look REMOTELY like the ones of the ladies in the photos you put up… but, ONE day! 🙂

    1. Hi Vive,

      Thanks for sharing your loc journey! Coming to think of it, I haven’t seen your locs in ages though the last time I saw you, they were coming along quite nicely. Responding to your comment point by point:

      – Trust me to still be chatting away! 🙂 Isn’t that so like me even outside cyberspace? 😉

      – About the things I gave up, without saying too much, allow me to tell you that your Dad was my inspiration. More on that on email. 🙂

      – Where in Kampala do you get your locs retwisted? How much are you charged? Is this the same place where you got your locs stitched? I thought that was really well done!

      Hoping to hear more from you soon.


  2. The main reason why I grow dreadlocks is
    I love locs realy in deep. Wherever I see locs Iwas wishing to have the same or more than that. Second I decided to look natural no more chemicals on my head and
    aviod hassle of burning/ qeuing at the saloon. So I let my hair grow long enough to make big puff. Soooo I started by plating them the way we plate normal rasta
    (ie by making small portions the size you want you locs to be.Then let them stay long enough so that when you open them are separated. This stage is real a long journey and tiresome if you are not in love you might
    give up.Did not aply any oil inorder to make
    them very dry and easy to loc. Just used to wash them with normal hair shampoo and start to roll them one by one
    This is a continous processes everytime after washing.
    Sometime I had to use thread to tie them from the root and I was doing this to prevent them mixing.But if you have someone to help it is good.
    I started to enjoy my locs when they were well locked.
    This stage I started to apply oil of my choise
    preferable liquid.
    I did not go to any saloon washing and retwist
    I was doing it by myself with the help of
    my husband who realy love them.So if if your not doing it by your self it is better to get someone who knows about locs to help or better DIY this is my opinion
    Aslo I think it could be better if I knew any loctician to advice how to treat the new growth which for me I just usd to twist them wherever I wash them and roll them the same direction as they are. My favorite liquid oil
    is sunsilk and I have never leave them open during the day to pervent dust and sun burn which change the colour
    My dreadlocks are seven yrs old.At this stage
    more concentration is onthe new growth which I need to rool them as usual coz if you leave them they will stick together and form thick branches of locs. I dont like these branch locs. SOOOOOOOOOOO I least have to roll them once a week.I dont know any saloon or loctician to recommend coz I have never use them. But I would like to try if there is one you recommend. This is all about ma DREADLOCKS.

    1. Hi Halda,

      Welcome to ChickAboutTown! Thanks so much for sharing your loc journey. I can vouch for your locs in person: they are simply gorgeous!

      I like the way you started your locs. I had never thought of that. I’ll have to consider that method if ever I start another loc journey.

      Once again, thanks for sharing. I look forward to seeing more of you here on ChickAboutTown.

      Wishing you all the best,

  3. Hi Biche. Pseudo here giving you a shout out from Quito, Ecuador. Man I can’t believe I’ve been away from Nai for almost over a year. How is the party scene lately? Any new interesting lounges? The Hood, Soho’s et al…. Holler Bueno y suerte.

    1. Hi Pseudo Intellectual,

      Karibu tena ChickAboutTown (Do you speak Swahili? :-))! It’s nice to see you here again. And all the way from Quito! How do you find Quito? Is it very different from Nairobi? Better? Worse? I’d love to hear all about it.

      I wish I could tell you more about what’s happening in Nai, but alas, I haven’t been there in a long while myself. Nowadays, I know what’s kicking in Dar es Salaam – that’s where I’ve spent most of 2009.

      When I get back to Nai, be sure you’ll hear all about the places I visit. From all the reports I receive from readers of this blog as well as from friends off the blogosphere, I have a list of jaunts to check out as soon as I get back to Nairobi. When I do, be sure that I’ll be posting about them.

      It’s nice to hear from you after so long.


  4. Locs: can someone say chic 🙂 and easy maintenance? (The latter ofcourse after they have locked)
    Let me just say that one of the most painful experiences in my not so short life was starting my locs. It so happened that at that time I was a gym fanatic, did I have many bad hair days or what! Before the hair locs, (read 4-8 months) it untwists at any slight hint of wetness. The sweating was not helping. But don’t be discouraged it is about how badly you want that look. Anyways at that point in time there was a lot of advise like buy natural/artificial hair locs and put them as extensions as I await my hair to loc, wear a wig, honestly it was a small nightmare for me. The idea of manufactured hair or somones hair on my head freaks me out. Never the less I braved it, the secret is in finding an affordable loctitian 🙂 (for the Kenyans, there is a salon in Natu court, opposite prestige plaza, called clique), check it out. Fast forward we are 6yrs old, and loving it. I wash my locs myself every one and half weeks, and have them locked every three weeks. I am okay with any beeswax as long as it is mixed with honey. I believe honey acts as a leave in conditioner. Along the way I’ve learnt a few things: I can “treat” the locs using guinness, yes guinness the drink. (The locs are doused in guinness and put under the steamer). If I wet the locs a little and make conrows overnight, the result is a beautiful head of wavy locs. To give the locs a healthy look, I spray them with an oil moisturizing sheen.

    1. Hi Eshitialo,

      Do you have the name/number for the hairdresser at Clique? I would like to talk to them before checking it out, I am still shopping for the perfect hairdresser for my locs.

      Thanks for the tips, especially the Guiness one, I will have to try it out sometime.


      1. Hi, sorry to for the delayed response but I was having a technology free month. The number of the hairdresser at clique is 0720234709 her name is Josephine.

        1. Hi, SC and Eshitialo.

          SC – I am not sure whether or not you’ve already tried to contact Josephine, but I can vouch for her personally too. She’s really good at being meticulous with her hands and is willing to listen to the client. Give her a try!

          Eshitialo – thanks for sharing the number. Also,you had me roaring with laughter with your whole tech-free month. Hehehehe….Way to go, girl! 🙂

          Cheers to you both,

    2. Hi Eshitialo,

      Welcome to ChickAboutTown (and please, no comment about how long it’s taken me to respond to your comment – that we can discuss in person ;-))! Thanks for sharing your loc story!

      Beeswax and honey? So that’s your secret! In all our discussions about locs, I never knew you used honey nor why. Now I do. Do you find that honey makes your locs somewhat sticky?


  5. Hi Biche,

    Just wanted to say I’ve really enjoyed reading all the stuff you have written about. I have been away from Kenya for about 6 years and just moved back late last year so sometimes still feel like a visitor here. If I’d come across this site soon after I got here it would have been so helpful, not to say that it is not helpful and fun to read right now. Keep up the great work! How are the locs doing? I’ve had mine for a little under two year now and I totally love them.


    1. Hi SC,

      Welcome to ChickAboutTown! Thanks for your feedback, and sorry that it has taken me so long to respond to your comment.

      I am glad you are enjoying my blog. Hopefully, even though you’ve been back for a year, you’ve still discovered something new and interesting on ChickAboutTown. Have you tried any new places or products after finding a recommendation here? How are you finding Kenya since your return?

      My locs – I tried to learn from experience and didn’t try growing a new set. Rather, I double-strand twisted my hair for a while (close enough ;-)) and then China Bump-ed/Bantu Knot-ted it. So far so good! 🙂

      I look forward to seeing more of you around here on ChickAboutTown.


  6. Soz folks I’m well late to this. Just wanted to add…I’m two years into my second set of locks and finally settled. There’s a thing I had done in Dar last year that apparently is pretty common in the Uk called latch locking. They pass the end of the lock through the growth around the root so almost like a backstitch and then gel (or whatever) the root and pass the end through again. It was dramatically painful for me and I’ve pretty small locks so it was a nightmare but if you’re just starting out it secures the lock immediately. And you can wash swim etc at will for three months. If you’re in TZ the salon I went to was down wind from the Mayfair (big mall) in Micocheni before you get to Mwinyi’s house. Also washing locks with Coke gives the locks a bit more volume. And I’m told you shouldn’t twist them that often it stresses the hair. I do it every five weeks and about twice a year I take a break and leave it about three months. It’s looking much better if you can stand a bit of growth but I find some olive oil gloss really improves the look of it generally. And I use Vaseline unperfumed to twist the hair wet. No fuss. I love them!

    1. Hi Akitelek,

      Welcome to ChickAboutTown! No worries about being late to the discussion; that’s the beauty of the Internet: everyone gets to the discussion at their own time! 🙂

      Thanks for sharing this information. The method you describe (which I’d heard about vaguely before) sounds very interesting – especially that it allows you freedom to do whatever with your locs almost instantly! Do you remember the name of the salon (because that’s near where I live in Dar es Salaam and would love to check it out). Is that where you started your locs? Do you remember how much the latching cost you?

      I like your use of Vaseline. Simple! How do your locks look when you give them a 3-month rest from retwisting? 🙂


  7. Twice a month I go to a salon to get them retwisted, 4 days into the twist I can start washing them, regular shampoo and the occasional fancy oil natural thing and spray to make them look and smell good. Huge hug, biche….Citizen of the World

    1. Hi My Dear,

      I hope all is well with you. Thanks for your comment. Now, I’ve got a couple of questions for you: 1. Are there particular salons that you recommend in Kampala? 2. What is this fancy oil you mention? 😉


  8. I find it soo funny that you posted that picture of the lady with the updo. When I saw that picture about 5 years ago, I knew that at some point I was going to lock my hair.

    Now that being said, I started my locs only 3 weeks ago with two strand twist. I dont think I had any real vision of what mine were to look like in the end, yet I knew that they were always what I wanted, so not an extreme spiritual experience or anything like that.

    I did know that I’m a broke educator and I was going to diy, so I did lots of research on the net. My final results. I’ve had the twist for almost 4 weeks now, and I’ve washed about 2x’s a week and retwist slightly, I have an overly oily scalp, so I have to wash often!!! That being said I think it has only helped everything along.

    1. Hi JudgingABookByItsCover,

      Welcome to ChickAboutTown!

      The beginning of your loc journey sounds extremely interesting. Good luck with that!

      I have a question about the method you are using to start your locs: You say that you started your locs as double strand twists. How do you retwist them then? As a double stranded unit, or do you take the strands apart and then re-double strand twist them again?

      Also, what products are you using for your locking process?


  9. Hi, its now 3 mnths ever since i started da loc journey bt ma hair has failed to loc al it does is to flatten. It is also so soft its realy naging. Some 1 advise me on how to look after it esp da tightening gel,conditioner , sort of.

    1. Hi Faridah,

      Welcome to ChickAboutTown!

      Are you starting your locks on your own, or did you go to a professional to get them started?


  10. Hello my name is Melissa and I wanted to know how often do I have to retwist my dreads. I just started them on the first of this month (November). And how long does it takes them to lock up. This is my first time starting my dreads.

    1. Hi Melissa,

      Welcome to ChickAboutTown! In the past, especially when I was working in the corporate world, I retwisted my hair every weekend for the first few weeks and after a while, I would make that once every two weeks. Once they were longer and locked (which for my hair takes about 2.5 months), then I could do it once a month.

      How is the experience for you so far?


  11. Hiiii! I know I’m really late but today makes 1 week since I started my Loc journey using two strand twists. I’m really impatient and I just want to know is there any method I could use to make them lock quicker? Any products or anything? I started them at home using ORS Twist and lock gel. I haven’t washed them yet and they haven’t started budding. Thanks ahead of time!

    1. Hi Malea,

      Welcome to Chick About Town! It’s never too late to join the conversation.

      I had never considered starting locs as double strand twists. Would the eventual loc then be made up of the entire double strand twist, or would a twist end up being two separate locs?

      Whatever the case, I am sorry but I think you are just going to have to be patient–I don’t know of any way to make your locs lock faster–you just have to let them do their thing.

      Congratulations on starting locks! I did a quick search on starting locs with double strand twists and found this video. Have you seen it yet? If not, I think it might answer some questions I am sure you have!



  12. Hi Biche,

    I started my loc journey August 13, 2015 7.5 months in. My locs took 6 months to lock.however, my hair is spongy/puffy it’s fine to the toucn. It seems like the growth process is just as slow as the local process and patience is my future. I have not publicly worn my locs out yet but I do take care of them. I made a promise to myself that I will release my locs at 10 months which will be June 13th. I do have a loctition who maintains them every 3_4 weeks. I wear a satin cap then a wig cap with a little dab of oil on my scalp.

    Please give me some suggestions your advise is awesome. My hair is still short

    1. Hi Michelle,

      Welcome to Chick About Town! How come you don’t wearing your locks out? Baby locs are half the pleasure and are their own look. That’s my advice to you: wear them out today. I am sure they are gorgeous! 😉


  13. Work!Work!Work! That’s all I can say. But nothing can be too much when it comes to maintaining the best possible image of ourselves. Best of luck to all who keep this stuff!

    1. It sure is a lot of work, but so much pleasure if you persevere. Last night, I was playing with my cousin’s locs that she’s been growing for 12 years (in fact we started growing them about the same time but I gave up after a couple of months). They are down to her bum and GORGEOUS!

  14. Late to the party but I started my dreadlocks myself 4 months ago. After being a loose natural for 10 years, it was just time. I two strand twisted them myself as best as I could, then used a latch hook at the base and on retwist sessions, so that I’m not tempted to undo the locs. Loving the journey thus far, and the bonus is I don’t need to get anyone to retwist my hair.

    1. Hi Jamaicanblaq,

      Welcome to Chick About Town, and thank you for your comment. It’s never too late to join the party!

      I’ve never used the latch hook method before, but it does make for very neat dreads. Is it easy to do on yourself? How long does it take you to “retwist” your whole head?


      1. Hey there. First time was a mission but I have since mastered it. Trick is to not loop in the same hole twice. It usually takes me about 2-3 hours, but the results last quite long. That’s why I love interlocking at times 🙂

  15. Hi Biche…..a bit late, but thought I’d share my experience with locs. I had my first set for 15yrs. They saw a lot of abuse in the first 3yrs- started them at a time when there was very little knowledge in East Africa about locs, and all sorts of products were used in the name of maintenance. it took another 2 years to get the locs back to a healthy state. Unfortunately I had to chop them off a couple of years ago due to illness. I’m now on my second set – no abuse and barely any product goes into them. They’re now 8 months old, and my maintenance routine involves hot oil treatment (depends on what oils i have knocking about – coconut/black castor oil/avocado/grapeseed/hemp/peppermint/rosemary oil) at every re-twist (every 3wks) and no product when retwisting – just plain water. To moisturize, i mix some Dr. Miracle leave in conditioner, an oil, an essential oil and water into a spray bottle and spritz when needed.

    1. Hello Shirley,

      Welcome to Chick About Town and above all, thank you for leaving me a comment. It’s never too late to share good hair care advice! 🙂

      Pole about the illness that had you cutting off your first set of locks.

      You know, you are not the first to tell me that plain water and oil is all that’s necessery to grow nice healthy locs. Some of my friends/family with the longest locks recommend the same.

      Question for you, though: when you twist them with only water, do you get a nice, neat twist at the root?

      I am looking forward to hearing and learning more from you.


  16. I do trust all the ideas you’ve introduced on your post. They are very convincing and will definitely work. Still, the posts are very short for beginners. May just you please prolong them a bit from subsequent time? Thanks for the post.

    1. Hello Rolamentos,

      Welcome to Chick About Town, and thank you for your comment!

      I am glad to know you liked this post. What other recent post are you referring to?


    1. Hi Elodie,

      Yeah, if you maintain your locs yourself, it’s quite a bit of work, but if you go to the salon for retwists, it’s actually quite low maintenance. Are you thinking of getting dreadlocks?


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