Lovely Locks at Any Length - Locks & Braids - African-American Beauty: Hair

Think locks limit your styling options? Time to unlock your mind: "They can be braided, twisted, roller set or pinned up," says Simone Hylton of Natural Trend Setters salon in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Here, three gorgeous options for different stages of growth from Brooklyn, New York-based lock expert Derrick Scurry, plus pro styling secrets and grooming goodies.


Baby Locks

Get this spunky pre-lock style by dampening hair and applying a light oil. Then, starting from the hairline, make tiny, loose-ended coils to create a textured Afro with your fingers. Pro tip: "Never use beeswax, petroleum-based products, or anything else that's too heavy," says Nedjetti of Nedjetti's House of Peace in Hillside, New Jersey. Super-thick products weigh hair down, attract dirt and clog pores.


Medium Cool

Once hair begins to lock and hang a bit, you have more options. For this regal look, twist back and side locks up and secure high on the back of your head with hairpins. Leave locks at the crown and front loose, and sweep those areas to the side with your fingers. Adorn with hair beads. Pro tip: Don't twist too much. "Over-coiling will make your locks thin and break off," says Diane Bailey of Tendrils salon in Brooklyn, New York.


Textured Tendrils

Shoulder-length locks go to elegant lengths. Dampen hair and coil up to five locks around a strip of aluminum foil; continue until all locks are "set." Let hair dry, remove foil strips and finger-comb locks into place. Pro tip: Avoid tightly pulled styles. "Too much tension can cause breakage," says Hylton.

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