Kinky Shorts, by Geraldine The Great: Tuck! Fold! Cheers!

The Festive Season is upon us, and I'm sure a lot of us are still wondering what to do with our hair. Hopefully this tutorial from Geraldine The Great will serve as inspiration!

Tuck! Fold! Cheers!

Looking for the perfect hairstyle that will fit in beautifully with the holiday season's mirthful spirit?  Yes?  Well, take a look at December's Kinky Short! 

What you'll need:

Creamy moisturizer
Bobby pins
Light Oil

Step 1: Ready your loose hair for styling. 
Moisturize and seal it with an oil if necessary.
Divide your hair into three main sections.

Step 2:  Starting with the back, gather and tuck the hair underneath; then clip.

Step 3: Begin with the right half of the middle portion, and twirl the bundle of hair towards the left.  Pin.   Then, repeat this step with the left bundle of hair being twirled and pinned towards the right.  If there is any hair remaining after pinning the first bundle, gather it together with the second bundle, and then proceed twirling in the opposite direction.

Step 4: Swoop the front portion to your favored side, fold it over, and pin.  You can fluff up this section to create a fuller appearance.

Simple, and easy!  An elegant style that will draw plenty of compliments, amidst sparkly drinks and warm cheer.  

We hope you'll love!

Thanks Geri, and Happy Holidays to you too... take it easy on those "sparkly drinks" sha!

And don't forget, ladies, to head over to her blog for more awesome features, product reviews, tutorials and generally awe-inspiring hair shots! She's also calling for reader photos to feature, so drop her a line.

Natural Hair in the Diaspora... the sisters from "Nigerian Natural Hair"

Maybe it's because I don't have any of my own (although my cousins and galpals are great substitutes), I'm always really fascinated by sister acts. So of course I was really excited to finally get this post up. 5 beautiful sisters and cousins (Chioma, Enyioma, Ezinne, Ihuoma & Ogechi), all natural, started a Facebook page called Nigerian Natural Hair, which I happened to run across. Of course I had to feature them on the blog. I did consider doing them individually, but decided to get them all up at the same time, so this is a loooooong one! 

Just think of it as your Christmas bumper edition.

The "Nigerian Natural Hair" sisters

Me and my journey
Photo courtesy of Ezinne
I'm a Nigerian American, and I live in Ohio, USA. I have been natural for 4 years. I decided to go natural because my hair was extra scanty with relaxers and I really didn't like that. I just wanted to be different from the norm, and I like being edgy so I went natural.

I'm a student, my hair doesn't always affect me, meaning my hair is very unique that I get lots of stares as I walk down the street. Most people are amazed at what I can do to my hair, I get a lot of compliments, as well as criticism because its different.

My natural hair challenges

My challenge is having the motivation to do my hair, because I always want the easy way out of just wearing my weaves. So I often have to motivate myself to do my natural hair and I usually come up with amazing styles.

Photo courtesy of Ezinne
My routine

My routine is very simple. I pre-condition my hair with my Herbal Essence Hello Hydration Conditioner to detangle it, then I wash my hair with warm water, and shampoo and conditioner with organic products like Trader Joe's Tea-Tree Shampoo and Yes to carrots conditioner that I buy from target. Then I put my hair into Bantu Knots using shea butter mixed with castor, jojoba, argan and coconut oils. 

Photo courtesy of Ezinne
My natural hair idols

My idols are my cousins, Ihuoma, Enyioma, Ogechi and my sister Chioma. They are very bold with their hair styles and I'm a very bold person, so I like to watch their styles and creations and make it my own. 

Photo courtesy of Ezinne

Ezinne and Chioma

Me and my journey
Photo courtesy of Chioma

My name is Chioma. I'm a Nigerian born and raised Igbo (Ngwa) girl, and I currently live in Washington, DC. I've been natural for 1 year now.

Ever since I can remember, I've always had relaxed hair. I decided to go natural 'cos the relaxers and the recurrent weaves and braids weren't just working out. My hair line was slowly but surely wearing off after several years of back-to-back sew-in's & braids. Besides, the relaxer chemical can be carcinogenic, a chemical that can melt a soda can, can't possibly be good for the human hair. I never knew how to properly care for my own natural hair either and I wanted a healthier alternative. 

Initially, I was inspired by my younger sister, Ezinne, who stopped relaxing her hair a few years ago, then my wonderful cousins (Ihuoma, Ogechi & Enyioma) gave me a few concrete tips and most importantly introduced me to the right side of YouTube - the Natural Hair World, and it has clearly changed my life, no be small thing o. 
My hair journey began, I big chopped November 2011 and here I am a year later, living and loving my natural tresses. I'm loving every moment of it and can't wait to see it grow.

My work and my natural hair

I work as a Registered Nurse and my hair doesn't affect my job, it's pretty convenient and versatile. My co-workers mostly want to touch my hair, one of them labeled it "cauliflower"and I thought, "Yap!" Pretty much sums it up. 

Photo courtesy of Chioma
Natural hair and Nigeria

I haven't been back to Nigeria since I went natural. I've been able to influence one of my Naija girlfriends to go natural, though many others who clearly don't get it, repeatedly ask "how do you comb it?" or tell me to go and get my hair done, relax it, fix it or braid it. I find it pretty hilarious 'cos our people have been so brain-washed into loving everything foreign/western/european and distance oneself from anything African or Nigerian. They say, Natural Hair is "unmanageable" and it's for little girls, while Artificial Hair (weaves, braids, relaxers etc) is for grown-ups. 
Photo courtesy of Chioma
I expected this kind of reaction from my friends in Naija 'cos that's the perception of our people, which is quite unfortunate. That's what we see in the media, that's what's mainstream, and it's pretty disappointing 'cos it wasn't always like this. Hence, my enthusiasm to continue to re-educate us women (African/Nigerian, etc) to love and care for our truly beautiful natural bodies - Hair to Toe - as created by God.

My natural hair challenges

My constant dilemma is with people who do not understand Natural Hair, or why/how I care for my hair like I've described with my Naija girlfriends; my guy friends, on the other, think it's plain HOT. Touché! Personally, I have not had any significant challenges, maybe 'cos I keep it pretty straight-forward.  

Photo courtesy of Chioma

My routine

My hair care regimen is pretty simple: I pre-poo with a conditioner (Herbal Essence's Hello Hydration) or an oil (usually olive oil), then I section and wash using a sulfate free shampoo (Shea Moisture - Moisture Retention Shampoo) and conditioner (YesToCarrots) every 7-10days, add my leave-in conditioner (the infamous KimmayTube recipe made with Giovanni's Direct Leave-In Conditioner) and use my shea butter mix (Shea butter + Olive/Jojoba/Coconut/Castor/Tea Tree/Lemon Eucalyptus Essential Oils) to style - usually bantu knots (my favorite). I mostly wear Bantu Knot-Outs and Puffs. I re-moisturize every other day. 

Photo courtesy of Chioma
My natural hair idols

The people who've helped me understand my natural hair are of course, my sister and cousins. Many thanks to YouTube's KimmayTube, Naptural85, NikkiMae2003, FusionofCultures, JoStylin, GirlsLoveYourCurls, and so many more; and several natural hair blogs including I can't help but notice the Natural Hair Curlies of Nollywood. I must say I'm so impressed: Dakore Egbuson, Asa, Nneka Egbuna, Nse Etim, Basket Mouth...
Why I started "Nigerian Natural Hair"

I started the "Nigerian Natural Hair" facebook page with my sister and cousins, where we share images and natural hair care tips. We need more positive images out there inspiring us Africans, Nigerians, every woman to completely love our Natural selves and it all starts with the hair. You change people's perception of you by becoming the change you want to see in the world.

Photo courtesy of Chioma
Photo courtesy of "Nigerian Natural Hair"


Me and my journey

My name is Ihuoma, from the Isi-ala Ngwa in Ngwaland, Abia State, Nigeria. I currently reside in Sunny California.
I've been natural for about four years. Also, the years I've been natural and the length of my hair don't add up because I have a bad habit chopping off inches at random (Hehe! It's hair. it grows back).

Photo courtesy of Ihuoma
Natural hair was never quite a strange phenomenon to me because I was fortunate to have a mother who was pretty much a genius at haircare. My sisters and I used to be known as the girls with the long hair because my Mom knew how to handle our curls with care. In fact, much of what I see taught on hair blogs or YouTube, I remember my Mother already practiced on our hair.  So I grew up with long, full hair. But like most Nigerian teenage girls, at 16, I got a perm. After a couple years, I'd notice that my hair was thinning and brittle, so I'd trim and continue. At one point I even got a jerricurl and then went back to perms. But despite how well I cared for it, my hair was limp, thin, lackluster, and worst of all, I was beginning to acquire bald spots in the middle and at the nape of my head from relaxer burns. I distinctly remember putting my hair in a ponytail once and thinking how much I resembled a sad, bald potato. Needless to say, I didn't like that look and so I began to wear braids to grow out my hair. But one morning, while we were visiting a friend out of state, I spontaneously decided to chop it off (refer to aforementioned habit of chopping off hair lol!) much to the shock and surprise of my sisters and friends.
My work and my natural hair

I'm a Registered Nurse and I've really never had any negative reactions to my hair at work. In fact it's been the opposite. My patients and co-workers are often fascinated by my hair. I actually once had a co-worker once tell me that they looked forward to what hair style I would wear every week! My hair also is at a length that I can wear it in such a way that it is not in my face and does not impede my work in any way. I believe that natural hair is just as professional as any other kind of hair. 

Photo courtesy of Ihuoma
My natural hair challenges
Most of my challenges have been with my own hair care. Now I love playing in my hair (although I've learned to play less), trying new routines, and experimenting with making my own hair (and skin) products. But my one annoyance is dealing with tangles and ssk's (single strand knots). I think ssk's are the bane of my existence, however, I've learned that because of my hair texture, they cannot be completely eliminated but I can greatly cut down on them. Also, the hair on the top middle of my head is the driest, easiest-to-knot hair which means that I have to give that part extra tlc, spend more time and practice more patience with it. I still wish it would grow and behave like the rest of my hair but - it is what it is...

Photo courtesy of Ihuoma
My routine

First thing I want to mention about my routine is that palm kernel oil (aka elu aku in Igbo) is an excellent pre-poo. I spritz my hair with water and apply palm kernel oil overnight or even just prior to washing, cover with a shower cap for about 30 minutes, then I detangle my hair with my fingers and a denman brush, place in twists, and prepare to wash. I currently wash my hair once a week. I never wash my hair loose now, always in twists or braids - less tangles. Every other week, I cowash my hair with Herbal Essences Hello Hydration conditioner. On the alternate weeks I shampoo with Trader Joe's Tea Tree Shampoo or Dr Bronner's liquid soap (diluted).
Twice a month, I deep condition with a mix of full fat greek yogurt, honey, a teaspoon of ACV, and olive oil (recipe from Naptural85 on YouTube). Sometimes I add Lavender and Peppermint essential oils to the mix.
Photo courtesy of Ihuoma
For styling, I wear my hair in whatever suits my fancy for the week. Usually it's two-strand twists, but could be bantu knots, corn-rows (weaving) or flat twists, or even thread which is an excellent protective style and a way to stretch the hair without heat. A few times during the year, I wear synthetic braids to give my hair a rest. Once a week (on Saturdays for church), I usually wear my hair in a twist-out or some kind of puff or updo.

 My natural hair idols

I really appreciate the YouTube Naturalistas who teach us so much about our hair especially the ones with textures closer to mine. My very first inspiration on YouTube was RusticBeauty; a Nigerian young lady with long, healthy beautiful hair. Others have been Nikkimae2003, Sera2544, UrbanBushBabes, Naptural85, Longhairdontcare2011. My other hair idols who are bold and beautiful with their hair are Nigerian actresses Uche Jumbo Rodriguez and Nse Ikpe Etim.

Photo courtesy of Ihuoma

Apart from the Nigerian Natural Hair Facebook page...

I have a fotki which I unfortunately have been neglecting, but I plan on updating more frequently in the future.
Ihuoma, Ogechi & Enyioma

Photo courtesy of "Nigerian Natural Hair"


Me and my journey

I was born in Nigeria. I am an Ngwa girl from Abia state. I currently reside in Southern California.

My journey really began in 2009 when I decided to chop off all my hair and dye it red. I’ve had several hairstyles and lengths along the way but decided to cut it again a couple months ago and now I have barely any hair and I love it! 

I decided to go natural because honestly, when my hair was relaxed I had a bomb haircut that I loved. I would drive over an hour to my favorite hairdresser twice a month. I would color it and do all sorts of fun things to it but it got too expensive and too tedious to continue to drive that far so I decided I would have to do my hair myself to save money. I originally cut it and wore it texturized for a while before I decided to cut it all the way and go in the way of both of my sisters who had both gone natural before me.

Photo courtesy of Ogechi
My work and my natural hair
I am a Registered Nurse. My co-workers love the fact that my hair is always different and most people at work say they’ve never seen hair like mine. I keep it professional yet sexy and so far I’ve never had anything but compliments on it.

As for my job’s effect on my hair, I have to wake up and be on the road before 6am most days in order to get to work on time; I also work 12 hour shifts so I love the fact that my hair is currently as low maintenance as possible.

Ogechi and her sisters
My natural hair challenges

I honestly haven’t had many bad experiences, comments or experienced unpleasant judgment from people. Perhaps I just don’t pay attention to what people have to say about my hair because even before I went natural I was always sort of a hair rebel – sporting unconventional styles and colors. (Unconventional for a Nigerian: In reality, I’ve never done anything super crazy).
My biggest challenges involve my own hair care. I have extremely dry scalp, a very tight curl pattern and hair that does it’s own thing in my opinion. One of the reasons why I cut my hair recently was because I didn’t really want to deal with it. I struggled with making time to moisturize, do protective styles… I must confess I’m not one to watch videos, read blogs/articles, browse through pictures and all that. I just want(ed) hair that is easy to maintain. All the other natural sisters I know do not share these feelings.

Photo courtesy of Ogechi
My routine

It’s extremely simple. I get a haircut from my friend John Nwosu (shoutout!!) every 3 weeks. I wash my hair with a natural shampoo that has a lot of tea tree oil, I use a moisturizing conditioner (whatever my sisters buy) 2-3 days a week. Then I use whatever hair cream my sister Ihuoma has made. (Shoutout to Ihuoma. She is a genius and I wouldn’t know what to do if she didn’t make hair products!) I know certain oils to stay away from and which ones work best for me but I can’t say I necessarily have one product or products that I always use.

Photo courtesy of Ogechi
My natural hair idols

I just like people with big hair! I don’t have any specific people that I study. I hope to eventually grow out a large large ‘fro!

Photo courtesy of"Nigerian Natural Hair"
Me and my journey

Hello, my name is Enyioma.  I am an Igbo Nigerian (Naija) girl – born and raised - and currently reside in the beautiful state of California. I have been natural since 2005, so for almost 8 years now.

Photo courtesy of Enyioma
My journey to natural is somewhat convoluted.  As children, our lovely mom took beautiful care of our natural tresses until my sister and I begged her to perm our hair b/c we wanted to look more grown. After perming my hair, I noticed increased breakage and thinning.  I cut my hair once when I was about 11 years old in Nigeria and restarted to grow it out naturally.  I permed it again and the same thing happened – increased breakage and thinning and also a receding hair line.  

I then decided to cut it all off and go natural right after high school – at a time when it was quite unpopular to be an African with natural hair.  I remembered how long and full my hair was when it was natural as a child and even though I had no idea how I would take care of it, I took the plunge and just decided to see if I could recover its former glory.  So in 2005, I started doing braids to grow out my roots and in 2006, I did the BC.  I continued having loose natural curls up until November 2011 when I decided I wanted a new experience and I locked my hair up! I now rock beautiful locs that I can’t wait to see grow long and full.

Photo courtesy of Enyioma
My work and my hair

I am a licensed clinical pharmacist and also a credentialed EPIC trainer/consultant.  I have a somewhat interesting experience because I lived in Montana (MT) for a year and it’s a mostly Caucasian state.  The people over there were very fascinated with the hairstyles I would do so going to work was always a trip.  They never considered any hairstyle – whether it be bantu knots, or two-stand twists – to be unprofessional.  The ability to do so many different styles with natural hair made me unique and different from everyone else in a good way.  Having locked hair in MT was also a very nice experience; when people asked me questions, I would always tell them what I was doing with my hair and explain to them different things about Black/African hair.

Photo courtesy of Enyioma
Natural hair and Nigeria

Unfortunately, I haven’t been to Nigeria since we relocated to the US.  However, from the attitudes of certain family members and friends back home, it is clear that natural hair is not accepted in our culture and society and is viewed as a village or childish hairstyle.  Most adults don’t even know how to comb and style their own hair.  I remember one of my cousins telling me how her husband didn’t even see her real hair for about a year after they were married because she was always doing weaves.  When he saw her real hair for the first time, he was shocked because the strain of doing weaves all the time had pulled her hairline to almost the middle of her head!  This is the case with many women in Nigeria and it is clear the ignorance of what ‘good hair’ truly means persists.  Even here in the states, all my Nigerian and African friends discouraged me completely when I first decided to go natural.  

Blessedly, some of those individuals have seen the light and have begun to grow their own hair naturally.  We can’t blame our sisters who feel unable to grasp the concept of going natural because it seems that all the factors of the world – mainstream media, family, friends, culture, society – are against us black women when it comes to embracing our natural beauty.  I know it will take time and patience on the part of those of us who are natural, to show them that beautiful African natural hair is achievable and desirable.  The support of my own family (sisters, cousins – Chioma and Ezinne, mother, and brother) has made my journey much easier and brighter.

Photo courtesy of Enyioma
My natural hair challenges

The biggest challenge when I first went natural was of course, dealing with people that thought I was stupid, but that soon passed.  The second biggest challenge I faced for years before I discovered the YouTube natural hair channels, was how to take care of my hair. I wasted a lot of money on failed products and also damaged my hair by excessive combing and styling.  Once I learned about natural oils and protective hairstyles, I was golden! With locs, I was very well informed and knew what to expect.  I had also learned what worked best for my natural hair, so I can’t really say that I had any serious challenges. Oh, except that my mom STILL doesn’t know that I have locs, LOL. She might be cool with it, but we’ll see how the rest of my older relatives handle it!  I find that it’s hard for Naija people to accept loose natural hair, but even harder for them to comprehend why a professional, Christian woman would want to loc her hair.  Unfortunately for them, I am well past the point of caring about other people’s opinions of my hair.

Enyioma and her sisters
My routine

With locs, I wash (with Dr Bonner’s natural castile soap) and re-twist every two weeks – pretty simple.  Once every couple of months I do the ACV + Baking soda rinse just to do a deep cleanse for my locs.  I’ve also started something new in which I rinse my hair with beer, club soda, cranberry juice, and lemon juice, after washing.  I hear those are supposed to enrich your hair and add shine, so I’ll give it 6 months and see if there’s anything to report.

Photo courtesy of Enyioma

My natural hair idols

Franchesca Ramsey, aka Chescaleigh/Chescalocs on YouTube.  I love, love, love her hair tutorials; she always also has good tips on taking care of locs.  Watching her gives me the courage to be patient with my hair and just let it grow at its own pace.  My sisters and cousins are my greatest inspiration for hair and skin care because we stand apart from a lot of our family members and friends, by choosing to live a more natural and holistic lifestyle.  I also love going on sites like for style inspiration and hair care ideas.

Thank you so much for giving my sisters and I the opportunity to share a bit of ourselves with you and your readers!

Photo courtesy of "Nigerian Natural Hair"

Thank you so much, ladies, for giving us a glimpse into your natural hair experiences.

Again for everyone reading, don't forget to check out and "like" their Facebook page. They share some awesome pictures on there!

Kinky Hair 101: All about locs

I am often asked for loc advice, but as I've never had them, I can't really give any. Thank goodness for Fiona, who has agreed to step in as a regular guest blogger on everything to do with locs.

Guest blogger Fiona
Hopefully most of you will have caught my introduction last month on the Kinky Apothecary blog. My aim as a guest blogger is to talk about everything locs related. Whilst currently on my second locs journey, I am by no means an expert, nor am I a loctician. I am, however, often knee deep in research on styles, products and maintenance practices, as I generally prefer to do my hair myself (despite my, sometimes, extreme laziness when it comes to said hair. I know you know what I’m talking about).

To loc or not to loc?
Personally I see my hair as an accessory and am prone to experimenting with different styles, colours and lengths (including shaved bald). My choice to loc up the first time was purely aesthetic. I have a few friends that have been loc-ed for what seems like eons and I loved the way their hair looked and felt.
I researched for about three months before finally taking the plunge and intitally was plagued by thoughts of what my parents would say. I believe at your birth, parents are magically imbued with the ability to cause extreme anxiety in their offspring with a single raised eyebrow, even when said offspring is a grown ass woman. My approach was ‘say nothing till they notice’ and having chosen to start my locs using the comb coil method; I managed to get away with it for a few months before my mother asked what was going on with my hair. This time round, my parents are still not in love with the idea but I’m a little older, I care a little less about their reaction and well…I’ve done it before and as I recall, the sky didn’t fall.
The main character traits you will need if you are going to embark on a locs journey are patience and acceptance. It takes a while to get fully loc-ed and you will need to learn to embrace and be confident with the new forms and stages that your natural hair will go through.


You can’t wash your hair.
This one still baffles me. Yes you can and absolutely should wash your hair or it will get filthy and people standing close to you will scrunch up their faces in reaction to the odour.

Locs require no maintenance.
For most of us this is not true. Unless you are choosing to completely freeform, you will need to twist or coil your hair to start them off and then to re-twist your roots to keep your locs maintained.

Locs are unprofessional.
*sighs like a steam engine*
As long as you wear your locs tidy and in a work friendly style there is absolutely no reason why your hair should not look professional. This is a tricky one in countries like Nigeria where having natural hair in any form can lead to you getting the side eye from colleagues.

It’s funny how a ratty looking weave that should have been taken out a month ago can sometimes be seen as more acceptable than a tidy natural updo. All I can say to that is keep it looking neat and tidy and keep fighting the good fight.

Chescaleigh is one of my favourite locs video bloggers; check out her response to the ‘unprofessional locs' question here

You have to shave your head if you decide you no longer want locs.
Whilst shaving your head will definitely make the whole process much faster, you don’t have to go bald to remove your locs. You may, however, have to cut the locs to a manageable length to begin unravelling the hair. It is a very time consuming process and personally I was just too lazy to do it. I had about two inches of new growth, which I cut my hair down to.

Loc Stages
Your locs journey will take you through five stages: starter locs, baby, teenage, mature and rooted
Stage 1 -Starter Locs
And so it begins…  Depending on how you choose to start the locing process, your hair will be in two strand twists, comb coils, single braids or loc extensions. People won't notice a difference yet and may even ooh and ahh at your cute hairdo.
Starter Locs: Source
Stage 2 - Baby Locs
Also known as “sprouting” or “budding”. Individual comb coils/twists/braids may seem puffy as the hairs start to intertwine. It is important to keep the original scalp partings, to maintain neat and (as near) uniform locs in the later stages. Try to avoid redividing and overtwisting at this stage, they are meant to be puffy and will settle down later. Care has to be taken during shampooing not to unravel the hair. People will begin to notice and ask if you are locing up. Personally, I enjoy the baby phase; they are a little fuzzy but they look cute.
Baby Locs: Source

Stage 3 – Teenage Locs
As the name suggests, your locs are a little older, they are starting to form but also have a mind of their own! The intertwining extends further down the loc, causing some to drop but some will still be loosely meshed and choose to defy gravity. Fewer locs will unravel during shampooing. At this stage you are learning to re-tighten the base so it will look neater.
This is a real love/hate stage. There will be days when you adore your hair; followed by days when you are convinced it is doing the opposite of what you want just to spite you. This is the phase when a lot of people turn back; the key is to embrace it. You will not always be able to get the look you are going for but you can have fun with it and if you relax and allow yourself, this is where you gain more confidence with the locing process.
Teenage Locs: Source

Stage 4 – Mature Locs
Your locs are thickening up and have finally dropped. They don't need as much re-twisting and have settled in. You will begin to see more consistent growth because each loc has intertwined and contracted into a cylindrical shape. Some loosely coiled hair textures may retain a small curl at the end of the locs (as in my case), but most will probably be closed at the ends.

(This stage is usually reached within 16-18 months)

Stage 5 – Rooted - Beyond Mature locs
Your locs don't need frequent re-twisting because your hair is mostly now growing from the base directly into the loc. By this stage, your locs should be strong, thick and healthy.
Actress Dakore

Starting Locs
There are a variety of methods to start your locs depending on the length and texture of your hair.

Comb Coils
Hair is sectioned and is twisted into coils using a comb. This is usually done on shorter hair. 
Comb Coils: Source
Single Twists
Hair is sectioned and rolled between the palms or twisted round the finger. This is usually achieved on hair that is longer than 2 inches. 
Single Twists: Source
Two-Strand Twist
Hair is sectioned and is twisted using a two-strand method.  This can be achieved on hair of any length, usually more than 2 inches.
Two Strand Twists: Source
Braid Extensions
This method is achieved on hair that has been styled in braids or twists that have hair extensions added to it.  When the hair has grown out, the new growth is twisted using palm rolling or a similar twisting method.
"Braid Locs": Source
Loc Extensions
In this method, hair is braided and extension hair is wrapped around the braid to resemble a loc. You can keep the extension in or trim it as your locs grow out. Many people like this method because it gives the look of a matured loc instantly.
Loc Extension: Source
Freeform Locs 
This method is achieved by seperating the hair into clusters and leaving the new growth to its own devices. With this method, locs can sometimes end up marrying at the root (when two or more locs fuse together at the root).
Freeform Locs: Source

Washing Starter and Baby Locs
There is a lot of misguided information out there regarding the frequency of washing your locs during the early stages of your journey. The initial coil, twist or braid will obviously hold its shape for longer if you don’t wash your hair for three months but the goal is to LOC YOUR HAIR, not hold a perfect comb coil for as long as possible. That aside, dirty hair is just… gross!

Some locticians will suggest that you avoid washing your hair in the first four weeks. The key word here is “avoid”. Depending on your lifestyle this might not be an option. You could do a herbal rinse or clean your scalp with an astringent like witch hazel or Sea Breeze but overall my personal belief is that its better to wash your hair than spend weeks raking your nails into your scalp due to dry sweat and oil buildup.

For starter locs, the easiest way to wash your hair will depend on your hair texture and how you started them. I have a fairly loose curl structure and I started comb coils with a loctician the first time around. During the first wash (about 2-3 weeks after the initial styling) we thoroughly washed my scalp, while avoiding too much disruption of the comb coils. The shampoo was scrunched into my hair and then rinsed and scrunched out after thoroughly rinsing my scalp.

This time around I started my locs myself with a two-strand twist and washed my hair a week later. I started off by wetting my hair completely, then applying the shampoo to my scalp with my fingertips, taking care not to use too much but distributing it well. I then put my hair into four ponytails and applied a little shampoo to each one before massaging gently but thoroughly with the palms of my hands. Once finished, I removed the ponytails and rinsed my hair by scrunching the water out, taking care to disrupt the twists as little as possible. You can of course leave the ponytails in while rinsing depending on your preference. Two of my smaller twists unraveled during the initial wash but I simply retwisted the ends before palm rolling.

Another option if you are worried about your hair unraveling is to use a stocking or mesh cap over your starter locs. Apply the shampoo using a nozzle bottle and then agitate with the palm of your hand instead of your fingertips, before rinsing well through the cap. Obviously this technique is not as thorough as having access to your whole head but it’s cleaner than avoiding water altogther.

After washing, I palm roll and clip my hair and then air dry or sit under a hooded dryer. Air-drying usually means that I have washed my hair in the early evening and I’m staying home, as my hair takes aaaaaages to dry.

Finally, some tips to get you started

  • I avoided using a conditioner in my locs the first two months after starting the second time around because I have a fairly soft hair texture (conditioner is a detangler, and its purpose is to do the opposite of locing). However, this was not strictly necessary.
  • After washing, make sure your hair dries completely. Constant damp hair can encourage mould in your locs and believe me you do not want that!
  • Don't retwist your hair too often or you will end up with breakage.
  • Always sleep in a satin scarf/stocking cap to avoid losing moisture and natural oils into your cotton pillowcase.
  • DON’T USE BEESWAX. I cannot stress this enough. Beeswax is horrible. It’s too thick and heavy for natural hair, prevents proper airflow within the loc and will often trap lint causing your locs to look dirty. If your loctician pulls out a jar of the buzzy wax, scream “Oh no you di’int!” while running in the opposite direction.
  • Use a dark towel when washing your hair to avoid light coloured lint sticking to your locs.
  • An apple cider vinegar rinse will help soothe an itchy scalp and has the added benefit of balancing the pH of your hair and removing buildup that can result from the use of styling products. Rinsing will also close the cuticle scales, which cover and protect the surface of each hair shaft, leaving it smoother and shinier.

Feel free to write in if you have any questions for Fiona, and make sure you follow her on Twitter!