September 28, 2008

How To Fix Bunching (Near the end of your locks)

Fixing Bunched Ends

There were three locks with crazy bunching near the ends that I needed to fix because I had difficulty pulling them through the root during my re-tightening and they were too big to fit through the eye of my Nappy-lock tool. Remember that other post I wrote about how to fix bunching in the middle of your locks? Well this is part 2 so I decided to show you how I fixed them step by step:
1. Wet the lock and begin to pick out the ends with a push-pin
2. Continue picking upward until you have passed the bunched section
3. Begin latching N,E,S,W from the tip upward with your fingers until you can't anymore
4. Use your tool to latch through the rest of the gap that is left until you don't see it anymore.

Messy Bun & Thick Ends

The ends of my locks have thickened considerably since my installation day. Some of the thickness is a result of the lock size or just swollen or bunched ends but I really like them because they give my hair that added volume. When my hair was light brown, the size was more noticeable and it looked odd because of how it looked sticking out when I wore my locks freestyle. This really bothered me then but now with this dark color it's not even that obvious anymore, so i'm no longer annoyed.


S0uthernGirl said...

Your hair is so frigging thick, I love it! Thanks again for sharing instructions on how to fix bunching! I have done this to several of my locks since you first advised me how to do it on NP :)

Cashana said...

Love your hair. Thanks for always posting helpful information for all to read. You make DIY so easy and inspirational.

mogirl said...


Thanks for posting this, I'm a lurker having major issues with bunching in my 17 month old locs, and I started with all natural hair - i.e., no relaxed ends. For various reasons I need to do as you've done and take my locs into my own hands and become a DIY'er, and you're certainly my hero for that.

Do you have any tips for how to deal with the loose hairs when retightening? I always have a lot of loose hair that loves to slip out of the loc at the roots and I'm looking for tips on how to gather it all into the loc when I'm retightening. I get it retightened every 4 weeks so it's not due to going too long between retightenings. Sadly, my new consultant doesn't know how to deal with it either, because 2 days after being retightened, it looks like it was never done. (My old consultant never had this problem, but she's since relocated.) By the way, my hair is very thick, dense and course (just as you describe yours).

Thanks so much for your tips on repairing locs. As always your locs look great.


dewdrop said...

@cashana: Thanks! I thought that it would be best to post info/pics on how to fix bunching because I could never find any info. about how to fix your locks. I'm glad that this will help others who read it.

@mogirl: Before tightening, I will twist or wrap loose strands around the new growth and then insert my NL tool which pulls those strands in as I tighten. As a result, the roots are nice and neat but of course some of the loose strands are sticking out when i'm done. All I do is just snip them off with a pair of scissors, but only a little so that it doesn't pull out again or i'll just braid the strands around the lock (after latching) if they are long enough. Try this and see how it works. For me this has been the best solution.

rmcandlelight said...

I am concern about my 11 month old sisterlocks. I have small bunching on my locks is it because of my hair texture I have a loose curl pattern. My locks are not locked yet I still have the curly ends and some of them have balls of hair on the ends like there trying to seal. Also could it be the way my consultant tightens?

dewdrop said...

@rmcandlelight: Many factors can cause bunching, but since your locks are still forming I wouldn't worry too much about it because the lock needs to mesh and tangle. This can result in some bunching but don't quote me on it. How your consultant tightens can be a factor too but if she knows what she's doing, then you shouldn't have any bunching as a result of her tightening.

mogirl said...

Thansks dewdrop. I just met a fellow DIY'er in person and she too mentioned that she takes the scissors and cleans up any stray hairs as necessary. Like yours, her locks are gorgeous. I'm not a skilled hair person but I'm going to keep at it. You inspire me to keep trying.


Meikmeika said...

I'm a strange one... I like the way the bunching looks...hehe!

cheleski said...

i love your fix it how to's! thanks for sharing..btw..are you a perfefectionist/type A hehehehe( i ask in love)..bc I AM!

also, now that you are having success with your 2nd set of bl's, and now know how to fix you still think your fist set was a bust? or is it about the same-you just know how to fix your own hair...just curious...

dewdrop said...

@mogirl: Keep practicing and you'll become even better because that's how I learned. It took me a while, but i'm better at caring for my locks now than when I first started.

@Cheleski: LOL! I was type A during my first year of locking but now i'm type B and i'm at peace with how my locks have turned out. My first set was a bust because there was nothing I could do to fix my locks at all since that trainee messed up my head. It was like trying to drive an old car with a new shell but a busted engine that couldn't be salvaged...if that makes sense.

Kumina said...

You just don't know how much you helped me with the bunching of my locs. Your info is interesting and the pics just make it so easy to understand. I found myself going thru your blog for more than an hour. I don't have SL, I have braidlocs and I'm in month 9. Two locers from a hairgroup I'm in referred me to your site. I'm grateful to them also.

Frankie said...

Hi, Kalia. I'm an aspiring DIYer, and follow your blog regularly. My problem is that I have several locks with bunching as I started my SLs with 8 inches of permed hair and two inches of natural hair, so when I started cutting some of the permed ends after over a year, it resulted in some bunching.

I have looked at your photos showing how to fix bunched ends, but, I can't envision how to do it with my fingers. Could you possibly make a video showing how to do that? Perhaps I'm not the only person who can't figure out how to fix bunching using one's fingers, so I'm sure a video would be so-o-o helpful. Thanks.

Anonymous said...


I tried following this and it was disasterous, no fault of yours of course. I have distressing bunching in the middle of my hair where I think the consultant did the installations too big. I tried picking out one of my locks and the bunches are so big and hard that the push pin couldn't do it so I tried using a tail comb.

Well the hair that I combed out eventually just came out in the comb confirming (I think) what I had long suspected that a lot of the hair that breaks off seems to find it's way to the bottom of the locks where it stays contributing to the bunches. Anyway, eventually I gave up.

I think it's too late to pick out my hair which has been locked for 32 months now although you always seem to be able to pick yours out.

I am so distressed about my bunching sometimes because I can no longer freestyle because the middle of my hair does crazy things. At this rate though I may just have to cut them off.

Thanks for the tips and your very insightful blog. Any advice you have would be greatly appreciated.