Where do buds, loops, and zigzags come from, and how do I get rid of them?

“Buds” are swells of hair that are resistant to retwisting in the beginning stages of locks started in tightly coiled and kinky hair types. These are a part of the maturation process and are a sign that your locks are maturing. Though they are frustrating, they always go away on their own, so there is no reason to fret.

Wiggles and zigzags found in locks are called “loops” in loose curl patterns. They tend to be most numerous in the beginning stages of locking, but most of them tend to go away on their own as your locks become more mature, which is usually near the one-year mark.

Loops come from hair shrinking on one side of the lock and staying long on the other side, which causes the longer bit to scrunch up. It’s similar to what happens when you are pulling up your blinds and something goes wrong — one side is pulled up too fast, the other is left to stick out and hang in a fan shape. As the rest of the lock begins to tighten up again, the loops will go away on their own, just like how crooked blinds can be corrected by pulling on the cord again.

Unfortunately, it’s unrealistic to stave off all loops while your locks are maturing. There are crochet hook techniques that can get rid of or diminish the look of loops. If you try to crochet hook your baby locks too often while they are still trying to shrink, you’ll be on a time-consuming futile whack-a-mole hunt for months, and you run the risk of harming the integrity of your hair. For some people, it seems like just when you crochet hook a loop back in, another one will show up the next morning.

That’s why, if you must, we suggest doing crochet hook maintenance only at infrequent intervals. So be sure to relax and space out maintenance sessions. One loop won’t hurt between sessions; they are actually a good sign of maturation. But don’t forget about maintenance if you want neat, manicured locks; loops left unmaintained for too long can become permanent. So find a healthy balance that’s best for you.

There is no way to prevent all loops, but luckily, most tend to diminish in size and sometimes go away on their own. It’s all part of the process. For more information about loops, check out this informative video about the topic.