Did you know that the term ‘wicks’ was given to this hairstyle due to the fact that each one resembles the wick of a candle because of their upright positioning?
In the locs fraternity, one of the most common and fast growing locs is the Florida Wick. It is gaining a lot of popularity now because celebrities like Kodak Black and billionaire Jay-Z wear them.
It is also called globs or bonks. People passionate about hip hop music and related sub-genres tend to put on wick dreads as a means of identity.
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The Origin of Florida Wicks
This unique hairstyle is believed to have originated from South Florida. It is common amongst African-Americans. It is documented that the largest chunk of Black immigrants live in South Florida — roughly 490,000 people in the Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-West Palm Beach area.
That includes the nation’s largest Black Haitian immigrant community, as more than 35% of Black Haitian immigrants live in South Florida. The name “Wick” comes from the word “wicky,” used to describe the sleek and tight appearance of the dreadlocks.
Characteristics of Florida Wicks
The Floridian hairstyle is called wick because of its ability to stand straight like a candle wick. Wicks are thick and pointy. Usually, wicks can measure about 2 to 6 inches, however, there are a few cases where people have wicks as long as 24 inches.
Wicks have smooth round ends and stands as a single piece from the roots. The wick dread ends may be one piece or have many smaller-sized dread endings to make them unique.
How to achieve the Florida Wicks
To get the Floridian hairstyle, one will have to have at least six inches of hair. Starting with enough hair makes the wick cultivation process easy and keeps your wick installation costs low.
The main benefit of starting wicks with long hair is that you get to have long wicks right off the bat. Unfortunately, some struggle to get through the process of crocheting long sections of hair or long locs. It can take hours upon hours.
There are four main methods of starting wicks. These are;
1. Crochet Wick Combine Method:
This involves using a crochet needle to crochet the wicks together. The advantage of this method is that it can be done quickly and easily, and you won’t have to wait for your wicks to form over time – you get them instantly.
2. Crochet Wick Extensions:
If you want long wicks now, consider crochet wick extensions. They can be used to start your wick journey or lengthen your existing wicks.
3. Freeform Method:
You start by allowing your hair to grow and lock freely (i.e., naturally lock) without manipulating it much. Just wash and oil your hair as needed.
Whenever your roots begin to fuse into one loc, separate them according to the thickness and number of wicks you want.
Over time, this will result in natural wicks. The disadvantage of this is that it takes a lot of time and may not be as clean as crocheted wicks.
4. Rubberband Method:
The rubber band method is a great way to get wicks on loose afro hair. All you have to do is group your loose hair into large sections and put rubber bands down the length of each section.
Leave the rubber bands in for 3 weeks to a month the first time around. After that time, take the rubber bands off and check if your hair is starting to lock on its own.
If it isn’t locked, put the rubberbands back on and wait for 3 to 4 more weeks. Once your hair is locked, you won’t need the rubber bands anymore.
Once you have your Florida Wicks on, there is the need to keep it tidy in order to maintain it. The following tip will guide you;
- Make sure all your wicks are the same size for a nice, uniform look.
- Don’t neglect your wicks. Wash them regularly using a clarifying shampoo. To maintain hygienic wicks, wash your hair once or twice a month, depending on how quickly they get dirty.
- Moisturize your scalp frequently, and don’t forget to cover your hair up at night with a silk or satin bonnet or scarf.
- After washing the wicks, dry them with a microfiber towel and then air dry or blow dry them thoroughly. Doing so will prevent mold and mildew growth.
Benefits of Florida wicks
It is worth noting that wick dreadlocks promote great hair growth with minimal shedding. This is because your hair is going to be in a permanent protective style and you wouldn’t have to manipulate your hair often. There is always much less wear and tear on your strands. Simply put, your hair is free to grow and thrive.
Florida wicks in the Community
In recent years, the wicks locs have exploded in popularity and are quickly becoming a trend. Some folks have likened the growing of wicks to trees that grow from the roots of the hair to the tip.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Are wicks protective hairstyles?
For natural hair, they are considered a protective style because you don’t need to use any chemicals to make wicks. Wicks also help the hair retain moisture as they don’t put too much stress on the scalp, although they require lots of patience as they can take years to be fully complete
Are wicks religious?
The wearing of hair in dreadlocks by Rastafaria is believed to be spiritual, this is justified in the Bible with reference to the Samson story.
What are the side effects of wicks?
Heavy wicks can cause your roots to pull at your scalp, causing gradual hair loss as well as headaches and neck pain. Your wicks might be heavy because they are too long due to product build-up. If you don’t reduce some of this weight, you may end up with a receding hairline.
Are wicks unprofessional?
Stricter white-collar professions discourage wicks due to deeming them unhygienic and associating them with marijuana. Most employees are given the choice to shave their locs or wicks to keep their job or resign as locs are stigmatized to be messy and unprofessional.
Do wicks smell?
Dreadlocks are essentially matted hair, which has the potential to trap odors quicker than loose hair, but this doesn’t mean that dreads smell bad or they’re doomed to eventually smell bad. If you don’t know how to care for your dreads properly, your dreads could end up with an offensive smell.
It’s your turn to rock the Floridian Hairstyle…
Although wicks and thick locs have been in Florida for a while, it seems as if music artists from that area have brought this hairstyle to the forefront. This does not mean wicks are exclusive to Florida, all I’m saying is if you were to go to Florida you would see more people with wicks than anywhere else.