Starter stage (lasts three to six months): Locs typically grow in five stages, and the first one lasts three to six months. "In this stage, the hair is being started in coils, double-strand twists, or box braids," Gabriele Benjamin, a New York City-based "loctitian," tells POPSUGAR. If you leave your hair in one of these styles, it begins to tangle, and this is where your coils start to wrap around themselves forming a "loc."
Budding stage (six to 12 months): The second stage is when the hair begins to lock up and become matted. According to Benjamin, this stage is an easy one to grow frustrated with since your hair may end up being a little fuzzy as it grows out. But that's not to say you should worry, as it's all part of the process. Just make sure you're routinely shampooing and retwisting. (More on that later.)
Teen stage (from month 12 to month 15): During the third stage, your hair should experience a lot less unraveling when manipulated. In some cases, your locs may not be growing in the intended direction, but this part of the process will only last for a few months before your hair reaches the fourth stage.
Mature stage (from month 15 to month 18): This fourth stage is basically when your locs are long enough to hang and you have a clearer idea of how to clean and maintain them.
Rooted locs stage (from month 18 to month 21): Lastly, rooted locs are like the 30-somethings of locs. You reach this stage once you have had your locs for several years and are comfortable with managing them however you feel is necessary.