Recently I decided to embark on a hair journey that requires tons of patience and commitment …. surprise, surprise, I am currently in the process of loc’ing my hair. For the past few years I have been obsessed with my hair – how long it was, how fast it was growing, and protective styling.
When I was 5 or 6 I received my first relaxer to straighten out my “naps”. My mom had 3 girls which means she had to do three heads of hair a week, so I understand why she made the decision to chemically straighten our hair. I grew up in the 90s and early 00s, when natural hair wasn’t “acceptable”.
When I was in high school, relaxers and me stopped getting along. Every time my mom would put a relaxer in my hair, the next day I’d wake up with a wet, sticky substance in the middle of my head. My mom and I would both look at each other and shrug; we didn’t know what it was so we would just shampoo my hair again. This continued all the way until college.
I remember I was a freshman at UConn when I started relaxing my hair myself. I even branched out into do my own sew ins (I thought I was cute). Then sophomore year of college I started to look into products that would make my hair grow. I found a shampoo and conditioner brand online created by a black woman,
so I had to have it. Unfortunately, washing my relaxed hair with this miracle shampoo was a huge mistake. As I rinsed out the conditioner a ton of my hair came out as well. I was devastated!
From that moment on, I decided that I was no longer going to relax my hair – I was going natural. At the time I didn’t know that it was a movement, I didn’t know it was called “going natural”; I just knew that I didn’t want those chemicals in my hair anymore. I wasn’t brave enough to cut off all of my hair so I just let it grow out.
This process was long and I thought I was ugly. I wore scarves and fedoras to cover up my hair. I did bantu knot outs to give my hair some life and uniformity – but still I wasn’t happy. That was in 2012.
Fast forward to 2016. Although I had my fro for almost 4 years I still didn’t know what to do with it; I hadn’t found any staple products or convenient ways to style it. I was frustrated and I wanted to give up.
I even considered cutting it all off! But then I had a conversation with my ex boyfriend’s mom (yeah she’s still like a mom to me, I’ll tell you all about that later) and she told me she was contemplating loc’ing her hair.
Now locs have been something that I’ve always thought about doing but my mom and sisters have always advised against it. Still the conversation with Mama Rachie got me thinking. I started to conduct research on the history of locs and what maintenance looked like. What really convinced me to loc my hair was this woman by the name of Yannie the Locologist. If you’re considering locs please check her out. She talks about maintenance and the problems with people’s desire to style, style, style their locs. Yannie’s videos are refreshing and eye opening.
Now I am a month into my starter locs that I did myself. I’m nervous and anxious to see how they turn out. I decided against small and neat locs, and instead went with thicker locs that I can potentially let free form. To keep track of my locs process I have been taking pictures of my hair since day 1. I’m not sure if you can tell, but I’m obsessed with my locs.
I’ll be sure to keep you updated on my progress 🙂