Yesterday March 27, 2016 marked 7 weeks since the birth of my starter locs, almost 2 months. This has been a great journey that I told myself I needed to talk about on my blog because I always wanted to get locs but I was always scared of the commitment of them. I also didn’t know how to start and when to start. I had always seen people start their locs the traditional way and I knew that wasn’t for me. So I started them on my own because I felt that since it was my head, I wanted to control the outcome, that all future liability of the results was mine.
Therefore, I started off my loc journey with tons and tons of research using YouTube and blogs authored by seasoned locticians as sources for my knowledge. The internet can be a beautiful thang. I came to the conclusion that because of my differing hair textures near the nape of my neck, on the crown of my head, and the super soft hair that lined my edges, I didn’t want to start my locs the “traditional” way with either just braid, twist or single coils. I decided that for things to be more interesting, I would start my locs with hybrid braids at the root and finger coils half way down at the tips. Obviously, this way isn’t for everyone because for the first month, they definitely had a funky look to them, but I believe that my hair loc’d faster using this method unique to me than had I started with just finger coils. The top of my head has hair that is so straight, it didn’t even want to coil (this straightness is naturally how my hair grows not as a result of any sort of heat damage), so using braids here was SUPER helpful. Side note: I believe my hair is growing faster than when it was loose because I have had about an inch of new growth in these past 7 weeks.
When it comes to size, my locs are all different shapes and sizes. The last row at the back of my head harbors my smallest locs being about a centimeter wide, while all over I have some locs that are twice to two and a half times the size of my smallest locs. My goal wasn’t uniformity with my locs—if it were I would have had someone section each part meticulously—instead I elected to section my hair blindly so that I could get locs that looked more organic.
As of right now my hair is super frizzy but it is matting up well. The bottom third of my head in the back is fully loc’d, but I account this to the nature of the small size of the locs in this back section. I mentioned frizz which early in my journey really bothered me but I’ve kind of let go of that need to look “neat and frizz free”, whatever that really is to any locer who has soft hair like mine. Frizz is going to happen and all you can really do is accept it or palm roll it. When it comes to my hair, I am very low maintenance. I’ve retwisted my hair only once and really didn’t like the scalp-y look, so I think about 3 days later I rinsed my hair to get rid of the parts. I would consider myself a freeformer simply because I don’t like the look of manicure locs on me. My personality is captured by my hair doing what it wants whether that be sticking up or sticking together. Two of my locs are really wanting to join together and I hope I can get to a place soon to allow them to grow as one—I’m honestly just not there yet.
When I first got my locs, I waited a few days, maybe three, and then I rinsed my hair. I rinsed my hair on a daily basis with warm water to help my hair matte and to help with my dry scalp. My scalp and hair love water and I think rinsing frequently was super beneficial in my locs’ earliest stages. However, as my locs’ matrix begins to tighten and expand at the same time, I am noticing drying times are longer so I try not to wet my hair to a soaking wet state nearly as often —maybe twice per week. I wash my hair once a week usually on Sundays, that way I have time to do a hot oil treatment under a plastic cap to give my locs the extra moisture they need. For my washes, I use Neutrogena T/Gel Shampoo which is a residue-free shampoo that I used before I even had locs because I have a dry scalp. The tar in this product helps soothe my scalp, while removing any build up, dandruff, and oil; and my scalp feels super squeaky clean after each wash. To avoid my hair drying out, I always apply either coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil to my scalp, massaging gently with my finger tips.
My daily care routine is fairly simple. At night, I tie it down with a satin scarf or I throw a silk bonnet over my hair. In the morning, I usually sprits a 1 to 3 olive oil/ water mixture on my locs focusing on the roots. I usually wear a cotton headscarf during the day for class (I figured out how to include photos so some of my head scarf looks are in my photo gallery). I must admit sometimes I’m running late and don’t wear a satin under-scarf to protect my locs but I haven’t noticed any real damage. I recommend that you always wear a silk scarf under your head wraps to protect your hair from any friction that can and will occur between the material and your hair strands.
I honestly don’t really remember saying to myself “okay, Des let’s loc your hair.” I just sat up one Sunday afternoon and started on them. I kind of rationalized that I had always seen myself as someone who would look beautiful with them and what was I waiting for? For years I would whenever I saw someone with locs give them the highest compliments of how nice they looked. I knew putting my hair into locs wouldn’t be a decision that I would regret because I had spent years since high school thinking about one day getting them. The day I decided to install my own freeform locs was the day I realized that “one day” never comes. One day is the day that you wake up and decide to make changes that are going to make you happier and more confident.
I want to leave you with a few closing thoughts/ suggestions to anyone that thinks locs may not be for them, or maybe considering getting locs.
- Hair isn’t just hair. Some say it is but hair is all over your body outside of just your scalp as a layer of protection. So, what you do with your hair is your choice. Carefully consider locs and do tons of research so that you won’t feel like you jumped into an important decision before you were ready.
- Stop letting people lie to you and tell you that locs are boring and you “can’t do anything with them.” Locs offer tons of versatility, if not more than loose natural hair. You can do mostly all the same things that you did with your fro or curls and kinks, with your locs.
- Also locs can be for everyone. The size, thickness, and total number count of your locs can be fitted with every personality there is. Some people will have thick locs, others will have thin locs. One person will have a number in the 300s, another will have less than 50. It really just depends on what you want your locs to look like. I myself have 86 locs of varying sizes but I know that this set of locs is unique to me and is for me.
- There is so much stigma that need to be erased about locs, from their association with smoking marijuana to the misconception that they are dirty and do not require washing. While I’m sure some people with locs, just like anyone with the next hair style, do not maintain clean hair, these people are not a glowing reflection of the majority of locers. How you take care of your locs is your choice, so be mindful that if you choose the #locdlife people may make assumptions about you based on your hair. This comes with the territory.
- When you finally do get locs you will wish you had started sooner!
Feel free to leave any question or comments below.
Enjoy the journey.
God is God. And God is Good.
Peace and Blessing Kings & Queens,