Loc’d and Loving It: The Journey

ContentI started loc’ing my hair almost three years ago. I started and kept them up without the help of a “professional” loctician. A glorious new beginning! HA, yeah right… From trying other people’s suggestions (e.g. hair glue on the tips to keep them from unraveling) to figuring out the natural coil of my hair to crying uncontrollably on the floor because of my frustration–I was far from glorious. Look at some of my pics from when they were a little shorter and you can tell I’m forcing a smile.

Let me tell you, before I started I thought this could not be difficult. I was proven otherwise. Anyway, to make a long story short, I made it through. I was determined to start and maintain my own locs. I refuse to pay some African hair shop $100 just to begin my locs and about $50 to $75 maintain them regularly…and that’s the lowest fee I found.

Many of my old classmates or friends in my hometown ask me, “Why did you do ‘this’ to your hair?! You had pretty hair!” …….  THIS?! What is THIS?! As I LAST recall, THIS is my hair! I can do what the @$(*&#$^ I want to do with it! …. Of course, I did not say this to them, especially if they were my elders. I think it is very flattering! And that is what locs should do. Make you proud to be who you are in front of whomever. So now when people ask me why I have dreads, I ask them, “Why not?” and they usually end up baffled with nothing else to say. (hehehe, bliss).

Now, I can’t imagine cutting my locs…well…the thought crossed my mind, but, uh, I didn’t act on it. So that counts! Moving on… Now don’t go thinking I’m some tree-hugging hippie or some Neo Soul Diva (…well, a little). I am a Diva nonetheless. My locs are an extension of myself. People can barely remember me without them, especially since they have grown. I never tire of wanting to roll my eyes at those who when I first got my locs said, “Dreadlocks are dirty. They are not for me blah, blah, blah…” and now seeing my hair that proves their theory otherwise say, “Oh, I was going to do locs. They are so pretty. I just couldn’t do it. It looks hard. I really want them, now. How do you…” Hehehe, sweet bliss. But I don’t remind them of what they said, beause it would ruin our friendship…for the moment (believe me, I contemplated it).

I hope to continue to grow my locs as I age. Not to mention,  the day I have a child I won’t have to worry about my hair when a picture is taken of me. My face on the other hand…
Look at the photo albums of my journey thus far: http://public.fotki.com/My4tress/
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A little nervous
ENVY
(7-26-09) See the nervous pic? Recently, I’ve been spotting other peoples’ locs and natural hairstyles. I gotta say, I’m slightly intimidated. There are some whose locs go to their butt or the others who has beautiful colors to highlight their hair. Some have these magnificent hairstyles that only God himself would only know how they get their locs to pull that form. Here I am with a measley blog I thought was pretty cool. Then my sarcasm kicks in and helps me to believe otherwise. They didn’t get their locs in a blink of an eye, heck, they may even have loc extensions (hehehe). Yeah, that’s it! Half of those people ain’t (yeah, I said ain’t) real. Well, that’s what I can tell myself as long as don’t think it verbally or through text. *sigh* False hope lasts for only as long as you believe it. Mine ended as soon as I thought it (lol). One day I will get there… Curse you, normal scalp growth!! Curse you!!

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Scared to Be Me
(8.8.09) There was a member on Nappturality who was afraid to go home because of her parent’s views on her locs. Her parents, unfortunately, were very authoritarian and saw locs as disrespect and associated them with crime. You see, her parents are from the Caribbean and they are, according to the member, are old school. Her father was very disrespectful to her while she was wearing  a TWA (teeny-weeny afro) and said that the reason she wore her hair that was because she “had no respect for herself.” Her mother threatened to take her locs out while the member slept. Seriously, this is bull####. I mean, really? Are you so stuck in your ways you force your views on your adult children? Views that really are not that serious… Her hair does not affect her health and isn’t life-threatening. So why should it matter? This was my response to her:

This is the wig I wore to my parent's home while I was visiting. This was when I was just beginning to loc my hair.

This is the wig I wore to my parent's home while I was visiting. This was when I was just beginning to loc my hair.

“Wow, you and I lead similar lives. I, too, was afraid of going home when I started my locs. My parents are authoritarian and they do not like “different.” I hid my locs under a wig anytime I went home. I mean, people back in my home town were used to me wearing braids, weaves, and wigs (because I made sure my hair was always on point). However, one day I just got sick of the nonsense and realized that I was not even wearing the wig. And when my parents came back from their outing, my mom was like, “What are ‘those.’ ” I told [her] what they were. She asked why I did it and I told her why. She surprised me and said that having locs was the healthiest thing for my hair. HOWEVER, a couple months down the road she was challenging me and asked me what if they become permanent or can you take them [locs] out… I let her know that they couldn’t [be taken out]and I plan on keeping them forever. My father looked at my [hair] constantly and I could see his disapproval. I just knew he was going to say something that was going to belittle me. They didn’t seem pleased, but parents are always hard to please when you’re their child–whether you are fifteen or fifty! I was kinda scared, but I stood my ground. Here I was, an adult living out on her own, paid her own bills, own job, own car (sort of), and was very independent. Who are they to say how I wore my hair? Wanna disown me? Go ahead, but you’re missing out on an outstanding daughter. Wanna take away something you [have] given to me?? Fine, I don’t need for you to have leverage over me anyway. What is the worst that can happen? I doubt that they will try to kill their offspring over a hairstyle. If they are physical–uh–exhibitionists (lack of a better word), then I would advise you to get the heck out of Dodge!”

Besides the typos, did I say it well enough? What do you think??
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8.20.09 Did a vid on my journey thus far.

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Smiling!

November 2, 2009

Oh my freakin’ goodness… Mark history—NOW! My ol’ school parents are actually impressed with my hair. I was unbraiding the locs when my mother asked me to come closer. She liked the way my hair looked. She liked it so much she told my father to look at my hair. She said, “Do you know that is all of her hair??” My father was surprised and was like, “Wow! I didn’t know that. All the people I see who have hair like that looks dingy and unclean. It looks like you condition your hair. I didn’t know you could do all of that to your hair.” Ha! I TRIED to tell ya’ll. Of course, I didn’t say this aloud, but I definitely was doing a victory dance inside! Let’s just say, I’m content with my lil’ win. This comes at a time where, frankly, I didn’t care what my parents or anyone thought of my hair. I KNOW my hair is beautiful—I stare it for like 10+ hours a week: in the car, in the bathroom, in any mirror, in my reflection, yada yada yada… My coworkers, friends, strangers compliment my hair as well. So now I’m to the point where my locs think that they are grown. I say this because they maintain themselves. I don’t twist them as much or fuss over them…  Yes, the babies have grown and have earned their keep!

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Oh yeah, my hair may look fine, but it is absolutely not what you think!

Dry Spell

12.5.09 Winter, oh winter, how I despise thee. I enjoy your holidays and the togetherness of the season. But oh how I hate the dryness of my body. Dear God, PLEASE release me from this dry spell!! MY skin is dull, my scalp is itchy AND my locs are dry and brittle. What the duce??! As much as I care and pamper my locs nothing seems to work. The hot-towel treatment—didn’t work. Oil—nothing happened except an acne breakout all over my face because the amount I applied. Next day, it was dry all over again. Steam, ACV rinse, conditioner, everything I tried did NOT work. So I’m wondering what the deal is. For one, I’ve been rather sickly lately, kinda stressed; however, I have been drinking water religiously (hitting that 8 cups a day)! So I’m really questioning what’s going on here. Then I regressed. *sigh* You know that I know that petroleum is the devil. Okay, okay, you can stop your gasping and wall slides now, I know. So I did it. I used petroleum, well, the Jamaican Mango and Lime Twist and Lock Crème/Wax stuff. Whatever it’s called, its been sitting around my house for like 2 years or so! I was using it for everything EXCEPT my locs (such as for hands and feet, if needed, lip balm…)But I was desperate. I just would like to say that: I verify and validate all my previous statements and blogs about not using petroleum and how it is the devil. This curse-ed (emphasis on the –ed) has brought immediate relief and disgust at the same time. I applied the grease (that’s what I’m going to call it) to my scalp. I loathed the feeling of stiff locs. No, no, I didn’t palm-roll or even twist this stuff into my locs, I DARE NOT! Yet, just the application of grease to my scalp barely touching the root has made the locs either (1) stick to my scalp (2) stick out (3) unmovable/stiff (at this point I have my head on the table).   Just the thought of scratching my scalp only to get it under my nails annoys me! Oy!! To resolve this, I blow-dried my locs so that the grease could melt and hopefully decrease the irritation.So as I plan to wash out this ‘grease’ for the next month and a half, I’m at least grateful that my scalp isn’t dry and the scratching has ceased—for now.

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I'm really not believing this right now...

OMG!!!! (2-19-10)

Seriously… seriously?? Your 9 month year old son?? This lady is looking for someone to put locs on her 9 month old son… Way to go. I don’t know if this is normal anywhere else, but here in the state of North Carolina I have never seen an infant have locs. She said that they do this in Maryland. Maybe it’s me. Maybe I’m weird to think that IT IS WEIRD to put locs on a baby. I’ve seen them on children around 6 to 8 years old and older. Some people have a problem with this, you know? They feel like the child should have the option to make their choice about their hair. At 6, I don’t think a child knows the responsibility and the permanency of locs (i.e. On January, “Mommy, I want locs like yours.”  June of the same year, “Mommy I don’t want them anymore.”). Yet when I see them on kids I’m like, “Awww, how cute!!” I’m neither here or there about the issue with them on children, but on babies?? Nah, I don’t’ think I could handle, lol. Whatever, lady.

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Party in the back with the PigTails 😀 Oink! (That was corny, I know)

Cured Dry Spell

((4.23.10))So I’ve discovered the root of my dry spell. It’s ironic I use the word “root.” *sigh* Well, let me start from the top. I had started interlocking in November of 2009, which in turn, keeps from retwisting my new growth for long periods of time. On top of that, I have also been wearing styles where new growth is contained and/or not very noticeable (for example, crinkles with the curly ends). I still oiled my scalp and cleaned it well (not in that order, of course), yet I could not understand why in the world my head would feel so dry!! Honestly, what could possibly be going on? I definitely did not want to retry the “grease” route *groan.* So… while talking on the phone one day, I subconsciously went into primp mode. This consists of standing in front of the bathroom mirror probing, admiring, touching up and touching, oiling, and most likely twisting my locs. After the phone conversation, I realized my scalp felt relieved. What did I do, you say? I interlocked my new growth and sprayed my scalp with a soothing scalp spray (it had menthol in it and you know I love that!). O.M.Gosh. I was so happy, until my afterthoughts invaded my consciousness: “Are you serious?! This was all that was needed?! What the Tom Cruise?!” Four months or so of dryness just because the locs needed just a tad more TLT (tender loving twisting). So the lesson: It may be doing a lot of good from not retwisting your new growth, but your scalp needs to breathe (and see the light of day!) at some point. Yay me!! (^_^)

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My 3-Year Update


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Update 9.9.10 Well, this is the current length of my locs. I cannot believe they’re at this length; however, I’m still not satisfied. I still feel like they’re short. I guess, I’ve always a perception of what “long hair” was since I was a child. To me, long hair was where my hair was mid- back INCLUDING IN THE FRONT. My locs in the front are not as long as the back *sigh*. So I’m kinda frustrated with that, but it will get there… eventually. I do love the way my hair looks, though. You know, the condition it is in, the color… Oh yeah, I re-dyed my hair in July of this year. I know, I know, this is the fourth time (I think) I’ve dyed in my who loc-history. But I really love this color. At first, I shrieked because I didn’t aim for this color to be so light. But that’s what you get when you talk on the phone while dyeing your hair. Yes, I was. It was a blessing in disguise. Everyone says it fits me and they love the color and I love it, too. I still interlock and palm-roll religiously. One day, when I’m confident enough, I will do a vid on interlocking…. but that day seems far, far away. Lol. Three more months until my locs turn 4 years old. Yay!

Have questions about locs? Email me at: locd4life@yahoo.com

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~ by My4tress on July 24, 2009.

14 Responses to “Loc’d and Loving It: The Journey”

  1. I know the feeling about folks talking about your hair as you start the early stages, then as they see them mature it’s like they forget about the early stages-they want to do it and they want them to look full and mature now. I love my mother like pancakes but did the same thing-kinda talked about me in the early stages, and now she wants her hair to look like mine. When I told her it could take a couple of years she changed her mind LOL!

    Glad to see you are willing to share your journey with others-keep up the work sister!

    • My mother was skeptical at first, but she stopped asking questions after a while. Now, she doesn’t even pay me any mind, lol. Thanks for your post!

  2. That’s how my grandmother was (my mom passed in ’99). She was weird about the whole thing at first, and my grandmother is never one to bite her tongue, so she definitely made it known. But I trusted my instincts so I kept with it. Now I am nine months loc’d and she is loving them. She is even talking about going natural herself, lol. Funny how things change. People always have something funny to say in the beginning, but when they see them maturing, then it eventually becomes ok. Great blog. I enjoyed reading

  3. Your locks are beautiful and look much better than the weave! I had family members who did not understand too but after they see how well groomed, they quickly change. Check out my blog – oliviajewelshaw.blogspot.com

  4. I like the clean look of your blog. I found you via LHBE and was also looking to see how other gals were adding LHBE link on their blogs. I didn’t see one here though. I was just approved and one of the stipulations is to have a link back (which I think is a cool idea because it is such a cool place and chock full of blogs, like yours, which offer encouragement to to newbie Sisterlocked persons like myself.

    Keep up the good work.

    Namaste,

    Lovin’ Lockd

  5. Rock those locs sis. You did a great job.

  6. I really like your blog and so appreciate the determination about keeping your locs. They are GORGEOUS by the way!!! I had traditional locs, cut them and now have sisterlocks. I also have a blog on wordpress detailing my experiences with locs here in West Africa. Feel free to check it out when you can. http://www.adaezetome.wordpress.com Hope all is well and keep staying strong and beautiful!

    Cheers,
    Adaeze

  7. I really love your site! Your hair is stunning! This site is such a motivation to me, especially since I started and maintained my locs myself without a professional; so I can relate to your journey. I too get the ‘Why did you cut your hair, I like it the way it was before” look but I walk around proud knowing that I am free to express myself and I see that you are doing the same too. Keep posting great videos and blogs for they are very helpful.

    Blessings unto you,

    Cherri

    • I really, REALLY appreciate the feedback and compliments! It never gets old. I’m glad the site is motivation to you; I really am. It’s nothing like being able to express yourself so freely and effortlessly just by having locs!!

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