5 Reasons to Lock Your Hair
One of the most common questions people with locs get is
"So what made you lock your hair?"
Having embarked on the journey twice, I find that I locked my hair for a number of reasons that were different depending on the journey but the reasons for both journeys were a deep need to feel free, a profound need to reconnect to mySelf, and a desperate need for change.
You too will have your own reasons for finally deciding to lock your hair but some of the most common reasons are discussed in this post.
Fab! Here we go!
1.You’ve tried every other style.
If you’re considering getting locs, you may have already tried so many other styles including relaxers, natural styles, protective styling and more. My hair certainly journeyed through being relaxed & long (elbow length) in my early college days to being a short, relaxed pixie cut towards the end of college, to having braids (for...a week lol), to a short, naturally curly, wash-n-go look, to a blonde buzzcut (left, my friends called me Heather Rose), to one of my all-time faves when I was completely bald (right).
In fact, I shared on IG the fact that when so many people thought I’d shaved my hair it simply because I wanted to try the look, what they didn't know was the fact that I shaved my head because I'd been experiencing “temporary alopecia” due to severe stress & depression, subsequently causing chunks of hair to fall out on a regular basis. I had some steroid shots (imagine...in my scalp!!) and when that didn’t work, I turned to reiki healing and my hair eventually grew back (REIKI WORKS!). I actually wore it bald for a few years because I’d really fallen in love with the look and what it did for my confidence (cause let’s face it, you gotta be confident as hell to walk around as a Black woman with no hair in her mid-20s!).
"Looking back, it’s incredible to see how some of the most challenging situations truly give birth to some of the most gratifying & transformative experiences."
By 2016, I'd grown my hair out naturally for about 2 years and towards the fall of that year, I began considering the only other style I hadn’t tried but LOVED and eventually, committed to the idea of locking my hair in October of 2016.
2. You like a challenge
For those considering the loc journey, remember that one thing that sets your journey apart from anyone else’s is the unique texture & patterns of your hair. Our hair has different curl patterns, needs and requirements for cleansing, hydrating and moisturizing, so remember that when you’re doing your research and (inevitably) comparing your hair to your favorite loc baes on IG & Pinterest.
When considering embarking on the loc journey, unless you have absolutely no preference about any of the following and you’re embarking on a semi/free-form journey, then you may want to think about these things before you get started as they often pose challenges in the future without thorough consideration:
The “fuzzy” phase
Usually within the first 6-8 months of the process, your hair is transitioning from naturally loose hair to matted locs and often gets VERY fuzzy.
If you prefer a neat look, then this phase will definitely come with its challenges because even within a few days of a retwist, your hair may fuzz up again due to hair memory. Don't worry, though! You can preserve retwists by doing tensionless styles.
Hats, wraps & wigs usually solve this problem or you can be a total badass and embrace this inevitable part of the journey.
To me, this is when your commitment is tested the most and your confidence shines the brightest.
Consider what size locs you want depending on the texture of your hair and your willingness/ability to handle so many/few locs.
General rule of thumb: the fewer the locs, the thicker they are, the smaller the locs, the more you'll like have (note: there are ALWAYS exceptions to this "rule).
You have many options to choose from when considering what installation method you prefer (comb coils, interlocking, instant locs, and two-strand twists are the most common). Check out this blog post HERE to read about the pros/cons of each method.
I didn’t have a parting system & interlocked my locs from root to tip my first time around and it really affected the health of my hair.
The second time around; however, I used the diamond parting method to be gentle on my edges and for the appearance of more locs (I have 95 in total) and I used the instant loc method for less raveling in the beginning months.
3. A Desire for Low-Maintenance Haircare
Per usual, I’m going to be transparent.
Locs are definitely not the type of style where you get them installed and leave them alone forever. Hate to break it to you, that’s not how the journey works. The style will definitely require some work but for the most part, certainly in the first few months of the journey, there’s very little that has to be done beyond keeping them clean, hydrated and moisturized. Truthfully, your entire journey could consist purely of these few steps and your regular maintenance, but it’s important to note that although having locs is low-maintenance, it still requires TLC so that they can bud, mature and grow beautifully!
- Rinse during morning shower every other day (this has actually helped my hair lock faster).
- Wash once a week with @drlocs products (shop their products HERE & use "HEATHER10" to save!)
- Rosewater every morning + oil blend on the roots "regularly" (you have to see what works best on your hair type).
- Oil blend on scalp + bonnet at night.
- Retwist every 8 to 12 weeks.
4. Tapping into your spiritual power
From my personal experience, and I think a lot of my IG loc sisters will agree, embarking on the loc journey often ignites and/or deepens your spiritual journey simultaneously.
Because like so many beautiful aspects of spirituality, embarking on your loc journey requires visualization, intention, commitment to the process that lies before you and relinquishment of the ultimate outcome.
Now, I will say that one of the hardest parts of both the spiritual and loc journey is relinquishing control of the outcome. You can have the best wash routine, wear your bonnet every night, etc. but ultimately my friends, how your locs bud, mature and grow is entirely up your hair.
Manipulating them to lay/look a certain way or “behave” a certain way is only going to frustrate you and exhaust the very energy you could be investing in an incredibly beautiful process.
"So when these feelings hit or especially if you’re currently experiencing this now, I gently encourage you to return to Center, remember the intentions you’d set before you began the journey and remember why you committed in the first place."
& Don't forget:
The sense of freedom you’d been longing for.
The abstract beauty they represent & the community (virtual and in real time) that has your back every step of the way.
FOLLOW THESE ACCOUNTS on IG FOR AMAZING LOC CONTENT!
5. Non-conformity in beauty & style
It’s no secret that locs have been a controversial style in the workforce, in the military, in the media and in pop culture. From the ongoing debate about whether they should be referred to as “locs” or “dreadlocks”, to the countless tales of discrimination in corporate America, locs definitely come with their fair share of...shade.
In a world where European standards of beauty still dominate mainstream society, it really speaks volumes about you and your character to embark on such a radical journey. Aside from being bald, I really can’t think of any other style that is so vastly different from the socially-accepted, long, straight look. When you wear your locs, yes even the fuzzy baby locs, you’ve committed to a look, a style, and a physical appearance that speaks before you do.
"Choosing this journey means that you've chosen to walk in total confidence, embodying an energy that outwardly rejects outdated standards of beauty and instead, embraces with pride every phase of an incredible journey. Never forget that."
Do you have questions before you start your locs?
Ask below and I’ll comment based on my experience(s)!
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