I remember when I first decided to loc my hair. I had been through a series of bad hair styles that took a toll on me and my roots. From naturally thick hair twisted in ponytails as a little girl to processed short hair mimicking Cyndi Lauper as a teen, I was so indecisive and confused about my hair and who I was. I had seen many people with dreadlocks, some I recognized where dreads and others I did not.
I always had this misconception of dreadlocks…I was so focused on them being permanent and I had commitment issues. I didn’t want to feel like it was a hair sentence if I were decide to lock my hair. Although I liked how they looked on some, I wasn’t fond of the free-formed dreadlocks like Bob Marley’s.
In 2007 I was pregnant with my third child and it was only then that it clicked…I need to go natural. That was a journey within itself. I went to the salon to get quick weaves and my hair actually grew really quickly with all the hormones and extra vitamins from the pregnancy. Once my hair was long enough I began wearing sew-ins. But then that became daunting so when my hair was a decent length I began wearing my own freely.
Things were cool but I was still misled and confused because I would get rid of the slightest curl, nap or frizz in my hair. I would flat iron my hair more than necessary. I had to have that straight look, you know. Then came my infamous hair dye on top of the heat damage and my hair had just had enough!
My hair at the crown began breaking off and it was too late to stop it. I had to do something and it had to be drastic because I was tired. By then I was a single mother of 4 and my boyfriend’s family were all Rastas…I do not know if that helped me in my decision process but I do know that they showed me the versatility I was looking for that I never realized existed with dreadlocks.
My journey began with the awkward phase of the 1″ length and I struggled. I went out and bought different hats, beanies, and tams…thinking this would help me along with my comfort level. I look back on those days and laugh because now my dreadlocks are to the middle of my back and I long for those 1″ days back.
I now know through trial, error and reading what to do and what not to do with my locs, what to put and what not to put in my locs, and most importantly my locs are not for everyone else.
My loc journey has been for myself and I have learned a lot about myself along the way. Even when my mom didn’t understand it or would express her apprehension in the beginning, I did not budge.
I had a friend ask me recently why don’t I get my hair re-twisted as often as everyone else and I was a little confused. She told me that I was the only one that she knew that wore my hair “like this”. What she meant by that is that I am not into re-twisting and having someone pull on my nice, healthy locs every week, 2 weeks or 3. Instead I get the re-twisted when I feel like it…my hair is thick and as soon as that shampoo is lathered real good here comes the frizz and I am okay with that. I have embraced my locs…my loc journey was for me to get to know me and not for anyone else to perceive me a certain way, I was there already the first confusing part of my life.
Oh and just for the record, I may not get my hair re-twisted every day but I promise if you stand behind me every day you will get a whiff of freshness. It takes too much to keep a fresh re-twist…I cannot go a week without washing my hair, sorry! LOL But that’s me and my journey of locking my hair and I have loved it…the never ending journey is what I consider it because I am always learning about ME! And only now can I appreciate the Bob Marleys, Omar Perrys, and Erykah Badhus.