Once you decide to wear your hair natural there are lots of styles to choose from; afros, puffs, twists, braids/cornrows, finger/comb coils, twist/braid/coil-outs, wash-n-gos, roller/straw sets etc. Many are choosing to wear locs aka dreadlocks. Some don’t like the term ‘dreadlocks’ and since there is nothing ‘dreadful’ about them, for the purpose of not offending anyone we will use the term ‘loc’ instead.
Locs are commonly associated with the Rastafari movement, and can be traced back as far as the mummified remains of Egyptians. There are several types of locs including freeform, traditional, and cultivated locs (uniformed locs created by using various methods) such as Nappy Locs, BradLocz, and Sisterlocks (TM).
People choose to wear locs for many reasons, for some it’s just as simple as they like the style, and for others it’s spiritual. “My locs are the crown of His glory,” says Tama creator of Minniemoe’s Loc Blog.
Tama, owner of a cleaning service started her loc journey with gel twists in January. As far as maintenance she washes and re-twists weekly. Tama says her husband loves her locs and she has not had any negative reactions. She suggests that new loc wearers have patience, and added that if frizz is uncomfortable wearing updos, hair accessories, and scarves help. Tama warns beginners not to re-twist too tightly, and to moisturize every other day or so.
Tama feels that wearing locs enhances natural beauty. For those interested in locing, she says that locs can be very professional looking, however, you really have to be comfortable with yourself and your lifestyle. Check out her YouTube channel which showcases her transitional styles and details her loc journey.
MiMi Fleming began her natural journey in 2003, wearing loose hair for almost four years before locing. In the beginning, short hair spoiled her because detangling was a breeze, but once it reached mid-back length, it required more maintenance. She tried various natural styles, but her hair would frizz and unravel, hence, began her loc research. The more she read, the more she wanted them.
MiMi came across the blog, Brunsli and learned about Sisterlocks. She felt the interwoven pattern of Sisterlocks would help make her hair loc. In March of 2007, her Sisterlocks were installed by a consultant. Later that year, she took the consultant class and in February 2008, with the help of a friend and classmate, decided to take out her first set of locs and start them herself. Her Sisterlocks are now over a year old.
MiMi stated that although she has clients who can go eight weeks between retightening, she has to check for loose roots after shampooing. She shampoos weekly using Paul Mitchell or Suave, with her locs plaited and bands on the ends to keep them from unraveling, adds a little Jamaican Mango Lime & Cactus leave-in moisturizer while it’s damp and lets them air dry.
For quicker drying time or in colder weather, she uses a hand drier with a diffuser. If she’s dusting, vacuuming, or in cold weather she wears a loc cap by Virtuous Creations to keep it protected. MiMi feels that people should know how to do their own hair, even if they never intend to do it on their own. “I’m sure a lot of people get manicures and pedicures when they can paint their own nails. Get involved with your hair, be hands on. It’s unique to you, so get to know it,” she adds. Check out MiMi Fleming’s Tomoka’s Twists Functional and Fashionable Hair Accessories.
Nubian Locked Princess, a Registered Professional Nurse also wears Sisterlocks. She chose them because she loved the versatility. Her Sisterlocks are 16 months old and were installed by a consultant, but she began maintaining them herself after her first retightening session. She interlocks her locs every four weeks. View her interlocking tutorial.
When her locs were babies, she shampooed with a Knotty Boy shampoo bar every week, but when they began to loc, she extended her routine to every two weeks. She also uses Taliah Waajid Black Earth and Chagrin Valley Soaps. She feels that she’s a spokesperson for the natural hair society.
Nubian Locked Princess says that new loc wearers or those interested in locs should do their research! Make sure you choose a method that will give you the look you want, and fit your lifestyle, look at pictures and reach out to loc wearers with questions. For newbies she stresses the use of minimal products, staying away from those that are mineral oil, petroleum, and wax based because they attract lint and dirt. “Do not style your hair! Allow your hair to do its thing! You will have plenty of time to have fun!”