LOC Diaries Vol 1: 6 Years and Counting

Let me just start off by saying, I LOVE MY LOCS.

I haven´t always been as natural loving as I am now; I went through the phase where I wanted the long straight hair and weaves but it really just wasn´t for me. I am sure if my hair could start it´s own blog it would be titled ´The Miseducation of A Permed Afropuff¨ or something along those lines. Through all the stages in life, my hair was right there… struggling too.

7 years ago, I made the well thought out decision to loc my hair. This decision took me a year to execute, so this year I celebrate Year 6 of my loc journey. I researched everything- different methods to start, how to wash them and avoid residue, how to style them, how to color them…No stone was left unturned. I should be honest though, my reason for wanting locs then was in large part because I hate dealing with hair and I wanted the style that had the least maintenance.

That low maintenance was the deciding factor on me choosing to interlock my locs and not use the popular palm rolling method. The main attraction for interlocking was that I could wash my hair often because I did not have to use product in my hair to loc it.

Year 1 was R.O.U.G.H!
I mean.. I literally have a handful of pictures from that year because it was THAT tough. My hair was short because I cut off all the permed ends that had given me false confidence and hangtime, and the end result was literally about 2 inches of hair. I had just had my son, so my face was extremely round and puffy, and those 2 inches of hair did nothing to flatter the extra plumpness that existed nowhere else on my body but my face.

This picture was taken about 7 months into my loc journey. My hair just could not,
would not, did not know how to act like a grown up. Not even hooped earrings could save my existence.

About a year into my journey- tired and ready to quit, I stumbled on an article that was discussing protective hairstyles and I immediately started to wonder if I could do these styles over my locs and not ruin them. I was so desperate to change what felt like a mess on the top of my head, so I decided to try.

Protective styles SAVED MY LIFE. I have locs today because I could protect my self-esteem in the heaven sent protective styles that other beautiful black women created. You would think that since I was born and raised in Zimbabwe, I would have the gift of creating jaw-dropping natural styles from just the snap of my fingers… but NO. I have no such gift, so the internet was my friend.

I really enjoyed the senegalese twists over my locs because it gave my hair body and I didn´t stress my own hair. I would use one loc and twist two strands around it. I would keep them in for about a month and a half at which point I would take them down, hot oil treat my hair and re-tighten using the crotchet hook. I did this pretty much the entire 2nd and 3rd year of my locs. My hair grew because I wasn´t messing with it everyday and I didn´t use a lot of braiding hair with the twists which meant I wasn´t stressing my locs out by adding heavy braids.

After year 3, my hair really took a life of it´s own, and this is when I truly fell in love with my locs. I was no longer afraid to experiment with different maintenance routines and I worked on perfecting the right routine for me.

My general routine is:
  • Wash hair weekly
  • Use a daily homemade spritz to moisture hair
  • Hot oil treat my hair once a month
  • Deep clean hair every 3 months
  • Re-tighten once a month and no more than twice in one month
I could pretend that I am disciplined enough to wrap my hair every night with a silk bonnet, but I never remember to. I really want to do better in this regard.. so I will work on being more consistent with this.
About 2 months ago, I went through another ´I need a change¨ phase and that is when I impulsively decided to shave off one side of my head. I had intentions to do both sides but once my barber started, I was certain my path was only to do one side. This boredom has resulted in me adding bi-monthly visits to my barber but for now, it´s well worth it because I enjoy the edgy look.

I truly have found more reasons to fall in love with my locs and I will discuss these reasons, my routines and all that great stuff in future posts. I appreciate each stage of my journey and look forward to the things that are still to come. I have found the perfect combination that works for my hair, and now that my son´s hair is loc´d too… I have a whole other head to perfect my technique on. I interlock his hair too, because I knew since he has a habit of playing head first at recess, all the washings would not be good to palm rolled locs.




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