Loc’d up, they won’t let me out!!! Y’all this time last year I made the second biggest natural hair decision of my life: I started dreadlocks. Look at my one year babies in all of their glory!
A few months into my dreadlock journey I posted about the top reasons why I decided to loc my hair after growing my hair naturally for the seven years prior. Now that I’ve spent a year neglecting taking care of my hair I want to share with you six things that I learned, that changed, and that stayed the same.
- It’s Still a Journey
Somehow I thought that because I was loc’ing seven years of hair instead of starting from scratch, I would have a beautiful, full head of locs overnight. I was wrong, very very not right. I learned the hard way that having dreads is yet another longgg journey of self-love. I had to redefine my concept of beauty and remember that no matter what my head looked like, the hair on it belonged to me, God didn’t make any mistakes, and that I was still beautiful. And to be fair 60% of the time, I was loving my hair since I would usually rock super cute updos that would help me forget how thin and volume-less my hair actually is (see number 6).
- Even Dreads Need TLC
Y’all I forgot for a hot second that dreadlocks still need tender loving care. Thankfully I remembered before things got too out of hand. To be fair, in the beginning I didn’t want to put water on my hair too often, because I was afraid that it would slow down the loc’ing process or even cause my dreads to unravel. But I soon learned that my hair was missing it’s best friend, H2O, and it’s second cousin, almond oil. Now I’ve gotten in the habit of hydrating my hair every day, and I have definitely seen the difference.
- Flowers Bud And So Do Dreads
When my hair first started budding I thought something was wrong. I ran to a loctician and asked her to fix it, and that if she couldn’t she should just help me comb out my locs. Thank God for people in your corner who will slap (figuratively) sense into you. She (and other people) assured me that what I was seeing was normal and just the changes that my hair would be undergoing until all of my hair fully loc’d.
- Less Is More
Another positive change is that less is more. Even though taking care of my dreadlocks requires more maintenance than I had originally realized when I first embarked on this journey, I still spend less time on my hair than I did as a loose natural. Less time, less manipulation = more health, more length. I spend less time during wash day hour time; styling time (re-twisting) has also greatly reduced for me as well.
- Shrinkage Is Still a Thing
I loc’d my hair and started going bald y’all. Or at least that’s what it felt like, because I went from mid-back length to barely shoulder length overnight. And for the first few months I felt like my hair was actually getting shorter with each re-twist. I heard that my hair should start growing after the one year mark – only time will tell.
- Thin > Nonexistent
My hair is still thin – the one thing that I really really wanted to change, but has decided to stay the same. Issorite (It’s alright) though. I’m thanking God that I at least have hair on my head even though my strands are still scraggly. Mashallah.
Now that I’ve shared my one year journey with you, I feel like I’d be amiss to not let you all know how I was able to remain loc’d up forever (a year felt like a long time J). I’d like to wrap up this post by highlighting some of the amazing loc’d goddesses and dread queens/kings that have shared natural hair resources, given me inspiration, or simply dazzled me (and the world) with their luscious locs.
Even though she rarely talks about her natural hair, this Canadian travelista has beautiful locs that have literally travelled all over the globe. Not only is she a prominent Black female voice in the travel industry, she plays for #teamnatural and #teamdreadhead.
I spotted the lovely dreads of this Nigerian media personality and entrepreneur years before dreadlocks started becoming more mainstream in Nigeria. She is one of the examples that I can show my mom or other Nigerians who believe that dreadlocks are “un-Nigerian”.
This firebrand human rights expert and feminist is one of the most fearless women I know. On the days when my locs were misbehaving and I wanted to chop them all off, I would repeat Wumi’s name and remind myself what my locs could look like if I just applied patience and TLC. She also connected me with a loctician that made me wish I had loc’d my hair earlier.
When I first decided that I wanted to loc my hair, the lady who started them for me told me to check her out. I quickly remembered her as one of the only loc’d Youtubers I saw back in 2009 when I started my natural hair journey. Nearly 10 years later this actress is still loc’d up, dishing advice, and even releasing a book soon!
Y’all don’t sleep on Luvvie, with her beautiful bald head!!! I remember stumbling upon her blog around the time I was first going natural nearly ten years ago. She was hilarious. Edges snatching funny, and she had hair y’all, beautiful long locs. If you remember the Awesomely Luvvie days pre-book release, drop the following comment below: “Luvvie’s locs are judging you”. And if you don’t, please go stalk her old pictures; you can thank me later.
Whether or not you have locs, I would encourage you to follow this page. I love the melanin-centered diversity of hairstyles, age, sex, etc. On days when I felt like giving up and chanting ‘Wumi’ didn’t seem to help, this Instagram page always reminded me why I decided to get loc’d up in the first place.
Hopefully, I’ll still be in loc prison paradise this time next year. Are you currently on a dreadlock, loose natural, or even healthy relaxed hair journey? I would love to hear about how it’s going so far, and if you’ve written a blog post about your journey please share the link. ❤