Can I let you in on a secret? Although I absolutely love the look of dreadlocks, I don’t have the patience or the commitment necessary to grow them. It’s true – I’ve tried four times so far and no matter what I do, about six months into the locking process, I simply wash out my locs and do something else with my hair. Still, every so often, I get tempted to try again. As you can probably infer, I am flirting with the idea right now as I write ( ), hence this post.
Want to flirt-with-the-idea along with me? How about it? Today, let’s talk about locs! First, I’ll share with you a little of what I’ve learned on my previous four loc journeys, and then you, by commenting on this post, can share what you know about growing locs. Let’s get started!
First things first, let’s start by talking about the motivation to grow dreadlocks: for those of you who sport locs (or have done so in the past), what was your main reason for beginning to grow your locs? Was it simply about fashion, or did you have a deeper, more meaningful reason to start growing locs? For me, the very first time, it was because I was going through some sort of phase. I was at University and was simply tired of all the effort that we women were going through to alter ourselves and our appearances, so I decided to go natural. This first time, I kept it simple: I simply stopped combing my hair (among other things that I stopped doing ). That was an interesting experiment. On subsequent loc journeys, my reasons were a little less radical. For the most part, after that, I started to grow locs for aesthetic reasons.
Once the decision is made, there’s the small detail of getting started. As I mentioned before, the first time I started to grow locs, I decided to use the “neglect” method. The second time, I opted to begin my locs by twisting my natural hair, at home, on my own. The third and fourth times, I acquiesced to saner methods and visited a loctitian. How about you? How did you get your locs started? If you’ve had the opportunity to try different methods, which do you recommend? (I recommend visiting a loctitian! )
The first day you begin your loc journey is just that – simply the first day of a long (gruesome) journey to getting your locs looking the way you’ve always pictured them in your mind – so let’s talk about the process of nurturing your natural hair as it grows to form beautiful, fully-locked dreadlocks. For those of you who have been down this road before, what was your loc maintenance routine during the early months? Did you go to a hair salon to wash and retwist your locs, or rather did you opt to take care of your locs yourself? I’ve used both methods with varying results. Going to a loctitian can be relatively hassle-free, but at the going rates I’ve seen in East Africa, it can be quite expensive. That as well as it means putting your loc-fortune into the hands of someone who may not necessarily share your loc-vision. What do you say? Would you recommend maintaining locs by visiting a salon regularly, or is DIY (do it yourself) the way to go? For those who recommend visiting a salon, do you have loctitians/salons anywhere in East Africa that you would like to recommend? With what frequency do you recommend someone visit such salons?
If DIY is your preference, then let’s get to the nitty-gritty: What is/was your personal loc maintenance routine? How and when did/do you wash and retwist your locs? Do you have any particular way in which you do this? What products have yielded the best results for you? Personally, I like to wash and retwist my locs once a week. I do this because I really like the manicured look. I am not picky about what shampoo I use, but I do skip conditioner to avoid difficult-to-remove residue. My best retwisitng results have been achieved by using a mix of honey and ordinary (no-alcohol) styling gel, which I was careful to apply early in the day so it could air-dry before I went to bed at night. Oh yeah, that and I always made sure to tie my hair in a scarf before going to bed every night.
I never had to change routines for when my locs were fully locked (I never kept the hairstyle quite that long) but maybe some of you did. Are you one of those people? If so, what did you do differently at this stage of your loc journey?
Well, that’s all that’s on my mind today. Now, it’s time to turn it over to you! What do you have to share about your loc journey(s)? What loctitians or salons do you recommend (particularly if you are in East Africa)? How about products? Maintenance routines? Styling options? I want to hear it all. Don’t be shy, drop me a comment below.
I look forward to hearing what you have to say!
Until the next time,