Monday, July 30, 2012

Loc'd Up: 2

First off, happy birthday to my brother, he's  19 today!! Seems I have put my hair updates towards the wayside. On May 9th, 2012, I went to a loctitian to get my starter locs installed. My appointment basically consisted of the loctitian shampooing and conditioning my hair, then parting my hair into small sections, which were formed into comb-coils. The locitian even took some time to explain to me that I have to be positive during the experience, as locs do not form overnight - they are a process, and it can take between 6 months to 1 year for my kinky curl pattern to completely loc up.

The reasons I chose to loc my hair were explained in this post, and those reasons are still the sources of my motivation. I must admit though that I've been getting impatient with the process because my hair is still transforming, and it's getting quite unruly. I'm not able to style it...the middle looks like a hot mess, and the people in my work environment might not understand what's going on.

I enjoyed the experience of being in the salon and having my scalp massaged and not having to do anything. However, I have chosen to self-maintain my hair. I was lucky because my friend from work (who has awesome locs) drove me to her salon - which would have been a 2 1/2 hour bus ride for me. But, since I'm saving for school, I can't be spending 5 hours a day (plus time in the salon) to get my hair done, nor am I going to take advantage of my friend's kindness. To add, follow up appointments (to get my hair washed and retwisted) are $70 minimum - in that case, I'll do it myself.

Once I made the decision that I'm going to self-maintain, Google and YouTube were fantastic to me because I have been able to find great resources! The first purchase I made was the book The Knotty Truth: Creating Beautiful Locks on a Dime, as numerous dreadlock blogs were giving positive reviews on it, and it's used as a manual for loctitians in training. I love this book because M. Michele George, an acclaimed natural hair consultant, provides me with knowledge as her book explains the biological and physiological state of hair, how to take care of it, ways to install locks and maintain them, and the approximate length of time an what to expect as the lock installation progresses towards mature locs.

There are also 3 people I am devoted to following on YouTube: BronzeGoddess01 (BG), PrettiBoiShai (PBS), and Chescalocs/Chescaleigh. I came across BG because she made a two-part comprehensive loc video where she explains everything she does to take care of her locs. I was drawn to her because she started her locs herself via two-strand twists around 6 years ago, and they are awesome! She is so cute and gorgeous, and her hair suits her perfectly! As for PBS, I was looking for a video to simply explain how to retwist starter locs. Her video was short and sweet, and I found her to be captivating as she cut her locs due to life experiences, and started her second loc journey this year (so I get to see it play out in action!). As for Chescalocs, I discovered her channel not originally because of her hair, but because of her hilarious Shit White Girls Say Black Girls video on her main channel, Chescaleigh. I was instantly hooked!

Right now I believe in my heart that I plan to be a dreadhead for life in the sense that I want to grow my hair as long as I can and never cut it (or at least to my bum, then cut it to my waist). However, locs are known for holding energy, which includes negative energy (PBS actually talks about it more as she explains why she cut hers off). Looking back, even though it will only have been 12 weeks this Wednesday that I have been allowing my hair to loc, there are some things I would've done differently. I wish I had done my research before rather than after my installatation, because I would've known what size I'd like my parts to have been, and I would've been completely independent by starting them myself. I likely would have chosen to start them as two strand twists (even though comb coils apparently loc faster), because I used two strand twists as a protective style for the past 2 years - I just didn't know that letting them mat together would lead to locs. I also would've made the parts a bit larger because I don't want my root beds to feel strained as my hair grows (yet, I have thin hair, so the loctitan may've done that to make my hair look fuller). To compensate, I've been combining/marrying a lot of my sections together.

I look forward to how things turn out at 6 months, and my 1 year mark. I'm also looking forward to the huge growth spurt I can expect after the 3 year mark, as most of the energy that would've gone towards converting my hair into mature locs will be contributed my growth. Pregnancy is also something to look forward to, as the hormone frenzy and prenatal vitamins will likely have a positive impact as well!

*Please note: dreads/dreadlocks/locs are referring to the same thing, however, I don't like to refer to my hair as "dreads" so often because of the wrong connotation of them being "dreadful."

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