I’ve always been a natural girl; that’s one thing I will forever be grateful to my mother for. She always taught me to accept my natural beauty and even more importantly, to embrace it. I’ve never experienced what it was like to have my hair relaxed or permed and I’ve never worn a weave, wig or hair extensions (unless you want to call natural hair braids extensions, then okay I’ve done it). But what I’ve learned in my twenty-two years of life about hair, through trial and error of course, never ceases to change or be updated.
I’ll be honest, I NEVER learned to comb hair (I still can’t to this very day, it’s struggles lol). My mom always did my hair in bubbles or corn rows or in two stranded twists, but for me to sit and take the time to do my own hair in an elaborate style was a major no no. It doesn’t mean I’m lazy or neglectful with my hair, I just couldn’t be bothered.
My journey with my hair took another route when I decided that I wanted to loc my hair for the first time. I was in my last year of primary school and I wanted a change. My hair was long (upper mid back) and well taken care of but I was tired of the same look. Big decision for an eleven year old, I know lol, but my mom has always been supportive of my personal life decisions (even though she wouldn’t always agree). Me starting my loc journey, was something she herself was curious about, so we both jumped all in. Considering my hair texture was a gift from my dad’s genes, my 3C/4A hair was a mystery on how to loc effectively (at the time we had no clue what my hair type was), so my mom figured the easiest thing to do was to take me to a loctician and let her figure it out.
My loctician was left handed, so my twists were started and palm rolled counter-clockwise. My cultivated, salon locs were beautiful but they didn’t sit right with my mother (pun intended lol). Everything was taken out within a few weeks and redone clockwise by my mother (she’s very particular and meticulous lol). After explaining to my loctician what she did, we then went forward with my re-twisted hair. I loved it. I loved the look. I loved the feel. I loved the weight and texture. It was perfect to me.
After four years, my hair had grown back to mid-back length (the baby stage of locs causes a significant amount of shrinkage) and it revealed my natural hair color which was a reddish/golden, dirty brown (my mother absolutely hated it and almost bi-monthly she made me dye my hair not just black, but jet black lol). As they got longer, they got heavier and it became more expensive to continue going to my loctician as they charge based on the length of your hair and what you want done to your hair (re-twist, interlock, palm roll, wash, deep treatment etc). So one faithful Saturday, after washing my hair and moisturizing with coconut oil, I just told my mother to chop it all off (my hair has not grown evenly since then lol).
At that young point in my life, I had no idea the stigma, responsibility or commitment it took to living with locs. At that time I only knew the trend, the fashion behind it and also I wanted to be like my dad, but now reflecting on then I now know that there is so much more to having locs than just having locs. It’s an expression of freedom. It’s truly accepting your natural and untamed state of self.
There are many stories throughout history of where the origin of locs began (I believe in Mother Africa but that’s just me) but the overall gist of their purpose remains the same. It is believed (in biblical times and in other spiritual instances) that energy exits through the crown of our heads. Having knotted hair helps us retain this energy and continue our ascension to higher conscious beings and aids us in becoming more powerful spiritually (again I conducted research on Google to have my facts straight lol). I personally believe there is more to our hair than we think and the fact that people make a bigger deal out of hair than they would like to admit proves there is something more to it.
We can all admit our hair makes us feel “on fleek”, and perfect, and pretty, and whole but doesn’t our hair, or more like our Crown, deserve more than just the bare minimum of a few flips and tosses. I find it sad and insulting when some black women say “natural hair isn’t for everyone”, yet we have Caucasian women wearing corn rows or “boxer braids” as they call them and loving the feels of looking ethnic or exotic. Just a few things to ponder…
She woke up and headed to the mirror. She rolled her eyes when she saw her head. She took up her spray bottle of oil and water, pick in hand, she went to work.
Love and Light.