Throwback of the Day

New feature! Throwback of the Day, where I’ll post some old random picture from the past and share a story about it.

My first set of locs.

These were probably a couple of years old, at this point, but I would eventually cut them off so I could start over. This set was too chunky and uneven and was not conducive to doing anything other than wearing in a ponytail. I hadn’t learned how to curl them or do anything fun like I do with my locs, today. Looking at this photo and others like it, I felt self-conscience and not very proud of myself.

I had one more false start after this, until I finally figured out how to twist my hair to the thickness that would be more malleable and easy to play with.

I’ve sported my natural hair in afro or loc form since 2006. That was the last time I relaxed or straightened my hair. As a busy mom, wife, and business owner, I just did not have the time to deal with keeping up with making sure my hair was styled appropriately. It always had split-ends and would never grow very long. I used to wear wigs to work so that my style was always on point. But, you can’t sleep or shower in a wig and a weave was not something that I was interested in investing in, either ($$$). I wanted to wear my own hair and do fun things with it. Afros were cute, but just weren’t my style, either.

It was about this time that one of my favorite bloggers, Pam Spalding, who hosted, the now defunct blog, Pam’s House Blend, wrote about her own hair-story and her own loc-journey, that inspired me to try locs, for myself. As I said, I have had a few false starts on my own loc-journey, but it’s something I have never regretted.

I like that my locs are low-maintenance. I do style them, but I have mastered the art of curling them on Sunday morning and having the curls last for, at least, one week (sometimes longer if I leave the setting on for two or three days). I’ve even mastered the art of making the curl-set (chunky bantu knots), itself, look stylish enough that I could leave the house with it still in, although it’s not my personal style. I do take the time to color them, though. I started with brown locs, then went blonde, now I’m into purple and pink! But, I can go a lot longer without new color than I could ever try to go without a new relaxer. I used to easily spend an hour per day, on my hair, with a curling iron or losing sleep putting in/wearing rollers in my hair at night (only to have the curls fade by lunch time). Now it takes me five minutes in the morning to prep my hair for the day, the style holds and I just twist it into a high-bun, at night, put on a wig net to hold it, while I sleep, and finger-comb it in the morning. Ta-da! Granted, this didn’t happen overnight. I can thank all the wonderful loc’d ladies on Youtube and Pinterest for helping me find my style and simple and quick ways to maintain it. Basically, it took years of practice to get my loc game on point.

I’m lucky that I have a boss who doesn’t make a stink about my hair. I read, recently, that some court has determined that your job has the right to ban locs, if they so choose. I like my job too much to quit it, but if forced to lose my locs, I’d go back to afros and wigs, but I will never relax or straighten my natural hair, ever again.

Of course, I’ll always have my hats.

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