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How I Loc’d my hair. Twice!

How I Loc’d my hair. Twice!

In 2001, when I made the decision to stop relaxing my hair, getting locs was not my first style stop. It would be two years post relaxer before I loc’d my hair the first time and another five years before I loc’d my hair AGAIN.

My last relaxer was in September 2001. I had graduated from college one year prior and I was working full time in a field and at a job that I thought was absolutely perfect. That wouldn’t be the last thing I was wrong about in my 20’s. When I stopped relaxing my hair I was already wearing a short relaxed style. My hair was shaved in the back, and short on the top and sides. One month without a relaxer and I was practically chemical free.  Initially, I kept my hair pretty short, sporting a TWA and loving it. Eventually my hair started to grow out and that’s when the real work began. Who knew that after all those years of relaxing my hair that a thick, tightly coiled mane of hair was waiting to be unleashed. My hair, much to my surprise required a lot of work. I would spend most Sundays doing my hair and getting it ready for the week. Wearing my hair naturally turned out to be far more time consuming than my relaxer. I was hard pressed to find tips and advice from the women around me. My best friend did the big chop a few months before I did, but our hair had nothing in common. Hers was more wash and go. My hair was more wash and wait. Essence, my go to guide for all things young, black and professional, had yet to start featuring a natural hair style section. Carol’s Daughter and were my only two points of reference. Lisa Price may have still been shipping the product herself. People weren’t uploading YouTube videos in droves and blogging hadn’t become as popular in the natural hair community as it is now. To be honest, I didn’t feel like there was much of a community. Perhaps it was all in my head, or better yet, on my head. I was frustrated and ready for a change, so I decided to loc my hair.

I always thought locs were beautiful and my hope was that they had to be less work than managing my hair in a free form natural state.  Boy was I right. I loved my locs. I could finally get up and go. I shampooed roughly every two weeks and I worked part time in a hair salon (The Loc Shop) so getting my locs retwisted was never an issue. My locs were dark, thick and full.  My Sundays were no longer dedicated exclusively to styling my hair and going out no longer required 48-72 hour advance notice. But as usual, I thought the grass was greener on the other side; the side from which I had just left. After almost 2 years I was bored with my locs. They just hung there. I never styled them, and although they were less maintenance, I also felt they had become less fun.  Additionally, the natural hair community (now that one actually existed) was abuzz with all new salons, products and information. Right before my eyes, everyone else was “going natural” with a YouTube video to prove it. The natural hair revolution was being televised and I had locs! Whatever the inspiration, In 2005 I decided to comb out my locs and give free form natural hair another try. I reasoned that this time around had to be better and easier than the first.  It took me an entire weekend and several bottles of conditioner, but when I returned to work that following Monday, I was sporting a really cute twist out with a substantial amount of length.


With time, my hair went from twist outs, to funky braids, blowouts and everything in between. In the spring of 2006, I decided to give the “Silkener” a try. The “Silkener” performed exclusively at Miss Jessie’s Salon in NYC, was essentially (in my opinion) a mild relaxer. The purpose of the Silkener was to take my tightly wound, thick head of hair, and turn it into a loose mane of sexy bouncy, manageable curls. They succeeded. My hair, although no longer chemical free, was finally in a wash and go state. I could wet my hair in the shower that morning, apply product, and GO! How happy I was to still have the style options of being 100% natural without all the work. Miss Jessie’s Salon recommended you return for a touch up every 3 months or so. I took that as an invitation to do it myself. When I hit my three month mark, I purchased a mild relaxer, added conditioner to it and applied it to my new growth in sections, all in under 6 minutes. The results were impressive. I managed to maintain my curl pattern while smoothing out my roots. This routine would continue for almost a year until I decided to start adding color to my hair. I had my hair professionally colored and immediately thereafter it all began to break off. The breakage forced me to start cutting my hair shorter than I would have liked. By the end of 2007, I was pressing my hair on a pretty regular basis because the breakage and the constant “at home” touch ups had all but ruined my curl pattern. In May of 2008 I cut all of my hair off and decided to return to the one hairstyle that never did me wrong, Locs. I vowed that this time, I would give them a fighting chance. I would braid them, curl them, plait them, twist them, style them up and down. I was willing to do whatever was necessary to fall in love with my hair and stay in love.


Three years and five months later, I am happy to say I LOVE MY HAIR. This time around, the sky is the limit for my style options. I realized the difference wasn’t in how I styled my hair or what products I used. The biggest difference between this set of locs and any other hairstyle I’ve had is me. I’ve changed my way of looking at things. If I see a style I like on relaxed hair, I mimic it on my locs. When I don’t feel like being creative, I let someone else style my hair, giving me a totally different look.


It’s taken me 10 years to get this comfortable with myself. I’m glad I was patient. That has made all the difference.

  1. keykey2010@live.ca07-16-12

    That is so nice. I am happy for you that you got comfortable with your hair. I’ve been trying to loc my hair for 1 year now. I have been natural for almost seven years but never new how to take care of my hair by deep conditioning my hair. Now I’m going to get focused and take good care of my hair. My hair is loving its natural state. (Approved with webmaster edits)

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