My locs are more than just a hairstyle to me. As cliché as it sounds, my locs give me a feeling of liberation that I have never felt with any previous hairstyle I’ve had. I remember the first time I saw someone with locs when I was younger. For some reason, I was so intrigued by them, and ever since then I told myself I would loc my hair when I was older. Growing up, I went through so many different hairstyles, but I was never truly satisfied.
As black women, we have often been made to feel as if our hair wasn’t good enough, especially in corporate America. Luckily, things have changed tremendously over the last few years. Although we still have a few obstacles in our way, we are at a time in which we can celebrate our natural hair and no longer conform to Eurocentric standards of beauty. As I mentioned earlier, I had always told myself that I would loc my hair once I was older. Because of society’s standards of professionalism and beauty, I felt as if I had to wait until I was basically an old woman to loc my hair and that just didn’t seem right.
After having relaxed hair for a majority of my life, I decided to go natural in high school; however, I never wore my natural hair out. I transitioned from relaxer to natural slowly by wearing protective styles like braids and twists and cutting off my relaxed ends until there was no more relaxer left. Unfortunately, it got to a point where I had no idea how to take care of my natural hair. I didn’t know which products to use or how to style it. (This was before natural hair YouTube tutorials were popular). This led to me relaxing my hair again. However, I regretted the decision as soon as I did it. My natural hair was so long and beautiful, but I just didn’t know what to do with it. Over the next few years, I repeated the same process at least two more times. I would transition to natural and then out of frustration I would relax my hair again. I then went through a period of wearing my relaxed hair and protective styles, and occasional sew-ins, which I despised. Sew-ins were an uncomfortable experience for me all around. I’ve only had about 4 or 5 sew-ins my entire life and I just couldn’t keep them in. I hated the way they felt on my head and I didn’t feel like I was being true to myself whenever I had one.
Let’s fast forward to my sophomore year in college. I decided to go natural…AGAIN. This time, information regarding natural hair care was highly accessible. As I became comfortable with my new decision, I wore my hair out for a few months, but something still didn’t feel right. I couldn’t help but think about the hairstyle that I had always wanted: locs.
In early May of 2016, I had a conversation with my boyfriend, who has had locs for pretty much his entire life. I was looking at my natural hair in the mirror and said, ‘I can’t wait until I’m older, so I can loc my hair.’ He responded with, ‘Why can’t you do it now?’ And then I thought about it. What was stopping me from locking my hair now? Why not let my hair grow freely out of my head with nothing covering it up, manipulating it, or altering its course?
On June 18, 2016, I finally decided to take the next step and loc my hair. I was filled with excitement and nervousness because I felt like my life was about to change for the better. I know this sounds dramatic, but I’m serious. I was finally liberated. I felt like myself; my true self. They just felt right, like this is how my hair was supposed to be.
I am now almost a year into my journey and I must say I will never look back. This was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I have learned to truly love myself in my most natural state and I can’t wait to keep you all updated throughout my growth.