Where did it all begin?
I’ve had natural hair most of my life and during university began to do a bit more with my own hair. Prior to that I would have extensions or cornrows in may different styles. My friend was hairdresser and whenever she wanted to try out a new hair style, I was always willing to do something crazy.
I always wanted locs, but in my ignorance was concerned about the stereotypes attached considering the career path I was seeking. I decided that I would loc once I secure a full time role in whichever job i would end up in. Silly me. As the years went by, I began to just rock a simple afro. My hair had a softer texture so my afro never had much volume.
Sometimes I would straighten it, however I was concerned about the constant heat exposure.
Also, after burning off my hair with a hot-comb once, I was just like forget all of this.
Let the journey begin
So in 2009, I didn’t just start a new career path, I started my loc journey and now i’m going to share it all with you. It was a traumatic beginning, but became one of the best decisions I have made.
In February 2009, I entered the salon, somewhat apprehensive but ready for this new journey. My hair was ready and prepped the night before. I got to my appointment, albeit late as I went to their sister salon like a jack ass. However, they were waiting for me, they introduced themselves, washed my hair and sat me don in the chair. They spoke about the thickness, didn’t really give me a choice but went by what they felt was the best option for the hair type. I was willing to trust their instinct.
The young lady started attempting my locs, however appeared to be having some difficulty securing them. I personally don’t feel she was trying hard enough, but fine. So she called over the manager, the famous loctitian to come and assess the situation. He came, he saw, he attempted and said in his Trinidadian accent.. “Oh no, this is not going to work we are going to have to cut off the perm”. At this point I looked up at them both and in my little meek voice said, “but my hair is not permed”. Again he was like, “no no, the hair is too soft, we’ll have to cut off the perm”. At that point my body froze when I heard the words cut. CUT as in scissors CUT. WAS THIS MAN CRAZY?? Clearly the power of owning all these salons and being well known in his profession had clearly gone to his head, as he thought it appropriate to suggest cutting MY hair which over time I had taken sufficient care of.
I finally came around and a pair of large scissors had appeared in his hand, I do not recall him going to get them, I must have briefly blacked out from the shock. He then asked me if I was happy for him to cut my hair, actually I don’t even think he asked. He said something along the lines of were going to cut it now, it will be OK. I was bawling inside. He made the first snip, I jumped like someone had popped out the mirror, he continued to snip and snip away until I was left with an inch of hair on my head. I couldn’t even look in the mirror.
Why is it that we sit in a salon chair and allow these professionals to have free reign in our heads and happily accept what they want to do. Obviously not all stylists are like this, but some get a little bit to excited and we simply just accept it. Smile and nod, smile and nod.
The lady carried on with my hair, she finished after a couple of hours. She then had the nerve to charge me £15 extra for the cut I did not ask for. I was so upset, but it was too late. The deed had been done.I left the salon with a bunch of little worms on my head. Luckily, I had attended with a scarf and covered my head. As soon as I left the salon, for the first time in years… I CRIED!! When I got home, I BAWLED.
I do not have the face for short hair and was genuinely traumatised. I was due to start my new job in a few days and I was not going to do it looking like this.
The beginning of the end
This is the first time I am letting anyone see my hair at its first stage.
From this point on, my hair was covered with a head scarf. I started my new role on the 3rd March 2009, I was ready to go.
It was necessary to attend the salon every month, which I did and it was the same wash, re-twist and go home with a couple of stylists. About 4 months in, one of the guys working in the salon approached me and told me to book my next appointment with him, I don’t know why but I did and 6 years later, no one else has ever touched my hair except him. He is no longer with that salon and works independently,which is even better. I am so glad I said yes.
This guy is amazing when it comes to my hair, the hair washes are the best and he knows the most sensitive parts on my head and always tries to accommodate styles that I like and work with my face. I am very fussy and he knows that, but he is always willing to work with me and doesn’t get tired of my incessant moaning. An appointment does not go buy without me cussing the man who cut my hair.
So yes that is pretty much where we are today.
Here are some pictures of my journey so far and where we are today.
I had so many more pictures, but unfortunately my phone did not back up. I have the styles from my wedding which I will upload when I find them
People are always complimenting my hair and I feel that I have so much more variety now when it comes to styles and options. My hair is stronger and healthier.
I use a mix of oils now to keep it moist, thick an healthy such as,
- Black Castor Oil
- Coconut Oil (liquid and solid)
- Island oil
- Olive Oil
If you are thinking about starting your loc journey, I say do it today, don’t hesitate. It may be the best decision you make with respect to hair choice.
With the current natural hair movement, there are so many options, however for me locs was definetely the way forward. The stereotype is just down to ignorance. I still get the odd person who automatically associates locs with marijuana. However, I shut that down real quick.
Locs are powerful, they make me feel good about myself and I look forward to the rest of my journey.
As of August 2016, I will be undergoing a further dye job as its my 30th birthday and I’m feeling to make a big’ish change. I will upload the results.
If you have any questions with regards to my journey please do not hesitate to comment or contact me via the Ask Soul page.