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Natural Hair on Loc

Black Health Matters / Beauty  / Natural Hair on Loc

Natural Hair on Loc

Trial and error led to hair happiness

I have been natural since 1995 and loc’d since 1997, so these “new naturals” ain’t got nothing on me. I became natural as a true extension of my essence: My hair was falling out and I was too vain to go bald! I got micro braids, box braids, crocheted in curly weaves, curl nuevos, and all such styles in an effort to let my natural hair rest and grow. EPICFAIL! The constant handling, pulling, twisting and manipulation had a deleterious effect on my already thinning mane, so I reverted to updos and buns, which quickly got old. So I just let it hang and do what it does (no pun intended).

I went about this thing cautiously. I was the sister with the long full hair and I wanted desperately to get back to that. I longed (there I go again) for a style that would be low maintenance and would allow for optimum growth. Say it with me, y’all: locs. That was my answer—long twists that were mine, not some errant pony’s.

But on my mission to re-invent myself, I did hit some bumps and bruises. One stylist cut off all my hair—to about one inch length, refusing to believe it was natural—and adorned my crown with neat little coils achieved by the end of a fine rat-toothed comb. Good luck keeping up that look!

The next stylist said my hair was way too curly and fine to withstand locs; meanwhile I saw a Caucasian man float right past the shop window with waist-length dreads (WTH!), so I wasn’t discouraged.
After months of trying (I inherited my indomitable spirit from my daddy), I finally found a natural hair salon that could fulfill my wishes. I was delighted. I finally had my locs. I showed up for my bi-weekly appointments with my young daughter in tow. They wouldwash, condition and patiently palm roll my locs each time, though they frequently came undone and I may have looked (in my sister’s words) “kinda wild about the head.”

I was not dissuaded. Week in and week out I made those appointments, until one day my young daughter said, “I can do your hair, Mom.” Not being one to stifle my children’s artistic expression, I promptly bought the products needed to complete the task. She was a pro and continued as my loctician until she entered college (talk about cheap labor—WINNING!). By that time my locs were shoulder length.

I’ve been loc’d ever since and have had to find alternate locticians with growing hands (if you don’t know, ask your grandmom), like my daughter, and am proud to say that both my daughter and son also sport natural styles.

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Cassie Owens