Want to know more about Loc Hair? Then take a read of this interview by the gorgeous Ri’Anne who will take you through her hair Journey.
1. What made you decide to Loc?
My main reason for locing was that I felt I exhausted all possibilities of hair styles, I was natural until I was around 17. As a dare my friend actually relaxed my hair with a children’s ‘no lye’ relaxer, and that was the start, of 7 years of the burning, itchy scabby scalp that retouches would bring. I braided extensions, weaved, coloured, flat ironed and then finally started transitioning in 2004. I continued to use protective styling during this phase. until I realised my temples where thinning due to all the stress, pulling and dryness by styling. So one thing that I thought I would try was locking up my hair, I two-strand twisted and that was it, December 2007 was my last comb through
2 . Did you have any reservations before you started?
Yes of course!! firstly I thought, the typical stereotype was not good, coming from an Sierra-Leonian background, this type of hair choice my people did not welcome so much. The locs I noticed on people while on the street where not very inspirational to me either, especially thinking about work. Finally I found a whole loc community online, Fotki.com and photos and videos upon videos of beautiful locks, all lengths all sizes different styles and journeys, showing how versatile they can be and I was hooked!!!!
3. Did you have to cut your hair off to start?
No, I already had transitioned about 5-6 inches of hair by this point
4. Did your hair grow faster in Locs ?
I would say yes, as I’m not manipulating as much as loose hair, also locked heads do not go through the hair growth cycle so locks do not shed which, contributes to the thickness over time
5. How did you find people/family respond to your locs?
Definitely a mixed response!! when I broke the news? I was locking my hair to friends and colleagues I had, the strangest responses such as ‘but why?!!’ and hmmm, really? I realised I cannot choose my hair choice for others and to please other peoples eyes, this is when I started the journey of self acceptance regardless of what others’ beauty perceptions are. I do have some family members impressed by the growth, My mother wasn’t too happy, but after 5 years and a few impressive updos I do get a few pleasing smiles from her.
6. Is it easy to maintain your Locs?
Yes for me personally, a lot easier than my natural loose hair, because I had to make sure it was moisturised and braided every single night and then I would have to style it every morning, this is why I braided with extensions a lot, to avoid styling, however I was not as educated about my Afro compared to now where there is a wealth of information.
I have chosen the freeform locing method, where I avoid twisting, I may twist about 4 times a year, just to keep them aligned and avoid them marrying together!! I prefer to have a few inches of roots. I also wash them pretty frequently so, its hard to have a maintained look, when I prefer to wash, oil and go!!
Washing is also a must in the morning compared to the evening as it can take my hair a full 12 hours to dry depending on how sunny it is, I rarely use heat, unless I really have to.
If I choose to style my hair with curls or braid outs, I have to keep my hair in braids or Bantu knots for 3 days to have a good affect, making sure they are completely dry before I unravel, and the style can last up to two weeks!! other than this, i put my locks in head wraps (with a silk scarf under to retain moisture) to keep them off my neck
7. What are your favourite products to use?
I did start off using an abundance of products which was trial and error for what suited my hair, I had very sensitive and itchy scalp and knowing that most shelf products are alcohol based I tried to avoid, also where we live in the south of france, loc products are double the price. I then decided to go natural using unrefined products to condition and to moisturise.
To wash I use Liquid black soap I purchase from Akamuti, or regular black soap; To condition I choose between coconut, olive, argan and Jamaican black castor oil which i purchase from Amazon, I also use shea butter once in a while, I minimize usage because it can cause some trapped build up in the lock itself, but great for my skin and my temple edges
I purchase the family size from SheabyNature and use melted and mixed with one or two of the above oils
Once every 6 months I use Apple cider vinegar/baking soda rinse diluted with water, to give a serious deep clean and get build up out of my dreads!! Really does a good job, and then heavily condition with hot oils. Please note, this method should be done every few months overusage can strip naturel oils from your locs/loosehair
8. How do you now feel being Locs-style NubianSister?
Wow, the feeling of being a tru nubian sister didn’t come over night, even when i see loc sisters with years more naturalness than me i still think im learning!!! but its an enjoyable journey, after 5 years, I’m happy I started this, getting to know my hair through my locks, what it loves and what it doesn’t. I love my hair I wouldn’t change it, if I cut my hair off tomorrow, I think I would start another set of locks.
9. Do you have any advice to anyone who wants to start Locsing?
Firstly ignore the stereo types of locks are ‘dirty’, this is simply not true, Today, locks are so versatile, you can curl, braid, updos colour you can do so much, it is a true journey, locs can take up to 1 1/2 years to truly loc and to start noticing significant growth, because changes start from inside to outside of the loc. This is when the true meaning of patience sets in, so take the time to focus on other things besides the inches of locks, enjoy every stage using styles, hair accessories and most of all maintaining a good diet optimum hair growth, the length will come in no time and before you know you will have waist length locks
Do check out my YouTube Channel where I talk some more about the methods of maintenance and some FAQ’s
The best and most efficient pharmacy is within your own system.
– Robert C. Peale
Check out Ri’Annes blog at Your Natural Wellness where you can find a wealth of other information too!