The Locking Journey
In February, I decided to begin locking my hair. I’ve wanted to do this for quite a while but always stopped it for some reason or another. I realized in February that now was the perfect time to really begin and follow through with it. I have grown so much since moving to New York City, both mentally and spiritually, and my hair is a reflection of this chapter of growth. Like everything in life, I don’t intend for this to be permanent. When this chapter ends and it is time to begin another, I will probably cut my hair, signifying an end of this period.
Sounds too deep?
Perhaps to some it is, but locking my hair is more than a cosmetic thing for me. It really means letting go of so many inhibitions and vulnerabilities. I’ve always had this clean cut look when it came to my appearance. This is the first time where I’m accepting myself as I completely. It is really a liberating feeling.
So, in February, I began the locking journey. I decided to start them myself, in part because I wanted to take on the challenge and also because I wanted to really see what I was getting myself into. I researched a bit online on some common techniques, then set about doing it at 7 am one morning. Literally, it took me 22 hours! I counted! I can be a perfectionist and I really wanted the foundational locks to be right. Although I’m sure a professional stylist would have done it in half the time, I was happy with the results.
It has now been about 5 months and I’m really happy with how they are turning out, although I have my moments when I want to pull my hair out. My friend Bobby, who is amazing with natural hair, retwisted my hair the last two times (I have to retwist my hair every month or so). Previously, I had just been doing it myself. They are growing really fast! In order to twist them, Bobby massaged olive oil in my hair to moisturize it after it was washed. He then used a small amount of aloe vera gel and clips to keep them in place until the gel dries.
Locking occurs from the build-up of shed hair. Every day we shed a lot of hair, either by combing, styling or washing it. Without doing these, the hair that would normally shed stays on the hair follicle, resulting in locks. People with curly and thick hair often have the easiest time forming locks, but it really depends on a number of individual factors. Locks, or dreadlocks, are actually the most natural hair style anyone can have. With neglect, your hair naturally forms locks.
It is really fascinating seeing my hair grow. I have really learned to appreciate my hair through this process.