YES, YES, Y'ALL! In the words of current Snapchat king, DJ Khaled... "Another one!"
Yesterday marked another milestone in my loc journey. My ever-budding knots turned TWO YEARS OLD!!! And, what better way to celebrate my 2nd 'locaversary' than with a trip to the salon for a fresh wash & interlock session by my lovely loctician. One thing to note? I have a love hate relationship with getting my hair interlocked. While the process itself is fairly quick and allows me to get a better idea of my loc length, it also exposes... my scalp. As neat and tidy as my hair looks after being interlocked, I kind of hate seeing so much scalp and neat parting (even though that's literally the point of interlocking, lol). I usually get over it after a few days, once I've washed my locs and the roots start to get a little messy again. I guess one could say that when it comes to neatly parted locs - I kind of prefer 'blurred lines'.
That's one of the small annoyances I have with my locs, and I'll be brutally honest: there were many days over the past year where I questioned whether or not I had made the right decision by going the loc'd route. As someone who wore my loose and natural hair for four years before committing to locs, there are still days where I simply miss the volume, texture and length of my loose hair. Scrolling through my social media feeds, I've frequently experienced many moments of hair envy. However, in my heart of hearts, I'm positive that I've made the right choice, and I know that I will remain steadfast on this loc journey for a long time to come.
Since becoming a "locstar" (I know - cute, right?), I notice that valuable life lessons continue to run parallel with my loc journey. Here are a few:
Weakness and strength can co-exist in the same space. Before I loc'd, my loose hair was getting fairly long and strong. As my loc'd hair started growing, I began to notice that a few locs would get thinner as they grew longer (not uncommon). To combat that- I've started combining (or 'marrying') my locs to get them back to a fuller look and to restore their strong foundation. The takeaway? Weakness is only temporary as long as you start with strong roots/foundation.
Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder... but even on my worst days, when my locs are looking completely unkempt (and when, to the outside world, I'm sure I'm looking rather homeless) - I will always make it a personal point to internally acknowledge something beautiful about myself. What others see in me does not always equate with what really exists in me. Perception is cool, but self-love is essential.
Not every opportunity is meant to be taken. As previously mentioned, I've had numerous moments of loose hair envy, reminiscing on the wild and untamed fro' I used to rock. Some days, I'll glance at the scissors and think to myself how easy it would be to get rid of my locs and start over, with an exciting new 'do'... And then I remember that I've never felt more at one with or accepting of myself as I do now, with my locs. It's a pretty cool feeling to have. To give that up just because I'm bored or curious to see what kind of attention I'd garner otherwise, to me... just isn't worth it. FOMO (aka Fear of Missing Out) is a bitch, but sometimes staying committed to one choice guarantees the best reward.
Less is more. Now this isn't to say that one shouldn't try at all when it comes to appearance. I've just realized that there's absolutely nothing wrong with keeping it simple. When I was in high school, I think I sported every bright colour of hair extension there was! Pink, yellow, blue, purple... You name it - I rocked it! I'd wear these long, loudly-coloured extensions in my hair to deflect from the fact I was too shy & introverted to be heard through my own voice. Now that I'm older, I see how imperative it is to be comfortable in my awkwardness & imperfections. Sure, I can be a little rough around the edges... but most diamonds are.
It takes all kinds! Since birth, I think I've had almost every hairstyle known to mankind (or at least to the African-american woman): the relaxer/straight perm, the jherri curl (♪ just let yo souuuuul glo!♪), the hot-combed bone straight hair, the braid extensions, the weave, the shaved low natural cut, the kinky afro... and now, locs! What I realize is that during the period in which I wore each of these styles, I thought they were the best way to wear my hair at the time. Clearly, as I've matured, so have my opinions on 'what works for me'. Although I love my locs now and get excited whenever I see other women of colour embracing their natural hair/ locs, I can't allow myself to hate on or turn my nose up at others who still prefer weaves or relaxers. I can relate to their comfort in those styles because I've experienced it. All of this is to say that we all have different personal standards & comfort zones when it comes to our own beauty. What works for one person may not work for another; and the sooner we accept that one simple truth, the sooner we as individuals (and as a global community) will start to heal ourselves.
I'm excited to see what year three of my loc journey has in store for me! Feel free to visit the My Loc Journey gallery for some snaps of my loc progress.