To loc or not to loc…

that is the question. After much wavering over the past month or so, I think I am going to loc Micheline’s hair. I’m not wild about really big locs, and absolutely hate natural ones where the hair is allowed to just mat up…especially on white people with straight hair. Yeah, I know. I’ve read that anyone can lock their hair, but heelllloooo…those with nice hair locs have curly hair. Or did someone not explain that to those who are loc wannabes? If you have to put big hunks of wax in your hair and have it matted and look like my cockapoo’s fur when she really needed a trim, then perhaps locs were not meant for you.

I love doing Micheline’s hair, but I fear damage from repeated braid styles and cornrows. I’ve read to let her hair “rest”, but her hair is impossible when left free, and I refuse to damage it with relaxers. I want her to feel that her hair is beautiful, but she often tells me she wishes she had hair that hung down like her friends have. With locs she can have that as it is free to grow without breakage that comes with manipulating her hair so often for hairstyles.

After seeing tiny locs started with microbraids, and seeing Sisterlocks ( gorgeous but waaay out of my price range) I decided to go the microbraid route. I actually love the look of tiny locs. We put microbraids in this past weekend and she has about 130 of them. I had hoped for more, but even though she has very coarse and kinky hair, she doesn’t have alot of it. If I made the braids any smaller, I feared that she would lose locs as they grew out and the weight of the hair pulled on the bases.

I’m still not 100% sure I want to keep them and let them loc. One of the main reasons I wanted to loc it was so she wouldn’t have to sit for hours on end every two weeks as we do a new hairstyle. Her hair is not the kind that holds a style for 4-6 weeks like some others can. Instead, it can look beautiful for the first two or three days after a new style and then her braids or twists start looking incredibly fuzzy. A style that is only a week old might look like she has had it in for over a month.

The other reason I am thinking of locking her hair is so that she can be more “wash and wear” which has always been her desire. We won’t have to worry about twists shrinking up when they get wet, and with very small locs she will be free to wear it down, pulled up in ponytails when it is long enough, curled, and even cornrowed if we so choose.

My big hesitation is that I like very cultivated looking locs. If her hair fuzzes out in a cornrowed style after only a few days, will her locs become too messy looking? I know they go through phases as they start to loc and that you have to be patient during some of those phases, but I don’t want to dress her up for church and have her head look like she just crawled out of bed. For those who have tiny locs, is it way too time consuming to be weaving in the loose fuzzies?

My biggest fear, however, is that if she decides later that she doesn’t want them, it pretty much requires cutting them off and giving her a TWA, otherwise known as a teeny weenie afro. It has taken us two years to get the length she currently has after she cut her own hair and a salon shaved the rest off. I feel like I’ve fought hard for the hair growth that she currently has and have pampered it much.

Some websites say that you can actually undo locked hair, but that you will lose quite a bit in the process. From what I’ve seen, that is only true if you twist it to tighten the locs, rather than use a tool that weaves the new growth through the loc. The latter is what I plan to do, so I think once we commit, we are in it for the long haul.

I would love any input and advice from those with locked hair to help us decide. She is totally fine with it so far, but seven year olds can change their mind quickly. Here are some pictures of her hair as we were putting it in microbraids. You can see even after putting fresh parts in it, that her new growth is so tightly curled that she doesn’t have the clean looking parts that those with a looser curl have. On the bright side, however, she has such a tight curl that I think it will loc fairly easily.

first quarter of her head is finished

first quarter of her head is finished

half of her head is done

half of her head is done

this is not the best angle to see her hair, but here is the finished product from the front

this is not the best angle to see her hair, but here is the finished product from the front

view from the back

view from the back



Filed under Hair care, locs

5 responses to “To loc or not to loc…

  1. maturenatural

    What a cutie! Her microbraids look great and should last a while with the assistance of products that moisturize and soften. Covering her hair with a satin bonnet or scarf at night will help braids last longer.

  2. nineisenough

    I use Taliah Waajid products faithfully and she also sleeps with a satin night cap and also has a satin pillowcase, although she often pulls off the night cap and ends up with her pillow on the floor since she is a wild sleeper. Short of putting the child on satin sheets as well, we are doing the best we can! 🙂

  3. Kristen

    Do not put conditioners or softening aids in her hair. That will slow the locking process down. I have 140 locs in my hair and it has been almost two weeks since I locked it using the interlock method. I have buds already! I washed my hair once with Dr. Bonners peppermint soap and put nothing else on it except nappylocs herbal growth oil (on the scalp only). I am sure she will grow to love her locks, just stick with it. They are going to be fuzzy sometimes, but you can take her to get them palm rolled also. The fuzzies will go away in a couple of months so dont worry.

  4. I came across this blog randomly and just wanted to give you a little bit of my story. My locs are five years old and are creeping towards the middle of my back. I’ve always maintained my own without the help of a salon and the fuzzies only pop out when my hair is need of maintenance or when I sleep without my head covered.

    My care includes tea tree oil shampoo, a good moisturizing shampoo, deep conditioner, hair oil and a few head scarves. I wash as needed and oil every few days. I also use Organic Root Stimulator lock and twist gel to palm roll my locs.

    There are a few pics on my blog that show my hair if you are interested.

  5. Pingback: Braidlocks « Are We Having Fun Yet?

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