Some of you may have already read the interview welcoming Alex to the NU community. This time, we’re going to do a more in depth interview and also discuss more about her gorgeous locks. Often times in the natural hair community, we forget to talk about locks because a lot of us don’t know very much about them. My knowledge in that department is also limited, so I brought in someone who knows her stuff!
At what point did you decide to transition to dread locks?
About a year into my natural hair journey, I felt like having a fro didn’t really fit me or my personality. I also wanted a change and to try something new. It was difficult to narrow down which direction to turn to. I knew I didn’t want a weave or anything of that nature, so in order to get ideas, I turned to youtube! Initially, I started watching videos about people who decided to shave their heads, but that didn’t seem like the best option for me either. Eventually, I stumbled upon Chescalocs, a popular video blogger who has dreads. She had really awesome videos that explained, in detail, what she did to transition to locks. So, I could really see step by step what she did to achieve the beautiful locks she had. I also loved the fact that she had a lot of tutorials on different styles and curling methods. She demonstrated that there are so many ways to rock the locks! I just became hooked on her channel and ultimately, she inspired me to get locks!
Where did you go to get the locks installed?
I went to a beauty college, and there were two students there who had locks. They were the ones assigned to do my hair. I opted to use the comb coiling method to install my locks which gave me much more time before my hair locked permanently. I felt really secure because here were two people that already achieved what I was aspiring to have. I knew that I was in good hands.
How did you feel when you first got them installed?
I felt really endogenous. I didn’t feel sexy or feminine. I did, however, read a lot about the awkward stage in the beginning of your lock journey when your hair isn’t quite long enough to style. Essentially, you’re left with these little twists that are thin and without shape, but I was prepared for it and expected to go through that. I was willing to tough it out knowing that in the end, they would flourish and it would be worth it.
I wore a lot of hats, head bands, scarves, or anything to accessorize. I know it sounds a little hypocritical to cover them up, but it made it easier for me to pass the time quickly and not worry about how fast my hair was growing.
I do pipe cleaner curls, suicide rolls, and fun up do’s. I get these ideas from youtube really. It’s actually a great source of inspiration! I’ve definitely ventured out of the hats and scarves routine I had last year.
What is your current lock regimen?
I wash my hair every 3 to 4 weeks and deep condition every time I wash my hair. I usually do an apple cider vinegar rinse every 2 months to get rid of product build up. I use coconut oil and argan oil on a daily basis to maintain moisture. Every now and then I use black Jamaican castor oil on my hair line just to thicken it (I’ve always had finer hair towards my edges).
What would say are the most common misconceptions about people with dreads?
The first thing, is that most people think we don’t wash our hair. There are some people who have straighter hair and when they get dreads installed, they have to use the neglect method in order to utilize natural oils that their scalp produces to lock their hair. Most people who have locks, however, have to wash and condition it to maintain a neat look and healthy hair.
Another common myth is that people with locks are not legitimate members of the natural hair community because our hair just grows no matter what. The truth is, our hair is in a shrunken state because it’s literally a permanent twist style. So, in reality, our hair takes even longer to show off length. Even with my hair being about shoulder length people compliment me about it, but then they follow up by saying, “oh, but it doesn’t count, because you have locks”. It makes me shake in my boots!
Lastly, people often think of overgrown, under kept, locks that we typically associate with the Rastafarian culture. Not only is that ethnocentric and disrespectful to people who have locks for religious reasons, but it’s also just one small part of a much larger dread lock culture. Everyone has their own reasons for getting dreads. Some people get them and are more clean, professional, and neat while others are more liberal about their style and there’s nothing wrong with either life style choices.
What are your dread locks goals?
I really want my hair to be down to my butt! Then maybe I’ll do something crazy like try to take them out, but we’ll see.
just do it! you have a good month or two before your hair fully locks if you used the twisting method to install them, so you can totally take it out if you feel like it’s not for you. It really doesn’t hurt to try. Even after years of having them, it is possible to remove them. Have patience during the early stage while your hair looks shorter. Do your research and learn how to take care of it. Once you find a couple styles to rock, you’ll love it!
If you enjoyed this interview, check out the others under the United Members category! Don’t forget to ‘like’ Naturals United on Facebook,
most importantly, stay calm, and love your natural hair 🙂