My Loc Story: My Transition to Natural Hair and Why I Chose to Have Dreadlocks
It all started about 17 years ago. I had a dream and that dream was that I was an adult. And, I was running through an airport. I had long dreadlocks down my back. I woke up thinking wow! I really like how I appeared in the dream, looking beautiful, natural and strong. It was exactly what I wanted the world to see when they looked at me.
After the dream, I read everything about dreadlocks. I researched about the history of dreadlocks, the meaning behind them, I also looked at the spiritual meaning of them. I also went to my local library and checked out every book that they had on African American hair. It was amazing reading about different the many different textures and to properly care for my hair. It was then, that I learned to really appreciate my hair.
I thought about how society was pushing the agenda of what beauty was. I learned a long time ago that it didn't look like me. I was plus sized, dark skinned with course hair. I learned that I needed to embrace who I was, where I came from, and what I looked like and that started with how my hair. It was relaxed, to my collar bone and thick. It was pretty nice, but I knew that it wasn't me. My whole teenage life was spent taking the time to relax it and to have the perfect wrap. My hair was never straight enough or sleek enough. I decided to celebrate my natural texture. So, I began to transition out of my relaxer. I was 17 years old. I'm not going to lie, it was a challenge to say the least.
Through the transition my family questioned what I was doing. I would always inform them that it it's time to forget about what society norm is and embrace what our creator has given us. They looked at me like I was crazy but I didn't care. I was so optimistic, but there were days that I didn’t feel like I was beautiful. Luckily, I was a pretty good theater actor at the time so I just would act like I was happy. When my hair was half natural and half relaxed on the ends I decided to give myself the big chop and there I was natural. This was before selfies were popular, but that was the first time I felt truly beautiful.
My hair was so thick, course, but beautiful, and all mine. The one downfall about myself was acceptance from others. I was so nervous about what others would think of me particularly men. I had an ex-boyfriend tell me that he wasn’t sure about it. Talk about, bruised ego, and my mom told me short hair would make me look like a boy. So, I kept my hair braided until I could figure out when I wanted to start my locs.
During that time, I met my ex-husband, he always saw my hair in braids so he asked to see my real hair. I took my braids down and tried to flat iron it the best way I could and it just did not look the same. I now know it was because of technique, but I thought it was because it wasn’t relaxed, so I panicked and bought a boxed relaxer and permed my hair. He liked it, but I was devastated. That’s when I knew I had to re transition.
Fast forward a year, right after my second big chop, I put two strand twists in and started my own locs. And, I kept them up for me. I love my locs, they have seen me through my whole life. I have been married, divorced, remarried, and become a mother with them. I have been hired and fired, loved and lost. I have been happy and I have been depressed. My locs have become the timeline of my life. And, I love how secure I have become in the last 14 years. My edges do not have to be layed and I still feel and look beautiful. I wake up and get ready with little effort, and I don’t even need an umbrella when it rains!