FROM LOOSE NATURAL TO TRANSITIONING INTO LOCS
So! You’re in a stage where you either have decided to transition into locs, or you are vacillating between two options, either staying natural or venturing into the permanence of locing your hair. Your mind isn’t quite made up. Either way this article is here to help you decide or discover the easiest way to do it.
The journey from being a loose natural to locs isn’t always easy and it is not always a straight path. Many people have reached their goal of having locs many different ways due to the way they perceive beauty, their inner confidence level to rock locs, and the fear of the unknown. Many naturals are uncertain about the permanence of having locs, how to start them, the budget they choose to invest, or whether they simply want to start them themselves. Here are a few ways people do it and why.
#1. THE BIG CHOP- This is usually the best route for those who want to cut to the chase. They are not particularly concerned with how they look for the moment or how they’ll look in the coming months, they are simply anxious to start their journey and skip the stage of dealing with two textures of hair on their head and how to deal with it. The advantage to choosing the big chop is that you are immediately working with one texture of hair and thereby reduce the damage to your ends splitting faster and allowing your hair to start growing back right away. Many times there is an additional trim once more to make it look neat and ensure the ends are fresh and the new curl pattern emerges.
#2. THE SEMI-TRANSITIONAL NATURAL- These are people who transition from loose natural or perms (chemically-straightened hair) for a few months and choose to wear protective styles while they are transitioning, until they decide to take the next step. They may take it by doing the Big Chop, or waiting till their hair is grown out more before cutting the “initially straight or textured” hair out. This is an excellent option for people who aren’t quite sure they want to take the leap, but they have decided to take steps toward their decision. They may wear their hair in twists, twist-outs, curls with roll outs, and other ways displaying both textures, but camophaging it by wearing a pretty hairstyle (not worn straight). The advantage of choosing this option/method is it allows a person time to find peace with their decision and come to finality without taking such a drastic step right away.
#3. THE COVERING THE SCALP METHOD - This method is chosen by people who want to wear wigs, braids or other protective styles until they deem their hair is long enough to either wear it natural for awhile before locing or growing it out and then installing locs immediately afterwards. That way they can maintain the look of length they want to keep, or cover areas of alopecia they may have until they can install locs by a loctician who can cover those areas. This is an excellent choice for people who have decide to wear faux locs and prefer to skip all the “loc stages” altogether. However, in my opinion, going through the stages is all part of the loc journey and discovering your own natural unique beauty.
#4. THE LOOSE NATURAL WHO WANTS TO FREE-FORM- Many times you’ll see people who have worn their hair curly and they just choose to allow their locs to form organically and they already have a long head of hair. Sometimes they will freeform, and other times they may have their locs manicured and styled. This person is half-way there because they have already embraced the “world of natural” and already have come to the realization of self-love and their own beauty. Growing their locs organically is just an extension of their style.
MYTHS AND THE TRUTH
It has been said that you can have a relaxer and start locs…..True or False? Well, the answer would be true if you are installing Sisterlocks, and no if you are doing traditional or otherwise. Many times sisterlocks can be installed while the hair is straight on the ends, and then later snipped to allow the bud to form later. Due to the sisterlock method, one may have some straightened hair at the ends. Locticians or self-starters who start their locs with braidlocs have the same experience. But budding is important part of sealing the ends of the loc, so you will need this eventually.
It has been said that once you start locs, you are stuck with them and have to cut them out…..True or False? Well, the answer would be false. There is a window of time where you can take them down before they loc up completely. Usually it is 6 to 8 months from initial install date. Many locers have chosen to take their locs down after years of wearing them successfully, although the hair may not be strong any longer. It depends on texture. My advice would be to manually comb them out if it is within the first year of install, but after years of wearing them, I would cut them out and start a new style. Also, some locers have started their locs with braids and just go through and undo the braids. This also works.
It has been said that if I choose to take them down I have to cut them at the root….True or False? The answer is false. Locers have waiting several months and chosen not to twist their roots, or they will comb their roots, patiently waiting for enough growth until they are ready to cut them down. This is the method I would choose if I was ready to remove them. Some people save their locs to be installed at a later date, just incase they change their mind. I, personally, think it would be nice to start with fresh, virgin hair and new parts. To each his/her own. There is a comfort in knowing you still have your set of locs with you to re-install just in case you think you made a mistake. Some would barely notice you re-installed them!
I hope this assists you in your decision to transition to locs. It is a wonderful journey, and the majority of us who have locs, love the ease and convenience of them. One thing you may miss is combing or brushing through your entire scalp as a whole, which was one of the first things I had to get used to as a new locer. I have been loced now for thirteen years and a natural three and a half years before that. I will be sharing my loc journey one day in book format, but until then I am still enjoying my locs and have no plans for cutting them off. I may just be “loc’d for life”, I don’t know. This journey has been nothing short of awesome from day one, and I am still in awe of the beauty of my locs all these years later. I have embraced myself, my beauty and the originality of “my own” set of locs. I hope you have the same experience as me, if not better!
Let me know your thoughts and questions about deciding to get locs or how you’re enjoying your journey below.
FROM LOOSE NATURAL TO TRANSITIONING INTO LOCS
Blog Article by Tiffany Parr