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1. The Big Chop.To get locs right you have to cut off all chemically processed (permed) hair. This is advisable as it is the first step to healthy locs, however it is the most difficult stage as it can be seemingly awkward, un-attractive and demanding to manage. However in today's world of Youtube and Instagram you'll be surprised that there's all sorts you can do with a Teeny Weeny Afro (TWA)/Baby locs.Of course, you will not have to chop your hair off at all if it is already natural.
2. Your hair won't loc immediately- courtesy Damilola Lawal, Locs don't happen at once. It is a gradual process that takes as long as 6 months to a year to fully form. My consolation to you on this slow process is that every stage of your locs is a style in itself just like the evolution process. Explore it and enjoy it.
3. Shrinkage. A lot of inspiration to loc your hair often comes from people who already have long locs. Unfortunately you don't start to see length until after your locs form fully. The first six months to one year will be about a lot of shrinkage as the hair strands are in the process of uniting for lack of a better word. This is entirely normal and like all things in life this stage too shall pass. Patience is key and "there is God o"
4. Locs are not Maintenance Free. I was very shocked when I ended up under a hooded dryer after my very first loc twist. The notion that once you loc your hair it is maintenance free is FALSE. To have beautiful locs you need to dedicate some time and love to those strands, or else they will fall faster then they grow. The truth however is that locs can be cheaper to maintain than the regular weaves, braids and relaxer regimes that a lot of females do.
5. Bad Belle Group. There will be those who will look at your head in utter disgust and tell you you look very unattractive. Truth is there will be bad hair days, days where your hair will have no direction and the Bad Belle Association will be there to mock you. The only way to overcome is by the next point.
6. It's Your Decision. My mom's first reaction when I told her I wanted locs was, "Why would you want a hair style that mad people wear?" This came with the implication that locs are dreadful (that's why I refuse to use the term 'dreadlocs'). I knew exactly what I was aiming for even if no one else could see it at the start. Whatever your reason is for deciding to become a loc head, be it for fashion, spirituality, being tired of relaxers or trying to get a comb through your natural hair it doesn't matter as long as it is your decision; Then it is your journey, your cross, your burden and don't forget it's your beautiful crown. By the way my mom is now happy to convince people that my hair is mine and not extensions.
7. Another Big Chop. This is the part that comes after you have loc'd your hair, grown some length , become bored and happy to transition into the free form natural hair, permed hair and what not. The chances are that you'll have to cut your hair again. I've read cases of un-combing locs, but I can imagine how much hair you will loose trying to detangle hair that you've literally tried to tangle. My advice is, before you lock your hair be prepared to cut it all off if you decide to take another hair path.
Once you can make peace with this 7, I think you are ready to start your Loc Journey.
And that's all folks! Thanks to Ade for granting permission to put this post up. Remember you can find her at Locitude website, Locitude Blog, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.