Dreadlocks. It doesn’t seem right that a decision related to a choice of hairstyle should require so much interrogation and research before your park yourself in that salon chair but really you should take your time in arriving at the decision to loc your hair. So here’s a few things to think about before you make the leap.
I first locked my hair when I was in my second year of university. By the time I was graduating I’d combed them out. Why? I had this period where I experienced an inexplicable urge to comb my hair. I’d stand in front of my mirror and imagine what it would be like to comb my hair. I’d legit dream of combing my hair. A few weeks after the first combing fantasy, I had my mom and sisters comb it out. As soon as I combed it, I regretted it.
Before you visit a loctician, you need to consider how committed you are to this journey because while it is possible to comb out your hair, it’s a hustle not to mention the fact that you lose so much hair because all that hair that hasn’t been falling off as hair naturally does fall out all at once. Painful. So if you love changing up your hair frequently, this is not the path for you. Faux locs may be the temporary balm to quench and soothe your loc thirst.
- Time commitment
It takes hair some time to lock. Of course, it varies from person to person based on hair type, texture, thickness etc. but it still takes some time before leaving what people refer to as the ‘ugly phase’. You know the one. Also, be psychologically prepared for major shrinkage. It’s coming. There’s no escaping it.
The younger/newer the dreadlocks, the more time and effort they require. So the first year will be full of salon visits for retwists. They become significantly easier to manage once they’ve actually locked. When I was starting out my current dreads, people with longer hair would always tell me I’d miss the short length which I thought was complete BS. Turns out, it wasn’t at all. I miss my short dreads so much so that I’m this close to telling my loctician to go to town on my head with a pair of scissors.
- The dreads
Research is the name of the game when it comes to deciding on the dreads you want and getting a loctician. The first one is relatively easy. You know the kind of dreadlocks you like when you see them. Find what you’d like your hair to look like when done and take that with you to the loctician. Finding a good loctician, on the other hand, is nothing short of a miracle. Whoever starts out your dreads determines how they look from then on so this decision is incredibly critical especially if you’re committed to keeping the dreads for the foreseeable future and then some.
While a good loctician can do wonders, your hair being different from your dream dreadlocks hair may mean you don’t get exactly the same look which is something you have to be prepared for.
Natural hair just requires so much thought in the way of products that you choose to use and when it comes to dreadlocks with residue and build up, the choices are more urgent. Quality products generally have a hefty price tag attached to them, can you handle that?
- Career considerations
Things are definitely changing in terms of the perception of people with dreadlocks. We’ve come quite far from the Dreadlocks = Mungiki days which is not to suggest that everyone’s now fully on board. There are still some career paths and employers that frown upon dreadlocks so consider that before you loc ‘em up.
If you do decide to start your dreadlocks journey, welcome to the fold.
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