Sometimes when I’m re-twisting my hair I think about some of the things I wish I knew or did before starting or at least waaaay before they matured. My first thing would be not putting so much dang product in my hair! I was always so worried about having too much frizz and I was often told that because of the soft texture of my hair, I would have to re-twist very often and that in itself as discouraging. I figured the more gel or product my hair will stay in place and not get all messy so soon. All I was really doing was adding unnecessary weight to my hair and overusing product that is supposed to help my hair but instead builds up in my locs and make things much worse than having some frizz.
Second: I wish I researched different types of parting the hair before starting my journey. I recently found out there were different ways of parting the hair when starting locs. Apparently you can part your hair in a letter “C” shape, do squares or grid pattern ( my hair), a brick wall pattern, triangles, or random parting. I happen to enjoy my choice of a grid pattern but at the time I had no idea I even had options. I personally feel the grid pattern helps me when I re-twist my hair. Especially since it is getting longer and thicker. I would think depending on how your hair is parted, different styles, how much volume, or even how it matures may differ. I could be wrong but that is something I’d have to look into myself. Perhaps if I did my hair in another parting method it may look differently than it does now.
Third: I wish I researched different hair textures when it comes to dreadlocks. Every time I googled locs, to my disappointment, there were hardly any people of color which I found extremely odd. I wish I looked more thoroughly for those with similar hair textures instead of listening to speculations about how my hair may look or turn out. It’s nice to relate to someone else and to have something to motivate your own growth. I remember getting my hair done in Brooklyn NY and while I was leaving the loctician told me that “your hair is unique, it’s going to look so beautiful as it matures, just wait”. My hair was about shoulder length then and I was still very new to the maintenance process and hearing that definitely made the wait well worth it.
Fourth: I wish I knew how to properly rinse my hair. I mean I knew it was vigorous but I had no clue or even thought to look up how to soak and rinse my hair. Only after 5+ years of having locs did I even begin to see rinses on social media and how to tutorials (Sad, I know). I found out about the classic apple cider vinegar and baking soda rinse (with or without lemon) I mean come on! I could have used that years ago…desperately! Now I use Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Soap along with using the acv/baking soda rinse. I will continue to research more healthy ways of washing one’s hair.
Fifth: Last but not least…
I wish I could have embraced every second, minute, day, month, year, of my hair journey. To embrace the journey with a lot less doubt and a lot more appreciation especially in the beginning stages. All the awkward and (let us just keep it real….ignorant) questions I received before my hair matured really affected me. The process before the maturity stages are so crucial to self- esteem and self love not just for the hair but for how you feel with it on. It wasn’t something I can take off every night and get a fresh head top in the morning. It had to be nurtured and invested in. Hair could most definitely be an investment. I’m not talking about actual purchases of hair of the time and frustration that comes with it. The emotional investment. I think that’s something to be proud of. Although my confidence continues to bloom (and sometimes be tested) I wish I was best of friends with unconditional confidence. As I come up on 7 years this winter, I hope to inspire others to make the commitment of loc’ing or just embracing natural hair and all it’s ups and downs. Own that awkward phase or frizz! Hair is just a part to the sum, own it!