I have always loved Locs. As a child, I begged my daddy to let me wear them but he refused. I had to wait until I was 18.
The year I turned 18 however, I cut off all my hair. It was a super impromptu decision but I liked it! I felt that it was the first step in me becoming my own woman.
In October of 2013, my mom spent about 4 hours finger coiling my hair. I was so excited once she finished because I knew that those delicate little coils would one day become Locs! I maintained my little coils with the utmost care. I was careful not to get my hair wet, oiled my scalp with the best oils I could afford (being a freshman in college doesn’t exactly make any money lol), and spent hours each month retwisting my new growth.
I loved my hair and had hoped to grow them to my waist before I cut off a few inches. In September of 2015 however, I decided that I wanted a change and combed out my Locs over the course of a few weeks.
For the next few years, I experimented with my natural curls, weaves, wigs and braids/twists. While I liked that I could play around with different styles, I always yearned for the consistency of my Locs. I never had a bad hair day and my hair made me feel so secure in my identity.
In May of 2017, I cut off all my hair, in yet another impromptu moment, and have worn my hair short ever since. This May officially marked 3 years of my short cut and I realized I was ready for something different.
I began to toy with the idea of locing my hair again but I was hesitant.
You know the starter Loc stage is the ugliest, maybe you should grow your hair out more before you commit.
I argued with myself for weeks about what I actually wanted to do with my hair. Did I want to try wigs, grow it out, or Loc it?
As I wrestled with this decision, I stumbled across the Instagram page of a girl I went to HS with. Now, this girl has ALWAYS had long beautiful hair but seeing her now sparked a bit of sadness and jealousy in me. People had always commented on her hair but she was lowkey IG famous now so this is a whole different level of exposure on her end.
Well, I thought. This is it! I’ll grow my hair out. Surely that’ll bring more attention to me and the blog. I had made my decision, I would grow my hair out.
I began to research different hair products and invested in a few that promised to stimulate hair growth. I began to obsessively check the growth of my hair all the while continuing to imagine what I’d look like with blonde Locs. I knew I loved Locs, but Locs just didn’t seem as socially acceptable as long natural hair. Locs didn’t seem to bring the attention I thought I wanted.
Just last night, I saw something that literally broke the hold of jealousy over me. A Black man (that I’ve always seen as handsome) said something about finding Black women with Locs ‘beautiful’.
Wait, I thought. He thinks that women with Locs are beautiful?
I looked in the mirror and was a bit shocked at what I saw. For the first time in a long time, I was self-conscious! I masked my insecurity as a desire to grow my hair but honestly, I just didn’t know how I would react to seeing myself during the ugly beginning stages of my Loc journey.
If I am being honest, 2020 has been the year where I have felt the most secure in my beauty. I finally felt comfortable in my skin. I came to a place where I didn’t want that boob job anymore and I was okay with my narrow-ish hips. I realized that I felt beautiful with or without makeup and I stopped caring if people noticed the size 9.5 feet that carry my 5’9″ frame.
I loved me for every piece of who I was.
Making the decision to embark on another Loc journey stirred up self-esteem issues I thought I had resolved.
Would I feel as beautiful as I know I am if my hair was ugly for about 6 months straight?
I thought that the answer would be no, so I tried to convince myself that I wanted to grow my hair out but deep down inside, I knew that I would never be happy with my hair until I started my Loc journey.
So I had a chat with myself and I stared at myself in the mirror; I imagined my hair in delicate little blonde coils and thought about the way it would alter my appearance.
I was ashamed that I allowed old insecurities to build-up to the point of making me change my mind about something I truly wanted. So tonight, Father’s Day and the end of Juneteenth weekend, my momma started locing my hair. As I looked at the tiny little coils start to form, the familiar murderous feeling of comparison began to swell in my chest.
I thought of everyone I knew that had Locs and how theirs were already mature. I thought about how long it would take for me to really be ready to boldly rock my baby Locs and frowned.
Why was I allowing the demon of comparison into my mind? Why was I allowing them to speak negativity over something I desired?
I ignored that voice and began to think about how I would re-learn to love myself as my hair grows. I began to think about the fact that my diet is much healthier than it was when my hair was previously loced and how this would help my locs to be stronger than before. I began to silence that evil voice with truth.
My mom still has some more coils to install but I am already excited about the finished product. I know that it will take some time for them to grow and get a little ‘hang time’ but I am excited about the journey. I am excited about what God will reveal to me in this time of re-learning to love me.
I realized that I was comfortable with the skin I’m in because other people like it. The increase of likes on my personal IG filled my head and made my ego more fragile than it had ever been. So I decided to stay off of IG for a while to learn to love me through the lens of God.
Scripture does an amazing job of showing us that we are all unique in the kingdom God and that we should utilize our gifts joyfully.
Romans 12:6-8 (NIV) says ‘We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.’
Teddy Roosevelt famously said ‘comparison is the thief of joy’ and I think this verse does an amazing job of showing we are supposed to be different and that is okay! God created each of us with unique traits, characteristics, abilities, and bodies. If I was supposed to have hair like my former classmate, I would. If I was supposed to have bigger boobs, I would. If I was supposed to be a better singer, I would be.
But God didn’t create me that way. He made me exactly the way He needed me to be to further His Kingdom here on Earth. So while I may not have traits and qualities that I previously believed that I needed, I can paint, freehand sketch very well and I have a great eye for photography.
I am unique in my talents, qualities, traits, flaws, and abilities because God handpicked each one.
And I am okay with that.