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Apr 9, 2009

Reader Question

Hello Queens, below is a question that a reader sent me in all sincerity. I am publishing it because I have been approached for number of years with the same question so let me answer it the best I can, truthfully (the only way):

Q: Hello, I have a question that I have wanted to ask for years, but didn't have the courage to ask anyone for fear that they may not be truthful or may become affended. I trulymean no disrespect in the question that I'm about to ask. I too have locs and I have had them since 2/14/1997, technically before then, but I came out in 1997. That I would need to explain, but I would like to pose my question before I lose my train of thought.

I would like to know, truthfully what it is that is added to the hair to sustain the locs and keep them with that thick look from root to end no matter how long they are. I don't want to be lied to because I know how hair grows and to keep that fullness of a twist from root to end is virtually impossible without some sort of added hair, twine, or other element which may or may not have grown natually out of the scalp. Especially if these are uncultured locs in which you just let them go and they are unmainted. I work in Baltimore Md. and I see about 60 percent of the people of color there who tend to wear their in locs but whom have started them with a substance not of their ow entirely. Their are guys who will have 1 inch hair on Monday and then 12 inch hair on Thursday and it looks so very natural, but I KNOW BETTER!!!! Please tell me what it that in their hair. I do have locs and I have always had long hair since I was a child, so when I started my locs, I started them with the length that I already had. I didn't get the fullness from the scalp that i truly want, but I have been blessed enough to get the length over and over again. I say over and over again, because I have cut it numerous of times and by the grace of God, it always grew back to the length from which I had cut it. I always cut it in the spring and it grows right backe summer and I start all over again. I will not be doing that anymore, because I am going to be 50 years old this year and I don't want to keep taking away what God has blessed me with. I also have very fine wavy hair and that does'nt allow my roots to become truly bushy or kinky which I woud like. I should'nt keep asking for something that God has not given me, because so many of us do that on a daily basis and don't even see what is in front of us, and with me, I have realized that God has blessed me with a full head of long hair since I was a girl and here I am still asking the question about the thickness from the root. Well I have something that others would probably steal to get and that's the length, no matter how many times I cut, God always gives it back. But I wont do it anymore. Just please tell me what it is that they are adding to the hair. I pose this question to you because you seem to have the same texture and look of the hair in question that I see everyday for over ten years now not saying that it is but that's the reason that I'm asking you the question, because only you know what you have. I mean this in no direspectful way so please don't take it this way. God Bless You

A: Hello, name withheld out of respect, thank you so much for you question and I will be happy to answer you. You have no reason to think I will take the question the wrong way because hey at least you are asking and not making assumptions right? Well I have had my dreadlocks for over 7 1/2 years. I started with just an inch of hair, just enough to actually twist; which stylist call coils. I had no problem starting off with little to no hair, as I wanted to experience "me" throughout the 5 stages of dreads which are:

  • Coils
  • Budding
  • Teen or Tween
  • Mature
  • Beyond Maturity

For me it was all about getting to know "me." Having been wearing relaxers, perms, and weaves for the majority of my life this was a very important process. During the early stages of my dreads I was like most people, admiring, wishing, and wanting them to be long and beautiful. I was very tempted to gain length at all costs which you are referring to. But, no way was I going to get, "caught out there." That would just defeat the purpose of getting to "love, and accept" me as I naturally am. However, I do know the different methods that people are running to, just to accept temporary length. The methods used are wrapping the root of the hair with; yarn (mohair), or kinky textured hair which matches the persons hair. Again this method is for people who want the length, and fullness that they may not be able to gain on their own, or because they aren't patient enough to grow it.

So, this is what you are most likely seeing on those that have 1' one day, and 12 in' another! However, for me? I am 100% all natural, thankfully to the women on my mother's side of the family. My grandmother, mother, and all of my aunts have beautiful hair! My mothers' texture is fine and wavy, she has been wanting locs for years, but her hair isn't kinky enough to loc, and she doesn't have the patience to allow it too. So, thanks to my father for passing on that good African kinky texture for fullness, and hair that will loc. I have the best of both worlds, kinky for locing and good genes from mom for the length.

So again, as with anything everyone has different hair textures due to genes; my hair grows very thick, and bushy, and yours as you have mentioned will grow long, but not as thick. Its just in the genes. Also, with all due respect keep in mind also, that age does and can make a difference. Our hair growth slows down with age, so I may not have such thick and bushy hair in the future (I hope this isn't the case at all) but I have seen it too many times.

As I have blogged about before, diet is a key factor in the health of hair. Plenty of water, and vitamins are important for the growth of hair. I take vitamins on the daily, drink 8-10 glasses of water throughout the day.

We all have to embrace what we have and build from there. So thanks again for your question, I hope I have answered it, and I do hope you continue to visit the site!

Happy Locing!


LaVerne said...

Hello, I have had and cultivated my locs for 9 years. They are getting long and am glad to have ran across your website, becuase I was looking something to assist in styling my hair. I don't like bobbypins in my hair. Your collection is beautiful. Thank you.

Writing Addict said...

LaVerne you are most welcome! Please email me with ideas, or suggestions anytime!

Happy Locing

Enchantress said...

Nice blog...your locs are gorgeous!

Anonymous said...

I loved how you answered that question about loc growth! Not only was is complete and thorough, it cleared up the reason why my hair wasn't locing! My hair texture is more from my mother's side, very soft, fine textured but a lot of it. The difference though is mine is straighter then my mother's. I tried for almost 9 months for it to lock(my hair back then was not quite shoulder length and natural. I've been chemical free since at least 1995), but it wouldn't, and like your mother, I lost patience. My hair is now past my shoulders, and I wore wigs for the last 2 winters, and have kept my hair braided and/or twisted in the summers, and now I'm ready to start wearing twist outs, braidouts and the Curly Afro style this summer(and keep wearing wigs in the winter, because NJ winters are hellish on my hair!). I'm so happy to have found this site, and look forward to exploring it and talking to other natural sisters.

Writing Addict said...

Hi Beautiful Queens, thank you so kindly for your positive words. Please email me anytime for info. I have experience with locing fine hair as well. Its harder to do but it can be done! Don't give up!

Smooches & Happy Locing