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May 20, 2009

Reader's Emails Answered

Greetings Sistah,

My name is (Name Withheld) and I am a journalism student living in London. I have to say I am very impressed with what you are doing on your blog. Informing and encouraging black women to love their natural, God given hair rather than hiding it under weaves, relaxers and whatnot. Keep up the good work. I recently started my locs (did them myself, am too broke to afford a loctician lol) I started them last Thursday and I am pretty pleased with the way they turned out. However they are loosing the sheen they had when I first had them done and are Ibeginning to turn fuzzy as hell (which i am pleased with actually). While I was looking through your blog, you talked about the five stages of the locking process, please can you elaborate on them for me cause I am kinda curious and also cos I want 2 know how to prepare myself for each stage. As well I wouldn't mind words of encouragement and advice as an experienced locker.

Thanks for your help, xx.

Dear Name Withheld,
Congratulations on your new found hair freedom! I really appreciate your kind words about my hair blog. Its letters like these that remind me the importance of spreading the knowledge about our natural beauty! You never told me how much length you have. However I would love to go over the locing stages for you!

Coils- Coils are the very beginning stages which many (including myself) call twists, or baby locs. During this stage the hair is parted into small squares or diamond patterns and combed coiled into individual locs. They can also be started by hand, or by using a locing tool. The texture is usually smooth, and shiny but open at the ends. The shine and texture is usually from the product you are using to "train" your twists. Also, its due to the fact that you are shampooing, conditioning, and retwisting your hair every 2 - 4 weeks.

Budding (3 to 4 months)-
During this stage each section begins to bond and mat (mesh) together forming a Loc. The ends or middle or each Lock begins to "puff up" and expand in size. The Locs are no longer shiny or smooth as in the coil stage. In this stage the hair is a little difficult to control, giving the head an unkempt look. Here is where the persons' patience, level of commitment, and love of self is tested.

Teen or Tween
(6 to 14 months)- The locing process starts at the middle or end of the Loc (at least 1 inch from the scalp). As the Loc begins to lengthen, the shaft becomes solid and closed at the end. Usually the person has locs that are longer and can be easily controlled. The person has either accepted themselves as they are at this stage, or has decided that locing, just isn't for them.

Mature (past 14 months)- Mature Locs are completely interfaced from the closed tip to the base, not including the new growth (at least 1 inch from the scalp). There are no worries that locs will come down. In this stage the hair is usually past 8 inches of growth. Hair should be shampooed, hot oil treated and re-twisted every 3 to 5 weeks.

Beyond Maturity (past 5 years)- This is sometimes called the Atrophy Stage. During this stage the Loc may start to weaken or atrophy at the ends. The smaller the Locs, the more fragile and more likely the atrophy will occur. This stage usually occurs at the nape of the neck and around the frontal and peripheral hairlines. Loc wearers at this stage must pay strict attention to their hairline and roots of their locs. Tension alopecia can occur when locs are larger and heavier at the ends due to the aging process. Individuals may find it necessary to repair weakened locs by combining them with stronger locs, or actually reconnecting lost locs that may have been lost due to atrophy. This is a natural locing process and almost will always occur. I am proud to say that besides combining I have not lost any locs. Nor do I have any hair loss around my edges. Again great care must be done to avoid atrophy. If it doess occur then the loc wearer should explore and confirm if this is due to natural locing and not due to physical or emotional distress. Consult your loctician. Now if your locs are starting to lose its sheen and smoothness this early and you have only started twisting since Thursday we need to visit your twisting regimen. Again how long are your twists? What product(s) are you using to help with the twisting process? Have you washed your hair yet? Please answer these questions so that I can better assist you. Also, check the website for pics to see these different stages! Thanks for contacting me, and Happy Locing!


Carmennc said...

Hello! I'm loving your blog and it is becoming the 'send people to' reference for locks and of course the give-aways! I know I don't comment much, but I'm reading. I am digging the Beauties of the Week and find myself googling more about them. Keep up the good work!

Writing Addict said...

Carmen, thank you sooo very much I love you to and I am always referring someone to you for some of those crowns you make for our hair. I appreciate you sooo much!