Hello Queens and thank you for having me as part of your family! I have been locing my hair for ten years – and I have no intention of changing! I was not always loced…I have had years of being chemically enslaved, proudly bore burn marks on the rims of my ears and my cheeks; enduring the sulphur oxidizing stench of the “cream crack” that made me ‘bone straight’ for another eight weeks; where my hair could not tolerate water or excessive sweating.
All my life I had hair, I grew to have a head of hair that just grows and grows; for me it’s just genetics – complete with a widow’s peak. I can remember my childhood, sitting between somebody’s knees with a jar of bergamot or Dixie Peach; I can still remember the smell. I also remember the smell of Sulphur -8 and Glover’s Mange – for the serious hair grower! As a little girl, I was known as the ‘yellow child with all that hair!’ Barrettes could not contain me, rubber bands struggled to hold on, head cloths and hats just could not handle me, and a skully cap had to be a wide as a whale to cover my hair.
Every summer when I visited my grandparents in South Carolina, the village mothers would come to my grandparent’s house with their big bellies and new babies to rub one of my plaits on their belly or their babies head so they will have hair like mine.
Of course I rebelled throughout the years with experimentation on color, length, style and care. It was only when I listened to my body’s reaction to the chemicals of a perm that resulted in serious scalp burns that I decided to go natural. It was hard for me to go thru withdrawal, to embrace the kink, to move away from the stink smoothness of chemically treated hair – the oxidation that was offensive to my olfactory senses, that burn became a brutality I had gotten used to. I was nervous and anxious; I had forgotten what my natural hair felt like. I was threatened by my family for choosing to loc, I was ‘warned’ that I would never secure another professional job again with that ‘nappy’ hair.
I was associated with smoking weed, being a Jamaican and being unclean. No one remembered the biblical reference of hair locing and how priest’s loced their hair to bind a promise made to God. I had left the stink silkiness of the Koreans, the glue and the oxidation. No more all day pilgrimages at the local beauty shop complete with brown bag lunch, I was set free.
Through all of this my hair continued to grow and so did my awareness, so did my spirit. I learned to be different and to be comfortable in it; to be strong and to let the natural within me come forth. As my hair grew so did the love of myself. My natural hair growth is a cultivation that went thru childhood; potty training, adolescence and young adulthood, my hair went off to college and came back a master of the natural. As my hair grew so did my pride and awareness of where I came from. My natural hair is my adornment, my crown, a testament of my faith, a commitment to self care.
So far in ten years I have cut my locs five times, I am still growing strong at 45. Self love is tending my locs and is better than any vibrator! I now walk thru the rain and snow completely free and unafraid of nature around my hair, it is as natural as the earth and the weather; drinking up the rain and snow like the roots of a tree, protecting me from the hot sun and cold wind. Catching the whispers of my ancestors, I am free.
I will be writing about hair growth and taking the Queens back a bit – to the old ways. Please send me your hair superstitions to my email address firstname.lastname@example.org. A hair superstition I grew up with: “Never let anyone who is angry or vexed with you do your hair.”
I look forward to growing in the company of Queens. It’s time for me to open my special place and share with all of you! Thank you!
Stay Blessed & Happy Locing!
Bold Loced Lioness