Hair we go again

Unloc’ed: What’s up with my hair?

Same hair. Old photo.

Well for one thing, it’s loose again. In case we haven’t met, my name is Claire, and I’ve tried to loc my hair several times. Considering how fickle I’ve been in the past, I may try again in a few days or a few years. Who knows?

For now, though, my attempts are over.

Shortly after I came back home this spring, I started to undo my dreads. This decision was completely random. Unlike the last time, there wasn’t a declaration that “I miss my ‘fro!”. I just put my hands in my head and said, “Time to take these out!”

Although I didn’t know why, I felt determined. (Thank God my mother pitched in!) We worked hard and finished after several days.

Along the way, I learned that my drive was driven by destiny.

In the past I’ve been put off of dreads because I’ve had problems with build-up. (Once I gave up after finding lint from a scarf in one of them.) Sadly, this time around was no exception. As we undid the twists at the nape of my neck, we made a discovery. One loc in particular seemed to have absorbed every piece of dust that had crossed its path.

At first I was disgusted.

I didn’t get it. I was careful! I’d done my best to follow the (un)written rules of dreadloc care:

I had a black satin pillowcase and slept with a scarf (to avoid oddly-coloured lint while I slept). I only washed my hair with transparent shampoo. As for products, I hadn’t used any that I could think of…Except for perhaps a light hair oil, maybe once or twice

I didn’t understand what could’ve turned my head into Dirt Central. I still don’t.* Especially since I was facing–what I thought was–a worst-case scenario. I’d had buildup before. But not like this!

Quite honestly, a part of me felt defeated. Since my last big chop, my hair had grown to the point where taking care of it had become a bit of a chore. In order to ease some of my workload, locs felt like the next logical step.

I also felt angry and ashamed. During the months that my locs were developing, someone I know seemed a little too fond of telling me, ”Your hair is dirty.” Since this person doesn’t like natural hair, I just thought they were being rude.

Boy was I wrong!

So now what?

Well, I’m right where I didn’t want to be–dealing with loose medium-length hair. (If you need a reference, it’s about as long as it was in the photo at the top of this post. Stretched it reaches my shoulders.)

I didn’t think I’d have the patience to deal with my crowning glory again, but it doesn’t matter. Because now, I have to.

These days forces seem to be conspiring to teach me lessons about patience. It looks like my hair is just another part of the plan.

I’m curious. Have any of you tried to loc your hair and wound up frustrated? Feel free to tell me about it!

*Even today, every now and then I wistfully contemplate getting locs again. I wonder what I’d have to do–keep my hair covered 24/7?


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