A belated Merry Christmas to you all and Happy New Year in advance. I'm currently on holiday in South Africa and today's a lazy rainy Sunday, so I'm not out and about looking for lions or terrifying my guts at the Gold reef City Theme park; instead I'm taking advantage to catch up and put some thought out there. But first a bit of my current hair update/situation; I've jumped in and out of the pool a few times this past week so I'm not rocking any style in particular. It's been mostly rinsing the chlorine water out of my locs and moisturising with coconut oil (The only product I managed to pack from home - don't judge me everything was very last minute).
So before I deviate too much, I have had the opportunity of helping a good bunch of loc heads in Lagos start their journey/maintain their locs and I have noticed constant damage in the name of protective styling amongst other things.
What do I mean by protective styling?
For the purpose of this post protective styling means either of the following
1. Braiding your locs with extensions.
2. Fixing weaves on your locs.
3. Threading your locs into a style that you can wear for much longer.
4. Any other styles that leave side effects that I'm about to describe below.
Please don't get me wrong, I'm not totally against protective styling however we need to be watchful if it's breaking our locs.
1. The Braid Effect.
When you keep your braids in for too long and then you have disgusting build up that you can never get rid off... Braids are always nice, especially on short locs but that build up like I said is disgusting and it never goes away. If it doesn't break you locs today it will break them some day somewhere down the line. If you are lucky enough your locs might not break but you'll get to always see the gunk every now and then. Yuck Yuck Yuck!!!!
My solution is yes you can braid your locs, but please don't leave them in for too long, 2 weeks maximum is ok if you really want to tame the awkward moments of the loc'd journey. If you see anything that looks like build up, take those braids out.
2. The Weave Effect.
To the best of my knowledge, weaves are sewn in with a thread and needle. most often a thread that's as close as possible to your hair colour, there by hiding it. The whole concept is fine and dandy until your loctician, sister, mom, brother or boyfriend is not patient enough to find the thread when it's time to take them out. Sometimes it's actually impossible to find, so they are left you no other option but to run the blade through some of your locs. DAMAGE is done, blades have no mercy, sometimes you even loose locs from the root and worse off, along your hair line :'(.
If you are going to do this i.e. fix weaves, ask whoever is loosening them to be very careful also try not to wear them in for too long so that there more chances of finding the thread.
3. The Thread Styling Effect.
I have added this just incase you feel that if you are not adding a weave you are ok, sorry you are wrong. Everything I have mentioned in no. 2 applies once that hair style requires you to thread it into place.
A good locitician would use as little thread as possible. However don't forget not to wear such styles in for too long.
So there, I've said my piece and I'm looking forward to a fabulous 2015... I trust you all are too. if I find pipe cleaners, I may get some curls for the new year, otherwise be sure I'll be keeping it loc'd with an attitude. xoxo.
Your Loc Head