The beautiful manes of celebrities like Lisa Bonet are more than enough to make you consider growing out a gorgeous mane yourself. Dreadlocks are edgy, exotic, and eye-catching, but they're also controversial and misunderstood. Our hair makes a statement about us; it reveals our personal taste, our culture, and even our priorities. For many people groups, dreadlocks are spiritual, and for others, growing dreadlocks represents a journey of authenticity and inner growth. As your locs go through their stages of development, so do you.
But the question here is should you grow locs? If you're ready to commit to the development of a new and extraordinary expression of yourself, then our resounding response is 'yes!'
What are dreadlocks really?
Historical evidence shows that dreadlocks were a thing as far back as ancient Egypt and ancient Greece, and later in Jamaica among the Rastafarians. Dreadlocks feature prominently in black and Asian cultures, though they have been embraced in recent centuries by other cultures. They indicated a commitment to spiritual practices, religious beliefs, philosophies of life, and connected to wisdom and spiritual power.
Dreadlocks are so much more than merely a way to wear your hair. If you ask any loc-wearer about their locs, they will tell you about a journey of self-discovery. They will speak with pride and dignity about what their hair symbolizes for them and how this isn't merely a hairstyle; it's an entire lifestyle.
Societal feelings toward locs seem to be polarized - people love them, or they hate them. Some view them as a sign of rebellion against established societal norms. Others see them as unclean and dirty, while the rest of us see them for what they are - a sign of the wearer's esteem and dignity.
Unfortunately, some people still believe that dreadlocks in the workplace are not professional. This can present a barrier to a few jobs or professions where old-fashioned thinking still reigns supreme. Even the name - 'dread' is thought to be derogatory and should be shunned by loc wearers. Even if it is true that the name has nefarious origins, we have long since reclaimed it and given it a beautiful new meaning.
To decide to grow locs can be a demonstration of self-identify and self-empowerment. It is a brave choice when you know people may make assumptions about you that may or may not be accurate.
Are you looking for loc products made from high-quality ingredients? We're all about supporting the dreadlock lifestyle. Check out our products at Lions Locs.
A few things to know before you start
Hopefully, you now feel excited to embrace the loc lifestyle. However, here are a few things you should know before you begin.
They have a mind of their own
A google image search for dreadlocks will show that locs are as unique as each person. They can be wild and wonderful, or tamed and well-groomed. Pictures of the best loc styles on celebrities or your friends may make you set out to have locs that look just like theirs, but make no mistake - your locs will have a mind of their own. Interestingly, even if the same person grew their hair in locs at two different times in their lives, their locs would likely look different each time.
You'll need lots of patience
Not only will your locs' appearance be determined by your hair's texture, thickness, and their own mind, but they will grow and develop in their own timing. Sometimes they'll grow in odd directions, despite your coaxing. Your locs can seem like unruly children in the beginning. As they grow through the stages, they will challenge you at every turn. It may take a while before they look the way you want, and you may have to adjust your expectations. But hang in there. The form they eventually take will be uniquely you, and you will love them.
Low maintenance, not no maintenance
Dreadlocks have a reputation for being a no-maintenance hair choice, but that isn't true. The erroneous belief that people with dreadlocks never wash their hair or that washing locs is somehow ineffective, fuels the notion that they are unclean or smelly. This is absolutely untrue.
Here are a few things to know about loc maintenance:
- Always use clean, organic products on your locs. Resist the urge to pile on all kinds of trendy products - your locs have simple needs.
- You can still wash your hair, just not as often. In the beginning, shampoo every 2 - 3 weeks. Your locs will not smell! It will actually help them to tighten (that's a good thing).
- If you do use products in your locs, they will leave residue over time. You'll have to clean them often with clarifying shampoo or an Apple Cider Vinegar mixture.
- After you shampoo, give yourself time to dry your locs thoroughly.
- It will be tempting, but don't re-twist too often. The tension and stress put on your roots will cause early damage.
- You may experience an itchy scalp at first. There are many reasons for this, but there are many remedies, so don't let it worry you.
What to expect
Earlier, we mentioned the stages of growth. Here are brief descriptions and approximate time-frames of each phase your locs will go through.
If you start from scratch, you'll have 'baby' locs for about six months. How fast you go through this stage depends on how fast your hair grows. Once your hair is sectioned, you can 'cultivate' your locs for a more managed look, or you can go 'free-form.'
Next, the budding stage is when your new growth looks thick and puffy. Your locs are forming, and you can practice your re-twist. This stage begins around the six month mark and can last for another six months.
Teen or adolescence locs
From 12 to 15 months, you'll have teen locs. This stage is dubbed teen or adolescence because they're rebellious (doing their own thing), but they are beginning to take on their adult form. They don't lie down easily, so caps, hats, and scarves will be your friends at this point. When you look in the mirror, they're starting to look like 'real' locs.
Fifteen to eighteen months into your loc journey, you'll begin to see mature locs. You'll know when they're mature because they will lie flat on their own, you won't have to re-twist your new growth as often, and your locs will feel thicker and firmer.
If you're considering growing dreadlocks, it's obvious, we think it's an excellent idea. Just know what you're getting into beforehand. Be prepared for the challenges and look forward to the milestones. It's an amazing journey and well worth the effort.Are you looking for vegan, organic, residue-free products for your locs? We specialize in quality products you’ll love. Check out Lion Locs!