Whether you’re a seasoned loctician, a newbie with starter locs, or just interested in locs in general, the book, The Knotty Truth: Creating Beautiful Locks on a Dime!: A Comprehensive Guide to Creating Locks is for you. It is the guide for those interested in the loc industry. Author Myra Michele George talked with Loc’d Life about her second book as truly a one-of-a-kind guide for information on locs.
What inspired you to write this second book on locs?
Locs deserve a whole book unto itself. I started loc’ing in 2006 and looked to see what resources are out there. That led to more questions. I decided to put a resource out there that had information on locs in one place—things I couldn’t find in just a workshop or seminar. I wanted to create a resource to teach other professionals. This is the only book that exclusively goes into locs for those in the cosmetology industry and is available for laypeople as well.
What inspired you to do The Knotty Truth on locs?
I was inspired by the need for information. Information on locs was not consolidated in one place. There’s a lot of nuances to locs, and the same information doesn’t work for everybody. We all start with different lengths, have different hair textures, hair porosity (definition), density of scalp and hair…The book is a cosmetology manual. Growing locs is also a mental journey, for which this book prepares you. There’s also information on how to match locs to your personality, how to care for them, and how to interview your stylist. It is 300 pages on all locs.
How did you get interested in locs?
At first I was living a healthy natural lifestyle. I went natural in 2003-2004. I didn’t want to loc, but when it reached a certain length (2006), I went to locs. I did my mental research. That’s what I applied to my book.
What is the easiest thing about locs?
(Laughing) Not having to detangle after shampooing.
What’s the hardest thing about having locs?
Not having enough patience and sometimes the cost. Loc’ing is cheap and manageable if you do it yourself.
What started your interest in being a lobbyist for natural hair in the beauty industry?
I am an antagonist to the beauty industry. I followed in the footsteps of a long tradition. My grandmother was a beautician. I got involved in a program and started a styling blog. I found that there are no beauty schools in Ohio that offered a program on styling natural hair. I soon realized that the cosmetology system does disenfranchise women wanting to do natural hair. Most schools refused to train people in natural hair, and those who tried to take state boards using natural-haired mannequins were disqualified. Once you become a licensed stylist, you have to go further [to be trained in the natural hair industry]. In Illinois, there’s just the basics in cosmetology on natural hair—sanitation, herringbone braids, tracks, weaves… There isn’t too much on locs.
I’ve seen a lot of loc bloggers and a lot of loc wearers who have never been to a loctician. What advice would you give to those do their locs themselves?
Empower yourself. I stopped going to beauticians. I have had an adversarial relationship with them. They wanted me to relax the natural curl when I wanted to go natural. Some tried to talk me out of it altogether. I came into an awareness. My best advice: Stay out of the chair. Read books like The Knotty Truth. Empower yourself to embrace yourself.
What advice would you give in general?
For loc maintenance you need three things: patience, pictures of locs to hold on to the journey, and deprogram yourself to stay away from a lot of products. I am a “homemade” person. I condition my locs with natural aloe vera juice. I use African Black Soap to shampoo. I do recommend getting a good clarifying shampoo and use that once every four months to clarify locs. But beware: a lot of shampoos have known carcinogens. DEA (diethanolamine) has been known to cause cataracts. Sodium laurel sulfate also has some cataract issues.
What do locs mean to you?
Freedom! No detangling. No need to do twists. And in these tough times, locs fit your budget. Locs are the best way. You can’t be a product junkie. Save money and buy products you can even cook with.
As you know, locs have gotten a bad rap. How do you think we can change the image of locs?
Locs can be as professional as you are. When I was working, I have successfully gotten 5 jobs with locs. We need to put out images that defy perceptions. Nappy hair is as professional as you are. There’s upsweeps, buns…it’s truly versatile.
M. Michelle George’s book, The Knotty Truth: Creating Beautiful Locks on a Dime! A Comprehensive Guide to Creating Locks is available on Amazon.com. (You can also buy her first book which covers all natural hair there, too!)
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