Happy Loc Birthday!

Reflecting on my sixth loc birthday!

Six years ago this week, I started my loc journey. It’s been a path that I’m glad I’ve taken, and I haven’t looked back since.

I always say that locs chose me as a hairstyle choice. First it was the admiring glance every now and then with the loc’d passerby. Then it was fascination with a style that turned my head. It culminated into a resolution to do something for me. It finally became a reality when I made my appointment.

For me, locs symbolize freedom. I am not forever trying to chase the straightened high that relaxers leave, always leaving the wearer longing for the beauty shop chair to maintain. I feel free to work out again. I can color my hair, something I was afraid to do with a relaxer. I now have glorious length, something that I was never able to achieve with straightened hair and for which I was too impatient with a natural. Each person needs to do what they feel is best. But weekly appointments, nightly hair curling, curling irons, and just the routine of maintaining my straightened texture was a struggle that I really never embraced.

I started with about 2 inches of natural hair and perseverance after staying up all night to remove a two-strand twist to begin. I walked into Completion Salon on Chicago’s South Side and sat in the chair to have my hair parted and started with a locstitch process, as I inherited a fine, curly texture between my mother’s soft-as-cotton hair and my father’s course but resilient texture. I needed a locstitch to get it to loc (using a latch-hook tool to crochet my strands together. My hair might be still trying to loc now if I didn’t!). Swazi was my loctician, and she parted and stitched, parted and stitched again, from mid-morning to evening. Even then, I still wasn’t done. I came back into the salon the next day to finish the front half of my hair.

As I sat there, I read the book Nice Dreads from Lonnice Britteum Bonner from cover-to-cover again. I especially remember the part where Bonner leaves her loctician’s chair, with her loctician, The Loc Doc, saying to her, “You may not need to see me again.”  Bronner remarked in
the book, “That’s something I’d never think I’d hear from a loctician.” I’ll admit, once I got out of the chair, that was the last time I ever spent a long time there.

My locs are as old as my son, Rowan, and I have watched them both grow throughout the years. The doting mother seeing both grow and develop, seeing how they both have changed, celebrating each birthday towards adolescence and then maturity, and seeing that both have a lot more growing to do.

I haven’t had a bad hair day. There hasn’t been a day of regret. Even when I sometimes have to
explain my style to some who don’t understand (and thankfully, that hasn’t happened often!), I haven’t looked back.

It was through this transformation both in myself and my hair that I started Loc’d Life. It was a passion for locs and a desire to change the minds of those who don’t like them to at least take another look, to look at the magazine and see the people, the products, and the industry that has a strong and ardent following. For some it’s a lifetime. For others, it’s for decades or more until another path calls.

I’m glad that I embarked on this journey. There’s those still out there on the fence, waiting for the day when they, too, can make their decision to loc.  When you do, come here. Buy our magazine. Get our gear, and show the world how much you love and celebrate locs.

By the way, go vote!! This election is too important not to. You can guess for which candidate I am choosing if you look to the right! Go 2012!
‘Till next time,
Gail Mitchell
Loc’d Life Magazine
Click on the blog link to bring you here.


3 thoughts on “Happy Loc Birthday!

  1. Congratulations! My one year anniversary was two weeks ago. I love me locs and I am very happy I decided to take this journey. I enjoy reading your weekly blog. Thank you for being a resource to others with locs.

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