Rise 2004

LockIt Up! Pride & Beauty

Have you ever looked around lately and noticed the number of people who have made ‘natural’ the preferred way to wear their hair? What’s more is that each year, hundreds of us are specifically choosing locks. You dont have to look very far these days to see a dazzling array of head turning locks styles on your high street, in magazines, even in your circle of friends.

So what’s the attraction? As little as twenty years ago choosing to have a head of ‘dreadlocks’ typically meant risking negative reactions from your closest family and friends. Positive images were hard to find in popular press. Of course, a range of high profile celebrities has contributed to changing perceptions about locks. But in reality, the decision to locks-up is a much more personal process.

Most people gravitate towards locks because they are seeking/embracing a more Afro-centric way of expressing their beauty. Ask a group of people to describe their locks and words like ‘pride’, ‘culture’ and ‘beauty’ will crop up again and again.

Rising awareness of health issues has also been a major factor. Increased information about the harmful effects od chemically treated hair has frightened many people into seeking out natural alternatives. Natural styles like the afro, cornrows, twist or Bantu Knots can now be maintained and nurtured with growing ranges of complimentary herbal products.

large numbers of people have been inspired by the creativity of a new generation of natural stylists/Lockticians who are exploring ways of cultivating, styling, colouring and cutting locks/natural hair. The use of tools (Sisterlocks, comb-twisted locks, lock latching) has taken maintenance and styling to another level.

If you’re interested in starting and maintaining your own locks here are some tips to get you on your way.

  • The whole process of growing locks can take 3-12 months, depending on the type of hair. Coarse hair tends to lock more easily than curly hair. Patience is the key.
  • Start with at least an inch to two inches of virgin hair.
  • Shampoo, condition and blot dry – leaving the hair slightly damp.
  • Moisturise your hair using a base oil (jojoba, sweet almond, evening primrose). Avoid using wax based products as they clog pores and create dryness.
  • Have hair twisted – single or double twists are good options for starting locks.
  • Start from the nape of the neck in horizontal rows and work your way towards the front of the head.
  • Use a nylon or silk scarf at night to keep hair in place and retain moisture.
  • Moisturise your scalp as often as needed.
  • Visit your locktician every 3-6 weeks to have new growth re-twisted.
  • Wash or cleanse your hair every 3-6 weeks depending on the texture.

Picture: Hair by Morris Roots