My Loc Journey: 3 Years of Transformative Growth and Lessons!

3 Years Loc Journey

Starting my loc journey has been one of the most transformative and enlightening experiences in my life. As I reflect on the past three years, I am amazed at the growth and progress of my locs, along with the personal developments that have accompanied this incredible journey. 

From the early stages of cultivating my locs to the flourishing locks they are today, every phase has had its challenges and rewards.

When I first began my loc journey, I had numerous questions and uncertainties. However, my commitment to this process and the support of the loc community kept me motivated and focused. 

Over time, I have learned to embrace the uniqueness of my locs and have discovered valuable insights about hair care practices that have contributed to the health and richness of my locs.

Through patience and dedication, I have had the pleasure of watching my locs evolve, developing a connection to them that goes beyond mere appearance. The journey has taught me the importance of self-expression, self-love, and embracing my own individuality. 

With each passing year, my loc journey continues to shape and inspire me, creating an empowering narrative that I am proud to share.

Start of the Journey

Choosing the Right Locs Start Method

When I began my loc journey, I knew one of the first and most important decisions to make was choosing the right start method. There are several methods to start locs, such as using coils or twists. 

I researched each method and weighed the pros and cons, considering factors such as hair texture and my personal preferences.

After much thought, I opted for coils as my starting point. I felt that coils were suitable for my hair type and could help me achieve a more natural look in the long run. 

Also, this method appeared to offer better manageability during the early stages of the journey, which was a significant factor in my decision.

The Decision to Start My Locs

The underlying fear pertained to perceptions—how would others view me? More importantly, how would I view myself? Changing my hair wasn’t merely a style choice; it was a bold declaration of my evolving identity. 

Despite the persistent cloud of uncertainties, a quiet voice within echoed that this was my calling—a genuine representation of my essence. And so, on February 25th, 2021, I decided to go for it, brushed aside apprehensions, and started my transformative journey.

Starting with comb coils felt like stepping into uncharted territory. That initial gaze in the mirror, with my newly coiled hair, marked the inauguration of an invigorating chapter. It was an exciting process, and I was eager to see my progress and growth over time. But, every story has its trials.

What I hadn’t quite anticipated was just how challenging the ‘awkward stage’ would be.

The anxiety during my first hair wash, as I watched my carefully crafted coils begin to loosen, left me second-guessing. 

As my hair transitioned from the starter stage to the baby locs phase, I noticed a few changes and challenges that I had to face. For instance, my hair became a fluffy mess and experienced some shrinkage, which was entirely normal, it’s just not quite what I expected.

As I grew more accustomed to my new style, I found ways to maintain my hair and help it develop into healthy, mature locs, such as keeping it clean and moisturized.

Throughout the early stages of my loc journey, I discovered that patience is essential, as locs can take significant time to mature and fully develop. While I conceded that my hair looked far from the mainstream definition of ‘pretty’, I held on to the vision of my dream dreadlocks.

Maintaining a consistent routine and staying committed, I’ve seen a remarkable transformation in my hair as it continues to grow and evolve.

Transitioning Stage

Managing Expectations

During my 3-year loc journey, the transitioning stage was a crucial period. It was vital for me to set realistic expectations and understand that my locs wouldn’t transform overnight. I reminded myself to be patient and embrace the growth stages. Particularly, I encountered new growth, which demanded a consistent maintenance routine. This stage led to a bit of frizziness, but I learned to accept it as part of the journey.

Understanding the Budding Process

As I stepped into the budding phase, my locs started to show matting and intertwining. This was a sign that my locs were progressing towards maturity. However, this also marked the beginning of the so-called “ugly phase,” where my locs appeared messy and uneven. Despite feeling self-conscious, I knew it was essential to embrace the process.

During the budding process, I started experiencing:

  • Visible knots and coils
  • Uncontrollable frizz
  • Inconsistent loc thickness

In addition, I consistently sought advice from loc wearers and stylists to learn how best to maintain my locs at this stage. This included techniques such as palm rolling and regular retwisting of my new growth to keep my locs healthy and looking their best.

In summary, the transitioning stage of my 3-year loc journey taught me the importance of managing expectations, embracing the progress throughout the budding process, and being patient with my hair’s growth stages. As I continued on my loc journey, I gained confidence in my hair’s transformation, leading to healthier and stronger locs.

Maturing Stage

How Locs Mature

As I reached the maturation stage of my 3-year loc journey, I noticed several key changes in my locs. The mature stage typically begins around the 18-month mark, and during this time, my locs became firmer and settled into their permanent form. I observed that the texture of my locs felt more compact and less susceptible to unraveling.

Maintaining my locs during this stage involved ensuring they stayed clean, moisturized, and well-groomed. Proper care was essential in promoting further loc development and maintaining the overall health of the matured locs. I also noticed that as my locs matured, they required less frequent retwisting and maintenance.

The Beauty of Matured Locs

There is a certain undeniable beauty in the firm, matured locs that comes from the dedication and patience I displayed throughout my journey. The natural progression and transformation of my hair were incredibly rewarding to experience. In the maturation stage, my locs had developed a distinct personality unique to me, contributing to my personal style and self-expression.

Not only did my matured locs look stunning, but they also provided me with a sense of confidence and pride. The maturity and firmness of my locs allowed for various styling options, such as updos and intricate braids, showcasing the versatility of locs. Seeing my locs reach the maturation stage served as a testament to my commitment and patience throughout my 3-year journey.

Care and Maintenance

Understanding the Shampooing Process

During my 3 year loc journey, I learned that regular shampooing is essential for maintaining healthy locs. I made sure to wet my locs and scalp thoroughly before applying shampoo. I focused on the scalp while using just enough shampoo to cleanse my locs. The Carol’s Daughter hair care tips helped me understand the importance of restoring the pH balance for healthy growth.

Deep Conditioning Locs

Apart from shampooing, I included a regular conditioning routine in my loc care process. This ensured my locs stayed moisturized and healthy. Deep conditioning is especially important after washing to replenish moisture and nutrients lost during the shampooing process. I chose conditioners that were gentle on my hair and scalp, such as Suave Sulfate-Free Cleansing Shampoo, as mentioned in All Things Hair.

Effective Re-twisting Routine

During my journey, re-twisting was an essential part of my loc maintenance. In the beginning, I’ll admit, I yearned for my parts to be extra straight and crispy. But I learned over-twisting can cause thinning and even breakage. As I continued my journey, I discovered I didn’t care about the crisp appearance of freshly re-twisted locs. So, I allowed for some time in between sessions. During the re-twisting process, I moisturized my locs and used products that were gentle on my hair. By adopting a balanced re-twisting routine, my locs developed a unique and healthy appearance that I enjoyed throughout my 3 year journey.

Common Challenges and Solutions

Dealing with Breakage

During my 3-year loc journey, I encountered some breakage issues that needed attention. Breakage typically occurred when my locs had weak spots due to excessive tension or a lack of proper care. 

In case I haven’t mentioned it earlier, I’m an active duty service member. This means my hair is frequently tied up in a bun or ponytail, which, over time, has taken a toll on my edges.

To prevent breakage, I incorporated the following practices into my routine:

By following these tips, I noticed improvements and less breakage over time.

Progress and Growth

The Early Days – Excitement and Challenges 

Starting with comb coils was a leap into the unknown. The initial thrill of seeing myself in the mirror with those fresh coils was something I’ll never forget. It felt like an awakening, a new chapter. But those early days were not without their trials. That first wash was a terrifying experience. Watching some of my carefully coiled locs begin to unravel was both disappointing and disheartening. I wondered if I had made a mistake. But giving up was not an option; I was committed and determined to see it through.

Navigating the Unexpected

The journey was filled with surprises. From finding the right products for my hair type to figuring out how to handle the dreaded “frizz,” there were many lessons learned. Each stage of the locking process brought its unique challenges, and I had to be both patient and adaptable. There were days of frustration, but also moments of pure joy as I saw my locs maturing, becoming a part of me.

Learning and Growing

Over time, I developed a routine that worked for my locs and me. I learned to listen to my hair, to understand what it needed, and to respect its natural flow. The process taught me more than I expected. Patience, as I waited for my hair to lock; resilience, as I worked through the challenges; and self-love, as I embraced this new expression of myself. My locs became more than a hairstyle; they were a reflection of my personal growth.

Looking Back – What I Would Do Differently

Reflecting on the journey, there are a few things I would change. Starting with two-strand twists might have made those early days a bit easier. But that’s just a technical detail. The real reflection is more profound. I wish I hadn’t waited so long. I wish I hadn’t let fear and uncertainty hold me back. The empowerment, the confidence, and the freedom that I’ve found through my locs are worth every challenge. Every moment of hesitation now feels like a lost opportunity to have embraced this transformative experience sooner.

The Joy of Locs – A Continuous Journey

Almost three years into my loc journey, and I can confidently say it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It’s a continuous learning process, an intimate relationship with my hair, and a constant reminder of growth, not just on my scalp but within myself. I am proud of my locs, proud of this journey, and grateful for every twist and turn. The joy of locs is in the journey itself, and I’m excited to see where it takes me next.

Your Turn: What's Your Loc Journey

The Empowerment of Choice

If you find yourself standing at the crossroads of this decision, uncertain and afraid, I want you to know I’ve been there too. But making the choice to start my locs is a decision I will never regret. It gave me freedom, confidence, and a sense of self I never knew I was missing. It’s not just about hair; it’s about taking control of your life, trusting yourself, and diving headfirst into a journey of self-discovery.

Don't Wait - Your Transformation Awaits 

I can’t emphasize enough the joy, empowerment, and self-assurance my locs have brought. If you’re on the edge of this choice, my advice is clear: don’t wait. The only time we regret is the time we’ve wasted hesitating over decisions that could change our lives. Your remarkable transformation is waiting; it all starts with that single courageous step.

So, are you ready to begin your own loc journey? What’s holding you back?

And for those who have already started, how has your experience been so far? Share your stories and inspire others!

Ashlee Renee

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *