ALL ABOUT LOCKS
Locks have come along way. When I first started in the business over 25 years ago, there was such a stigma surrounding locks and other natural hairstyles. I remember that if you saw a person with locks, some people just assumed that you were from Jamaica and smoked weed. They were viewed as unclean and anyone who had them were unclean too. For me, I've all ways loved natural hair and locks. I've always been amazed at what our hair could do. The many different styles that we can adorn and how they look like works of art , is magical to me.
BLACK HAIR IS BEAUTIFUL
When a person decides to lock their hair, whether they know it or not, a journey into self-awareness begins. For some this journey can be liberating, for others it can be painful and scary. For so many black people, we have grown up being told how BAD our hair is. We have been shunned and laughed at because of the texture of our hair. So, when a person decides to lock their hair, they have a lifetime of negative voices to silence.
Loving natural hair all my life, it pleases me to see the number of people who are starting to realize the beauty of our hair. To see people from all professions, adorn locks is beautiful. For so many years it was unheard of to see locks or any natural hairstyle in the corporate world. I would have clients come to me for " corporate friendly" natural styles, now you see them everywhere. The one style that has taken flight is the Lock. Over 25 years ago, I took a class with one of the pioneers in the natural hair care field. I remember asking her what she thought would be the new trend in natural hair. Her answer was the Lock, "Watch the locks, and study the lock
WHAT ARE INTERLOCKS
Interlocking is a technique of locking the hair using a weaving pattern. This weaving pattern can allow the locks to be as tiny or as large as one would like. Interlocks have many names. They can be microlocks, braid locks, or crochet locks, just to name a few. Many of my clients choose this technique because it allows them more freedoms when it comes to maintenance and styling. I call them more corporate friendly. When I first starting doing interlocks in late nighties and early two thousands, my corporate clients were looking for a change. They were getting tired of wearing the braid extensions and wanted to wear their own hair. They were interested in locks, but didn't feel comfortable with the stages of the traditional locking.
With interlocks, you can start them with just 3 inches of hair. You can also start them with a chemical in your hair. If a person has 3 inches of new growth with a chemical, you can start the interlock process without cutting off your hair. With these clients, I will do a braided crimp set or a roller set. As the lock starts to grow, I gradually cut off the chemical until it's all gone. ( In the slides to the right, you can see an example if a client transitioning from a relaxer into sisterlocks. She chose to do it by wearing a crimp set ) Many choose this form of locking because of the instant style ability and the small size of the locks.
The maintenance for interlocks should be every 4 to six weeks when it pertains to touch-up. When shampooing, you can shampoo as often as you like, as long as you braid and band your locks. The braiding and banding will keep your locks from coming down until they are completely locked. Be sure to keep your locks moisturized. Use products that are light and won't leave a build up. Also, be careful of getting lint trapped in your locks. This happens a lot at the nape of the head. be mindful of your scarfs, towels, blanket, etc. ( The client to the right had lint from her hoodie trapped in her locks.) If it's not caught early, it becomes part of your lock. It can be removed by a cleansing wash if it's not embedded or it can be picked out. With this client, we had to actually take down the entire lock and start over.
What Are Traditional Locks
I LOVE TRADITIONAL LOCKS!!!!. If I could, this would be the style for me. Because my hair is fine, it's not a choice for me, so I enjoy my interlocks.
Traditional locks, go by a variety of names. You may hear them called dreads, Afro locks, free forming locks, Rasta locks, and many more. I call them BEAUTIFUL. These locks are usually larger but can be small. The thicker the hair determines the size of the locks. The more course and thicker the hair, the larger the lock can be. I tell my clients, when choosing to lock this way, be prepared to go through many stages. When choosing traditional locks, many people just do the big chop. They cut off all the old hair and the journey begins. For many during their lock journey, they embark on a personal journey as well. If you ask many who have taken this path, they will tell you that it was very mental for them.
The stages of traditional locks that are started with the twisting method is as follows:
1. The baby phase. This is when you start with your coil twist or two strand twist. The twist is the foundation for the growth of the locks. It's important at this phase to know what size and parting that you would like for your locks to be. This can last anywhere from 0ne to 6 months, depending on hair texture, some can go longer.
2. The Teenage phase. In this phase this is when your locks start to bulb.They stay together when being shampooed but tend to have a mind of their own. The lock is starting to take shape. They may choose to lay down or stick up. They are growing but don't have enough length or weight to lay down. The locks will appear bulky and frizzy. This phase can last for months and even years.
3. The adult phase. This is when you have fully locked. You don't have to worry about your locks coming down and the frizzy hair is gone. If you find that you may still have some frizz, you can trim them off without affecting the lock.