I did it! I’ve had locs twice now, for a total of almost five years, and each time I’ve gone, “I should be bold and dye my hair!”
But it’s very permanent, especially since my natural hair color likely needs to be lightened for color to show much. Plus, lightening hair can be damaging. Last thing I want is to have my locs falling out. I’ve literally spent years growing these things; I’m not ashamed to say I’m a little attached to them, even if I don’t name them or count them.
But finally, with the aid of recommendations from friends and family on a beautician, I got my hair did.
On a whim this Saturday, my running partner and I decided to take razors to our heads and finish what we started when we cut our hair down short. The result was genu-wine baldness.
My biggest fear in shaving bald was razor bumps–with curly/kinky hair, that’s kinda the way it goes. It wasn’t as bad as I was afraid it would be; a few bumps and some discomfort, but nothing to write home about. I used a single-bladed disposable razor instead of a double-bladed, which I think helped.
Being hairless itself, though? Strange. My scalp was strangely rubbery-feeling and very high-friction. It was also a very striking look–far more so than my normal super-short look. Just skin, all the way back.
The shaving itself was too much work for it to be a regular occurrence. Deana and I pipelined our shaving (since we started with clippers), and the whole shebang took about 45 minutes. And I’d have to do close to that much work weekly. Meh. I think I will experiment with shorter looks (guard-free on the clippers, for instance), but nothing that requires shaving foam.
Three-something years ago (okay, okay, three years ago on February 25, 2008), I started growing my hair out into locs. I plaited my 2 inches of ‘fro and let it go. This was a month after I left teaching and the night before I started my first post-teaching job, and it was a big life transition for me. I was mourning having “failed” at being a teacher and wanted something personal to accomplish as I reentered corporate software development.
So, I was glancing through some photos on Facebook from the Hannah/Alex wedding this summer (where the back of my head was camera-happy, evidently), and I realized that my locs are kinda awesome. I’ve done a pretty good job of weaning myself off of being all hair-ful and stuff, but the photos surprised me a bit. There’s color variation I wasn’t expecting, and… personality.
They’re moderately “mature” now — I’ve had them for about a year and a half, and while I’m not sure if they’ll tighten up more, they’re definitely well-entrenched. I used to (and still do) ogle the locs of other folks when I’m out and about; now I wonder if people do the same to mine.
About a month ago, I started down the journey to locs again. The comb coils from a couple of months back hadn’t worked, but this time I tried a technique I hadn’t seen on the internet: I just rubber-banded my hair into sections. They looked like little puffs (or even bantu knots) for a while, and I got a lot of Matrix comments.
About a week ago, there was enough growth for me to start latching, although I needed to keep the rubber bands on. I latched. Yay.
I couldn’t get them clean, however. I workout almost daily, and I just couldn’t shampoo enough to get the roots clean (the roots, not even the part that was knotting up!). Clarifying shampoos, etc., were no go. It was becoming a stressor.