The school holiday of June 2014 holiday was the longest time I had spent with my hair as it grows: no cornrows, no braid extensions, no weaves just my hair in two strand twists or in a fro. At that time my mummy had issues with it because where I saw two strand twists, she saw matutas. From her experience matutas were what people wore to sleep and not the protective style I was passing them off to be. I also think it did not help that my hair looked nothing like the luscious afros you see on pinterest. Anyway, I decided to get locs as compromise. They were like upgraded matutas. It has been a beautiful 6-year journey so far and I would like to share with you the six reasons I am glad I got them.
- They symbolise my journey of proudly embracing all that makes me Afrikan.
I talk about this more here when I share on why I changed my preferred name from Shanice to Chebet. Cutting off my relaxed hair was one of the first acts of what I call my Afrikan renaissance. I could not believe how I had internalised for so long that good hair had to be straight hair. And if it could not be straight then it had to be hidden in braids or weaves or whatever else.
2. They helped me cultivate love for the rest of my body as it exists and changes.
Taking care of my locs through all its stages has had a ripple effect of loving my body as it exists and changes. I feel the most intimate with my body when I am tending to my locs that’s why my fortnightly washdays are the best days of my month. On those days I take extra-long showers and linger more when massaging shea butter into my skin. The affirmations I speak to myself are definitely longer and more exaggerated. I think because of how natural and me my locs are, I also feel a great appreciation for how natural and me the rest of my body is too.
3. My hair has never been healthier or longer!
Since I got locs the salon ceased to be the place of torture it had always been. A place where my hair had to be singed, pulled and straightened into whatever it needed to be. Right now, I just watch my hair doing its thing. Low manipulation is the motto!
4. They have saved me coins and time
I can’t tell you exactly how much money getting locs saved me because I used most of it to eat out🙈. However, I only go to the loctician for special occasions like graduations and birthdays. Otherwise I am happy to just let my hair be also so that I can lowkey disturb the peace of anyone who thinks locs must be tightly plaited and “neat” in order to… wait what is their reason again? Assimilation? Neocolonialism? As for time this is hands down the best hairstyle I could have gotten as a student and now as an adult.
5. They are cute and versatile.
I just uploaded a youtube video showing 6 easy locstyles. You can also check my pinterest board here. I have dyed them red. I have had them in bantu knots. I have won a wig on top. I have had them in beads. On my to do list is to dye them blonde!
6. Some of the coolest people I know rock them.
People with locs are so so cool y’al!. Starting from my mother to my loctician, Kaluki to my coolest Jo’burg aunties (one of whom I had to dedicate a blog post to ‘cuz goals!) to my sister friends (Hey Gift, Wanjiru and Becky) to Ava Duverney to Chloe & Halle to Yvonne Chaka Chaka to Bob Marley to Thandiswa Mazwai to Nyashinski to Nameless (my most beloved childhood crush) to Nazizi to Ben Soul to Fena Gitu to Burna Boy (my current celebrity crush) up to our ancestors who fought so bravely for our freedoms. it is known that cool people rock locs. Nope, I don’t know what correlation is not causation is – ir is wharr ir is!😂
Now, having locs is not all rosy. There are some thorns such as how heavy they get when they are wet or how easily product and lint cause build up or that their public image could use some Olivia Pope magic… But today we (Cheblocs and her mama) are just happy to have come this far!
Happy 6th Birthday Cheblocs!