Advocate for your locs. What does that even mean? Well, from brutal personal experience, I’ve learned that there are a lot, and I mean a ton of people out there who claim to be locticians, but are really stylists. There are many who claim to promote hair health/loc health yet they use a lot of heavy gels to retwist your locs, retwist too tight and then style locs in too tight styles. Make it make sense.
It is vital that you know the difference between a true loctician and a loc stylist. There is a difference. A true loctician cares about the health of your hair and locs first. They study your hair, they look for changes, they ask pertinent questions about your overall health, your eating habits, any stresses in your life, surgeries or health issues. Why? Because all of those things can directly affect your hair. Locticians also know what too much manipulation can do to your hair and scalp, they are aware of the dangers of traction alopecia and won’t do too tight styles or retwists. A loc stylist only cares about styling your hair and being creative. They often use gels, hair pins, and other things to help style the hair and keep the hair in place. There is a lot of pulling and tugging and tucking involved that often shows the hair being tightly pulled and the scalp looking distressed.
Let’s be clear: Not all stylists style this way, but the majority I see on Youtube and social media do.
If you ever find yourself in the chair of a loctician who really isn’t a loctician because they do too tight reties, do a lot of pulling and tugging on your locs, don’t be afraid to speak up or get up and walk away. There are too many fakes out here who will only damage your locs and your scalp health and you do not have to put your locs at risk. Advocate for your locs! One of the best ways you can do so is to learn how to care for your locs yourself. Learn how to do your own reties. It will not only save you money, but it will literally save your hair. Don’t be afraid. Being afraid was my biggest problem and guess what it left me with?
The breakage from too tight reties didn’t show up right away. It took time to truly see the damage, and boy is there a lot of damage! I blamed myself, and I am partly to blame because of my constant scratching of my scalp with my nails. But too tight reties that had my scalp hurting for a week definitely did the bulk of the damage to my hair. Please learn from me and my mistakes.
I stopped going to my latest loctician. She didn’t listen to me and that was a major red flag and turn off. I made a promise to myself that I would never go to another loctician again. I also had to realize that there is no perfect loctician and if they do exist none of them live in my area. I now do my own reties. My sister in law helped me to combine my locs one final time to the size I always wanted. I’ve gone from having 376 locs, to 176 locs to 88 locs. Now I’m happy. Now I feel I can manage my hair with only having 88 locs. I will no longer interlock and will now twist my hair. The changes I’ve made are vital to my hair health, mental health and confidence. I no longer give power over my hair to someone else. I’ve reclaimed that power and it feels so good!
Advocate for your locs. Do not settle. Stop being scared of caring for your own hair. You can do it!