November 2, 2010 was the most liberating time for me style wise. It’s the day I started my locs. They were started using two-strand twists by Nola (shout outs to her). She is a professional natural hair stylist in Barbados. It is however my second big chop. Sadly I don’t have any photos of that first time in 2005/2006. I enjoy having my hair natural. I don’t have to worry about getting up early to plug the curling iron in so that it can heat up. I can get up and get my routine going. I love that freedom!
Being a naturalista in the Caribbean does not seem to carry such a negative stigma as other men and women seem to face internationally. Where I teach, the number of female students with natural hair or locs is quite encouraging, and might I add, I get quite a few ideas from many of my students, too. That is not to say that there might not be cases of bias or prejudice. I cannot readily think of any. It is normal to see here. Personally, I am glad that I took the step. It just got to the point where my hair lost much of its thickness, body and started to break off in the middle of my head when it was permed. So having shoulder length hair made no sense anymore. I would cut it often. So, I decided that enough was enough. I believe that my hair is much healthier now and my scalp does not burn from the chemicals. That is something I am happy about.
Since becoming a naturalista and starting my blog, I have become exposed to many positive things. One of the most important is selecting the best products to put into my body, in terms of foods; what substances to avoid putting on my skin. And of course, the best products to feed my locs so they remain healthy. That has also had a positive impact on my family and sharing with friends as I extend this practice to them as well.
(Loose natural vs locs) Well, this is one topic that really caught my interest about a year ago when I began reading up on how to transition, etc. I found that many resource sites and blogs made the differentiation. And, it got me thinking. And, quite frankly, I don’t like the undercurrent I get sometimes from people as if one is better than the other. Life is already so full of classifications and cliché terms, don’t put any on my hair! I define natural hair as free from any chemical processing which alters the state of our natural virgin hair.
Then, a subset is how then we choose to wear it: locs, sisterlocks, loose free flowing natural, etc. But don’t be trying to imply that one is better than the other. We all have choices on how we wish to wear our hair, and it is important to respect another person’s decisions. And once again, I think it comes down to your environment. Here, in Barbados, we don’t pay much attention to such labels.
(For those interested in locs) Enjoy the journey as you transition or as your locs move the baby locs stage to maturity. Recently, I looked back at some pictures of my hair when I first got my locs done. Time has flown and my hair is growing so quickly. Don’t be dismayed by the fuzziness you may encounter. Your eyes will light up when you realize that each of those fuzzy strands soon becomes intertwined, meshed and locked. It is truly a great experience!
I would also encourage him/her to get educated. Do you want sisterlocks? Or do you wish to freeform? Or, traditional locs like mine? The choices are there but you will need to read up and ask questions if you must, of resource persons: hairstylists/locticians, persons who have locs, blogs and websites. There is much information on the Internet and in books. Just seize the opportunity to be better informed.
Thirdly, don’t let people distract you from making your decision. You might not have the support of everyone in your family circle and maybe not that of your friends, either. But, do you! Don’t allow other people to dictate your own pace. And never mind those who say that locs are not professional. That is a lie! Locs can be styled, too. And over time and with effort, you will move into your own comfort zone regarding what styles you prefer for work, special functions or casually hanging with your friends.
Be confident in your own skin!
My friends call me Tash, Natz, Tasha. I am from the beautiful island of Barbados in the Caribbean. I am a teacher, fluent in Spanish and French to a lesser extent. Enjoy movies, being with my family and friends and girlie stuff, of course. I am an avid sportsperson. Usher at my church.
Where to find Tasha:
Blog: journeytonappy.blogspot.com (.::NATURALEZA::.)
Facebook Fanpage: Naturaleza Chronicles