As I've said before, I've tried locking numerous times. I've tried locking various ways. And I've always cut them off or taken them apart. This is the longest I've kept locks in (yay me). And I believe that I'll be growing locks for years to come. The following are reasons I feel that I've been successful this time.
1. Locking freeform
I've tried locking a few different ways (coils, braids, twists, and freeform). And locking freeform is me. There's nothing wrong with locking in other ways, and you can have beautiful, healthy locks starting them with many different ways, in my opinion. But, this was the best way for me. I like how my hair looks, I like how it feels. I like not doing much maintenance on my hair (shampoo, condition, oil, separate). I feel unique with my locks.
Writing regularly in this blog has helped me get out my feelings about my locks. And knowing that I have this blog has helped me think about things more deeply, even when I don't write them down. For example, I have had fleeting thoughts of taking them down (the thoughts never lasted long). But when the thoughts came, I tried to analyze them ("Girl, you know you have a big bump on the side of your face, and you're not feeling cute today. Don't take that out on your locks." lol)
I'd like to take this time to thank my online friends (you know who you are). It was good to have people to go through the process with. We understood each other, because we were locking in the same way. Others maybe didn't lock the way I did, but read my blog anyway, and said nice things. Still others offered needed words of advice. Thanks to all of you.
4. Feeling pretty
For me, this can't be underestimated. I've had issues in the past with this. I can't fully analyze why I feel more attractive to myself now, but here are just a couple things that helped:
4a. Having longer hair
First, I should say that since being natural, I've had short hair many many times. I did a big chop in 1999, which left me with about 1-2 inches of hair. And since then I've cut my hair short a number of times. So I'm not afraid of having short hair. I just really think I look better with long hair. Yes, there may be subconscious reasons for this. But I haven't completely figured those out, so I'm going with the long (okay, big) hair. Kudos to those who can lock with short hair, and they look good in it. I just can't.
4b. Tomoka's Twists
I've locked in the past, and always at some point I get bored with my hair. I want to do something with them, dress them up somehow. But, I'm style challenged. Especially with locks. What do you do with them? I'm still trying to figure that out. But anyway, in the past, a few times I've unlocked because of that. And then did a set of cornrows or twists and remember that I really don't want to spend THAT much time on my hair. Soooo, this time, a couple months into locking I blogged about not knowing what to do with my hair to style it, and carmennc came along and shared her website with me. I brought a few of her Tomoka's Twists, and have been in love ever since. They've made a few cameos in my blog here, here, here, and here. I have 6 different Tomoka's Twists, and one Tomoko's Tie. They're simple to use, and so beautiful to me. Some people may think it's silly, and such a little thing, but I'm glad they found me when they did. They helped me get through some days when otherwise I might have thought my hair was ugly. Thanks, carmennc.
5. Stronger sense of self, and knowing I look good
Don't ask me how, or why, but this time around I really have a "take me or leave me" attitude. Accept me as I am, and we'll be ok. Maybe I was just tired of not doing what I wanted to do because I was thinking about other people. Now, though, I'm not concerned about what the people at work think about my hair. I'm professional, I do my work, and my hair has nothing to do with that. When friends or acquaintances have questions about my hair, I answer them matter-of-factly. I don't think, as I did in the past, that they don't like my hair, and are asking questions out of disgust. I realize that it's something that most may not have seen, and are simply curious. When a guy in the grocery store stares at me, I don't automatically think he's looking at my hair. I think he's looking at ME. LOL. When my husband tries to touch my hair, I don't shy away, I let him touch away.
At any rate, I know some people don't come here for my thoughts, ha ha. Here are some pics. The hair's still moving along.