I don’t write as often on natural hair as I used to, but I’m trying to get back in the swing of things – and locs are one area of natural hair in which I’ve ALWAYS been deficient. I’ve noticed that in general on natural hair blogs and mainstream sites – locs don’t get as much love as they deserve! So in an effort to give my bellas with locs the LOVE and knowledge they deserve, I turned to a friend who can truly speak from experience.

Meet Afrobella’s new loc correspondent, Luvvie! You know she’s one of my besties, right? We go all over the place together! (These amazing photos are by Chuck Olu-Alabi, and makeup by Bisi Essien)!

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You may recognize that photo from my QVC lookbook, Luvvie was there too!

Luvvie’s been growing locs pretty much since I’ve known her and it’s been so beautiful to watch them grow. Luvvie takes great care of her locs and she’s tried just about every kind of hairstyle under the sun. On Afrobella she’ll be sharing her journey, favorite products, tips and techniques for caring for your locs! And of course you can follow her on Twitter @Luvvie or @ILuvvIt for ratchetry/internet knowledge. And click here to check out her bio and the fiftyleven other things she does.

And without further ado, I present Luvvie on Locs!

I’ve had many styles over the years – not counting weaves – and I’m scissors happy. If I didn’t like a hairdo or I was bored, I’d cut it. It’s just hair. It’ll grow back. My granny shaped my head well when I was born so short hair doesn’t faze me. In fact, it’s my preference, and I went 12 years without letting my hair grow past my ears. I’ve gone from natural and back to perm several times, and even rocked a TWA (teeny weeny afro) in my high school senior yearbook photo.

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I finally went natural permanently in 2005. I’d rock twist-outs, braids and all that jazz. No baby hair, though. I wasn’t trying to walk around looking like Lady of Rage.

Then I decided to loc my hair. My decision to get locs wasn’t a super long process. It wasn’t for religious reasons (I’m not Rastafarian) and it wasn’t something that burdened my spirit or anything. I thought to try it out since it’s a style I hadn’t ever done. I must admit that my Hair ADHD had folks doubting that I can stick with locs though.

So on December 22, 2009, I went into my favorite salon (GalyinRose Salon) and stylist, Stephanie Brown helped me start my locs, as 1-inch long comb coils. She used a rattail comb and aloe vera gel to get them nice and tight, then placed me under the dryer so they could be firm.

What’s significant about that day, and why I remember the exact date is that right afterwards, I went to the Illinois Secretary of State office and incorporated The Red Pump Project as an official nonprofit.

Anyhoo, this is what my coils looked like when I left the salon:

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My head felt breezy and that Lake Michigan wind wasn’t a friend so I placed a hat and went about my way. It was clearly going to be a winter of many hats. But I was on my way to locs! My loctitian told me not to do much to tie up my hair in a scarf at night, spray it when I felt it was dry and do nothing else. I wasn’t supposed to wash it for 3-4 weeks so they can set a bit.

The first time I went back for a retwist was exactly a month after, on January 22, 2010. Stephanie washed my hair and brought cleanliness on my head again, and she retwisted me into cuteness. It was perfect timing because the next day was this photoshoot.

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One big thing with new locs are their fuzziness and there’s a stage where they have a complete mind of their own. It was important for me to tie my hair at night otherwise my locs would stand up every which way, since they were still short. Sometimes, I skipped that, so there are more than a few days when I know I walked out the house looking like a lost child. I didn’t care much though. I kinda enjoyed the unruly and fuzzy stage. I even put loc jewelry in it.

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Anywho, I went back to my loctitian every month without fail until month 5 because by April, they had already begun to loc for realsies. She told me I had the perfect hair texture for locs since my hair was spongy. “Tougher than Nigerian hair” was going to come in handy! That was the month when I started washing and retwisting my own locs. I figured I could do it myself since they had already loced.

And they came out decent, so I started maintaining them myself! I’d only go to my loctitian when I felt like being pampered a bit, or when I needed professional TLC.

And my locs were growing and when I celebrated my first locerversary, I hit my dougie!

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SNAPPP!!! Drapage all over the place!

My locs have grown well, and they’re now 2.5 years old and they touch my back. I got color this past February, and and I really love them.

Here are my locs today:

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For someone who has hairstyle ADD, locs have kept my attention. As they grow longer, I’m growing in life too. I see older pictures of myself now and I know what I was doing by the length my locs are in the picture. They’ve become a bit of a timeline for me, and I am proudly whipping them back and forth.

Thank you Luvvie for sharing your loc story! Got q’s for Luvvie on locs? Leave em in the comments!

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