Taneisha started her natural hair journey transition from short and tapered relaxed styles back in 2015. By the third year locs were calling her name, and she couldn’t resist the urge. Now loc’d for a little over twelve months, every day she defies loc stereotypes with her gorgeous, healthy hair and fabulously creative styles. Read on to discover her product recommendations and why you should honor your journey just the way it is.
How did you wear your hair before you started your natural hair journey?
Before starting my natural hair journey in March 2015 I used relaxers or, as some call it, “creamy crack.” I loved asymmetrical cuts and pixie/tapered cuts especially.
How long did you transition? And how?
I did a “big” chop when I first decided to go natural. I had a tapered cut when I chose to cut it all off and start my journey.
I’d say I transitioned over the first 1-2 months of my natural journey as some of my hair, like around my hairline, was still a little straight. Once my hair was long enough, protective styles like braids, faux locs, and crochet styles became my best friend.
I also did a lot of twist-outs, braid-outs, and wash-and-gos.
How long have you had your locs?
I have had my locs for 13.5 months.
Who/what inspired you to start your loc journey?
When I became a loose natural, I always admired locs. They were so beautiful and different. Friends always told me that they would look great on me whenever I had faux locs in but I was hesitant.
Locs always seemed so definite, so permanent. By the third year, I was at a point where I was just tired of my hair. I hadn’t figured out which products worked best and the whole process of washing and styling my hair was so tedious.
That’s when I started my research on locs and decided to go for it.
How did you start your locs?
I started with comb coils. I did a lot of research about each method and I felt comb coils were more practical and cute.
I quickly learned that it would be a lot of maintenance in the beginning since the texture of my hair varies throughout my head.
Has your perception of locs changed since starting yours?
My perception hasn’t changed per se, but I have a greater admiration and understanding of what it means to be a natural with locs.
Do you ever have days when your hair just doesn’t cooperate? How do you deal with that?
Not so much now, but the first six months were harder.
As I mentioned, my texture varies. The front and back of my hair have looser curls/texture than the middle, so I dealt with a lot of unraveling. It was very frustrating.
Three months in I decided to have the center of my locs crocheted/sealed and that seemed to help a bit. Now, as my hair locks on its own, I’m able to do more styling without worry.
Describe your hair.
I have never been a fan of categorizing my curl pattern. I feel that it’s another way to put each other in a box and put certain curl patterns above others.
I have 4a/4c hair with low porosity. I’ve had difficulty keeping my scalp moisturized but I’ve learned that I need to hydrate daily and moisturize with oils with lots of vitamins. I’ve recently found products that nurture that.
What’s the loc / natural hair scene like in your city? Is it embraced or do you find yourself one of few?
Hmm, I’m not too informed about my own city. I know a few naturals but not many. Through my engagement on Instagram, I’ve been introduced to a lot many loc’d naturals, most I don’t even know in real life.
I’ve found the loc community to be so encouraging and empowering. I’ve connected with many in various stages of their own journeys. I didn’t share as much of my journey as a loose natural as I do now that I have locs.
What’s the biggest misconception about having locs?
I think the biggest misconception is that they’re unprofessional or untidy. There are so many styles you can do to switch things up. Also, I think many think it’s an easy process and it is not.
Share your current hair routine. What products and brands are you loving these days? How often do you tighten your roots?
I have recently started using products from Natural Beautiii and my life has since changed.
As I mentioned, I struggle with moisture retention. My go-to products are their Juicy Rootz Moisturizing Spritz and Scalp Nourishing Elixir. Since using those two products faithfully, I’ve noticed a decrease in dandruff and build-up.
My hair shines and smells amazing. Every morning, I spray a little of the Juicy Rootz through my roots and then massage down my locs. Every other day, I add the oil elixir. Sometimes I spray a water/peppermint oil mixture throughout my locs.
During the first few months of my loc journey I was a re-twist fanatic. I felt that I needed them to look neat all the time. I was really doing too much. Now, I go about 4-5 weeks before a re-twist. I sometimes wash my hair around week 3.
How do you preserve your natural hair overnight?
My bonnet is my best friend. Sometimes I’ll wear a silk scarf, depending on the style.
Name one thing you’ve learned about your hair since starting locs.
My locs are my crown. I really reclaimed my beauty and confidence when I started my loc journey, especially once I started to see some length.
I’m so proud. Proud to be a black (Caribbean) woman. Proud of my versatility. I’m beyond happy and I don’t regret a single thing about starting this journey. I only wish I started it sooner.
Share your top tip for healthy natural hair.
Keep your natural hair moisturized, however you must.
Where can we keep in touch with you online?
For now, you can catch me on Instagram, @OHTHATSTEEEE.
Any words of inspiration/advice for fellow lovers?
Trust your process. It’s easy to hop on Instagram or wherever and feel like your locs aren’t pretty enough, long enough, textured enough, too frizzy, too unruly, too plain, etc. You’ll only discourage yourself.
Understand that everyone’s journey is different. What’s important is owning and valuing your own. Remember that “comparison is the thief of joy.” Look to others for inspiration, but leave it at that.