Editor's Note: Tara Walker is a loyal Georgia Mae reader and commenter and now we're happy to have her join our team as a guest columnist. Tara is on a special journey of locking her hair and she's offered to share the lessons she's learning with Georgia Mae readers in a monthly column. Be sure to leave lots of comments to let Tara know just how awesome she is.
My wanting locs used to be a fantasy. To this day I'm not sure where my self-conscious nature comes from, but I basically spent the first 22 years of my life caring so much about what others thought of me, that I didn't have the confidence to pull locs off. Well, to be more accurate, I didn't have the confidence to get through what many call the 'Ugly Phase' of locs -- the time when your hair gets uncontrollably frizzy as it begins to mat, or 'lock'.
I'm proud to say I overcame the obstacle of valuing others' opinions of me when I first went natural in July of 2008 by cutting off ALL my hair. So I feel the entire process of growing locs was a natural progression.
I started the process a month ago and watching my hair naturally go through the phases has been one of the coolest things I've ever witnessed. Now the irony about the locking process is that I have what many consider a 'bad grade' of hair because it's really kinky and downright nappy. However, those very characteristics will cause my hair to lock faster hence making it 'good locking hair'.
All I can do is shake my head at the ridiculous and often hurtful labels that are put on beauty, especially when it comes to the beauty of women of color, but that's another subject for another time. For the most part I've been documenting my loc journey through pictures, but I appreciate the good folks at Georgia Mae for giving me the opportunity to share a part of that journey with their readers.