“Don’t wait to start your loc journey, hurry up and do it!” -Natalee Phoenix
Natalee, a Charleston, South Carolina native, was a loose natural for quite some time until she made the decision to embark on a new hair journey— a journey to the beautiful world of locs.
Although making the decision to transition from loose to loc’d hair was a long process, Natalee, a first grade teacher, says she is satisfied with her results. Being a Black professional with locs is very inspiring, right?
I was able to speak with Natalee about “her type” of hair, her favorite hairstyles, why she chose to loc her once loose natural hair, and more.
Q: What is your hair type?
A: I have a combination of 4B/4C hair.
Q: What type of products do you use/ like to use on your hair?
A: When I was a loose natural I loved using Aussie products to condition and wash my hair, but for moisture, I used [products by] Carol’s Daughter. I also used Shea Moisture products a lot. Right now since I’m currently locking my hair, I only use oil for my scalp, I mist my locs with water.
Q: What is your current favorite hairstyle? What was your favorite hairstyle when you were not loc’d?
A: My current favorite hairstyle would be barrel twists flat to the head. When I was a loose natural, my favorite hairstyle was definitely a slick, sleek low bun in the back.
Q: What made you go natural? Once natural what made you transition into dreads?
A: I decided to go natural because I noticed my hair was getting very thin and I didn’t have the desired thickness that I had before, and also because my best friend was making such great progress with being natural. [She] convinced me I should do it.
Q: Has your natural hair ever prevented you from getting a job or stepping into your desired career?
A: I think my hair has prevented me from getting a job or stepping into my career because I have always tried to “have it done” before going on an interview. So if my hair wasn’t “done” or “professional” I would miss out on opportunities. My hair has definitely made me late to work multiple times because I felt like it wasn’t “presentable” to go to work.
Q: Are you enjoying your loc journey so far? Do you feel like you made a good decision in locking your hair?
A: Right now, my loc journey has its ups and downs. I’m enjoying it because it is REALLY humbling me and making me more accepting of my hair. With locs, they change so quickly and there’s nothing you can do but let them do their thing. Some days I’m like, “Wow, I love them,” and some days I’m like, “Wow, I look a mess.” I’m just ready for them to mature so I can feel more comfortable wearing them down.
Q: Was locking your hair a hard decision?
A: It took me over a year to finally decide to do it. The decision was really hard because after all the research, it came down to making a huge commitment and trusting the process because locs aren’t beautiful over night. I did have a moment of thinking what other people in my profession would think, but then I had a moment where I realized it was important for me to loc my hair to show that people with locs can be educated and professional. There really aren’t a lot of Black teachers in general, and there definitely aren’t many Black teachers with dreadlocks.
Q: What is one thing you would tell your younger self about your hair?
A: I probably would tell myself box colors aren’t the way and relaxers aren’t that great unless you have someone to take care of it.
It takes great comfort in oneself to start a loc journey. Thank you Natalee for giving us your insight on your loc journey so far, and what being natural means to you.
If you would like to follow Natalee’s loc journey, she can be found on Instagram @naatloo.
Thank you for being comfortable in YOUR TYPE.
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