By Sherrell Dorsey via CurlyNikki.com

I’m working a little backwards here folks. When I first started my locs I was young, bull-headed and all about instant gratification. So I turned my human hair kinky twists into locs and never looked back. That in-between stage? Nah. I skipped it. As my locs began to form, I would slowly trim off the ends until all of the added hair was finally gone.

I listened a bit to those ladies who had taken the plunge before me. I skipped the beeswax, opted for a cream and washed my hair after 3 months of scratching away dandruff and funk. Despite living in New York’s hub of natural hair salons, I wasn’t ready to spend the money or the time learning from some semi-natural hair priestess all of the complicated ways to loc my hair. It was just hair right?

Fast forward four years later and here I am sitting with locs that look great on the outside but are internally suffering from some initial abuse. While my locs are not a complete disaster, I certainly regret not listening to the professionals. Now that I’m on my “get right” plan with my hair and really learning how to manage a healthy hair-care routine, here are a few ways I caused damage to my locs without knowing!

Washing Too Frequently

I never wanted to be identified as “Smelly Sherrelly”. Please don’t ask. Childhood trauma I guess. After that three month locking process was over, I washed my hair every two weeks fearing that between sweat and product, I was going to build up that “loc smell”. Unfortunately, due to my incessant need for clean hair, my locs took extremely long to officially lock in and parts of my locs became thin. 

Not Moisturizing Enough

For some reason I became extremely lazy with my locs. I never oiled my scalp and outside of tossing on some Jane Carter Nourish and Shine moisturizer, my locs were ashy and brittle. To top it all off, 90 percent of the time I went to bed without a satin scarf. Poor locs. Someone should have reported me. 

Tying them in Knots

Did I mention I was trifling? When my locs started to thin towards the bottom of the loc, I began tying them in knots to keep the length. I still have a few that look a little awkward. Instead of going to get them “repaired” by a loctician, I didn’t feel like being bothered or spending the money. Don’t judge me. 

Coloring them Yourself 

In an experiment gone wrong, I allowed my cousin who was in cosmetology school at the time, to bleach and color a few of my locs in their early stages. Bad. Wrong. Painful. The color was great and I felt like a new woman, but if my hair could talk it probably would have screamed in agony. Those few locs turned brittle and actually started to break. I did it again by myself and though I loved the texture, the addition of color to my already dry hair wreaked havoc on my hair’s overall health.

I went to loc rehab and I’m finally taking the time to study what my hair needs, how to manage it and how to get it to glow. Things I now do regularly are moisturize daily, rock protective styles, and limit excessive manipulation! 

Did you start off damaging your hair but now you’re on the right path? 

Sherrell Dorsey is an eco-glamour expert, writer, speaker, and social entrepreneur. Sherrell believes that going green with your beauty routine doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your fierce and fabulous style. Connect with her on twitter and facebook for all things beauty, green, eco-friendly, organic, sustainable and of course… Eco-glam.

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