Phase II: The interlocking of new growth and clean hair
I endured seven straight weeks of not washing, scratching, and messing with my hair. Seven weeks. Please let that settle in your spirit for a moment. The entire process — the waiting — the watching new growth sprinkle in and make a home on my scalp; was a calming yet joyous occurrence.
I had the pleasure of witnessing my hair grow in from the scalp and surround the microlocs already in place. I could feel the extra hair sprout up every week and I beamed (and damn near beat my chest) with pride.
“My hair is doing what it should. I am happy.” At least twenty times, I have said that very phrase. I have stood in front of my bathroom mirror completely in awe at what Ajá (Yes, I named my hair, remember?) has graced me with, and she’s still doing amazing things.
I cannot wait to see what the next seven to eight weeks will have in store for the both of us.
Washing my hair after seven weeks
I knew there would be dandruff, of course, there would be! Seven weeks of not washing one’s hair can create a dirty, cakey, matted dandruff build-up that would need to be washed, scraped away, and plucked out (*cringe*) accordingly.
I already had a history of dry scalp and a dandruff issue if my hair had not been cared for appropriately, so this was no surprise to me. To have my hair washed and my scalp massaged and I did not have to do anything but stand in place and experience this form of love and care was a blessing to my entire soul.
My cousin opted to shampoo my hair with my choice of shampoo (photographed above) only, stating that conditioning it would make it shiny and my already smooth/processed (permed) ends more of a problem. Every minute of her hands touching my head shifted me in so many ways.
The simple washing of one’s hair after not having it done in a couple of months can be a game-changer. I felt my heart lift and nearly leave my body. I felt a sense of peace overcome me. My legs buckled from the perfect touches to my scalp from my cousin’s fingers. It moved me to happiness and nirvana.
Before wash day, I used the Wild Growth Hair Oil (also photographed above) every week after the third week of having my locs installed.
When my locs are finally loc’d, I will begin using the conditioner and rosewater hair spray. I will keep these haircare products in rotation and add on a couple more as time passes.
Interlocking new growth and clean hair with existing locs
Once my hair had been cleaned thoroughly and towel-dried, my cousin began interlocking new growth to my existing locs. This process is painful. I used to get my hair braided regularly when I was younger, and that pain is nothing compared to this one.
I squealed — protested with my outstretched arms — flailed my hands in the air; smacked my cousin’s arms, etc. My cousin is so sweet and gentle, each time she’d rebut with this phrase, “Okay, baby. Okay. I almost got it. I almost got it. There. It’s done.” Or, “I know. I know. I’ve got it. It’s coming. I’m sorry.”
The best way for me to describe this process is to get you to visualize it with me as I write it out. Imagine your hair — from the root — being pulled and wrapped into (or around) your hair that has already grown from the root; then pulled again and pulled again and finally pulled down into the place of the existing hair.
Painful, right? I know. Here is a video to further emphasize what I endured:
My cousin used an interlocking tool (similar to the one shown in the video) and her hands for this process. She did this in sections. Some areas did not hurt nearly as much as others.
And as the content creator stated above, she did not choose to interlock too tightly because she has a tender scalp. I do not — I’ve never been tender-headed. So, my cousin’s interlocking method was tight.
And to be honest, the entire process was a relaxing but invigorating one.
I felt both hyped and in total serenity at the same time. This next step is complete, and I can find peace in adding another seven or eight weeks to this phase before the next wash and interlock.
It is an overwhelmingly exciting journey and I am well-equipped with the tools to further endure what lies ahead. So far, Ajá has proven she can weather any storm that comes her way, and I am here for every battered window and every toppled trash bin.
We will not be moved or pushed aside, regardless of the intensity headed our way.
As you can see from the photo above, my hair has grown significantly from the previous starter locs article I shared. And I believe as each week passes, I will continue to see a decent increase in new growth which will make interlocking my hair once again in mid-to-late March a daunting task.
The total time for this session, including having my hair washed five times, was six hours and a little under thirty minutes.
And if you ask me if I will go through it all again, I’d happily say, “I sure will.”
Nothing beats the contentment I have welling up in my bones over the choice I made to go natural and loc my hair.