When I first saw Ner­is­sa Irving’s locs, my first ques­tion was, “Are the­se real?” With faux locs cur­rent­ly all the rage (Rihanna’s newest look is butt length faux locs), I had to won­der. But yes, the­se are the real deal! I also love how Irv­ing tight­ly curls her locs, adding vari­ety to her style.


Ner­is­sa revealed she has been grow­ing out her locs for 29 years in an inter­view with BGLH, trim­ming them con­sis­tent­ly so they don’t touch the floor when she walks. Regard­ing hair care, she con­cen­trates on what she eats and nour­ish­ing her locs from the inside out, in addi­tion to prod­ucts:

I always tell peo­ple the prod­ucts you use are impor­tant but what you eat is more impor­tant. We tend to for­get healthy hair also starts from your bel­ly. I use coconut oil, cas­tor oil, and tea tree oil on my scalp. I wash my hair with my own pep­per­mint sham­poo from . If I’m not going any­where I keep my Locs in a stock­ing cap to pre­vent lint from get­ting in it. I also stay away from twisting/ palm rolling it too much. I believe your hair needs to just be free and wild some­times and twist­ing too much will cause break­age. My Locs are freeformed.


Born to a Rasta­far­i­an moth­er in Jamaica, Irv­ing con­sid­ers her locs a form of free­dom, love, nat­u­ral, and rebels again­st society’s stan­dard of beau­ty. As part of her dis­play of beau­ty again­st soci­etal beau­ty stan­dards, Ner­is­sa became the first loc’ed wom­an to be fea­tured in Play­boy. She describes the expe­ri­ence in a pos­i­tive man­ner:

It was an amaz­ing expe­ri­ence. I love the skin I’m in and I felt like Play­boy gave me the oppor­tu­ni­ty to kick down that “Ras­ta girls or nat­u­ral hair wom­en” won’t get to cer­tain lev­els. Plus I’m a nud­ist, so the pho­to shoot was just per­fect for me LOL!  My Locs and skin tone shouldn’t take away my sen­su­al­i­ty or sex­u­al­i­ty. Black wom­en are beau­ti­ful and sexy  in any hair­style and body type.

For those want­i­ng to grow out their locs, Ner­is­sa has the fol­low­ing advice — “Don’t over think your loc jour­ney. Let you hair live and grow the way it wants. You nev­er know what sto­ry it may tell.” Absolute­ly beau­ti­ful! I often feel the same way about nat­u­ral hair as a whole, lis­ten­ing to your hair and let­ting it be how it wants to be.

You can learn more about holis­tic liv­ing and Ner­is­sa on her sites, and




Elle is the edi­tor and cre­ative direc­tor of the YouTube chan­nel and blog, Quest for the Per­fect Curl at Her chan­nel focus­es on nat­u­ral hair, beau­ty, and fit­ness. She loves prod­ucts that smell like dessert, yoga, and glit­ter. Fol­low her @qftpc.

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17 Comments on "[Pics] Nerissa Irving’s Real, Ankle-Length Locs are Breaking the Internet"

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she is love­ly, so are her locs


This wom­an is tru­ly beau­ti­ful. I keep telling sis­ters that we look our best with our own nat­u­ral hair. This wom­an to me is beyond stun­ning. We need to cel­e­brate and embrace that which is unique to us above all oth­er races of wom­en.


Amaz­ing beau­ty! (her hair is nice too)


Absolute­ly gor­geous!



Sabrina black

Stun­ning and fun?? Love it. Worth shar­ing.


Good for her, but I am so sick of see­ing black wom­an naked in the­se mod­el­ing pix. It’s not a good look or art­sy — it’s trashy. There is no rea­son to be pos­ing naked and/or sex­u­al­ly sug­ges­tive.


It’s a play boy mag­a­zine and shes a nud­ist. Sex­u­al­ly sug­ges­tive comes with the pack­age de.

Rebecca E

There is noth­ing wrong with nudi­ty. What is trashy about a body? I am sick of see­ing wom­en being shamed for show­ing their bod­ies. In your opin­ion it might be trashy and not “art­sy” but is is unde­ni­able that the nude form is beau­ti­ful and very much a part of art. Just look at famous art pieces with naked bod­ies! If you don’t like it don’t look at it.


what a grown wom­an does with her body is her busi­ness. If you don’t like it, go look at some­thing else. It’s very rude to call some­one express­ing them­selves trashy.


Met her in-per­son once, her skin and hair is so per­fect. Couldn’t help but feel mes­mer­ized by her beau­ty ?


She looks like some kind of ethe­re­al princess! Love it. But there’s no way her locs are freeform. She just doesn’t twist them as often as some oth­ers do.

Victoria Owl

Are there dif­fer­ent forms of freeform locks? Can you start freeform locks with twist and then just let them be after the ini­tial set of twist? Because I thought freeformed locks looked some­thing like the­se: Insta­gram @freeandformed Insta­gram @mamayashi_designer and Laden Clark
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Marvellous Marv



Freeform locs don’t look like that.


I agree. Its twist­ed at the roots but still much respect for the length it is at and dif­fer­ent styles. She looks effort­less. Ladies like this deserve more pro­mo­tion to show that it can be done and to give peo­ple pos­i­tive inspi­ra­tion. There is just not enough out here.