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 www.neneorganics.com . 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.