When I decided to big chop 11 years ago, I didn’t know that my hair would receive so much attention. After all, I only did it because I was sick and tired of relaxers. But that one decision forced me to become very knowledgeable about natural hair care. My loose fro has been with me through many milestones – graduations, marriage, childbirth, etc. My baby used to laugh while I shook my hair in his face and even now, he likes to rest his face on my hair. While I’m grateful for the ups and downs, the twist outs, the puffs, the roller sets, and the buns; I’m most grateful for the opportunity to share all of that online. I never thought I’d carve out my own little corner of the world and talk about hair as much as I have over the years. Believe it or not, my hair has given me many opportunities that I didn’t think were possible. Like writing on this blog.

Remember this? This was a part of my style feature on this very site. This was the feature that drew many fans to my blog and Instagram account. Since then I’ve enjoyed answering questions, rejoicing in hair victories, and emailing tips. I may only have a little over 1,200 followers on my Instagram account (that isn’t much compared to other natural hair pages), but my fans are awesome. They’ve been with me since day one and I appreciate each and every one. But I’ve got a bit of news to share…it’s time for me to move on. Not from natural hair of course, but from loose hair. Sometime in 2017, I’ll be saying goodbye to my big ball of kinks and curls.

Picture from my style feature in 2012.

If you’ve been following me, then you know that I suffer from an annoying scalp condition known as seborrheic dermatitis. It really is awful. Over the years, I’ve tried to manage the condition as best as I could, but it’s getting worse as I get older. My scalp constantly flares up with giant flakes, redness that is painful to the touch, and itchiness. Sometimes you can even see the flakes in my hair in some of the pics that I post on Instagram.

You can see some flakes in my puff.

If not treated properly, hair loss is inevitable and will sometimes happen even if you do treat the scalp properly. I’ve been blessed not to have any major hair loss…yet. In order save my scalp and hair I need to be able to wash my hair every two days with either medicated shampoo or other home remedies whenever I have flare ups. When my hair was a TWA that wasn’t a problem, but my hair is much longer now. I simply cannot get to my scalp like I need to when I have the flare ups. It’s not possible with my loose hair. I don’t have the kind of hair that you can wash n go. For me, a wash n go would still require a great deal of time, and I don’t like the idea of being a slave to my hair like I’ve been a slave to my scalp.

Additionally, female pattern baldness runs in my family. When women turn about 40 years old, their hair starts to thin. I’m trying to save my hair in my youth by locing it. Possible balding on top of my dermatitis would be a nightmare for me. We all know that less manipulation equals length retention. There really won’t be much to manipulate once I get locs.

My loc choice will be Sisterlocks and I’ve made that choice based on several reasons:
– They are lightweight so they won’t put stress on my hair when I have a flare up
– Because of their small size they are very versatile
– I can loc my hair at its current length
– I can wash my hair immediately after the locs are installed and it won’t disturb
my loc’s foundation
– I can wash my hair every two days as I need to with my scalp condition
– Applying medicated ointments to my scalp will be much easier because of all the parts
– Other women with the same scalp condition say that Sisterlocks have saved their hair and scalp
– I won’t be a slave to taking care of my hair
– Sisterlocks require minimum products
– My mother has them and they look great!

Saying goodbye to my big, fluffy afro will be bitter sweet. On one hand, I’ll miss my afro and all the memories, but on the other hand, I’ll be free from scalp irritation with my sisterlocks. I’ll also be able to cut down on my dermatologist bill (my last bill was $100 with insurance and that doesn’t include the visit co-pay!) and maintain a much calmer scalp. I’ll still post about hair care and hair styles, and you guys can still email me questions. I’ll still be able to do a twist out, roller set, and other volumous looks with my locs. I’ll still be natural ya’ll, I’ll just be on a different kind of natural hair journey this time around. In the meantime, take a look at my tester locs below.

See the flakes? They are always lurking

Have medical issues ever made you re-evaluate your natural hair journey?

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40 Comments on "Why I’m Saying Goodbye to My Big Fluffy Afro and Getting Locs"

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Ericka
Wishing you well on your Sisterlock journey. I’ve had them for 9.5 years and have loved every moment. However, I will be letting them go after my 10 year “lockaversary” in February ’18. I’ve been considering it for a while, partly for just wanting a change and because there are so many more products and styles available now than there were 14 years ago when I first gave up the perm. The other reason is because my hair is also thinning. While I have thick strands, I don’t have major density…and with my hair thinning, I’m seeing way too much… Read more »
Gayle

Good for you I went from loose natural to sisterlocks 11 years ago I love them and I love the minimal products needed

Camille

Wow! After being natural since fall of 2009, I have decided to loc my hair too!! I am so excited for you, and I cannot wait to start my loc journey as well! 🙂

Tiffany

Congratulations on you upcoming loc journey! I just got Sisterlocks this year as well (Sunday marked my 3 months anniversary). Like you, I chose Sisterlocks for very similar reasons. I been having scalp issues as well, but now that I got my locs, i am able to tackle the problems at the roots.

I needed something that wouldn’t be heavy too. My Sisterlocks are very lightweight and although it’s not my fro, I love how easy it is to maintain my hair.

Your fro is absolutely beautiful and I know your locs will be just as beautiful!

Fassionista
This will be an amazing journey for you and I ant wait to follow you as you take it. Every loc journey is different. And whether you do it for style or spiritually, the journey will teach you about yourself I have been loved for 16 years and I too was diagnosed with scalp psoriasis/seborrhea before I started locing. I spent a fortune on medicated anti-dandruff shampoos, tea tree oil, scalp rinses with astringents, and topical anti-fungals. Then one day I read about the “no-poo” methods and the effects that some oils can have on the normal fungi on our… Read more »
Lidia Cornelio
Water washing only saved me from my seborrhea! I began water washing only after developing interest when I stumbled unto waterwashingonly channel on youtube. I did it because I just wanted to see how my hair would do with not using any products (just natural products when needed) on my hair. I limited myself to water rinsing daily at first then to several times a week, also using ACV rinses and sometimes clay treatments or bananas for conditioning a couple of times a month the more that I progressed into this regime. I swear by it… not shampooing and stopping… Read more »
BonitaMarie
I also got diagnosed with seborrheic dermatitis years ago before i went natural and it has remained. I’ve used the different foam medication, regularly used medicated shampoo, sulfur 8, washed frequently, and yeah; my scalp will still flake up 24 hours after washing. It is unsightly and itches to high heaven, but it’s not painful for me. It sucks and i’ve just kind of accepted it as part of my life. I stopped using the medication i was prescribed for it because it only worked in so far as my continued use. And i just didn’t want to keep using… Read more »
Jasmine Dorn
Understandable! I’ve been thinking of locking my hair for the sake of ease of maintenance. I stopped bleaching my hair and did a big chop in May 2016 and my hair grew back THICK. I’m currently at the point of needing to do something with it every other day to prevent it from looking a mess. At times it seems like it’s locking by itself. I’ve seen some free form locs and those are cool but the commitment…… But I also wanted to ask you if you tried adding Nu-Stock sulfur cream to your oil and apply to your scalp.… Read more »
Selange Giannetto

I had health issues myself and decided to get Sisterlocs 5 years ago. I love my locs and my loctitian. Its been a wonderful jouney watching my locks mature. So welcome to the Sisterloc family.

Ellisha

Currently, I decided build a routine styling and wash my hair in mini twists. My afro hair also gets in the way of my everyday life especially since I enjoy swimming and the outdoors. Sister locks seems promising! Plus it’s low maintenance is a plus! I am definitely following her blog and Instagram page!

Patricia Ellis

My hair has been thinning since about 2011. I have been able to retain length with the help of Biotin pills and a strict hair care regimen.. However, I still have spots on my scalp where hair just won’t grow back. I say all this to ask this question, would Sisterlocks be a good style choice for me? Any and all input would be appreciated.

Sosha
I have the same condition but I already know that tension on my scalp aggravates it for me. If it weren’t for that, I would have installed locs years ago. They are so beautiful! I’ve recently gotten a handle on my SD by using nizoral shampoo weekly, rinsing my scalp with either diluted white vinegar or aloe in order to raise scalp pH, and applying no oil or conditioner whatsoever to my scalp. I do the LOC method on my hair as normal; just not on my scalp. It’s not a fun condition. Sometimes I have to wash twice a… Read more »
Karen J

I’ve had similar issues with my scalp for y-e-a-r-s. Just found out this May that it Candida (too much sugar in my diet) this May. I was told to reduce sugar intake, more water (whether drinking or eating water based fruit and veggies) and having more garlic, onions and ginger juice. No more diary in my diet – which wasn’t a problem ’cause I don’t use diary. My scalp has calmed down so much, and is improving, since then. I no longer waste money trying to find the right products.

Frecklefaced

I just cut my locs and now have a fro- it’s like we have a balance. Regarding the dermatitis I experienced this as well. I also researched and learned that yeast overproduction may be the culprit- and it could also be neurological. I cut way back on processed sugar and took measures to manage my stress. Also added probiotics (pill form and kombucha) into my diet. Apparently pre-biotics help balance our guts too. Haven’t had a flare up in long time.

Rebecca
A dermatologist diagnosed me with having seb­or­rhe­ic der­mati­tisand I had to shave my hair because of it two years ago in order to properly apply medication. It’s shoulder length now and I quit washing my hair every three days, applying ointment etc bc i felt so constricted. What’s saved me is oil. As soon as I clean my scalp I apply a lightweight oil and massage it in. Idk why but it helps prevent excess dryness and just moisturizers my scalp. I do it every two three days and there’s not much build up. But there’s so much I CANT… Read more »
Mae
Wow! I never thought I would be pulled into a discussion on this site, but here I am inspired by your choice because I too made a hair choice due to problems with my hair. My problem became obvious after l had locks for several years. I knew my mom had alopecia and so did my sister, and so although disappointed, I was not totally surprised. My mom once told me to fight against wearing a wig until I had absolutely no other choice. I did, and my loctotian helped me with styles that did not make my thinning obvious.… Read more »
Danniboo

Good luck on you’re journey I love lots whenever I see my sisters in the street or events they are so pretty.

Moye

Welcome to the gang. By far my best hair decision to date.

Chan

Congratulations I have them 8 mos now. It’s a wonderful Journey and so much freedom!

Nicole J. Butler

I hope this works for you. My SD got WORSE while my hair was locked. Not sure why – I think it’s because I was using light oils and my scalp prefers heavy oils. After I cut my locs off, my head was on fire, and it took a long time for it to calm down again.

Good luck, Sis.

Jacqueline

I just took out my microlocs because of scalp issues. I do have wash and go hair so for me it will be easier to wash my hair and get those layers of skin off of my head with loose hair. I’m planning to redo them after checking with my rheumatologist for a new treatment and seeing if it helps. Iwas damaging my hair more by trying to get the mess out of my roots and I was needing to tighten my hair much sooner than suggested. Good luck to you on your new journey.

Nicole

Congrats I have had my sisterlocs for 6yrs now best choice ever where are you getting yours installed

Bubbly

I Have locs, enjoy your journey definitely worth it

Brenda

This may seem like a strange question do you eat cheese. pinned down my reactions on scalp to cheese consumption and increase greens like cabbage,spinach,etc

Mukami

Welcome to the sisterhood! Sisterlocks are a great natural hair styling choice and as you rightly say…extremely versatile. I am 5 years in and have loved each stage. Enjoy your hair’s next chapter!

AnonyChick

I also know firsthand how annoying that condition is. I cut my hair years ago for that reason. The medications just weren’t easy to apply to my scalp with all the thick hair I had. Now, I rock a TWA year round.

Kathy Galloway
I understand. I’ve been natural now for four years. Natural is a lot of work. The way my hair looks when I open it in the morning and look at the lady in the mirror us not the woman I see in the evening and once again must braid back up in order to control the next day. It’s tiresome. I been thinking about licks and like the really skinny ones I think their pretty and I’m sure you will rock them well. Your article is confirmation for me. I want to jump but know nothing about the care and… Read more »
Melba Pearson-Mecham

Hi! Congrats on joining the loc’d sisterhood! As a word of warning, be careful of the medicines you ingest. I suffer from debilitating migraines. My doctor prescribed topomax — after a year on it I started losing my locs (along with other bad side effects like memory loss). My loctitian was able to work some miracles, but it took more than a year along with tons of biotin capsules to help my hair back. Jamaican castor oil is a lifesaver for your scalp as well. Anyways, enjoy this next part of your journey!

Savannah

OMG! Topomax was the worst! It caused dizziness, memory loss and so much more! But I did like what it stood for and wish it would have worked.

rayshon jenkins

Melba Mitchem I too had a bad experience with topomax! Are you still taking it? Are you still experiencing any side effects?

Blessing Cadogan

I really would love to know more about the effects of migraine mess. Ve just been prescribed paramax…

Gina spence
Please let me help you. Check my product page on Facebook, The Healing House of Isis. Do not use any salicylic acid products or any alcohol based products. As a licensed cosmetologist I have free information available. I know you have heard it all, however this is different . My product line is purely plant based which makes it a complete DISRUPTOR of the common and high end products as I choose not to use the Creme lotion base that is used across the board as it contains a horrible chemical called M1 .. my direct line is 561-214-2124 .… Read more »
Honeyjazz29

Love this article! That’s why I wear crochet braids all the time. My natural hair is mid back length but those flakes are a beast!!. Like you I have spent money on prescriptions and special shampoos…I even got shots in my scalp with no relief whatsoever…
The crochet braids hides all that.. There’s no way I can wear my natural hair out in public with the “cornflakes” I have constantly so I completely understand…Either way girl you look beautiful!

Monica

Have you ever tried tea tree oil on your scalp? Helps me control my flare ups.

Ashley

I love your article! And I feel you, sis. It’s because of my fibromyalgia and thyroid conditions that I’m natural. I’m a little over 3 years natural and my hair is so thick and healthy and growing strong for the first time in years. Keeping it braided and rocking wigs, braids, and twists have made me a lazy natural, lol! Good luck on your upcoming journey and I’ll be sure to follow you once I get an article Instagram account.

Nikki

Ashley,
I have fibro as well and after being natural off and on for 15+ years, I made the decision to get loc’s for my 40th birthday last year. My hair is soooo thick that it took me HOURS on my wash day, and then I was in a flare. Portia, In look forward to following you Sisterlock journey!!

TWA4now

Nice article! You must do what’s best for you? ….looking forward to seeing your sisterlocs soon!?

Georgette
My hair is fine and kinky. I had lots for about 14 yrs until the day I looked up and opened my eyes to the fact that I had major hair lost. I always warped my locks each night and wore protective hair styles not loose hanging locks That did not help. Sadly I had my locks chopped off about a year ago. The damage is still very visible. The struggle is real btw I had an experienced loctechian throughout my loc journey. I write this as a precaution so you will be watchful especially as your family has this… Read more »
Denise

I had the same experience with my sister locks. I had them for 20 years. My advice is to not get them locked tightly on the scalp it pulls your hair too tight. Your edges will suffer and your sections of locks will take longer to fill in.

Kendrea Tannis

Great article! I gave up my loose hair for sisterlocks one year ago and haven’t looked back since. Check me out on IG @mskennydoll.

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