Name: Ketema Thomas wonderful
From: Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Occupation: Patient Navigator
Natural Since: (Don’t remember the month, 2007)
Loc’d Since: (October, 2010)
DIYLocs: Why did you go natural and decide to loc your hair?
Ketema: I have thick, curly hair, and I usually could go up to at least 6 months without getting a perm. Once I moved to Maryland from Georgia for college, I found that perms and styles were expensive living up north. Luckily, my older sister would help me out from time to time and do box perms when she was available. Due to the fact that I could go long periods of time without a perm, my sister suggested that I look into going natural.
Also, one of my closet girlfriend in college was natural, and she insisted as well that I should go natural. So I finally decided to make the transition. I grew tired of wearing a fro daily, so I had to teach myself to be creative and come up with different ways to style my hair. One of my favourite styles (even when I had a perm) was wearing two stranded twists, and I would unravel them just before my hair loc’ed. One of my male friends that had locs would always tell me that I should loc. However, I was afraid to do it, because I had this weird inkling that you couldn’t untwist your hair once it loced and I didn’t like the idea of chopping my hair off to get my natural hair back to a fro. After seeing so many beautiful females with locs, I finally decided I wanted a change and different look for myself. To make this jump easier to handle, I made a pack with a cousin and we both on separate occasions went to loc our hair.
Presently, I am happy to say that I love my hair and I will never go back to wearing a fro. I was always lazy when I came to doing my hair, so having locs has made my life so much easier. I gave away my hair product drawer, combs, brushes, and other things that I did not need to use any more. I have enjoyed this journey and looking back at old pictures of my loc progress.
DIYLocs: What method did you use to loc your hair and how long did it take to install? (Please mention why you selected this method).
Ketema: I decided to go to a salon to start my loc process, and unfortunately I don’t remember how long I was there. The comb coil method was used to loc my hair.
DIYLocs: How long did it take for your hair to loc up?
Ketema: Naturally my hair is soft and curly so I believe it took at least a year for my hair to loc. However, I think using the Jamaica Lime extra firm wax assisted in speeding the loc up process.
DIYLocs: Would you do anything differently if you were to go back in time and start your dreadlocks again?
Ketema: The one thing I would change is using another hair product to retwist my locs. I started using the Jamaica Lime extra firm wax and I regret using that product, because it made my hair very dry, stiff, and some of my ends have broken off. I went to using natural shea butter which worked for a while but now my retwist does not hold. I currently retwist with the “Tight Hold” gel from Taliah Waajid and it holds way better than other products I have used.
DIYLocs: How often do you retighten your hair and what method do you use to retighten your roots?
Ketema: I retighten my hair when I feel the need, time, and money (occasionally) to have it done. I wish I had the patience to do it myself, but I usually will either use my sister or go to a loctician.
DIYLocs: What is your current hair regimen over the course of a month?
Ketema: My daily regimen is using two hairsprays (Juicy Locs & Mist Bodifier) in the morning and at night to avoid dryness and itchy scalp. Timewise, I guess I probably wash and get my hair retwisted every 2-3 weeks.
My current hair care products:
- Taliah Waajid (Moisture Clenz, Protective Mist Bodifier, and Tight Hold gel)
- African Black Soap Shampoo
- Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Castile liquid soap
- www.buttaflyjones.com (Juicy Locs hairspray)
DIYLocs: What is your go-to dreadlocks hairstyle and how do you do it?
Ketema: My go to loc style is pipe cleaner curls. I do this style when I have the time and energy to sit for 4-5 hourswrapping each individual loc (I have about 160 locs) with the pipe cleaner. I usually wear this style for a month, and it can be maintained as long as you don’t get your hair wet. I wear a silk cap a night to cover my hair.
DIYLocs: Has loc’d hair been easier or harder than relaxed or loose natural hair?
Ketema: My locs are definitely easier to maintain than having the loose natural hair. I use less products, and requires less maintenance for go to styles for work and outings with friends and family.
DIYLocs: How did you colour your hair and has your hair changed as a result? (if relevant)
Ketema: I first colored my hair when I was natural and still color my locs today. I have not noticed any changes in my hair except a little dryness, so I make sure to keep my hair moisturized and color only once every 1-2 years.
I usually use a hairstylist/loctican for color, but I have also utilized friends and family with box dyes and rinses in the past.
DIYLocs: Has having dreadlocks affected your personal or professional life/relationships in any way?
Ketema: Nope! I have received more compliments and looks when I loced my hair. Also, having locs heightened my confidence and creative/artistic side when it comes to hair styles and color. My mother was the only person I believe I had to worry about, but she has gotten used to my hair now that I have passed my 5 year loc anniversary.
DIYLocs: Any encouraging words for people who have just started locs.
Ketema: Be patient! My natural hair was shoulder length when I loced so I never experienced an “ugly phase.” Honesty, I do not believe there is an ugly phase for locs whether you start with short or long hair. Also, I noticed my hair grows faster when I don’t retwist often or use heavy/unnatural products. Everyone’s hair and loc journey is different, so I would suggest taking the time to learn what works for you. I joined various loc groups, talked with locticians, and other loced individuals which helped me find what hair products (i.e. oils, gels, shampoos, etc.) would help uphold my locs.
DIYLocs: Thanks for doing this interview. Is there anywhere we can keep up with your hair journey online?
Ketema: Most of my beginning loc journey is posted on Facebook at Gottaluv Tema. You can also view more of my loc pics on Instagram @Gottaluvtema