I've been loc'd 6 years now and it is the best decision I've ever made in my adult life, outside of my choice in a partner.
You don't know what it means to be a brown girl that loves her hair as is. To be free of relaxers that never agreed with me. To be free of curl defining this and hair straightening that. As much as I love seeing a girl with a great blow-out or a fierce twist-out, I felt like I was comparing my hair to others and feeling inadequate. Hair, for many of us, is one of the first ways we express our personal style, culture, and self.
It sounds silly, and it may even sound vain, but hair politics is a huge part of growing up black/brown/Caribbean. If your parents aren't giving you a complex, the kids on the playground are with talk of good and bad hair and being light-skinned or not. Measuring a woman of color's beauty in narrow and exclusionary terms.
So after 20+ years of:
My lips are too big
My butt is too flat
My hair is too nappy
My skin is too dark
My body is too curvy
I like myself. That is a private war that woman that are too anything must wage and win if they want to have peace and personal joy.