Vlogger and gorgeous DIY loc rocker Kaila J. shares her lovely hair journey with the Sisterlocked community. Learn how and why she started her locs herself and her message about being your most authentic self.

Why locs?

I've wanted locs for the last several years. I initially wanted sisterlocks, but as  I started to do research on discovered it can cost hundreds, I decided to hold off. At the time I was a very broke college student (now a broke grad student) and didn’t have additional funds to spend on installation and maintenance.

After being a loose natural for over 6 years, I became tired of doing my hair every day. I often kept my hair hidden under a wig because it had become too laborious. While I was a loose natural, I got heat damage straightening my hair and had to cut a little over 7 inches. At this point, I was tired of feeling less than without my long, straight hair or my wig. I was tired of stretching my hair to achieve “perfect” natural styles (like the girls on Instagram and YouTube) and tired of jumping through hoops to try and preserve the style at night. Now that I have locs, I can wake up and not plan my mornings or weekends around my hair. I have more time to do things that I enjoy and I don’t have to think twice about whether my hair looks “presentable” or not.

I wanted to give my locs the best foundation, I cut off 7 inches of heat-damaged hair before getting my locs.

How have your views around your hair and your own beauty been impacted by having locs?

Once, lace wigs and beat faces and Fashion Nova started to gain more popularity, I started to lose interest. When I started my locs, I let go of people's expectations of me and it has been the best decision ever. I love the idea of not feeling the need to be the massed produced version of perfect. I only wear makeup when it's absolutely necessary (I prefer no makeup at all) and I only go clothes shopping maybe twice a year. Since having locs, I have fallen in love with myself. I just feel most beautiful being my most natural self.

After a big chop and before getting locs.

How has your beauty regime changed and give us the details? 

OMG! I’m sure you have heard the term: “wash day”? Well, that is exactly how long it used to take to do my hair.  A whole day and then some. Now that I have locs, I ALWAYS look forward to wash day. I went from spending a whole day doing my hair to now spending less than 20 minutes! I wash my locs every two weeks. I prefer to use products that cater to natural hair (more specifically, black-owned products). Once I finish washing my locs, I wrap them in a t-shirt to prevent breakage and lint buildup and then I apply Jamaican black castor oil or a lighter oil on my locs and that’s it! I interlock my hair every 8 to 12 weeks depending on how much growth I have.

Before a big chop

What have been some of your pros and cons of having locs? 

I can’t think of any cons of having locs. The pros of having locs for me is definitely the freedom. I no longer feel like I’m a slave to my hair anymore. I can swim and work-out without any worries about ruining my hair.

Who would you recommend locs?

My recommendation would be to do what works for you. I share my journey on social media to encourage men and women to be independent and confident when starting a loc journey, not so everyone can do exactly what I do. I share what works for me and people either try it out for themselves or they don’t. I want people to become happier and in love with their most natural and authentic self!

ACV rinse for locs.

What are some of the costs associated with locs? 

A lot of people think you must go to a loctician to have your locs started and maintained and that’s not true. I’ve always been very good at doing hair. When I made the decision to start my locs myself, I watched some videos on YouTube. Several days later, I installed my locs with two-strand twists and I maintain them by interlocking every 8 to 12 weeks. I’m always looking for ways to save money, so I’m glad that I can maintain my locs myself. Since I only use shampoo and oil on my locs, I have been able to save sooooo much money. I keep it simple and I believe that’s the beauty of having locs.

You can find Kaila J. on Instagram and YouTube @thekailaj