My Own Hair

My Amazing Natural Hair Journey

Profiles in Natural Beauty

Markeshia Ricks is a reporter for the Montgomery Advertiser who happens to be a natural beauty. Her style of choice — dreadlocks. I thought I’d interview her about going this route to help anyone else thinking of “locking it up.”

First, why locks? I chose to lock my hair for several reasons. After being natural for two years, I was over the routine of detangling. The beautiful thing is that my hair was growing like crazy, but I was thinking to myself that I grew out my relaxer to be free and more and more I didn’t feel that way. I also had started training to run a half marathon and my hair was taking a serious backseat to my training goals. I knew I was never going back to a relaxer and I was thisclose to shaving my head. I have a beautiful sisterfriend who saw my TWA and shaved her five year-old fro to a low ceaser. I fell in love, and I still may one day shave my head because that is just in me to do, but I said locks first. Plus, much like when I went natural I just kept seeing locks and wanting them.

What’s your maintenance routine?  My daily maintence is super simple, I feel bad telling you about it. At night I sleep with a satin bonnet on and I wake up shower with the bonnet on. I get out of the shower, get dressed, put on my make up, take off the bonnet and shake, shake and I’m out the door. Now that I’ve picked up a product from Taliah Waajid called the mist bodifier, I’ll spray that when the mood hits me. But that’s it. If i’ve trained super hard in running, Zumba, whatever, I’ll do a baking soda/conditioner wash (my hair doesn’t like any kind of soap) and mist with my castor oil/almond oil mixture and I’m out the door. I allow my hair to air dry throughout the day. And I don’t rock any hairstyles that take more than five minutes to do, so none of this takes any time at all.

Did you receive any push back from your job?
 No. Nor did I expect any. I was natural when I was hired and I even interviewed for this position with a two-strand twist style that they might have assumed were locks in the first place. Now I will qualify this by saying that my top boss is a black woman, and while she wasn’t a natural when she hired me, she had a daughter who was transitioning. Small world her daughter actually went to undergrad near where I did, and happens to be good friends with one of my line sisters who also is natural. So she was exposed and it didn’t bother her. She too is now natural. We never even had a hair conversation until she told me her daughter was transitioning.
What advice would you give someone interested in this style?
If someone is interested in locking their hair, I’d say go for it. As with anything, do your research. Don’t feel pressured to have a professional install them. But if you’re going to maintain them yourself, that’s no excuse for them to look unkempt, unless that’s what you want. While I do miss my loose hair occasionally, locks are very versatile. The sky is really the limit in terms of what you can do with them. I don’t think that locks are the next natural step for all people who are rocking loose naturals because I’ve seen too many people start locking then pick them out because they’re constantly dissatisfied with how they look. It’s not for everyone and the first year is usually the hardest. I say do what’s best for you and what makes you happy. My locks make me happy.

A sassy updo! Lookin' good Markeshia.

Side view



  carmanitamonroe wrote @

Your locks are beautiful. I’m am thinking of going natural once again, but we’ll see.

  myownhair wrote @

Thanks Carmanita — Markeshia looks great in those locks!!!

  Markeshia wrote @

Thanks again Keisa for asking me to do this. It was so much fun!! To all those considering going natural, locks, whatever I say GO FOR IT.

  myownhair wrote @

You are most welcome!

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