Locked & Professional: Shameka Dukes, HR/Employment Specialist
There comes a time when the world needs to see women and men of color in professional settings with locks. The time is now! For those who didn't know, now you know. We are representing out here from corporate to academia, nonprofit et al. We are running the boardroom, making decisions and cutting' checks. See for yourself!
How long have you been locked?
This time around, I have been loc'ed 1 year and 10 months at the time of this response. My 1st set of locs, I had just shy of 3 years.
Has being locked ever impacted your chance of employment?
Have you ever had a negative experience with employment due to your locks?
What is the best thing that you enjoy about your locking journey?
The ease. I do not want people to assume that loc'ing means no maintenance, because there is definitely maintenance depending on the look that you desire. But in comparison to my loose hair, it is a breeze. I retighten my roots approximately every 4-6 weeks, wash weekly (including moisturizing) and style when wanted. The latter consists of braidouts or rolling on permrods. These styles typically last until I wash.
What is the reason you remain locked?
Same as a above. It is just ideal for my lifestyle from a time perspective.
Is locking spiritual to you or just a hair style?
I would not refer to it as spiritual, but it is not just a hairstyle. I think it is just an evolution of who I am, who I have become. In my younger years, I would not have chosen to loc because I do not think it reflected me, inside and out. But today, the inner-confidence, peace within, the release of the notion that I needed a certain look for others to nod to as appropriate, all make locs just a part of me as an individual. Not that locs make me as an individual, but they are a part of me as an individual. There is a difference.
What gives you the courage to remain locked?
Same as a above. I see no reason not to at this point in my life.
What was the worst part of your locking journey?
I have not had a worse part. If anything, there has simply been parts that I have been trying to figure out. For instance, since I started with braids, it will most likely be some time before all of the braid pattern disappears. I see where in various parts of my hair, individual locs are fully loc'ed, no loose/curly ends, no buds, no braid pattern, completely sealed and appearing as a loc. Yet other locs, specifically on both sides, still very much look like braids, very loose/curly ends, no budding in sight. And the other interesting part is the fact that it feels like new hair is absolutely growing in between what use to be well-defined parts. There was no hair in those areas in the beginning and somehow, even after numerous retightening, the "new" hair still does not belong or mesh into a loc. But, it is all a part of the journey. Nothing for me to fret about or fix, just the journey.
If there was one description that you could share about your locks that embodies how you feel about having locks, what would that word be?
READ MORE HERE!
The Knotty Truth Series of Books can be purchased online at various outlets including Amazon.com or Createspace.com.
Be Professional & Keep it Knotty,
Michele George, MS, MHA, CRC, CNHC