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3 Years of my Braidlocs Journey in Pictures

In 2013, I started my Micro Locs with Braids. After going natural, publishing Going Natural How to Fall in Love with Nappy hair and maintaining two websites and webstores, it was time for a change.
Honestly, I thought I would never loc my hair. Not that I didn't like locs. I just thought it wasn't for me because:
Mireille Liong with a big Afro
This is the length I started with. I took one last picture of my fro, my all-time favorite natural hairstyle as I didn't know if I would ever wear an Afro again.
Starter Braidlocs, Microlocs or Micro Locs
I started my locs going to an African braider in Bed-Stuy Brooklyn. Braiding my hair took 8 hours. Products recommendations for this phase check Locs & Stuff  
Braidlocs Micro Locs 3 months loc journey
People call this the ugly phase, but I don't think there is anything ugly about this stage at all. When hair starts to matt together, it looks like the locs are shrinking which to me was magical. We have the most fascinating hair on the planet. I loved it!
Braidlocs Microloc journey of 6 months
The locs are gaining length. Frizzy, curly ends, and locs all over the place. How can you not enjoy this wild stage. Hair brings me joy.
Microlocs Braidlocs are starting to lay down in the loc journey
It looks like my hair starts to settle. You can still see the braid pattern and the ends are still curly. I like my locs from top to bottom. Didn't feel the need to cut my curly ends. A Silk Pillow Case is worth the investment. My locs are less frizzy and less dry.
Braid out style in Micro Locs Mireille Liong
14 months of growing braidlocs. This is a braid out. After washing, I braided my locs, dried them under a hooded dryer and took them out the next day. Much easier than a braid out with natural hair. Get the Organic Shampoo Bomb it cleanses the hair, moisturizes and softens without leaving residue.
Braidlocs Micro Locs Journey Mireille Liong
Now my hair is really loced. The locs got thicker and my hair is fuller. All grown up! If you have issues try the WNL Hair growth Tea. It softens the new growth and improves locs elasticity. You will have less breakage.
Braidlocs Micro Locs Journey Mireille Liong - Curled locs
Slightly curled. My hair is locing and growing, The process is truly super easy. Products I recommend for this stage: The Organic Shampoo Bomb and the WNL Hair Growth Tea. 
Braidlocs Micro Locs Journey Mireille Liong - Braidlocs in a Curled Updo
16 months, my loctitian curled my hair and I created this updo. Just being creative with my curled locs and accessories. Click to get the curlers.
LOC10
Almost 2 years of Braidlocs, I did a photo shoot with Keston Duke, the photographer who captured my first twistout that is on the cover of the book Going Natural, How to Fall in Love with Nappy Hair. 
Bantu Knots in Micro locs Braidlocs Mireille Liong Loc Journey
Bantus are an easy to do style that is if you don't need your parts to be perfect. Once you take them out, you will have a nice weavy kind of loc style. 
Bantu Knots in Micro locs Braidlocs Mireille Liong Loc Journey
2 years of braidlocs. Actually 2 years and one month. My locs have really thickened. Bantus are great to feel air on my scalp.
Micro locs Braidlocs Mireille Liong Loc Journey
My locs are matured now. The only way is "down" which means up in this case. This is the stage where you really need the Loc Towel. It absorbs water out of your locs instantly and cuts your drying time in half. 
Micro locs Braidlocs Mireille Liong Loc Journey
My locs are shoulder length now. My hair feels happy. The only thing I literally do is going to the loctitian. Click on the image for product recommendations for this stage.
  1. The Afro is and will always be my all time favorite hairstyle and I didn't know if I could part with it. 
  2. Locs, no matter what type, traditional locs, micro locs or Sisterlocks, require regular maintenance. Not only was I not used to going to a salon regularly, I wasn't sure if I wanted to depend on stylists again which brings me to the next point. 
  3. Maybe still traumatized from the relaxer experience and being let down by a braider one time too many, I know that as a backup you need to know how to do your own hair. 

I have given up on the last one though. I can't interlock my own hair to save my life and I think I came to peace with it. The pandemic taught me the value of a great loctitian even more. 

Seven years later, I am still enjoying the process. These are pictures from the first two years. Hopefully you can learn from my journey. Feel free to take a look at my pictures and see what products I recommend for each phase. 
Check out the Locs & Stuff collection for the products I use and recommend. Sharing is appreciated. 

5 comments

  • Heel mooi, ik heb ook altijd mijn haar willen locken, maar om het gemak van mijn afro heb ik ’t nooit gedaan. Maar je hebt alles goed gedocumenteert, wat mij inspireerd om het alsnog te doen, alhoewel ik nu helemaal grijs ben. Groetjes!

    Ruth on
  • I don’t have a salon but I can recommend Sabine’s Hallway in Brooklyn or The Wovenwool. That is where I do my hair.

    Mireille Liong on
  • Hello my name is Ngozi I love natural/ locks hair but not sure which locks to start with can you please advise? Secondly I live in the US do you have any salon you can introduce me to. Your hair looks wonderful I love it

    Ngozi on
  • Thank you. Here is a link to the products I use: https://whatnaturalslove.com/collections/loc-care

    Mireille Liong on
  • Your locs are beautiful 🤩
    I’m just starting my loc journey and would love to know what products you ise

    Tonie Mcnair on

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