It’s been stated the hairstyle dreadlocks has been around since 1500 BCE. The look of hair twisted in a rope form or matted. Some may say it’s worn for religious reasons. It’s a style that’s worn by men, women or children.

Sheen Magazine has sat down and spoken with Tamika Barker a hairstylist of Columbia, SC. A beautiful queen that wears locs herself and her appointments continues to grow with new clients requesting the style for themselves.
Tamika, what inspired you to start your locs?
What inspired me to start my locs was my new liking or probably love of seeing my hair in its natural form. When I would get relaxers they would always irritate my scalp sometimes leaving chemical burns and make my hair very limp in my opinion. The only way I would like my hair when it was relaxed was in a short tapered cut. If it wasn’t cut short I would wear hair extensions in a short bob style mostly.
About 18 years ago or more I decided that I was going to transition to my natural hair and allow my relaxer to grow out. I was tired of wearing the bob style and decided to get braids. I would alternate between cornrow styles and box braids and as my hair was transitioning I noticed how soft and curly my hair texture was without the relaxer and was amazed.
 In my opinion I felt that my hair was too fine for a relaxer in the first place but when I was younger I begged for a relaxer. Funny story about my very first relaxer… I was spending the weekend at my Mom’s friends’ house that had 3 daughters. That Saturday she was applying relaxers and styling their hair for the weekend. I asked her to relax my hair. She said to get permission from my mom first. I called my mom she said NO you can not get a relaxer. Well, I wanted it so bad that I told my mom’s friend she said YES. In hindsight I’m wondering why was a kid about 9 years old even trusted to handle such a situation but was thankful none the less because I was finally about to get my relaxer ! Well, shortly after the relaxer was applied I remember my scalp feeling like a lit match had been held to my hair and my entire head was in flames ! The pain was excruciating but in order for the relaxer to process I had to wait it out for about 10 minutes. When the water hit my scalp it ignited the pain even more, after the relaxer was rinsed then came the pain of shampooing the relaxer out. Hands down it was the absolute worse decision I made as a nine year old but I didn’t care because when I looked in the mirror afterwards and saw that my short ponytails were transformed into straight hair that touched my shoulders, it was all worth it!!!
In my transitioning phase and trying to decide on my next braid style I discovered two strand twist extensions with Marley Hair. I was instantly in love with this style and actually wore this style for about 2 or 3 years alternating the color . I would receive compliments all the time people thought it was my hair and I truly just loved the style on myself. I honestly felt like I was going on somewhat of a spiritual journey of rediscovering myself. I can’t really explain it but I would just embrace my natural self more that my hair was natural and the twist that closely resembled locs was now my favorite style. I absolutely love Lauryn Hill and India Arie whom were the hottest young ladies with locs at the time and that help me decide to loc my hair .
What percentage of your clients are wearing locs?
I think about 60% of my clientele have locs.
A lot of people might try to maintain the style on their own. What tips could you offer?
A few quick tips I have for loc clients are:
  1. Keeping on track with maintenance. You have to stay on a schedule with retwist that works best for your hair ranging from 4-6 weeks.
  2. Apply oil to your scalp and locs at least once a week.
  3. Use a silk or satin scarf or bonnet when sleeping
  4. Use a shower cap when bathing
  5. Do not leave your locs in an updo style too long to reduce unnecessary tension
There’s also rumors about locs. What’s your thoughts on that? One example..You have to cut it off if you want to change the style..
You do not have to cut your locs off to remove them:
You can take your time with leave in conditioner and a comb and detangle each loc from end to the root. Locs are simply the hair that sheds on a daily basis. Since we don’t comb our locs daily that hair becomes matted and helps form the loc.
Locs are supposed to be unkept: Loc journeys are different for each individual and everyone’s lifestyle varies, so we just need to accept it as such.
You can’t cut locs: You most certainly can. Healthy hair grows pretty fast and the longer your locs get, the heavier it gets and increases the time to dry and can limit your hair styles.
Any closing thoughts…
One thing for sure locs continues to be strong style and seems it’s not going anywhere. Feel Free to explore your options of the loc journey…