Even though they're gloriously steeped with cultural significance, locs still have a negative connotation that's hard to break in some circles. For a long time, Sojourner Elleby, a Refinery29 production assistant, let it stop her from experimenting. "My mum decided to loc her hair when she was in her late thirties," Elleby reveals. "I wanted to try them, too, but I thought that they wouldn't be widely accepted."
Now, Elleby says she's in a place where she's ready to ignore whatever society thinks — which led her to the chair of Annette Roche, co-owner of Nappstar NYC salon. "I chose this style for two reasons," Elleby continues. "For one, I’ve never had before. I see Meagan Good and Eva Marcille rock their gorgeous bohemian goddess locs, and have always been intrigued. But most importantly, I chose this style for my mom. As I grow into my womanhood and become more comfortable in my skin, it’s a style I absolutely plan on getting when I reach her age," she says.
Elleby's confidence didn't come easily. The Howard University graduate decided to go natural in college after years of relaxing. Like most naturalistas, she has three textures in her 'fro: 4a, 4b, and 4c. "I hate to admit it, but part of the reason I went natural is because I wanted those loose, defined curls instead of the coarser hair that is actually more true to my African roots," she says. "Thanks to celebrities like Solange, Viola Davis, and Jill Scott, I feel better about loving and embracing my hair the way it is. I try not to hit myself with the 'I wish my hair was longer' energy. I can now proudly say I love my hair."
And it shows. Check out the video above to hear more of Elleby's hair history and see her finished locs, too.