I'm very happy to have Franchesca as my Roc'n Loc Star for this week. She is such a busy young lady but I contacted her before she went to Paris and got all engaged and everything and she agreed to do a hair-story feature for me. Oh and Congrats again to Chesca & Patrick! (see her proposal video following the interview) Going forward you will find many of her instructional and funny videos in my video library under the tab "resources". So please check them out.
How long have you worn your hair in a natural hairstyle? What is your hair length?
I went natural the summer of 2003 and started my locs February 2004. So I've had locs for almost 8 years. My hair was about chin length (when pressed) when I started.
What natural hairstyle do you currently wear? If you wear locs, what is your loc method?
I have "traditional" locs and they're about the thickness of a pencil.
Why did you decide to wear this natural hairstyle?
A bad dye job in high school left my hair extremely broken and my hairline almost non-existant. When I went away to college (in 2002) I couldn’t afford regular perms and considering the years of damage, I realized I didn’t really want a perm anymore. So in the summer of 2003, to my mother’s dismay, I asked her to cut off all of my chemically treated hair and rocked a tiny afro all summer long. In 2004 I decided to loc my hair and haven’t looked back!
Do you recall any negative reactions to, or comments about your natural hair?
I've always been the "black sheep" so to speak in my family, so when I went natural I got a lot of side eyes from my extended family. To this day my grandmother asks me when I'm going to "take care of that nap". I also got a lot of "but you had such good hair! why would you cut it all off?" comments from my family as if natural hair wasn't "good hair".
What changes have you seen in the way people react to natural hair since you began wearing your locs?
Now that my hair is very long my family loves it. They're always complimenting the length and the various styles I wear it in. I think that's because it's just more socially acceptable for women to have long hair, natural or otherwise. I also get a lot of questions about my locs. Often times people ask me where I got them styled or if they're real. Many people incorrectly believe that black women can't have naturally long hair so they assume I'm wearing extensions.
What is the routine you use for maintaining your hair? Any products you recommend?
I was and re-twist my hair every 2-3 weeks, depending on how busy (or lazy) I am. I'm really not a big product person, but I use organic root stimulator's conditioner and temple balm to keep my hairline looking fresh between re-twists.
Who I am and what am I up to?
I'm a graphic designer and video blogger living and working in NYC. I make weekly comedy and hairstyle videos on YouTube and do freelance graphic design for a variety of clients around the US. I'm pretty obsessed with working out so right now I'm training for my very first half marathon with the Leukemia Lymphoma Society. I've been video blogging my training and was able to raise over $3,000 by reaching out to my friends, family and YouTube subscribers. In other news, I just got engaged (woo hoo!) to my longtime boyfriend and we're planning on getting married sometime next year. My fiancé and I have two doggies that we love very much and treat like our children.
Last but not least....has anyone ever asked you the question "is that your real hair?" If so, how did you reply?
Absolutely! All the time! At times I get kind of offended, but I try not to take it personally. I usually say something along the lines of, "Yes this is my real hair. Believe it or not, not every black woman wears a weave :) "
check out Franchesca's blog