All Loc’ed Up: Malaïka Maxwell

Photo by Cameron Hyman of Blue Skies Images

What is your name?

Malaïka Maxwell

List one word that describes you? Why?

Oh boy…already with the tough questions…hmmm…if I had to pick just one, I’d say dedicated. Simply because when I have a goal or objective set, I do whatever it takes to get it done. It may take some time, but it will get done…even if it takes me doing it on my own!

What does your hair say about you?

My hair speaks volumes about myself. However, I don’t think that people see it that way. It’s sort of a secret love story between my hair and I. I “carry” the last 10 years of my life on my head. That’s my pregnancy, me moving back home, stepping into “adult life”, and taking my music seriously!

How long have you been loc’ed?

September 2017 will make 11 years.

Why did you decided to go on a loc journey?

In all honesty, for no particular reason. I had already gone through my big chop. And after having short hair for a while, I started my locs. My older sister had hers for about a year already.

What was your process like getting started?

Well I did mine the real natural way lol while living in Martinique. I started with two strand twists, left them in for about two weeks if I remember well. Then on the twist out, I started with the “glue” made from hibiscus leaves. I’d go to the river (yes the river), make the glue (easy process, you crush the leaves in water, it makes a glue like substance, you have to sift it through cloth first) put it in your hair and “shake out” until the excess is all gone. Then I’d palm roll. I did that about once a week. But it didn’t take at first. Someone around me then suggested I use, a variety of cactus that held the hair together much better. Within two to three months, my hair was properly tangled and loc’ed.

What were some challenges that you faced along the way?

I didn’t face any challenges with my hair in itself. I was studying at University at the time, so I didn’t really mind the “bushy Bob Marley” look when I was starting out. The challenges came later on. Well one to be precise. I was plainly asked, to cut my hair…job related…obviously I didn’t!

What have you learned about yourself as a result of your loc journey?

Patience lol. I already knew I was, but it taught me even more patience.

How do you maintain your locs?

See…now this…when I started my locs, I was a lot more “obsessed”. Don’t get me wrong, I love my hair, and take care of it still. I’m just a lot more laid back now. I have my go to loctician (Heeeeyy Beverly!). I retwist about once a month, it can be longer or shorter depending on if I have to sing or anything. For the past two years, over the summer I just let my hair rest, no twisting nada. Last summer I did a protective hairstyle, for about 3 months, the growth was impressive. So I’ve decided to do it once a year over the summer. Give my hair and myself some rest J Castor oil is my go-to, my loctician applies it to my roots before twisting with Isoplus Dreads, locks & twists molding creme. Washing my mane by myself has become a lot more challenging (I tried it a couple of months ago and my neck was aching) so now Beverly does it!

Are you going to remain loc’ed?

I can’t predict the future, but I believe I will. Of all the ways I’ve worn my hair, straightened, short, afro, locs are really what I prefer. I feel like I carry around a part of my story in them.

What advice do you have for ladies wanting to begin the loc journey process?

My advice is, if you want’em just start’em! It’s not an overnight process, so be patient. And try not to let yourself be submerged by all that you read online. I have ladies come to me all the time asking about all kinds of “techniques” they read online…just let the hair be!

Any encouragement or last word you would like to say?!

I’ve grown to learn that as long as you’re comfortable with the reflection in the mirror, you will stand a little taller, there will be extra sass to your walk and you will GLOW! So find YOUR style, the one that reflects YOUR INNER YOU (preferably a natural one lol) and ROCK IT!!!

Love, light and natural hair ladies and gents



Click on the following links to view Malaïka’s social media!!!


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