VIDEO: Teenage Locs Stage Tips – Feeling UGLY During The “Ugly Stage” Of Locing

The Teenage stage of locing – Also known as the ugly stage of locs… Here are some tips to get you through it!

Locing is a process – If you are growing traditional locs, you will go through what is known as the teenage stage of locing – This is before they become mature…

Going through the teenage stage is not easy! 😜

But joking aside, it is a challenging time for many! I remember both times very clearly and especially during the first set, it nearly made me quit my loc journey altogether. This is when I notice many people do give up their locs and don’t give their locs a chance to mature. And I get it… it is a time where there are a lot of changes – sometimes not just in our hair. Sometimes, we are also going through some deeply personal changes as we learn to accept our Self and what the natural hair journey can bring us.

In this post, I want to dive into reflections and share more about what I experienced behind the surface of my teenage locs. Maybe some of you can relate. Maybe you are right in the middle of what many call the “ugly stage” and want some inspiration. Let’s dive in!



Take a deep breath…

This is normal – This is part of the loc journey. It is temporary! Easier to think about it than experience it when we are going through some tough days and our locs are feeling wild. What if we can just enjoy this stage for what it is? What if we just accept that this is part of the process and allow our Self to have days where we do feel ugly? I ask this because this could be a real opportunity to dive in deeper than just focusing on what our locs are doing… I like to see this stage as a space where we can start to observe and acknowledge our triggers – And in turn, get to know more about who we are through the process of change.


  • When was the last time I felt ugly before my loc journey?
  • What lessons did I learn during that period of time?
  • Looking back, what would I tell your Self about that time in my life?

Remember your WHY…

WHY did you start your locs? Write it down! Every time I start something that I know will bring up challenges, I love to get very clear about my WHY – And it helps to keep me focused, especially when I know a stage is temporary. Every time I feel like quitting or triggers bring up emotions that make me feel bad or uncomfortable, I read my WHY affirmation. This also applies to the loc journey. If we know that we are going to go through the teenage stage and it might be challenging, then this is the time to get clear on WHY you want to loc your hair and what is inspiring you to do so.


  • WHY did I start my loc journey?
  • WHO inspired me?
  • WHAT is my goal?

An opportunity to do some deep releasing & Shadow work…

There is a reason I called this website “Holistic Locs”… I like to dive in deeper! When we are going through moments where we don’t feel good about our Self, there may be some Shadow work to do. Shadow work is where the soul juice is lol! This is where we can dive in and ask our Self the challenging questions, get to know who we are now and what we need to release.

A deep release of the old Self – This is something that comes up for many people who are embracing their natural hair and the loc journey. I have experienced and observed how the natural hair journey is a space where we also need to release what our own belief systems of beauty are. Not easy in a world that still does not support anything other than what we see in the mainstream media.

This is a great time to build and be part of a community! This is what got me through my teenage stage. Finding an inclusive safe space to share our own experiences – through the good and bad times – is a valuable part of the natural hair journey. It can often make all the difference knowing that there are others going through what we are. It also does not necessarily have to be about natural hair – The first time I started my locs in 2001, I joined Nappturality and it was a thriving natural hair forum (the days before social media!)… yet I found my love for holistic health here too. The 2nd time I was going through the teenage stage in 2014, I found community in my yoga studio and in doing courses in things that inspired me (which had nothing to do with my locs). Finding our tribe as we change and evolve is a beautiful experience!

Journaling for releasing and tracking our progress – I find that when I have a journal and I can track my progress, the journey feels better – To see how things are changing, to have a safe space to release my thoughts, to post inspiration that keeps me going and to be present each step of the way. Sometimes we get so caught up in an end goal in life that we never really appreciate the steps we took along the way. I look back at my loc journey and often wonder why I did not stay fully present to enjoy my 1st set of locs – I think I was so caught up with the end goal of getting to the mature stage that I didn’t really see how cute my teenage locs were! I see pictures of them now and love them… During the 2nd set of locs I made sure to embrace each stage.


  • Can I start a journal today to track my journey?
  • If I could find a community of people to explore an area of interest, what would I choose and how would it feel?
  • What does the word SUPPORT mean to me now?

Re-Define what FEELING beautiful means to YOU…

Beautiful = BE-YOU-TO-FULL This means many things to many people – And it often has nothing to do with our outer appearance. It is the feeling we get when we are on purpose, doing and connecting to what we love and being able to share it.

Channel your energy into things that inspire you – This is what I did! I asked my Self: What do I want to learn and expand in? I looked for ways to satisfy my need for creativity… I took my Self right out of my comfort zone and did things that felt scary but oh so good! If I am honest, many of these things were like healthy distractions and a way to put my energy into something else. This is actually when I started the first steps of building a therapy business in 2002-2003 and when I did my yoga teacher training course during 2013 – Both times, I put my energy into something I felt passionate about and planted some seeds of action. It felt great to have that in place as my locs were also expanding and growing.


  • What activities, projects, creative ideas can I start during this time?
  • Where can I re-channel my emotions into something that makes me feel good?

Re-Learning about what works for you…

This can be for any area of your life – Not just for the loc products to use. If you are feeling like you are growing, this is a time to get very clear about what your needs and values are. It can also be related to the loc journey – For example: Having freeform locs meant that I started to really value my need to save time on my hair and use it to do other things… like creating a new morning Self-care routine that did not involve having to spend so much time doing my hair each day. Also, I started to re-evaluate my money and how much I was spending on products/accessories/etc that I did not need for my locs.

I started to value my Self more… And to release old belief systems that did not feel real to me. This is why I started to release my belief system that my hair needed to be long or have a certain hair texture. I started to value different parts of who I was and how I was changing through the loc journey. I no longer needed to justify my choices to others… These are just some examples of what changed for me in all areas of life.


  • What are my new needs and values – in any area of my life?
  • What old belief systems do I need to let go of?
  • What no longer works for me – in my hair care and how I relate to my Self?

I hope this inspired you on your teenage stage!

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