It’s the season to start locking your natural hair. Are you ready to take the plunge?

WHAT’S HOLDING YOU BACK?       When I first thought of wearing locks, I knew I would not be attractive. I don’t know why I thought I would not look ‘right’ in locks.  Looking back, my thoughts were absurd.  How could I not look ‘right’ with own hair?  Today, I realize my hair perceptions were caught up in the highly televised mainstream image of beauty.  However during the rise of Natural Hair, what’s holding you back?  Are you concerned about what your mother, cousin, best friend, boyfriend, girlfriend or husband will say?   Are you afraid of the so-called “ugly stage”? In the end, what will anyone really do to you?  Are you afraid of another person’s perception of you?  Does it really matter?  What’s the worst that can happen?   Do you think you won’t get a job?

Some people say hair is hair.  I think they are wrong.   Locks are more than a hairstyle.  Locks are a lifestyle.  Locks represent a new mind and lifestyle freedom.  Do you want to work out more? But you can’t….because of your hair?  Do your run for shelter in the rain?  Do you let your hair stop you from doing what you enjoy the most? Do you say, “I don’t want to sweat out my hair?”  If your answer to any of these questions is yes, then your hair limits you.

Lifestyle tee

Lifestyle tee


My natural hair salon is a place where stories are told, where visions materialize and where values pervade decisions.  My salon is a place folks go when they want to feel better and look better.  It’s also a place for planning community change.

Earth day 2013 Group small Photo

Earth day 2013 Group small Photo

These days, you see lock wearers who are successful superstars, entrepreneurs and gainfully employed. Yes, lock wearers have illustrious hair and rock elaborate hair styles.  Yes, they look great.  However, I want to share how wearing locks has impacted so many people.

I want to share some wisdom I learned along my natural hair journey.

Lock wearers typically don’t subscribe to the mainstream beauty images.  They tend to be an eclectic group of folks who think outside-the-box.  In the salon, we have conversations from branding careers identities to childrearing and women leading in workplace.  My clients are PhD candidates, creative graphic designers, loving homemakers, doctors, lawyers, teachers, fiercely independent thinking grammar school children and undergraduate college students.  These hard working folks put in long work hours, nurture their children, contribute to their communities, study hard and adore their families.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying all lock wearers are perfect.  There are good and bad seeds everywhere.  However, I am proudly stating that lock wearers inspire my world everyday!  Truly, they are beautiful and successful with their own hair.

Did you know, lock wearers tend to make the following comments:

  •              My locks make me feel FREE!  I have Freedom!
  • ·            I want to be a good role model for my children.
  • ·            I don’t want chemicals in my hair.
  • ·            I want to grow my hair.
  • ·            I want my locks to look good.
  • ·            I want healthy hair.
  • ·            I need a lifestyle change.
  • ·            I am too busy. I lead an active lifestyle.  My hair must fit my life.
  • ·            I thought I would not have versatile hair.  I was dead wrong!
  • ·            I don’t know what took me so long to get my locks? Locks are the best.

Don’t’ let negative thoughts limit you from locking your hair.

Invest in yourself and start your locks today!

Call me for a lock consultation today or visit my website at

Earth Day 4.22.12 (87 of 151)

Earth Day 4.22.12 (87 of 151)

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Navigating the corporate world while rocking natural hair

I remember the anxiety I felt as I prepared for my first, post college job interview.  I read every article I could find on landing that great job.  I made my list and checked it twice; I had a great resumé, a blue suit, the college degree, and the sensible shoes.

I was ready to go.

However, I had just one slight concern.   My hair was freshly braided into the funkiest cornroll hairstyle.

Although I was prepared for the interview, I pondered about whether I was making the best presentation.  Did I look too afro-centric?  Did I look like an African American militant?

I had to look within.    I asked myself what’s more important?  Do I value my natural hair over my ability to pay my bills?   I knew the answer to that question in an instant.  My answer…. an emphatic ….No!

In that moment, my confidence to wear my natural hair drained out me like air out of a balloon.

To get some perspective, I spoke to some Baby Boomers who had that “good job”.   Their advice, “Baby you will never get that good job with your hair like that!”  Those words tore through my soul.   I felt horrible for being ashamed of my natural hair.  I felt defeated for not living up to what the baby boomers referred to as….status quo.

To remedy my “interview hairstyle” challenge, I drove to the store and bought a wig.   In the end, I got the job.   But, I never got over my yearning desire to wear my hair naturally.   So, I wore the wig to work for just over a month.  Then one day, I walked through the door with a fresh cornroll style.   To my surprise, I received so many great compliments.  In retrospect, I realize I regained my confidence to wear my natural hair.  In fact, my confidence soared to a new level.

Today, I am a Museum executive with 12 years fundraising and management experience.I haveadvanced skills in community relationship building, Museum audience development, art exhibition management, events management and strategic planning.  Also, I am a seasoned natural hair stylist, barber and master locktician.

During my career, I’ve been on several job interviews. I’ve landed some great jobs.  Also, I’ve interviewed potential employees too.  But, I promise you one thing……. I never, ever wore a wig to a job interview, to work or a black-tie event!     

Octavia and WVON Matt Mcgill
Octavia and WVON Matt Mcgill

5 transformational tips

As a natural hair stylist and business professional, I feel my role is to advocate and support others along their natural hair journey.  To this end, my 5 transformational tips are as follows:

  • Natural hair is not a trend.  It’s a lifestyle.   The decision to go natural is about more than just changing hair care products.   As a stylist, I’ve met many people who have shared with me their personal hair transformations; the change that inspired their decision to go natural.
  • The corporate world is changing.  Diversity and inclusion is a now a corporate priority.
  • Your work life is an extension of you.   Look for a job that fits you.
  • When preparing for an interview, make sure your resumé is a well-crafted document,  your suit and shoes looks great.  Also, seek out a natural hair stylist.  Consider cut, color and styling options.
  • During the interview, convey a great work ethic, highlight you work skills, smile and relax; show confidence and personality.

After all, you must consider that you work life is an extension of who you are.  If a company doesn’t hire you because of your hair, then that company is not the place for you.  (Can you imagine going to work everyday and not feeling accepted?   Can you imagine hiding who you are on a daily basis?)

In the end, you are not your hair.  You are a winner.   Let the best in you shine!    Most important, hold on to your confidence and faith; know that you will get the right job and promotion.

Today, I am sharing one of my favorite quotes:

                Be yourself because everybody else is taken!

~Oscar Wilde

3 helpful maintenance tips to combat the winter Natural Hair blues!

It’s cold in Chicago! One day, it’s bitter cold. The next day, it’s snow.   On Facebook, my friend wrote: I don’t wanna to see another FLAKE; and I mean no flakes; corn flake, frosted flake and snow flake!!  LOL

Ah yes, the harsh winter weather surely influences attitude, work life and outdoor activity.   But also, the extreme weather impacts hair!

These days, clients are complaining about dry, lackluster hair.  Many are experiencing dry scalp, thinning hair, dull hair and dandruff.     If you fall into these categories, then this message is for you.

Today, I am motivated to share my 3 best natural remedy tips for combating winter hair:

1)      Try an organic herbaceous, Apple Cider Vinegar rinse.   Apple Cider Vinegar is beneficial for thinning hair, helps with dandruff, stimulates scalp, conditions and aids in shine. {My clients love my custom Apple Cider Vinegar rinse. My blend takes away the pungent vinegar smell.}

Octavia's Organic Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse
Octavia's Organic Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse

2)      STEAM, STEAM and STEAM!  Please give your hair steam treatments.   The steam allows conditioners to deeply penetrate the hair; which yields some very fantastic results.  If you don’t have a steamer at home, then consider visiting a stylist who offers steam treatments.  (Helpful hint: Step 1: shampoo, Step 2: apply the Apple Cider Vinegar rinse and Step 3: give yourself a steam treatment.)

3)      Don’t skip the Hot Oil Treatment!   My personal hair care maintenance includes monthly hot oil treatments.  {I personally hand-craft, organic olive oil and other essential oils to create my in-house specialty, Octavia’s Boss Blend.  It’s the perfect seal to lock in moisture after the intense vinegar and steam treatments.

Octavia's Boss Blend
Octavia's Boss Blend

Lastly, I must communicate that the natural remedy hair approach takes time!  To ensure hair healthy, the above listed treatments must be done routinely.   Yes, you will notice a difference after the first treatment.  However, you will continue to notice improvements with time.  To this end, you must be patient.

Now, you know why my hair shines!


I hope these tips aid you along your natural hair journey. If you have any additional questions, always feel free to inbox me on Facebook:   Octavia Cuts Locks Hooks or Twitter @lockartisan.

If you enjoyed my blog, please like, share with your personal network and continue to check in with me regularly.

Learn 1 important tip for creating unique natural hai oil blends. (VIDEO)

Natural Hair Oils (VIDEO) It was another hot, summer day in July.  The Octavia’s Natural Hair Care team members took a break from natural hair salon work to attend and present at the DuSable Museum ‘s 39th annual arts and crafts festival. ( )

This year’s DuSable Museum festival theme was DU SOMETHING GREEN.   The event showcased organic artists and craftsmen.  The festival's atmosphere grabbed you from the parking lot and drew in visitors like a piped piper with the head nodding, hip shaking live band music blasting through the main stage speakers.   The festival friendly aromas of Nag Champa incense, funnel cakes and jerk chicken filled the air.

Our team’s goal for the day:

  • Partner with the community organization, Blacks In Green (BIG).  For more information, please visit the website at
  • Support Local Vendors
  • Promote natural hair care services

Thanks to BIG's founder, Naomi Davis, I had the rare opportunity to share tent space with master clay and woodmaking artists.  Even though it was hot like fire, I remained steadfast in my mission to promote natural hair.  Despite the heat, I gave a brief presentation on how to infuse organic oils with herbs; ie: Octavia’s Boss Blend. (check out the video)

Complementing the day was a joyous opportunity to see my friend, Keith Pervius.  He is an extraordinary entreprenuer, artist who co-owns my favorite local graphic design company, Art on the Loose.

Even better, I supported a local hand-made jewelry vendor, Own your Own Image Boutique, and scored me some cultural bling.

Scoring great neck art

Great jewerly by the Own your Owen Image Boutique



If you are looking for more tips on natural hair oil blends and hair services, please call me for an appointment or a class at 708.574.1462