Why I Loc
“When you ask Rastafarians, many will tell you that the difference between locs and dreadlocks is that one is a hairstyle and the other one is a lifestyle. The hairstyle is cultivated, dreads are not. They are free-formed to make a statement. So in theory, if people would ask me if I had dreadlocks I would explain to them well I am not a Rastafarian but I do have locs yet I would still not be offended by the term dreadlocks.”
Thank you https://going-natural.com for so eloquently explaining this. Link to the full article below.
My hair journey started when I was in 8th grade. It was a time when every R&B singer, rapper had braids, cornrows, a tight fade with waves, and(or) locs. Wanting to be like all of the other lil’ boys I started growing my hair out and got a few of my cousins and aunties to keep me fresh week to week.
Fast Forward a few years into the future and it's the summer between junior and senior year of high school. I was spending visitation with my dad. At the time, he had a girlfriend that was a physiologist and, to make a long long story short, my dad suggested that I cut it to “look more like a man.” By the way my hair at the time was a bit past shoulder length. You could say my reaction was over the top,but for anyone that knew me then and even now, I was a bit of a spoiled brat. Needless to say, I threw a fit that my father dismissed as me just being a hormonal teen and gave up but his girlfriend pulled me to the side and asked me “do you not want to cut your hair because of its connection to the feminine.” Now lets just say I’ve actively known I was queer since I was 11 but that hit hard. I was blown away that she clocked me so easily. So I said nothing in response, walked right up to my dad and was like, you can cut it all off. Senior year went by with me finally coming out to a friends meeting my first boyfriend and and ended.
We are now ten years in the future. I’m back to working on new music with a great group of guys and subject comes of how to make it easy to differentiate each member of our group. Myself and one of the other black guys had the same haircut but then he decided to cut his completely off and I decided to grow a fo-hawk. My hair got to a length that seemed a bit unmanageable. So, I started using S-curl texturizer in my hair pretty regularly to maintain a more wavy and fun curl pattern but, once again my hair started to reach a length where even that style was starting to become a lot to tame every morning. As I was sitting in the waiting area at my barber’s it dawned on me that I've done this before, and not just before, but every year of my life since I cut my hair in high school. That thought took me out of that seat, into my car, and on the phone with a few friends who were able to confirm that I had repeated this pattern time and time again. When I tell you the fact that it never dawned on me actually drove me to tears. I spent the next month asking myself why. Why did I texturize, why did I grow just to cut, what was it I was unhappy with? Then the memory of her question hit me. My hair is a part of my feminine identity, I texturized because I perceived that it made my hair more acceptable to the predominantly caucasian male demographic that I work with feel easier, and that shit had to stop, I realized what I was doing was not for me. I was actively hurting myself because I thought it would make other people feel more comfortable with me. I know, I know some of yall are like bruh is it really that deep. YES! It may seem so small but it's something that I had internalized and allowed myself to feel shame over. So NO, we ain’t doin’ that one anymore.
So how do I gain back what I’ve lost, what I’ve denied myself, and beat back the feelings of guilt and shame which I allowed myself to carry in my unconscious for so long? Youtube! So after hours and days on youtube researching hairstyles and ways to keep my natural hair from feeling like a struggle or burden. I decided to loc my hair and it was a core shaking experience. As I went in from my fist consultation I finally started to feel at ease with my decision. This was a step that would allow me to feel more connected to my natural roots, grow and regain a bit of that feminine power I had been running from, and actively defy some of the negative programming so deeply ingrained.
Note I’m all about my hygiene and having build up and lent stuck in my hair was in no way appealing to me. So I found a loc system that worked for me. The locs would be small easy to maintain and just looked fucking cool. These were sister-locs. Now what stopped me from getting them was the “no products'' thing. Later to find out people, I know, with sister-locs have found great all natural products to get around that and maintain healthy locs. Either way when I was told I could not use the products I changed my mind and found another locing method that hit my wish list. Interlocking! A little over a year later and I could not be happier about my decision. I'm happier and have found more and more appreciation for the things that make us all so unique and amazing. A life goal is so beyond body positive, sex positive, and fem-positive I cant wait to really regain that human race positive I see so many of my friends and fellow creators striving for. Love truly is love but it has to start with you.