Saturday, March 20, 2010

My Soapbox Rant

I DO NOT HATE LOCS! not on grown ups and NOT on children.

I feel it is necessary for me to make this declaration after having a pissing match with a woman about my "disgust" with locing children's hair.
Here are my thoughts:

1. Loc because you want to. But KNOW it is time intensive and requires a LOT of maintenance
2. Yes it's sexist but I don't mind boys because they can cut their hair off (without trying to UnLOC) and gone about their business
3. I HATE HATE HATE, the idea that you are locing the hair because it will be easier to manage. Locing will NOT save you from hours of caring for your daughters hair. If you don't want to comb it DO NOT loc for this reason. Just don't. In a nutshell (and I can say this cause it's my blog)... it's triflin'. If you don't know what I mean GOOGLE it.

Last week I was accused of blog bashing for a little boy that is locing his hair and now this week I received a 10 minute lashing about my misplaced feelings or rather as it was stated my "disgust" of locs.

I present for you exhibit #1

Exhibit #2....

Remember my lovely friend that traveled to Africa with me. The photographer? Well she was my FREAKIN LOCTICIAN!!!!! Do you even know what that is? Oh wait I forgot you plan on locing the child's hair yourself.

Exhibit #3 my very lovely and SUPERTRENDY little cousin Justyce sporting expertly styled LOCs!!!!!

Exhibit # 4 and her mother -- also a loc wearer

See again, my theory is that NO ONE --- or rather no Black ONE would ever loc a young child's hair (I'm speaking pre-k or younger) unless the child clearly requested it or UNLESS they themselves were loc wearers or come from a loc wearing family

Exhibit #6

my OWN loc wearing family

so if I decide to go back to wearing locs and THEN decide to loc my daughters hair, I would then fit the EXCEPTION
I love 'locs' deplore the term 'dreads' unless you actually have DREADs. Because as we say in loc world... "ain't nothin dreadful about it"

Consequently, my gripe is this. If you don't comb your child's hair at all... (we are speaking daughter here) and then you say, "I'll loc, cause its easier... then taking the time to care for my child's hair." Or it's cheaper. Then, I have a problem with that logic. If I can be honest, and not step on any one's toes in the process consider this: loc wearing IS NOT for the faint at heart. It is NOT embraced in African American culture mainstream. Even with the help of good old Lil Wayne and Lauren Hill and Erykah Badu oh and India Arie and Whoopi.... it still stands out and makes you just a little different. That's all good! I did it. For aesthetic purposes only. I just liked the way it look. But the work was GRUELING. I was in the salon sometimes twice a month, I couldn't wash my own hair because it was a lot to drying and remoisterizing it and I was terrible at styling it. News Flash: I am terrible at styling Lulu's hair. I try products based on recommendations, I dump products out. I go thru ALL of the same hardships a white mom with a black child would go thru. Now here is the difference. I'm BLACK!!! and EVERYWHERE... I mean EVERYWHERE I go I'm around some Black 'folks'. I get called to the mat about her hair. Do this, don't do that. Try this. Hell at the daycare they will even completely change her hair! Yep. It IS our culture.

If you went to Ethiopia, did you really see anyone with locs? Jamaica maybe.... but how many did you see in ET? Thank God for Madame CJ Walker. She invented the straightening comb, and shortly after somebody put LYE in a jar and Malcolm Little got some conk and had waves... you know the story (before he was Malcolm X of course).

See in our community we are proud of our hair. We don't get it done, we get it "DID"..... Frequently. And wash it infrequently. But we keep it coifed!

So to say that I don't like locs is not a truthful statement. I LOVE THEM.... But I must say I cringe when I see a family with NO Black "friends" in any of their Facebook pictures, and the only black's in the photos are the kids... wearing HOME LOC'ed HAIR..... Are you kidding me.
three strikes.... really.
So if I've pissed you off SORRY. But it just needed to be said.


  1. I have to agree Robbin, there were no loc wearers in ET that I saw! You are also correct when you mentioned how much it does make a kid stand out when it looks like they have a mop on top of their heads when the locs are not taken care of and/or kept neat and clean!

    I have to differ on boys wearing locs! Now if the momma and poppa is keeping them up and that is their thing then I don't knock it but I know where I live where kids are wearing these great big white tee shirts, baggy jeans and also have dreads(locs)! I hate to say it, but that image is also focused around crime! Most of the kids who are stealing the cars,and robbing, when folks are asked to give a description of the person, you will always be certain to hear in certain neighborhoods, they had on a long white tee shirt, baggy jeans, and locs(well they usually say dreads), so imagine a innocent kid in the wrong place at the wrong time, but b/c his physical image who could be falsely accused of a crime!

    I know my example is deep but it is so real! to get into something u must know what it fully means not only in your mind but the image it represents to others in our society.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. I would never loc S's hair. My boss has locs to her waist and S is OBSESSED with them. She recently met a male friend with long locs and just went crazy with excitement! I can imagine that when she's old enough to make her own hair choices, she might well want them, and when she's old enough--probably 14 I would say yes. But I wouldn't do it TO/FOR her. It just seems like a lot of work and time and also--like a cultural line that I can't cross. She can cross it, but not me.

    I get comments ALL the time about her hair. I live in a predominantly black neighborhood and have many black and African international students---everyone has a comment about whether or not they like her hair and what I should do with it. I'm not offended by it. Everyone who says something to me (except for a few jerks who talk ABOUT her but not TO me) seems to just want her to look nice and recognizes that I might not have all the same info as they do. (My favorite thing is when two people comment back to back with opposite opinions!)

  4. @ sko3 I like your thinking and points. Living in a AA community you will get lots of comments, total opposite of the other,I have two girls whose hair textures are on both ends of the spectrum, so one will rock a style the other can't rock at all and vice versa! I am AA myself, and don't get the comments, but I also know the rules of AA hair, and rule number one, it must be clean, and maintained, we call it "kept hair" I was at the park w/the girls the other day, and while standing while they swung frm the monkey bars I was still ret-wisting the pony tails back into place, and making sure the hair was not standing on top of their heads. I was not a fanatic a/b it, but to make the point, the hair is "kept" at all times.

    I for one was never a liker of locs/dreads! I had my own personal opinion a/b them, and it was l w/in the last 10yrs I started to see folks really doing them up in all types of styles, and twist, and they did not have fuzz balls all in them, looking at any second they wld pop off at the root b/c they were hanging by the last strand from the scalp. So to rock the locs/dreads, u really have to understand it is not an easy fix, those styles take time, and dedication to getting them twisted by someone who knows what they are doing, not to mention it is costly to get them done once a week or every other week!

  5. Oh no, we're back at that discussion "again" or did you forget about the last flame war? LOL.

    Why didn't you point out that Ms. Lulu's auntie on the West Coast is a loc wearer--and they are down to the waist at the moment. So no, you don't have issues with locs.

    No, starting, wearing, or maintaining locs are NOT for the faint at heart!!!
    There is quite a bit of work that goes into locs not to mention they can be painful and cause headaches if they are too thick or too heavy...and the worst season for locs is winter because of the dry/cold weather that can prevent you from washing and air drying them properly.

    No, you don't (well you shouldn't) decide to loc a child's hair because you find it difficult to maintain their hair (hell, I can't style mine or my two daughter's hair but I refuse to use locs as the answer) I believe in the "press n curl"...yes, but not on a weekly/biweekly basis...I hate smelling cooked-hair and seeing burnt ears (lol)....

    No, I wouldn't argue with someone about locs because unless one has actually worn their hair in locs for several years, it's hard to "help" them understand the time and dedication that goes into wearing them.

    No, locs aren't permanant, but unlocing them if you don't want to cut the hair off is a tedious process in and of itself.

    Me, personally, I loc'ed for social/polical/mainstream Christian view/economic-status rebellion reasons (wanted to show folks in my community that the sterotype images that had about loc wearers was prejudice/bigotry/racism -- because that's the type of woman that I am.

    Oh, BTW, there are folks in ET wearing locs...women and men...there's a sister-friend-girl who owns a ET Book/Educational supplies shop off Bole Road...she has locs down to her waist...hopefully on your next visit, you'll get to meet her. And no, not all loc wearers in ET practice Rastafara (sic) nor are they all Rastafarians.

    I receive positive comments about my locs while in Ethiopia--never anything negative...I only got "told off" a few times for not being able to converse in Amharic fluenty and without an American, although locs aren't widely seen in Adis Abeba, locs are indeed part of the culture for "some" Habeshas, particulary outside of the city.

    Now, here in my neck of the woods, you will see locs being worn by AA/Ethiopian/Eritreans/Nigerians/Sudanese/Somilies/Somoans/Togans/Phillipino
    Asians/Caucasians...adults and teens...and some children under 12 although very far and few unless their parents also have locs...but I can't recall seeing a child under 12 wearing them if their parents weren't loced up/down themselves.

    In the end, I hear what cha' saying, but I'm not agreeing with the Madaam CJ Walker take...I hate relaxers...but then, that's a discussion for my blog after I rent the Good Hair DVD...hehehhe.