All Articles Tagged "locs"
I love going to the Brooklyn Art Museum’s annual Dance Africa festival. Not only are there tons of artists and Black entrepreneurs selling their wares, there are Black people dancing, eating, laughing, talking and socializing in peace. It’s an incredible scene.
So incredible that I often find myself looking at hair styles and fashion choices for inspiration. My sister, who was with me, does the same thing. As we were walking out of the festival, heading back to the Subway, she noticed a woman who had insanely long locs. But they weren’t hanging down her back. Instead, they were braided into large plaits and then pinned into a massive updo. Some would call it a bun. But it was so big, I’m not surely exactly how to classify it. She had a scarf wrapped around the perimeter, holding it up.
The style was so impressive that my sister complimented the woman.
“Your hair is so beautiful!”
Instead of the traditional thank you, the woman said, “Ooo sista, I’m only reflecting your beauty.”
I immediately laughed.
That’s another thing about these street festivals, they had a tendency to attract the super deep, nuts and berries, crystals-used-as-deodorant type of Black folks. And, just so you know, with locs of my own, I’ve been called the nuts and berries type before. With my locs also in a wrap, there might have been a few people who lumped me in that category this past weekend. You know how stereotypes go.
But as we were walking away, laughing. I thought about the statement for a second. And when I actually considered it, it did make sense.
We all know that it’s our own perceptions, experiences and attitudes that influence the world we see. When you’re in a funk, the world seems to be dark and gloomy. When we’re up, the sun seems to shine brighter, music is sweeter etc. The world is always what it is. It is we who frame it with our different lenses.
Surely, the same can be said with beauty.
We all know that beauty standards vary from culture to culture, from person to person. That very same day my sister, one of the vendors and I disagreed about whether or not it would be fly to put these two different prints together. They couldn’t see how it worked. I could. For whatever reason, there was something about those prints, together, that spoke to me and not them.
And the same could be said for that woman and my sister’s response to her. You’ve heard this concept before, articulated in a variety of ways. “Like attracts like.” “You are what you attract.” “Test the spirit by the spirit.” And my personal favorite, “Game recognize game.”
Earlier this year, Brande wrote about the thrill of being complimented by Black women, knowing that when a sista goes out of her way to compliment you, you’ve done something right. And that’s certainly true. But to take it a step further, the compliment is more than one directional, it’s a circle, simultaneously celebrating the one giving and receiving.
That loc-ed lady taught me a couple of things yesterday. One, a thing about beauty, both outside and within. And she also taught me to weigh the words before I laugh them off.
Locs have been around for centuries, but faux locs were a serious hair trend in 2015, continuing to make waves in 2016. Even people like Zendaya Coleman, who famously rocked them on a temporary basis, can attest to the stereotypes, misconceptions and straight up racist remarks that loc-wearers sometimes hear.
In response to Fashion Police co-host Giuliana Rancic’s comments that Coleman’s faux locs made her look like “she smells like patchouli oil or weed,” here’s what the wise-beyond-her-years starlet had to say:
“There is already harsh criticism of African-American hair in society without the help of ignorant people who choose to judge others based on the curl of their hair. My wearing my hair in locs on an Oscar red carpet was to showcase them in a positive light, to remind people of color that our hair is good enough.”
If you’re rocking locs on a more permanent basis, chances are you’re that much more subject to the politics of Black hair. Read on for a list of scenarios and comments that people with locs are tired of hearing.
By Abiola Abrams
Visually striking with her waist length locs and cocoa skin, Adana Collins has a powerful testimony to share in creating her self-love business. Coming from Guyana in the 1980s, she felt insecure about her gorgeous skin color, accent and hair. Fast forward to today, where the mogul-in-the-making is proudly shining as the mother of two sons with her own empowerment business. Now, she makes other women feel beautiful with her company Lovable Treasures that focuses on empowering women, particularly those with natural hair.
Let’s see what lessons this natural beauty expert, artist, and artisan has to share about motherhood, self-love, beauty, and business.
Mommynoire: Many moms want to start their own businesses but lack the information, motivation, or inspiration. You are a mother and an entrepreneur focused on self-love and empowerment. What is your business?
Adana: I am the owner of Lovable Treasures which caters to the needs of women with locs, braids and twists by providing handmade jewelry from head to toe; hair oils and treatments; and crocheted hats, wraps and kangols. We also have a healing yoga and jewelry making circle that helps women to slow down, get back in touch with themselves and heal physically and mentally.
Beautiful. Why did you start Lovable Treasures?
Adana: A few years ago, I realized that I was in love with myself and my hair and wanted to celebrate it! I couldn’t find hair beads for adults in the beauty supply store so I started creating adornments for my long locs. People would come up to me in public and ask where I bought my hair adornments and I would proudly say I made them. I then opened my Etsy store and transitioned into a business where I sold my hand-made hair beads online, at cultural events and hair shows.
As a mother of two boys, I’ve always felt uncomfortable working outside the home. I wanted to be there for my sons and not have to call out because they were sick, had a parent teacher conference or a performance. I saw Lovable Treasures as a way for me to do what I love and be home when my family needs me.
Please tell us about your own personal beauty journey, self-love journey, and natural hair journey. And are they the same journey?
Adana: My personal beauty, self-love and natural hair journey have always been one in the same. I recognized my beauty through my natural hair which enabled me to love myself. I hail from Georgetown, Guyana in South America and I came to New York when I was eight years old.
Going to a new country, state or town is always interesting but for a shy, naive, brown skinned Guyanese girl with an “accent” it was shocking! The clothing was different (it was the eighties), the dialect was different and the people treated me different and in turn I felt ugly. But I fought through it, into my teenage years where boys, friends, music, dance and hair dominated my world. I still felt out of place and ugly but it was always temporarily remedied when “I got my hair did” or when I got new clothing. My adornments helped me to start embracing my natural beauty.
In college I had an afro because my cousin had it and I thought it looked beautiful on her and I hoped it would make me beautiful too, but then I realized it wasn’t for me. I tried twists and loved them and made the natural progression to locs and I never looked back. I felt more comfortable in my skin than ever before. I felt beautiful.
That is powerful! Many of us have had similar journeys. How did this set the foundation for your business as a mompreneur?
Adana: I want to help women to embrace their natural beauty. I want us the recognize our beauty and start to love ourselves and share that love with others. I believe self-image is very important and through my adornments, yoga and jewelry making I help women feel confident and beautiful about themselves.
I love it! You are a successful mommypreneur. How do you balance the demands of entrepreneurship with your family?
Adana: I am blessed to be the mother of two boys, Tehuti, 10, and Ptah, 7. They are amazing children that everyday challenge me to grow and learn but most of all love. I have always had to balance motherhood with something or another. Whether it is work, a relationship, being an entrepreneur or with myself. At first it was overwhelming, but over time I’ve learned to schedule everyone in, including myself. During the week, when my children are at school and sleeping, I work on my business and when they are home they are my focus.
It’s meaningful that you are teaching your children the entrepreneurial spirit as well. And your sons also both used to have locs.
Adana: Yes! My beautiful sons both had free-form locs from since they were babies and it was amazing. Of course it was a constant battle to wash and maintain it but I loved it. Until they started to ask me to cut them off. At first it was because the children at school made fun of them. That reason wasn’t enough for me so I used the situation to strengthen them mentally and teach them to weed out the people who are not your true friends and it worked.
But as the years continued they consistently continued to ask to cut their hair and for my older son’s tenth birthday I cut his locs and then cut my youngest son’s locs the same year for his birthday. I cried! It was an emotional event for me and it was a drastic change. For the first few months I didn’t recognize my own children in a crowd. I cut their locs off not only because they wanted it, but because I know self image is important for boys and girls and I want my boys to feel comfortable with themselves from the beginning.
Teaching a positive self-image with external forces is a challenge for most moms. What advice do you have for other entrepreneurial moms?
Adana: Schedule family time and make it count. They can watch TV and play video games when you are busy with your business, make time to spend with them doing something you all enjoy. And don’t forget to schedule time for you away from them and the business. A balanced woman is a better mother and a productive entrepreneur.
Very inspiring, Adana. How can our Mommy Noire readers be empowered by your self-love business?
Adana: Find me at LovableTreasures.com to get beautiful loc jewelry, hair healing oils, advice, and handmade accessories for maintaining your locs. You can also attend or book a Yoga and Jewelry-Making Circle for your area to heal begin to heal yourself.
Abiola Abrams is the author of the award-winning guide The Sacred Bombshell Handbook of Self-Love and founder of SacredBombshell.com, where she offers empowerment coaching.
I had heard about apple cider vinegar rinses here and there, and while I wanted to try it, I always thought the ingredients needed were very complex. You know, like, when you want to try a new recipe and folks want you to get everything from cayenne pepper to cassava, to the single hair of a rare mountaintop billy goat. But in my sudden obsession to really cleanse my hair this past weekend after sweating profusely at the gym, I thought, if I’m going to wash it, I might as well really wash it.
To my surprise, the only thing I really needed to have was apple cider vinegar, baking soda and hot water. Lemon and sea salt are the other components people reach for to get an extra kick (but I only had lime and table salt…so yeah). After watching some YouTube videos and going to numerous Pinterest and blog pages for assistance, I did a 3/4 cup of the apple cider vinegar (the raw, unfiltered, organic kind from Bragg), and 1/4 cup of pure baking soda from Arm & Hammer. I was told that these particular measurements would balance out the PH levels when using both products. I poured both into a sink full of hot water (because I didn’t have time to measure nobody’s gallons of nothin’). After they had a quick reaction together–an instantaneous bubbling that would make Bill Nye proud–I put my head in the water for about 15 minutes. The front of my head, the sides of my head, and the back. In no time flat, I could see the water change colors and the chemicals interacting with my locs. Every little piece of lint started to dangle from the ends, and the gook I used to see deep and hidden in a few locs was washed away. After pulling my hair out, this is what was looking back at me.
Yuck! A muddy, murky sea of water. I decided that I wanted to try it again, with a fresh batch of water, vinegar, and baking soda. If the sink picked up that much mess the first time around, I wanted to make sure I got all of it out. The second time around, I played about four songs, and when each ended, I would change the position of my head to let a different part of my hair be cleansed in my concoction, doing footwork to keep my back and neck from hurting. And just like that, the water was brown again. Not as dark brown, but still, dirty.
But as for my hair, after rinsing it over and over with water to get the ACV rinse out, I was amazed by what I saw. Even during my best attempts at shampooing and scrubbing my hair, I could never seem to get my scalp to appear as clear as it did that afternoon. No flakes, no residue from my products–nothing. It was like Christmas.
Reading that my hair could dry out from the rinse, I immediately hopped in the shower and conditioned my locs. Shea Moisture’s Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque was my conditioner of choice. After waiting a while and letting that product sink in, I rinsed it out, did a hot oil treatment and retwisted the front before getting under my hair dryer. And after two hours, and getting my hair dried about 70 percent (*deep sigh*), I moisturized the hell out of my strands. Lush’s R&B Hair Moisturizer and Cantu Beauty’s Moisturizing Twist & Lock Gel actually penetrate my thick locs, so I applied them generously.
In the end, I was so happy with the results of my rinse, I can’t say enough about it. I often hate washing my hair because I always feel like it ends up dry, and I can’t truly get my scalp as spotless as I want. But the rinse really got in there, without me scrubbing, and pulled out the gunk, leaving my scalp clean and clear. We’re talking almost four years worth of grime I couldn’t reach during my regular washes. As someone with bad dandruff, that meant a lot to me. And I would be remiss if I forgot to add that my locs felt the softest they have since I first started locking my hair, back in the two-strand twist early days. My hair feels absolutely amazing, and I definitely plan to integrate an apple cider vinegar rinse into my regimen at least twice a year (the products are a bit too strong for me to do it for every wash). You should too, because an ACV rinse seems to work wonders on all hair types.
Faux locs were a big trend this summer but you can bring the protective hairstyle into the winter too with a cool hue like gray. We know, it sounds a little out there at first, but we promise once you see these 10 gorgeous girls with gray faux locs you’ll be making appointments with your hairstylists in no time.
Did You Braid Your Hair Over The Weekend? How My Coworkers Reacted When They Saw My Locs For The First Time
In my last article, I left off at the point where I had decided to no longer cover-up my locs with a wig at work. What I didn’t tell you about were the comments that I received from my coworkers (all of whom are not Black) when they saw my dreadlocks for the very first time. Here’s how it went down.
I felt confident in my decision to forgo wearing a wig to work. I walked to the office with a renewed pep in my step, feeling the glow of the sun on my skin and the breeze in my hair. As the building elevator ascended to my department’s floor, I wondered what my coworkers would think of my hair. I was quickly about to find out. “Good morning,” I greeted my coworker.
Coworker 1: Ah! Oh my god!
Me: What? What happened?
Coworker 1: Your hair! It’s different!
Me: Oh… yeah, I changed it.
Coworker 1: Um… it’s cute. It’s cute.
Me: OK… thanks?
A few minutes later…
Coworker 2: Christine! You changed your hair?
Coworker 2: Did you braid your hair over the weekend to make it look like that?
Me: Mm… something like that.
A few hours later…
Coworker 3: Hey… (puzzled expression)
Coworker 3: What’s that?
Coworker 3: That thing in your hair.
Me: Oh that. Yeah, it’s called a hair-cuff.
Coworker 3: Hmm… I like it.
A few minutes later…
Coworker 4: So how do you do it?
Me: Do what?
Coworker 4: Change your hair.
Me: Well, there are many ways to do it. Some people chemically straighten their hair, some clip in extensions…
Coworker 4: So was what you had last time sewn on?
Me (in my head): OMG, how does she remember all the stuff I told her last month about lace-front wigs and weaves. OMG, she’s about to expose me! Deflect – say anything!
Me: No… no.
Coworker 4: That’s really interesting. So how often do you change your hair?
Me: Whenever I get bored. You know, it’s nice to have options.
A few days later…
Coworker 5: Hey Christine, so about the… Wow! Your hair!
Me: Dude, my hair has been like this the whole week.
Coworker 5: No it hasn’t.
Me: Um, yes it has… I talked to you yesterday. Are you only noticing now that my hair is different?
Coworker 5: Really? I guess I didn’t notice. So, I see you changed it up to be more like your “homies”?
Me: Haha, what “homies” are you talking about? You’re silly.
The rest of my coworkers generally seemed to ignore the change even though I could plainly see the confusion on their faces. Thankfully, my worst fear wasn’t realized – no one tried to touch my hair.
One thing from this experience that caught me by surprise was my own reluctance to meaningfully answer my coworkers’ questions about my hair. I displayed cowardice by deflecting instead of taking the opportunity to educate my coworkers on Black hair. Although, on the other hand, I also feel that it’s unfair that the burden of educating should rest on my shoulders. Sometimes I wish that I could just pass out a copy of Chris Rock’s Good Hair documentary film whenever a non-Black person asks me about my hair.
In any case, the discomfort that I felt about not handling the questions better was soon outweighed by the comfort I gained by wearing my hair out. I’m no longer distracted by annoying wig combs and can focus better on doing my job. I feel like myself again. So overall, my big reveal went OK, although I still don’t know what to make of Coworker 1’s shriek of surprise – shade or no shade?
Beauty is, quite literally, pain as I discovered growing up as a Black female with natural 4B/4C hair. I’ve suffered the pain of sitting in salon chairs for countless hours getting my hair braided. I’ve gritted my teeth as I’ve gingerly laid my head of fresh micros onto my pillow, and anxiously awaited the painkillers to kick in. I’ve had super tight cornrows that pulled my face up so much that the mere act of blinking would shoot pain up my temples. I even once had an allergic reaction to the hair dye in my weave which incited an angry red rash and unrelenting itch all over my scalp.
Enough was enough! I finally took mercy on myself and shaved off my hair – all of it. But apparently, even a shaved head was too high maintenance for me. You see, I’m so lazy that a trip to the beauty shop every two weeks to get a trim was a far too burdensome task. So, in search of a long-term solution for low cost and low maintenance hair, I decided to lock my hair in August 2012. What I thought then was just another hairstyle I was trying out, turned out to be an amazing (and sometimes trying) journey full of unexpected life lessons. It’s only fair that I share some of these lessons with you.
Lesson #1: Patience is a Practice
Admittedly, I jumped into locking my hair without doing much research beforehand. I naively thought that I’d have mature locks after four months and that my hair would grow at an exponential rate. I hadn’t even heard about the budding stage which is arguably the worst stage of the journey because the buds are not particularly visually appealing. During this stage it wasn’t uncommon for non-dread-heads, especially, to give me unsolicited advice on how often I should re-twist my hair to “get rid of the bumps.” “No, the bumps are good!” I’d try to explain with no success. Those months were rough. Fortunately, my ignorance kept me on course because I was convinced that I was just a month or two away from mature locs.
By month six, my locs at the front still hadn’t completely locked and it was around that time that I resigned to the fact that there was no amount of salt water spray that was going to give me the quick result I’d been hoping for. I just had to wait. The act of surrendering myself to the process and patiently observing my hair transform over the subsequent months brought me to a new level of awareness in my everyday life. I became progressively in tune with my internal patience levels and how to check them.
I used to think that people were either innately patient or impatient, but I’ve since come to realize that patience is a skill that we practice over time. The front of my hair finally locked after a year and today I continue to practice patience as I wait for my hair to pass shoulder length.
Lesson #2: Embrace Change
Over the three years that I’ve had my locs, the texture of my hair has changed, the size of my locs has changed, the length of my locs has the change, the color of my locs has changed… The loc journey is a constant evolution. Each month my hair looks different and I discover new things that I can do with it. On the flipside, change also means that I lose the ability to do certain things with my hair that I used to do.
My loc journey serves as a reminder that nothing in life is permanent. Over the last three years I’ve become more optimistic in challenging times because I know that change is inevitable. My loc journey also inspires me to maximize my enjoyment of the present and to be more appreciative of what I currently have because who knows what next month will bring.
Lesson #3: Freedom
Initially when I locked my hair I was obsessed with ensuring that my parts were perfectly spaced boxes, but what I found was that the more I tried to manipulate my hair, the more I weakened my roots. I remember being up late one night researching how to fix weak locs when I honestly asked myself why I was fighting with my hair. If my hair wants to tangle, let it tangle! And so it was then that I started to semi-freeform and haven’t looked back since. My hair is at its healthiest, edges are on fleek, and finally I am free from being a slave to my hair! I no longer live in fear of pool parties and unanticipated thunderstorms, and I blissfully swim in the ocean unencumbered.
My locs are my outward expression of my desire to live a free and authentic life. When I look in the mirror, my locs challenge me to uphold my integrity in my intentions, decisions and actions. I love my locs.
I’ve been Black all my life, born with and have had vast experience with Black hair; and yet, it never ceases to amaze me.
The capabilities of Black hair are infinite.
Stylist Kris McDred, lives and works in Dubai, has just discovered another one. As a loc-ed lady, I know that the months it takes for your hair to lock can be extremely annoying. While you might expect your hair to be fully formed into perfectly coiffed locs, that is just not the reality of the situation, or it wasn’t for me. And many others. For six months, I walked around with fuzzy, two-strand twists I couldn’t wash on my own. My hair was such a mess that a full year after I’d begun the process, my younger cousin just realized what I was trying to do.
But McDred claims to have discovered a technique that claims to bypass that awkward, “I-don’t-like-my-locs” phase altogether.
He uses a rattail comb, a crochet hook and a bit of molding gel. Then he interlocks the remaining strands afterward.
Yes, it probably is as difficult as it sounds. McDred said that it takes some time to master the technique but the results are quite impressive and they just might help somebody not give up before they even get started on their loc journey.
You can watch McDred in action in the video below;
Does the ability to skip this awkward phase change your thinking about possibly getting locs? Do you believe there’s value in the process of allowing your hair to grow and lock naturally, on its own?
By now, surely you’ve noticed that Willow is not your average 14-year-old. And while most were walking around with words plastered across our booty at that age, Willow Smith is slaying a full fashion spread in CR Fashion Book.
And while Willow gets to wear designer duds by Emilio Pucci, like us, she still has yet to determine a signature style…if she will ever settle on just one.
For now: “I think my look changes all of the time. And right now, it’s a bit more messy, kind of grungy.”
More than style though, Willow is working on herself. She told the publication: “I just want to have dreads. I want to embrace my full self, as natural as I can be.”
The issue featuring the youngest Smith child will hit newsstands tomorrow. But in the meantime, check out the stunning images from the shoot.
Though Giuliana Rancic’s apology seemed sincere and heartfelt to some, there are still some who are refusing to accept it. But more importantly, Black women in the limelight are stepping forward to show their support and solidarity by coming to Zendaya’s defense.
First, there was fellow-loced sister Selma director Ava DuVernay, who wrote this under Zendaya’s initial open letter.
Then “Scandal” actress Kerry Washington commended Zendaya on her open letter to Giuliana.
Read the full story on our sister site, Madame Noire.