All Articles Tagged "locs"
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.
Though Giuliana Rancic’s apology last night seemed sincere and heartfelt to me, there are still some who are refusing to accept it. But more importantly, other Black women in the limelight who stepping forward to show their support and solidarity.
First, there was fellow loced sister Selma director Ava DuVernay, who wrote this under Zendaya’s initial open letter.
— Ava DuVernay (@AVAETC) February 24, 2015
Then “Scandal” actress Kerry Washington commended Zendaya on her open letter to Giuliana.
— kerry washington (@kerrywashington) February 24, 2015
And finally, Solange spoke about the ways in which the show had been speaking about the fro on the red carpets for years. And she even referenced the time In Touch Weekly compared her hair to a dog. That didn’t go unnoticed. In true Solange fashion, she provided the perfect response for it.
— QPrinV3 (@QPrinV3) February 25, 2015
India Arie even released a “Songversation” about this whole thing. See what she said.
— India.Arie (@indiaarie) February 25, 2015
I wanted to jump in and defend Zendaya – but she’s doing that BEAUTIFULLY herself.
VERY. WELL. DONE. It’s a powerful thing to be a TEENAGER in the public eye, and feel empowered to speak up in your own defense. STUNNING!
In my opinion, Entitlement in and of itself, BLINDS people to that very entitlement … THUS allowing the behavior exhibited.
I’m not calling Giuliana Rancic a RACIST, .. but OF COURSE it has to do with RACE. To say it has “Nothing to do with race” .. THAT’S why people get mad.
But lets remember HOW difficult it is for a person of Gullianna Ranci’s social context to really UNDERSTAND how we see race in this issue. How race is a pervasive ISSUE in the entertainment industries as a whole.
We need more more compassion in this world. Period
So I’m not MAD at Giuliana Rancic I’m SAD at her. I’m Sad that things LIKE THIS keep happening.
Don’t Be Like Giuliana Rancic: 11 Assumptions People Make About Those Who Wear Locs That Don’t Make Sense
Ever since Giuliana Rancic assumed that the faux locs Zendaya Coleman wore to the Academy Awards on Sunday made her look like “she smells like patchouli oil and weed,” people have been dragging the E! personality and “Fashion Police” host on social media. But comments like this aren’t surprising. For as far back as people have been wearing locs, others have been making some very interesting and very stupid assumptions about them. I know because I’ve been on both sides: I’ve been the loc wearer and the assuming party.
Don’t get caught out here talking like Rancic, ya’ll. Cut it out with these assumptions:
That Our Hair, And Our Bodies, Are Dirty
Unless we’re talking about the early stages of locking one’s hair, those with locs can wash their hair just as often as anyone else washes their hair. But just because you might come across a few people who wear locs and happen to look and smell a little funky doesn’t mean the rest of us don’t value a good bath and shampoo.
Self-love lesson: How to be a natural hair mom and mompreneur in self-love
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.
Abiola: 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.
Abiola: 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.
Abiola: 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.
Abiola: 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.
Abiola: 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.
Abiola: 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.
Abiola: 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.
Abiola: 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.
As you get ready to gorge and get inspired by these outstanding lob (long bob) styles, don’t forget that proper haircare is key. To get you started on the right path we scooped up a few key pointers via Ebony.com and Natural Haircare guru LaParis Hawkins.
1. Find a Good Loctician and have a real conversation about your hair objectives and your desired look with with your potential new stylist prior to them twisting your hair. Make sure you feel comfortable with her or him, and get a sense of how knowledgeable they really are about dreadlocks.
2. Massage Your Scalp: Not only is it very relaxing, but it also stimulates hair growth. You’d be surprised how the simple act of gently massaging your hair at night for about 5 minutes, will really help you achieve the beautiful locs you desire.
3. Don’t Retwist Your Hair too Much: When done excessively it can start to create breakage and thinning at the root. Instead look around for new, chic hairstyles (like the ones featured in this post) that you can tryout to stay in love with your hair in between retwists—it’s the perfect time to experiment with your look.
4. Practice Night Care: Just like with any other hairstyle, sleeping with a night scarf (a silk wrap to avoid breakage) is so important. Locs tend to shed a lot, and protecting your edges and your scalp is crucial. A silk night cap helps keep the moisture in your hair and scalp, as well as protect your hair from pillow friction. Make a practice of never going to sleep without protecting your hair.
5. Be Patient: By far the hardest lesson I’ve learned when dealing with my hair. This isn’t a process that will happen overnight. Locking your hair is a journey and it’s a little different for each person. Some people’s hair locs faster than others. Thicker hair tends to lock faster. My hair started to lock in the middle and worked its way to the end. The good thing is that if you nurture and take good care of your hair then the growth will come.
All images courtesy of individuals on Pinterest
Loc & Loaded: 15 Chic Bob Loc Styles
Whose luscious locs are these you ask?
At first glance I actually thought this was Todd Tucker, Kandi’s husband (*don’t laugh*), but really, it’s…
The very handsome actor took a break from his usual curly TWA to get loc extensions put in his head for his upcoming huge stage role, which he talked about when debuting this new look on Facebook and Instagram:
“INSTANT LOCKS! I sat down this weekend with Chikodi Deming and eight hours later I had a full head of locks for my latest project; Shakespeare’s #Othello, onstage at the Old Globe Theatre. She’s a magician. LOL. Pictured here with Master hairstylist Sterfon Deming; her husband, as well. Thank you guys for making it happen!”
Even though the locs are temporary for his role as Othello (in San Diego if you live on the West Coast and want to check him out), is it weird that I’m loving this look on Mr. Underwood? It seems that his fans feel the same way:
“They look good too! Fine self”
“…they make you look rugged like a fine african warrior or Rasta lol but very nice”
“Didn’t think you could get any more irresistible, until now.”
Maybe it’s the combination of the locs with the facial hair, but if he wanted to keep this look going for the long term, I wouldn’t be mad at him!
What do you think of Blair’s new look?