Don’t get me wrong there has been a real surge in loc wearers as the natural hair movement has progressed but the surge of loc wearers or the representation of locs is nowhere near as pronounced. While debates raged over whether natural hair was acceptable for the workplace, locs were still being associated with weed smoking political activists who only listened to Reggae.
Stereotype much? It’s insulting to label people according to their hair choices but to some, ignorance stems from a lack of diversity and to others it stems from fear.
It seems that natural hair has conquered the hurdle of acceptance with one full sweep but as it revels in the win with smiles on its winning lap, locs are still making the track to the finish line. The truth is locs are not as accepted as loose natural hair. Even braids (micro, box) get more love than locs do and they are similar in the eyes of many. When I rocked box braids pretty regularly in the 90’s and I cannot count how many times I was asked about my “Locs”.
What’s worse is the nagging and annoying falsehoods that seem to stick to locs like glue. I know you’ve heard them before:
People with dreadlocks don’t wash them.
People with dreadlocks smoke weed.
People with dreadlocks are political rebels.
Locs are created by neglect.
Locs are permanent. You have to cut them out to stop wearing them.
All false and all still believed by many and I am even ashamed to say I thought the last one was true until recently. How do we stop these false perceptions from continuing? It might be difficult especially since it seems like the natural hair movement is not really including locs in the group.
When you look at the flood of natural hair products that have filled such common stores like Target, CVS and Walgreen’s it hard to believe that very little are catered to or even include one product for loc wearers. A few lines might carry one or two items but the overwhelming numbers of these products are concentrating on loose natural hair.
So, where’s the love for locs? Why are they still stagnant in the fashion arena or treated as a viable natural hair option for black women? Locs are more of an afterthought to the natural hair community and although they really can stand on their own I find that sad and wrong. If we included locs as a measurement of the over all growth of natural hair the numbers would probably have been staggering starting from way before 2010.
We are all naturals but there is really a disconnect between loose and locked naturals. As locs continue to harbor misunderstandings surrounding them and loose natural hair continues to thrive it’s only a wonder if they will come together and bridge the gap between the two. Share your opinion, is there no love for locs?