Loc Journey (and a little History)

Last month my Locs turned eight years old!

I intended to write about this then but life happened.

I started my Loc Journey February 3, 2009. They were born in Norman, Oklahoma. The place I was traveling to when I got it done.

I decided not to cut my hair all the way off. I also decided to get it interlocked instead of twisted the regular way. The interlocking method is when the hair is basically put into knots. It is done with a latch hook (and is, therefore, sometimes also referred to as crocheting the hair or latch hooking) and involves pulling the hair/dreadlock through itself in a rotating fashion from the end of the lock to the root. I started out using the lactch hook (see below) but now I just use my fingers. Interlocking gives the hair a different pattern than the traditional twist. It is also the preferred method for locking hair that is naturally silky straight.

Interlocks

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Latch Hook

What I loved about the interlock method is that I was able to wash them whenever I wanted early on without worrying they would come loose. Interlocks are basically the hair put into knots (and are instantly permanent) and because my hair is super thick, it created a more natural type look, which I love. I am not very high maintenance about hair and prefer the matted look most people hate. I tighten my hair myself but that’s only like every four months.

The “Dreaded” Beginning

There are only a few photos of me with my short short look because in the beginning I wore lots of head-wraps. I was obviously not interested in taking a picture in that first one! Lol. Oh, memories. We were packing up to move that day and hubby thought it was funny to catch me looking like a hot mess. The fact that I’m showing you this is pure comedy.

Head Wraps

Growth – Taking Selfie’s Before Facebook Made it Cool

When I started to see growth you couldn’t stop me from taking Selfies! I loved that my hair looked different than anyone else.

Hang Time

Feeling my hair…

People ask me all the time what I do to my hair and I tell them (all the time) “Nothing.” Usually, I am not believed. “You must do something.” Nope. I wash them and keep it  oiled but other than that I literally do nothing. The style I’m looking for are formed by neglecting the hair so I don’t have to do much.

My hair is very thick and is starting to get really heavy!

Why I Call Them “Locs / Locks”

I rarely call my hair “Dreadlocks”. Not that I knock anyone else from saying it, I just prefer to call them locs. Here’s why:

Dreadlocks go way back; the most noted story is that of the biblical Samson and Delilah. Samson had been a Nazirite from birth and his strength linked to the seven locks of his head. Ezekiel also had locks as he explains being taken by the lock of his hair in Ezekiel chapter eight, verse three. In any event, historically, black guerrilla warriors swore not to cut their hair and when people would see them, their hair matted to their heads and sprouting up, they looked on it with disgust, fear, and dread. In short, the people “dreaded” to see these men coming with their dreaded hair. Soon the style would be known as dreadlocks.But…I don’t dread my hair!

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I love it and have come to affectionately refer to them by their original name, Locks / Locs.

And now, some literature!

These are some of the books I have on Natural Hair. They provide a great foundation for anyone just starting out.

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Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America by Ayana D. Byrd and Lori L. Tharps  << A historical look at the culture of Black Hair.

The Lonnice Brittenum Bonner Collection

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These are great foundation books because Lonnice takes us through her entire natural hair journey, not just when she got locked. She also provides a good education on the maintenance of black hair.

Black History Fun Facts: Hair Story

Today’s Post is part of a weekly series on The PBS Blog that will take place from now on through February: Black History Fun Facts. During this series, I will post some fun facts about a portion of African American History, ranging from Archaeological, Cultural, Biblical, and Historical facts every Friday.

PublicationbhffI will also extend this open invitation to anyone who would like to take part in Black History Fun Facts. All you have to do is use the #BHFF badge in your post, tag Black History Fun Facts, and pingback. And of course, make sure your post is about something, well….Black.

My pick for today’s BHFF is Hair Story: Untangling the roots of Black Hair in America:

hair-storyHair style and texture has been just as life changing and connected to the Black experience as racism and discrimination. Every movement in the history of the so-called African American people has had its own hairstyle. From the Afros of the 60’s & 70’s to the Jehri Curl of the 80’s, you can guarantee to spark conversation whenever black hair is involved.

revhair-story-coverIn Hair Story, authors Ayana D. Byrd, and Lori L. Thraps takes us through a chronological timeline of how Black hair has changed over the years. From Africa to present-day America, Hair Story is not just an exciting read but a great source of research. I enjoyed the blast from the past the ladies took us on and the pictures and hair recipes that complimented the document well. Every stage and every situation presented a physical manifestation of that era in the form of hair for Black people. While I do not agree with every account mentioned, Hair Story is definitely a book to have in your home library (you do have a library…right??).

Good Hair

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In 2009 Chris Rock reanimated the Hair debate in his comedy release Good Hair. Premiering at the Sundance Film Festival on January 18, 2009, Good Hair was released to select theaters in the United States by Roadside Attractions. According to Rock, he was inspired to make the movie after his then 3-year-old daughter Lola asked him, “Daddy, how come I don’t have good hair?” She has curly, wiry hair typical of many people of African descent. He realized she had already absorbed the perception among some blacks that curly hair was not “good”. As a result, Rock delves into the $9 billion hair industry, and visits such places as beauty salons, barbershops, and hair styling conventions to explore popular approaches to styling. He visits scientific laboratories to learn the science behind chemical relaxers that straighten hair. It is from this documentary that I went forward to do my own research on Hair. Interestingly enough, it is the same year I went natural.

The only thing this film lost cool points for in my book is that there were so many valid points that seemed to have to be hidden under the concept of comedy in order to have it mentioned on air. It appeared to me, that if given the chance, Rock could have explored more deeply the state of Black Hair. It is for this reason that I went in depth on my very own research in order to discover the missing pieces. However, I’m not throwing any stones because what Chris Rock and HBO produced was sufficient enough to jump start anyone’s thirst for understanding of Black Hair and it is a movie worth having in your collection.

And who can’t forget Tyra Banks show on Good Hair?

hqdefaultAlso inspired by Chris Rock, Tyra launched a show in May of 2009 that spoke about African American women’s hair. It featured a variety of women (some with permed hair some with natural hair) who engaged in hot debate over what is considered good hair and bad hair. Children of the women also got involved, turning it into an emotional roller coaster of history and identity.

For my natural hair, I use Amaziyah Loc Products:

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And so do most of your favorite artist and sports players:

For me locs are much more than just a fad. They represent our culture.  We have worn our hair in these styles for thousands of years. Amaziyah Locs- pronounced (Ah-ma-zi-yah) is a Hebrew name that means “Made Strong by Yah.” I knew that the meaning was perfect for a natural hair care company specializing in Locs. It immediately reminded me of the story of Samson and Delilah. Samson was granted super natural strength by Yah in order to wage war against his enemies, such as destroying an entire army with only the jawbone of a donkey! However, Samson had a weakness: his hair, and without it he was powerless. When they were cut by Delilah, he lost all of his strength. Makes you wonder why there is a barber shop on every corner in predominantly “African-American” communities.

My favorite is the Loc N Butter but Amaziyah’s got plenty of variety to go around. Get the Loc N Twist, Loc N Oil or Loc in Butter:

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Why not close out with a little music? Here’s India Arie, I am Not My Hair: