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.

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Brown Skin

Mississippi lips

Lousiana tongue

West African shaped nose

Skin kissed by the sun

Israelite Culture

American Captive

Egyptian Color

russet brown

seal

dark puce

blue black eastern man

blue black woman

symbols of authority over her head

natural beauty no longer dead

hair like sisal rope

braided

coiled

nappy

strong

prayer hands that crack open the sky

from the place of the rising sun

to a land that sought to shackle their tongues

run aways

slave ships

cotton fields

those days

share

croppin

jim crowing

freedom ridin

no more hidin

Mississippi lips

Lousiana tongue

West African shaped nose

Skin kissed by the sun

brown skin

Natural Energy Drink Mix

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I’m getting ready for a meeting and another rehearsal (last night’s practice was canceled) and as I was preparing my drink I thought, “Why not share it?”

If you ever get tired of coffee, you can substitute your caffeine for a more healthy alternative. You’ll need:

  • Orange Juice
  • Apple Juice
  • Cranberry Juice

Mix 1/3 of each of these juices in a cup, stir, and serve! It is tasty, refreshing, and can give you an energy boost.

Orange Juice

Orange Juice has a wide range of benefits, as does these other drinks.

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  • Boost Immune System Function
  • Protect Against Cancer
  • Boost Cellar Repair and Circulation
  • High Concentration of Vitamin C

Apple Juice

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  • Promotes Heart Health
  • Contains Flavonoids that aids in preventing Asthma
  • Boost Immune System
  • Reduces Cholesterol

Cranberry Juice

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  • Urinary Tract Infection Relief
  • Aids in Heart Disease and Respiratory Disorders
  • Beneficial in preventing stomach disorders and diabetes
  • as well as Gum Disease caused by plaque

Going Natural: When LinkedIn Profiles Turns to Racial Profiling

How do we define professionalism?

(not) Mixed (up)

As I scrolled through my Facebook feed a few weeks ago, I came across a status update that was upsetting, though sadly not surprising: “That awkward moment when your decision to wear your hair natural comes up in an interview… and not in a complimentary way…”

My friend Sonia had interviewed for a position as a Social Media Specialist for a marketing startup in New York City. The interview took place in the common area of WeWork, a coworking office space where the startup had put down temporary roots. As distracting commotion took place around them, she and the rather cold interviewer had the following exchange.

Interviewer: “Is that how your hair is in your LinkedIn picture?”

Sonia: “…Yea.”

Interviewer: “Not straight?”

Sonia: “Nope.”

Interviewer: “Oh… Interesting…”

He then made qualifying statements, such as, “So you say you’re good at SEO,” and “You claim to be a good writer.” I…

View original post 451 more words

Writing 101: Assignment #5 – Hook ‘em with a Quote: Natural Revolution

In a time of deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
― George Orwell

I remember the first year I got my hair loc’d. It was 2009, about three months before Chris Rock’s debut film “Good Hair”. There are moments in your life where people speak and you never forget what they say. When I read Orwell’s quote it reminded me of something I heard in that movie. One of the women interviewed said, “It’s like wearing natural hair is seen as revolutionary”. She didn’t say it as if she agreed, she said it from the perspective of why? Why is Natural Hair seen as being revolutionary? Why do we attribute people with natural hair as being part of some kind of Afrocentric movement? Those are good questions. Especially since I think we all have the common sense to know that every black person with dred loc’s is not necessarily positive or conscious for that matter.

Angela Davis
Angela Davis

To use the word “Revolution” for many black people is to hearken back to the days of black fists, panthers, pride and Afro’s. It is to wear hair that is natural, to welcome skin the color of coal, African garments, medallions, and to be at ease with the urban tongue. The word ceases to mean “to change” but also “to become” or “to transform”. Whenever black people get to a point where they want to embrace the truth concerning themselves one of the first signs of consciousness is natural hair and it stems from many of these movements where African Americans sought to do away with the pretentious manner in which we carried ourselves. Most importantly however, it stems from our welcoming of the truth concerning ourselves and this is why, whether conscious or not, natural hair is often seen as a revolutionary act because natural hair involves embracing the true state of ones hair and thus ones identity.

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Random super cute baby I found on the internet

I should not be placed in the same category with Afrocentricity or Rastafarianism because I use the word “revolution”. At the same time, we cannot throw the baby out with the bath water and in this case the baby is Natural Hair and it is a form of revolution or change. Revolution is change and it is truth and because it, the truth, is so absent in this society the word “change” morphs into something that’s deeper. To change becomes more than to adjust or to amend, but to change becomes a movement and revolution then becomes simply a movement to change. This is why, in my opinion, Natural hair is seen as revolutionary because it is a change in perception and in thought. It is a movement back to the original state not just of a hair style, but of a way of thought and a way of life. My hair is not naturally straight so by wearing locs I am exposing a truth concerning myself; that truth being that I was born with thick and kinky hair.

cropped-seal_v2-03***

I rest on Saturdays so this is my last assignment until Sunday.

In Case You Missed It: This Week’s Assignments:

Assignment #1: Why I Write

Assignment #2: Write a List

Assignment #3: One Word Inspiration

Assignment #4: A Story in a Single Image

Why Natural Hair is Dehydrated

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Today’s post is going to be shorter than the post two weeks ago concerning why perms are afraid of water because a) I’m not a beautician and b) it’s really that simple.

Natural hair is actually not as dry as it sometimes looks, but the reason it is typically drier than other styles is all in the hair strand.

There are, for the most part, three kinds of hair strands. There may in fact be more, but let us stick to the basics:

 
Straight – Rounded Shaft
Wavy – Oval shaft, grows in a slanted direction
Curly, Nappy – Flat or oval shaft that grows more on one side than the other creating a curve. It slants backwards folding over in a tight or loose spiral (don’t be afraid to refer to your hair as Nappy, it just means curly and is not a bad word).

 

hair strandThe human body is quite a creation. Everything about it was created to heal and renew. From the digestive system, that is purposed to clean and purify the body of its toxins and waste etc., to sleep, that is purposed to rejuvenate the body, we’re indeed magnificently made. The body actually already has everything it needs within itself to sustain itself, including hair. hair-straight-silky-and-shiny

Sebum is the naturally oily substance found in hair. It is secreted by the sebaceous glands that lubricates the hair and skin and gives some protection against bacteria. The reason straight hair appears more shiny is because it’s easier for the sebum to travel down the hair shaft. On the other hand, hair in its natural state is curlier, with bends and curves and slants that make it more difficult for the sebum to make it all the way down the hair shaft. Especially in the case of  loc’s when the hair is in a knotted like state. As a result, I tend to apply oil to the ends of my locs more so than the root, which is naturally oilier because of the sebum. Use of shampoos and conditioners that dry out the hair can also contribute to dry hair:

Natural Hair is dehydrated because the Sebum has a hard time getting past all that curl, sometimes never actually making it all the way down the hair shaft. Making natural hair often appear drier than it really is.

e56b532828496455a3982a7628774c10For dry hair, apply a mixture of Shea butter, Olive oil, Coconut Oil, or any oil of your choice, to the hair and scalp. Africa’s Best Herbal Oil is actually very good and inexpensive. You can use it by itself or add it to Shea butter. If your hair accumulates a lot of dandruff or dry flakes, add Tea Tree Oil to your Herbal Oil for a natural medicated remedy.

Fun Tip: I have had the fortunate experiences of not getting lots of lint in my locs. This is because I keep my hair oiled. There are lots of remedies to defeat the lint, but the easiest thing to do if your just starting your locs, or natural style in general, is to keep it moisturized and oiled.

This Hair Will Not Apologize

Dread-Locs-and-Sister-Locs-Hairstyles-For-Black-WomenYou can reason all the reasons
Why I embraced the nap
Call it kinky crap like kitchen naps
Cause it no longer snaps, crackles, and pops
There are no more cracking chemicals back there
But Kings fight private battles here
There are wars taking place here
There is strength here
There is healing here
water proof and tied and died and stuck up
This is the only place to be stuck up
To be Israel
To be Egypt
To be Africa
To be Nation
We are nation here
This is covering
There are warriors prepared for battle inside these naps
queens imbedded within the cords of this scalp
the ropes in this scalp
there are ropes here
No more laughing firecrackers to crack open the coils of these bonds
There are bonds here
Long lasting and dedicated bonds here
Battle Axes live here
A bundle of twigs
Not easily broken
this hair will not apologize
so there are no sorry’s here