So last year I decided to change it up. I decided I wanted to do something very different with my hair.
I decided to get faux locs.
Now, let me explain why I wanted faux locs other than that I wanted to change things up. I have been debating getting locs for several years but I’ve always been too chicken to actually install them. The fact that they would be permanent freaked me out seeing as I change my hairstyle every five minutes. So the idea of temporary locs intrigued me.
I was very excited when I put my faux locs in. They looked so dope and they fit my face.
I received a lot of positive feedback but of course as with anything, the positive always gotta come with the negative. While I did have people who knew they weren’t authentic locs still compliment me on them, I had a good number of people who looked down their nose at my faux locs–not because they looked bad… but because they simply weren’t authentic locs.
The people who were offended by my faux locs were no one other than people with authentic locs.
“Those aren’t real dreads? *sucks teeth*” “Man… why you got them fake dreads in your hair?”
My question is why are you so pressed about what I do with MY hair?
I never once considered that I would offend people with locs by wearing faux locs because to me, it’s just hair. I saw and still see hair as a form of expression within the bounds of your culture. I wanted to express myself through faux locs.
Here’s the thing:
People with locs who are offended by faux locs say that faux locs are offensive because they aren’t authentic. People with temporary locs didn’t go on a long, spiritual loc journey. They claim people with faux locs are “biting” or stealing their style. They say people with faux locs don’t know the struggle real locs had to go through.
I am natural. I’m a loose natural which means my hair is not loc-ed. Locs are still an extension of natural hair, mind you. Natural hair in its entirety takes a heap of work, time, and love. Same goes for locs.
I do know struggle. I do know it’s a journey but you know what I also know?
It’s not that deep.
Loose natural hair is a long journey. When black women chop off our perm hair, it’s a brave thing to do. It is a big deal but…
If I saw a woman with perm hair wearing an afro wig, I’m not about to be all up in arms. I could, very well easily say, just like pretentious people with locs, that: “HOW DARE SHE! SHE DOESN’T KNOW THE STRUGGLE I WENT THROUGH! SHE NEVER WENT ON A NATURAL JOURNEY! SHE AINT GOT NO NAPPIVERSARY! HMPM. GOD OH NO!”
No one is trying to jack your style. No one is denying that locs take a lot of work. No one is trying to undermine you and your locs.
And people with locs also use the argument that faux locs go against locs’ spiritual journey. To be completely real, unless you’re Rastafarian, people honestly just get locs installed because they like the look, not because they’re going on a spiritual journey (unless you’re a Rasta).
So why should I be any different? Because my hair isn’t actually loc-ed? I could see if I was walking around here broadcasting that I have real locs when I don’t but I don’t. I’ll gladly let you know that they’re not real so don’t get too hype.
I need people with locs to let the folk with faux locs be free to express ourselves. Please relax. No one is trying to offend you.