Saturday, 2 August 2014

Locs, Dreads, Dreadlocks, Dada... What to call my hair?

Hey peeps,

Let me start by saying forgive me. This post may touch on some personal sentiments as it relates to loc'd hair however, my intention is not to aggravate anyone, just airing my views.

What to call African textured hair is always a topic of discussion, kinky, nappy, curly and what not. I honestly I'm not sure which is acceptable or politically correct and I really don't care to know. On the other hand when you take this kinky, nappy, curly hair and "loc" it, what do we now call it? My hair is in the loc'd state, I called it Dreadlocks for the first four years plus of it's being and found nothing wrong with it. Till I watched the 10 Loc Commandants by Bronze Goddess on YouTube then I realised the the word "Dreadlocks" was coined because the hairstyle was supposedly thought to be dreadful way back in the day.

I immediately stopped calling my hair dreadlocks and started calling them locs, 'cos like Bronze Goddess said in her video there was nothing dreadful about my hair. Just as we were preparing for Loc Appreciation Day Lagos, 2014 and the making of the "Wetin be locs sef?" video I embarked on my own research to know if the allegation about locs being dreadful is true. I found this video that pretty much sums it up.

So yes, locs were dreadful, not just because of the way they look but for what they stood for. In Jamaican history locs were more of a political statement that meant anti-conformity and the conformists were more dreadful of the rebels than their hair but I think history got a better part of attaching the dread to the loc.

However, Locs in the Nigerian contest is usually associated with one of three things, a mad person who just doesn't know to comb their hair; a child born with locs who his/her parents attach spiritual sentiments to not cutting them off and three, people in the entertainment industry who wear locs to express a creative identity. Whichever category loc wearers fall into (though I fall into none of the above), Nigerians call the hairstyle "Dada"; whilst there's nothing derogatory about the word per se there is a stigma that Dada is often perceived and correlated with dirt and unseriousness.

That's a sum of the history according to me and now that I know what appears to be all sides of the story I prefer to call my hair locs. It would be nice to educate as many people as possible on the history of locs and what the 21st century loc head would prefer to call their hair, however I am not offended when people refer to my hair as dreadlocks. I honestly am not, because I know they don't know better. The truth is that whilst communicating, many people don't understand what I mean by "locs", so  I usually revert to "Dada".

The above video is the Locitude definition of what locs are, thankfully put together by

What do you call your hair?

Your Loc Head,

+ I got some new basic loc accessories to spice up my locs with an attitude. I'll definitely be sharing soon. Happy August.