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5 myths about locs

Kamara | Tue, 10/31/2017 - 18:41

Despite the stigma surrounding locs in American culture, they have long been a symbol of regality and beauty within the natural hair community. For those not in the know, locs are essentially sections of hair that become coiled over themselves and lock together. They have a rich history that comes with many myths and misconceptions. We don’t have time to tackle all of them so here are the five we found most interesting:

 

5. The Style Began with Black People    

5 myths about locs ebena credit: osengwa.com

Throughout history, locs have been spotted in many cultures and religions. Today it has a strong tie to Black culture, but it may not have begun there. According to Twisted: My Dreadlock Chronicles by University of Richmond professor Bert Ashe, the first known sighting of locs was 2,500 BCE - donned by deity Shiva in India's Vedic scriptures. At that time, they were called  'jaTaa,' translating to 'twisted lock of hair.' On the other hand, there is physical evidence to be considered. Archaeological findings of mummies with locked hair offer an opposing theory. For this reason, it’s difficult to pin one origin story down. 

As for American culture, the style was popularized by some celebrities such as Bob Marley, Lenny Kravitz, and Whoopi Goldberg, being kept at the forefront by newcomers Kelela, Ava Duvernay, Valerie June and Chloe x Halle to name a few. Though locs have an important place in Black culture, it cannot be said that it belongs to any one people. 

 

4. Locs are Less Work than Loose Hair

5 myths about locs ebena credit: IAMLOC'D The Home of Locs

Natural hair requires maintenance in any of its forms, locs being no different. Similar to the various hair types, the level of maintenance can vary based on which kind you want or have. There are a few options: sister locs, braid locs, traditional, and free-form. Locs require unique knowledge and tending to: wash, condition, moisturize, oil, twist (don’t overtwist!), protect from and repair damage (thinning); there’s a lot at play here. Almost all of these steps or the concepts behind them, apply to loose natural hair as well. 

So when contemplating locs, try to be mindful of what kind of look you want, what your hair requires to be healthy and the amount of effort you are willing to put in.

3. People with Locs Don’t Wash Their Hair

5 myths about locs ebena credit: IAMLOC'D The Home of Locs

The belief that hair has to be dirty to form and maintain locs is incorrect. It’s aggravating how resilient this myth is. For obvious reasons, we don’t want people believing that they have to go months without washing their hair to form locs. This misconception also leads to a different, more harmful type of ignorance, causing a snowball effect of prejudice and discrimination. 

 

2. Locs Limit Style Variety 

5 myths about locs ebena credit: IAMLOC'D The Home of Locs

Having locs or locks does not mean losing the freedom of loose hair. If anything, they allow for an interesting spin on our favorite hairstyles. You can still go for updos, waves, curls, space buns, bangs and this style... that we don’t have a name for. In short, you are not limiting yourself by locking your hair. But, if you’re still apprehensive, faux locs are an option too. 

 

1. Locs are Permanent

5 myths about locs ebena credit: IAMLOC'D The Home of Locs

For a long time, it was a widely held belief that you had to shave your head or cut your hair very short in order to rid yourself of locs. This isn’t necessary as you can definitely comb them out. Combing works no matter how long you’ve had them but that length of time with determine how easy it is to do so. For example, a person who’s had locs for three months will have an easier time combing them out than a person who’s had them for five years. This is something to keep in mind and probably why many opt for a buzz cut. Still, if you’re up for the challenge, there are a few things you’ll need: a comb, conditioner and lots of patience. The process can take up to a couple of weeks depending on how mature the locs are. 

Also, try not to be alarmed by hair fallout. Locs disrupt the natural shedding process by trapping your strands. You see a lot of hair come out at one time, but this would have fallen over the span of days, months and years anyway.

There are many tutorials to help you along. It’s hard work but worth it if you miss your loose hair.

 

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5 myths about locs ebena

Kamara

Hi! I'm a proud naptural who enjoys discussing all things beauty and hair. I'm thrilled to be a part of the Ebena community.
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