Locs are a beautiful and exceptional hairstyle that has been around for centuries. Although they are often associated with the Rastafari movement people of all backgrounds and cultures have embraced this style. Despite their popularity and cultural significance, locs are often met with ignorance and negativity. From misconceptions about hygiene to harmful stereotypes, there are many dumb and offensive things people have to say about locs. We asked in our facebook group What is the dumbest thing people ever said about your locs? Here are a few:
"Locs are dirty."
This is one of the most common misconceptions about locs. Some people assume that because locs are not combed or brushed out, they must be dirty. Of course this is not true. Like regular people, people with locs wash their hair on a regular basin to keep them fresh and healthy.
Unfortunately this stereotype is a very persuasive one. From the wrestler who had to cut his locs to finish a match to the girl who was sent off because of locs is proof that locs are far from accepted.
Locs are the most natural way to grow African hair long. Undisturbed, locs on average grow longer than any other type of hair.
Super stylish and professional, Maya D. Wiley is an American lawyer, professor, and civil rights activist. You can often see her on MSNBC.
"Do you take them out and put them back in every day?"
This is a common question that shows a lack of understanding about how locs work. Unlike braids or weaves, locs are a permanent hairstyle that does not need to be taken out and put back in.
"Can I touch it?"
This is a common question that many people with locs are asked. While it may seem innocent enough, it can be intrusive and uncomfortable. People with locs are not exhibits to be touched and examined.
"Is that your real hair?"
This question is often asked to people with locs mostly by people who don't know the difference between braids and locs. We got a long way to go.
Does it feel like a brillo pad because that's what it looks like?"
This one is just insulting, offensive and ignorant. More than anything, it perpetuates negative stereotypes about locs. Locs can be soft and smooth, just like any other hair texture.
"Are they dirty and smelly?"
One of the most common misconceptions about locs is that they are dirty and smelly. Of course this is a stereotype because when properly cared for, locs are as clean and hygienic as any other hairstyle.
Bob Marley explained it decades ago.
"I was told that I should wear natural hair instead of a weave."
This comment shows a lack of understanding about the diversity of natural hair. Locs are a natural hairstyle, just like afros, braids, and twists.
Locs are a protective hairstyle I am not sure where this one comes from but this is really NOT true. Unlike braids that are being undone, locs are not. So, loced hair is just as exposed to the outside world as other hair types. There is nothing protecting locs from the sun, the cold or anything environmental.
"I like them but my husband would never let me wear those.. He likes my hair too much." This comment perpetuates the idea that locs is less than.
"Your hair isn't long hair, it's all dead hair." The statement "Your hair isn't long hair, it's all dead hair" is not only inaccurate but also misleading. Hair strands are indeed made up of keratin, a type of protein that is no longer living. However, the hair follicles that produce the hair strands are very much alive and nourished by the blood vessels in the scalp. Thus, it's essential to take care of the scalp to maintain healthy hair growth. While the length of the hair may be determined by genetics, proper care, and maintenance can help ensure that the hair remains strong and healthy. So, the next time someone tries to tell you that your hair is just dead, remind them of the living follicles beneath it.
Locs are permanent, you can't take them out, you have to cut them
Unlike relaxers where you do have to cut your hair if you want to go natural, you don't have to cut locs if you want to change to loose natural hair. It's a tedious job, one that takes time but the fact is that locs are not damaging, you keep your natural texture and often your hair is as healthy as ever.
It's not likely we listed all the stereotypical remarks and dumb comments so please feel free to add, what are the dumbest things you heard about locs?
I enjoyed reading the article but nothing surprises me about the ignorance of some of our people. I hope to start a loc journey once I stop cutting my hair.