Locs / Natural Hair

Freeform Locs: Let Go Of False Assumptions…

How we wear our hair is a personal choice and experience. I want to share why freeform locing is a beautiful experience and how wrong some assumptions are…

Over the years, I’ve written many blog posts about locs – I remember how excited I was the first time I started them at home… and throughout the whole experimental era (when there was hardly any information online on the locing journey). The 2nd time in 2013 was just as exciting as I took a different approach.

This year in 2017, I hit 3+ years of locing already with my 2nd set… time really does fly! And as I look at these locs, I see how much they mean to me and how happy I am to have them.

Locs have symbolised a spiritual journey for me – and this set now is all about the start of being a yoga teacher and really diving into my yogi lifestyle.

As well as the positive experiences, I’ve come across many wrong assumptions that I’d love to share – these are just my personal thoughts and experiences. Everyone will have different experiences on their own journey.

702fb06c1105bb2ce9aaade00e09b138I am not neglecting my locs if I choose to freeform…

I am sticking 2 fingers up to people who told me that I could be pretty and “acceptable” IF I had straight hair or if I went to the loctician to get my roots done.

There is still a wide belief that freeform locs = neglect. NOT true.

For many years, I was fully freeform – These days, I semi-freeform (meaning I maintain my roots once in a blue moon)… and it still annoys me when people assume that freeforming and letting my roots just be is an act of neglect. As if I am not cleaning or taking care of my locs. My locs are very clean and I do take care of them.

If I’m honest and in observing the online natural hair community – I have noticed one thing: It’s great to see how positive the natural hair movement is but locs (and freeform locs) still don’t seem to have a big voice. There are exceptions of course (I’m thinking of all the wonderful pictures of Valerie June and Ladene Clark) – but for the most part, I would love to see it represented in its true form.

Good hair, light skin, bi-racial etc… Let go of the labels please!

Yes, there is still this idea that having lighter skin and/or being bi-racial is going to make your hair texture hard to loc… Hair will loc regardless of the texture. And just because someone has looser curls or is bi-racial, it doesn’t mean that they can’t loc or freeform their locs. A lot of bi-racial people with afro hair have very kinky hair too, so this label or assumption is false.

Everyone can freeform their locs, just like any texture of hair can loc their hair.

Freeoform locs are not acceptable in the workplace…

This upsets me deeply because sadly there have been recent legal updates that seems to make it OK to discriminate against locs

Let me share my own experiences – Has it stopped me working in a professional corporate environment? Luckily no. I have worked as a holistic therapist in a cooperate environment at the heart of London’s banking and financial district since 2010 and I never had any problems working with clients. Before this, I worked for an international Japanese beauty company in their head office with long freeform locs… no one said a thing. Did I get some odd looks (especially in these working environments)?…. Maybe, but I think energy and how you approach people speaks louder.

Would it stop me applying for a job? NO WAY! Because having locs (more specifically freeform locs), can still be worn in a “professional” way too.

Travelling with locs will bring you trouble…

I’m not saying there is no racism or stereotyping out there and abroad… but I refuse to let it get me down, to hold me back in anything or to stop me from travelling to places that I want to go. I’ve been to 25 countries and I am still hoping to travel some more… so this is a big topic for me 😃

Reactions have been mixed over the years… Mainly, there are wonderful moments where my locs stand out and I get positive reactions from people. I do get the curiosity stares which don’t bug me at all. I just smile back and they either look away embarrassed or smile too.

I must be spiritual or a Rastafarian to have freeform locs…

Just like I dislike any label or assumption, I don’t like the idea that just because you have locs, it has to be a spiritual experience. For many, locs are a beautiful way of having their natural hair – and why not!  It’s a personal choice.

For me, it is spiritual. I don’t call my Self a Rastafarian girl… but I do like the natural and cultural lifestyle. Some might not like the fact that I don’t label my Self in any other way, but this is my personal choice.

I love how every locer is unique and has their own reasons to loc… and how they take care of their crown. Let’s embrace it all and ditch the should’s onc and for all!

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