If you go on instagram and search for the photos tagged #naturalhair, it totals over 10 million posts. From these posts, there are a mix of loose curly hair and thick coily hair. There are afros, cornrows, twists and everything in between. However, scrolling through the photos, those with locs are rarely seen and freeform locs are an even rarer sight. However, it could be argued that a hashtag search of #boxbraids wouldn’t come up with bantu knot styles.
Locs, like afros, is symbolic and it has its own cultural significance and that’s why it may be seen as something in its own right. Dreadlocks, locks or locs is heavily associated with the Rastafarian culture and the the figure of this is the singer Bob Marley. For many people who wear their hair in locs, it isn’t just a hairstyle but a form of spirituality and a source of strength. Clover of Locs Alive believes that people are beginning to understand that:
Yes, I do think that locs is underrepresented. It’s not as bad as before as more and more people are starting to grow locs. Most people are starting to recognise that locs is not just a hairstyle, it’s some people’s culture.
Kieron of Mobilelocslondon thinks that locs are:
both on [the] far left and right on the natural hair scale. Faux locs are beautiful to look at however it can do quite a lot of damage to hair so [it] isn’t something I’d recommend. Unfortunately, in this world, free formed locks are looked down on career wise as people think of it as unhygienic, however it is as natural as it gets.
Recently, faux loc hairstyles have gained popularity with endless pictures and video how tos. This has diversified into goddess and bohemian locs which shows no end of the love for loc styles. There certainly is an appreciation of locs but but quite simply, not all locs are held in the same regard.The popular hair blogger,Taren Guy, started to her freeform loc journey a few months back. Known for her big bouncy curls she made the decision to move away from this and embrace locs. She has recently added a video to her channel describing her journey which you can find here but below is her first video about freeform locs and she discusses why she was embracing the change. Although this was Taren’s own personal hair journey, many people had an opinion and not all were supportive. It goes to show that figures who use black hair as their platform are heavily under scrutiny. This means that black hair does, unfortunately, get twisted into conforming to certain ideals. We posed the question of locs in the natural hair movement on Twitter and one user, @MissDumes, does believe that freeform locs are a rare thing:
I don’t have locs so I rarely look for info on them. I do notice though that unless I’m one a page dedicated to locs only, features are not commonplace. It’s the loose hair naturals that pop up most on natural hair pages. Also, if I do see locs on natural hair pages, they tend to be the “neater” kind. I can’t think of a time where I’ve seen what appear to be freeform locs.
We realise as a natural hair brand and platform we have a responsibility of representation. This blog post was created because of our own observation locs within natural hair circles. Therefore, from now on, we will do our utmost to improve representation of locs (in every form). This is by sharing images of locs, tips for loc hair care and promoting products that are loc friendly.
Let us know in the comment box your opinion about bout loc representation in the natural hair movement. You can connect with us on instagram, Facebook and Twitter!