So after almost a decade of threatening everyone that I would…I did. Now, I’ve tried it in the past but after a week, I gave up. I wasn’t ready. I was still attached to the (relative) novelty of my versatile ‘fro. But the winds of change have blown away my apprehension and here I sit, 4 weeks after beginning the locking process. Inspired by fellow bloggers Mama Junkyard and Soulsystah, I am compelled to write about locks in my life.
Well, the reality of other people’s reactions to my chosen hairstyle is still not with me. Currently I am around people who are tolerant of the idea, my mum surprisingly included. I have an inkling that she thinks it is a quickly passing phase. I believe that the first real test will come when I step out of customs and immigration at JKIA. My father subscribes to that (generational?) mentality where locks=dirty, scruffy, hoodlum etc. My brother went that way about 3 years ago and my father would plead with me to talk some ‘sense’ into him. Not a chance. Who now will talk sense into me? I’m sure I will be told by many how having locks will affect the way people look at and treat me. Sure enough, even with my tamed natural hair, people with similar but disguised hair textures would volunteer and reassure me that my hairstyle was okay, and that I would be alright. Thanks. It sure was reassuring to know that I would be alright despite the fact that I had chosen not to alter my hair with the use of chemicals!
As for the political implications of dreadlocks, I will not venture there in this particular post. I will admit however, that while those romantic notions of getting back to the “real” and shedding foreign standards of beauty sure can be attractive, that is not my main motivating force. Truth be told, ever since I refused to be a slave to Nice n’ Lovely, Soft n’ Beautiful, Crème of Nature (note the self-deprecating propaganda explicit in the names alone!), I have been exponentially happier. Nevertheless, it has not meant lower maintenance. The extra extra coarse grade of hair that I have been blessed with would loudly proclaim that it was opposed to combing and, when I defied it (and it was a tough job let me tell you), it would shortly demonstrate its opposition by behaving as if it had never known what a comb was! So I decided to submit and let it be. That does not mean that I am resorting to raising what I call “real dreads”, i.e. through the “neglect” method. No, I’m still too vain for that…