Saturday, August 11, 2007

On Lock Ignorance

n'Drea recently posted about someone who asked when she was going to take her locks out. Apparently the enquirer didn't realize that they were locks.

We all seem to get that question at some time or other, as well as questions about how long we are going to grow them and why would we 'do that' to our hair? If we are perceived to have 'good hair' there is even more dismay about the decision to lock.

n'Drea wondered if she would get the same reactions if she had traditional locks.

So here are my questions to those of you who have or did have traditionals: do you get the same questions as those of us with Sisterlocks? Do you encounter the same level of ignorance about the locking process and your decision to lock? Do people approach you and touch your hair without asking? Do people ask if it is all your hair?

It seems to me that there must be some overlap, for lack of a better term. I imagine people must ask some of the same questions and have some of the same reactions, but also there must be different ones.

In my opinion, Sisterlocks look very different from traditionals in the beginning, which seems to cause greater confusion. I think when locks are started with twists or coils or organically, it is more obvious to everyone that you are starting locks.

Sisterlocks are so small, and typically produce those loose curly crinklies...and there are the parts... Plus they can be started with relaxed ends. On many people they do look like something else entirely. It seems that this makes people more likely to ask questions like: 'what are you doing with your hair?' and 'how long are you going to keep those in?'

(I especially like the use of the word 'those' as if I have somehow added something that didn't belong.)

In a way I feel like traditionals are more 'established' and recognizable, that people feel more like they understand them, even if the information and conceptions they have are inaccurate; therefore they are less likely to approach individuals with traditionals with questions about their hair. Is this an incorrect assumption?

I am curious about this. I welcome any comments and feedback.

Oh, and I want to clarify that I do not mean ignorance only with its negative connotations, but also in the sense of simply 'not knowing'. A lot of the questions I get asked are obviously based in innocent curiosity, but people don't always stop to think about how they might sound.

1 comment:

Kathryn said...

I started my traditional locs in Oct 05 and Oct 07 my mum asked me when I was taking them out. She obviously didn`t understand when I told her I was locing my hair! She is over from Jamaica and said to me last week that they have really grown. I still don`t know if she realises I really do have locs or if she just doesn`t want to. 2 of my brothers have locs, one has freeform locs and the other has locs a bit thicker than mine. The freeform brother has had his for over 10 years and the other one few months before me. My 7 year old daughter also has them and I don`t think she realises that she has them either. I just think she is denying that her daughter could actually have the front to have locs!