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Locs vs Dreadlocks

In recent times, there has been lots of debates speaking on the usage of the term “dreadlocks”.

Some hairstylists use the term “dreadlocks” or “dreads”, while others, such as myself prefer to use the word “locs”. The term dreadlocks was a Eurocentric term use to describe dreadful locs that many men (Rastafarians, etc) were seen wearing. Rastafarians wanted to be revered as dreadful and frightening, therefore proudly reclaiming the word by cal ing their hair dreadlocks. I respectful y choose to use the word “locs” to describe our hair, since most people in the U.S that have loc’d hair is not a Rastafarian. It is a way to ensure that other people understand that there is nothing dreadful about our hair, it is in fact something to celebrate and be respected as a pinnacle of beauty.

Perhaps the biggest and most notable wearer of locs of al time is Reggae artist Bob Marley. He is one of the biggest musical artists of al time and is know worldwide not just for his beautiful lyrics, but also his hair. It was often a topic of discussion worldwide, sparking debates for what it meant to loc your hair.

Today, other mainstream musical artists such as rapper Lil’ Wayne, brought a resurgence of the popular hairstyle, making it mainstream once again for generations to come. While often viewed as a rebellious hairstyle, or a hippie hairstyle, locs had been banned from most corporate workplaces for years.

As of late, it is being considered a form of discrimination, as our hair naturaly locs on its own. After previously banning locs from the military since 2005, The army now al ows soldiers to wear locs in the service. Soon after other military branches followed, albeit with strict regulations on how to wear them. This allowance, however is a huge step in the Country, recognizing the natural state in which locs are formed, and also stretching the ideology of what is considered professional outside of Eurocentric beliefs and standards.