Culture | March 18th, 2024

Loc’d In

By: Shari Ryant
Loc’d In

Whether it be micro, sister, or freeform, locs are one of the most powerful and impactful hairstyles within black culture. Like snowflakes, no one is like the other, whether it be all on the same head or not. A Medium article describes some of the oldest traces of locs.

“According to The Encyclopedia of Hair, A Cultural History, the oldest historical record of an African tribe rocking locs can be credited to the priests of the Ethiopian Coptic religion, who were wearing the style as early as 500 BCE.”

The rich history of locking hair has often been described as a journey or lifestyle rather than just a hair change.

FAMU alum Colin Randolph has been locked for three years. He says his loc Journey was humbling and that his reasoning for the change was because he wanted something new.

“I wanted to try something different. Something that was out of my comfort zone, plus my hair wasn’t growing as much, and I knew getting locs would make it grow faster,” Randolph said.

Despite the myths, the styling possibilities with locs are quite endless. Some styles are so creative, that it can be hard to enough the amount of locs that are present underneath. If you have locs and find yourself wanting to try something, or maybe you plan on locking your hair but are afraid of limited options. Here are a couple of examples.


Maybe you want to switch it up with some loose hair like Chloe Bailey. (Photo from basedkenken on Instagram.)


Or maybe you have Rapunzel-like inches but want to try a bob like Kaliii. (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images for TikTok)




Want to switch the color up? No problem? You can turn your hair into a loc rainbow like content creator @astoldbybrittanyd on Instagram.



You can even still add all sorts of hair jewelry like beads like content creator @nandinfrka on Instagram.





You could even go as far as to cut them off completely because thanks to a handy crochet needle, they can be reattached like it never even happened. FAMU Senior Stephen Swan had his locs for a year and fourth month when he decided to cut them off.

“I cut them for spiritual reasoning. I had a plethora of feelings that I was dealing with inside, which wasn’t good for me mentally,” Swan said. “I will reattach them probably after graduation in May.”

While some are able to recognize the beauty of locs, others still hold on to harmful stereotypes associated with locs. Many still believe they are dirty or unprofessional with some people even being told to cut them. A CNN article features a teen who just last September a Texas teen was suspended over his hair.

“Darryl George, a junior at Barbers Hill High School in Mont Belvieu, received multiple disciplinary action notes and was placed on in-school suspension for wearing his locs hairstyle in a ponytail, his mother, Darresha George, told CNN.”

Even those in the spotlight like singer Lalah Hathaway have experienced negativity with their hair. In an Essence article, she shares her story.

“My record label said [wearing locs] was too urban and too ethnic…and people ask me what my hair says about my spirituality, and I say ‘nothing’ because it’s just hair,” Hathaway said.

Loc discrimination comes in many forms. Even the terms “dreads” or “dreadlocks” can be harmful as they are derived from the word dreadful, thus the reason behind society progressing to the word locs. Some may find no harm in referring to their own hair as such, but others do, meaning if one is corrected, respect the correction. At the end of the day, whether you choose to loc your hair for reasons such as spirituality, cultural, or just for the sake of change, everyone’s journey is unique and should be embraced.