iRasta: FAQs

Credit to zigbone on Deviantart

Something I get asked every day (in various obnoxious, outraged tones of voice) is “Why you locking you hair?” The asker is usually mortally offended on my behalf that I would ‘mess up’ my ‘pretty hair’ for such a ‘low-class’ (insert any other derogatory adjective here) hairstyle.

To which I’ll usually take a few seconds to come up with a witty retort, fail to find one and respond (lamely!) that I actually like the style, hate combing my hair, etc. etc. These are the top four questions I get asked regularly.

1. Are you locking you hair?
Yes! :D

2. WHY?
Because I think locks are a great style for someone who wants to keep their hair natural. My roots might look fuzzy (especially when I’m a few weeks late for a styling appointment) but at least I have the comfort of staying true to them.

3. But your hair is so pretty!
That might be true but it’s still hell to manage! This question really gets my goat because it’s just a perpetuation of the classism we have here in Jamaica: people with ‘pretty hair’ don’t do certain things, don’t act a certain way. People actually get upset that I’m ‘ruining’ my hair by doing this, when I’m really just giving my hair the freedom to do whatever the hell it wants.

4. And your mother’s okay with it?
My mother wants to lock her own hair! It’s on her list of things to do with her hair (right before cutting it way short and right after what she’s doing with it now). My dad, too. Sometimes I love my family.

Whenever someone with processed/permed/creamed hair or someone with extensions/weave asks me these questions I get more than a little annoyed. You can bet no one gave them grief for their decision to chemically ruin their hair or put other people’s hair in, and yet I get all kinds of weird looks and consternation because I’m doing something Jamaicans have been doing since post-colonialism.

Bottom line: it’s my hair, so I get to choose what I do with it (short of cutting it all off, because I might wind up without a boyfriend if I go that far). ;)

Pax.

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