Most non-Black people cannot have locs. Yup, I said it.
And yup, we're about to talk about a White woman and her hair... or rather, her dog's hair. Kind of.
Yeah, we know it's confusing but roll with it here.
Factually speaking, most non-Black people literally do not have the hair type to hold a loc. Properly formed locs, a style considered sacred in many cultures, are a directed curl pattern that actually protects the hair from breakage and tangling, allowing the hair to grow longer and healthier.
Real locs can be brushed out and re-done, they can be washed thoroughly. The hair curls around itself and locks in that pattern.
The locking is essential. That's literally what it's named for.
Most non-Black hair is not coily enough to hold the pattern and therefore cannot be a loc. Straight hair, wavy hair and most curls absolutely cannot hold a loc.
If the hair naturally growing out of your head is not in the 4's in this chart, your hair cannot physically hold a loc.
Reddit / Curl chart
To recreate the look on hair that isn't anywhere in the 4's, stylists have to do the exact opposite of what a loc was intended for. The sacred and protective style gives way to destructive techniques like the "twist and rip" and "palm rolling."
Sometimes, things like fishing line, wax, and string have to be used to keep the hair together.
These tendrils of hair are not a loc any more than its a braid when a child rolls your hair in their hands like a play-dough snake. Wear the matted tendrils if you want, but don't call them locs. Locs are a sometimes-sacred, always-protective curl pattern.
Methods used to re-create the look on non-Black hair purposefully destroy the hair by tearing and matting it together to form a large tangle, not the directed and protective curl of a loc. These stylized mats and tangles cannot be combed out.
Also, as they are lengths of dead and decaying hair, they can hold mildew, foul odors, etc...
Maintaining cleanliness in these stylized tangles and mats requires a lot of work. In contrast, locs on the proper hair type can be washed like regular hair because that's what it is—regular healthy hair.
Lets do a comparison.
Here are natural healthy locs on the hair type they were created for.
Nerissa Nefeteri / Instagram
While culturally, other peoples had matted, dirty, tangled hair before modern times, they did not have locs.
And here are those other styles of "locs" from non-Black cultures done by the "specialist" we are about to discuss on non-Black hair.
Unfortunately, regulations and public opinion against true locs based on the misconception that they are unhygienic is pretty common because of what is required to create these faux locs.
It's so common, in fact, that many organizations have rules against them. States have had to pass laws making it illegal to discriminate against natural hair as it grows from a person's scalp.
Studies have shown that Black people with locs have been discriminated against, fired, told their hair is unhygienic, denied jobs, etc... whereas non-Black people with locs are often viewed as spiritual, free-spirited and "green."
Ironic, dontcha think?
white andy samberg GIF Giphy
These misconceptions could be addressed in diversity training, but Donald Trump recently deemed that sort of training "un-American."
We're giving you all of this back story to give you a frame of reference for why people are so absolutely heated about a White woman in Pennsylania and her hair. We knew a lot of you were going to immediately ask yourselves "Who cares? It's just hair."
We would like to tell you that nobody cares - but we live in a society that punishes Black people with locs while celebrating non-Black people with locs, disregarding all facts and circumstances around the hair.
So back to this PA fiasco.
Things popped off with a White woman named Crissa Rajczy. Rajczy, who works out of Rebel Rebel salon in Philadelphia, markets herself as a "professional dreadlock sorceress" who specializes in giving her clients a "dreaducation."
A White woman who literally cannot have a loc is a celebrated loc specialist profiting off of false locs and teaching others about them? While there are literal rules and regulations against Black locs even though Black people are pretty much the only ones who can have real, clean, healthy locs?
She pushes locs and loc education so much that she had a loc artists convention about a week ago. It was exclusively White women with matted hair, dead hair clumps.
No Black people with actual locs were involved.
Recently Rajczy was asked to add a little extra something to the matted tendrils of a client—a White woman named Tara Hartten. Hartten wanted to keep her dog with her at all times, so she brought in a bunch of her dogs fur and asked Rajczy to add the dog hair to her matted tresses.
Again, we would like to remind you that the whole "reason" Black people are often made to cut their locs off (regardless of whether or not they are sacred for them) is because they are deemed dirty, smelly, or unhygienic. But sure, White women, go ahead and add dog hair and have people clap and aww over it.
Note, the stylist who specializes in "dreaducation" even specifically explains that the hair was too fine and had to be purposefully damaged to be added into the hair.
So again, literally not a loc because a loc is not possible.
The sidenote section of her description is infuriating on so many levels.
"The hairs themselves were super fine and short so they wouldn't matt up and stay together."
Matting is not a loc, and the stylist is proudly "deaducating" people about how to add dog hair to not-locs. She even explains that this probably won't stay... ya know... because not locs. Those not-locs are on a "woke" White woman whose whole Instagram profile centers around how much Black lives matter and how to become anti-racist.
Twitter really wishes they could make it make sense.
How is this celebrated and something these White women are profiting from when it is literally NOT a loc and Black people with real locs are pushed out of jobs, denied work in the medical field so often that there are forums devoted to working in medicine while having locs, forced to cut them off before being allowed to compete in athletic events, etc. ?
@atikkat @Itsonlyreal WE have locs....our beautiful coils lock together by nature. the rest of them have matted up… https://t.co/VFOkduaWYP— I said what I said (@I said what I said)1599218098.0
White people are wearing dog hair loc extensions now. 2020 is so foul— Lori🤑 (@Lori🤑)1599313612.0
@kaylikeskpop @affectionthirst Ok let’s try this again, non black hair does not ‘loc’ or ‘dread’ , it MATTES. Nonbl… https://t.co/mffSDB6jm7— pretentious cock destroyer🇩🇴🇵🇷🇨🇺🇵🇦🇭🇳l (@pretentious cock destroyer🇩🇴🇵🇷🇨🇺🇵🇦🇭🇳l)1599758607.0
@atikkat Can’t even spell “locs” right then calls them dreadlocks smh 🤦🏾♀️ get them both out of here.— 💫 Usagi Tsukino 💫 (@💫 Usagi Tsukino 💫)1599242300.0
@notswedish1 @anypigslft @MaiLaurenHoang @Mel_Ankoly Ohhhhh man, yes. Like that ass weaving their dog hair into a… https://t.co/Z2SjEsqq2C— ⚖️ 💛KDH in ‘20 for Gretchen💛 ⚖️☕🌵🌞 (@⚖️ 💛KDH in ‘20 for Gretchen💛 ⚖️☕🌵🌞)1599318886.0
@atikkat Umm... gross. This is why yt people need to stop touching black styles and doing SHIT LIKE THIS to make… https://t.co/Cbtm9tBjRV— Mama Leila ✨🌈🌼🌱 (@Mama Leila ✨🌈🌼🌱)1599278126.0
@coolandeadly__ @Daisyz_Daughter It’s true though. You gotta literally abuse straight hair to have it to lock, and… https://t.co/CvywcIAkfl— SilverAgatka 🗝 (@SilverAgatka 🗝)1599238605.0
@sunoppositemoon I always say white people hair doesn't loc, it mattes like a dog. And this idiot literally proved my point. 🤢🤮— Ruby, Message In The Crystal 💎 (@Ruby, Message In The Crystal 💎)1599224931.0
Of course someone tried to bring up Vikings and other cultures who "had locs," which is pretty common during these conversations.
There is a sort of misconception and "common knowledge" belief that Vikings wore locs, but anthropologists and cultural experts have disproven that idea multiple times. Vikings and other European cultures did purposefully mat their hair (fairy knots) and wear intricate braid patterns.
They did not wear locs. They physically could not have worn locs.
@BLUE_X8 @CrabCoreKnucTat @WhatInKarnation @sarahdeemarie Omfggg it’s literal science. You’re hair can MAT but it c… https://t.co/78A8X1tE0s— davexotiq (@davexotiq)1596925123.0
@SailorLeaveMeAl @Daisyz_Daughter @atikkat @Itsonlyreal how does it feel to be both loud and wrong? https://t.co/5Cfy25Tt2w— kayla💛 (@kayla💛)1599292273.0
Rajczy doesnt' see anything wrong with marketing herself as a loc expert, loc artist and loc educator while knowing nothing about actual locs in a world where Black people are discriminated against for the way their hair naturally grows.
She doesn't think adding dog hair to White matted hair and calling it a loc is anything problematic at all. In fact, this isn't even the first time she has added animal hair.
She proudly explains in the comments that she has added horse hair to a previous clients hair, encouraged another to add random dog hairs they found in their clothes to their locs and blocked people of color and voices critical of her business.