Why I Took Out My Locs
Per usual, let me start off with a few disclaimers: 1. This blog is not to bash anyone of any sort, 2. This is my personal journey and while shorter than most it was meaningful to me, 3. Do not try my gangster or intelligence because I’m not here for the foolery and have no problem hitting you with the BLOCK! 4. No I am not having an identity crisis, I know very well who I am.
So I woke up this morning with something heavy on my mind, time to chop off the locs, or take them down if possible. As stated before my loc journey was not a long journey however it meant something to me and taught me so many lessons. Yes, hair can be a lesson; anything can be a lesson. The decision to take down my locs was literally the same reason I chose to begin the process. A little background about my hair; my hair is literally my life. Everyone who knows me knows that my hair and my body art are my biggest forms of self-expression next to writing, which I choose to share sometimes. I have so many random tattoos on my body that they literally tell a story that I have only let a few in on. But my hair, my hair is my baby. I have probably had every hair color you can think of; green, blue, purple, red, blonde, orange, yellow, jet black, etc. I have done all types of styles; the big chop, undercut, taper fade, quick weave, braids, sew in, clip ins, ponytails, lacefront, wigs, 360 lace front, kinky curly. Literally it all! I experimented with the idea of locking my hair for years but never got up the nerve to commit. I’ll be the first to admit it, I, Taler B. Gutierrez have commitment issues. I know I know I know, it’s just hair, but I literally have issues committing to things. It’s almost like a phobia.
I am nowhere near being a religious person; however, I am a spiritualist. I chose to loc for personal reasons (commitment) and also spiritual reasons. I am as “woke” as they come. Damn, I’m even afraid to use that word now because it is so many folk claiming to be “woke” that it is becoming a joke. So let me say this, I am black and I am extremely proud to be black and I strive to make sure all my brothers and sisters feel as empowered and liberated as me. Yes this is my spiritual reason for locking. Listen Linda, Listen! I wanted to loc because I wanted to somewhat have an “ode” to my ancestors. Now before yall give me this Black History lesson and Loc History lesson, just hear me out. For me locking meant being locked into something and not being able to remove thyself, as my ancestors were chained. Yall are reading this saying “She is crazy as hell”, yea and ya mama is too, judge yourself not me! Everyone has their own reason for locking and this was mine, however through this journey I kept asking myself “why am I doing this?”, and my answer was continuously “to learn how to commit and pay homage to my people”. But what I learned was locking my hair was never going to erase hundreds of years of slavery and shackles, and locking my hair wasn’t going to connect me anymore with my ancestors. Also, locking my hair was not going to prove my blackness or prove that Taler actually can commit to something. If anything my ancestors would want me to be myself and free from those false chains I created called “locs”. I’m not going to say I did it all for wrong reasons, because for me these were the right reasons, but it taught me a lot. I know everyone doesn’t have this super in depth reason as to why they decided to loc, but this was mine, like I said judge yourself, not me. There is no right or wrong reason and as I type this I am getting upset already from the comments I know that are about to come my way.
I know, I know, I know, it’s just hair! But for me it was more than that. I feel really guilty about slavery, as if I was massa himself. I feel like what did I do deserve a better life and they didn’t? Why them and why not me? I feel guilty that my grandparents were segregated, I feel guilty as hell that many black panthers can’t even come back to the states because they are considered “terrorist” for simply fighting for our people. I know, I know, I know, it’s just hair! But for me it was symbolic, but that is the same reason I took them out, to be free.
And I know a lot of yall won’t understand where I am coming from on this, and it really ain’t for you to understand, but we all have our reasons. So the reason I took my locs out was to be free. It was emotional but as I got to the last two locs and saw my natural hair in its god given natural state I felt so free, I felt like me again. I lost a ton of hair and I am actually okay with that. My hair is a lot thicker and stronger. I learned that my journey through this thing called life and just being Taler and being proud is making my ancestors happy. I learned that I can actually commit to something if I put my mind to it. Lastly, I learned that not everyone will understand the path we choose and why we chose it, but it ain’t for them to understand. I certainly salute those who are loc’d and who have newly loc’d. I hope your journey is everything you set out for. To my people, I’d end this with my typical “Stay Woke” but nah, I’m good!