Just Gotta Touch It

Just Gotta Touch It

"In a high-end Dallas store, my dreadlocks drew both admiration and unsolicited attention. Amid the aroma of my favorite vegan soup, a stranger felt entitled to touch my hair. Why? Dive into my story to understand the deeper layers of this encounter."

The Genesis of My Locs

Thirty years ago, I embarked on a transformative journey with my hair. With a bald head as my starting point, I began growing dreadlocks using the natural freestyle method. There was no twisting, no beeswax, and certainly no professional stylist involved in the initial stages. It was pure, unadulterated nature at work.

From Bald to Waist-Long

In a span of six months, my once-bald head boasted four inches of nascent dreadlocks. As the years passed, these locks grew, cascading down my back, reaching my waist. They weren't just hair; they became an emblem of my identity, an intricate part of who I was.

An Unexpected Encounter

However, with the recognition and personal attachment to my dreadlocks came questions - a myriad of them, mostly stemming from the negative stereotypes associated with this unique hairstyle.

A particular incident stands out. It was an ordinary day at the Neiman Marcus department store in downtown Dallas, a mere twenty-minute drive from my office. The store boasts an indoor stand serving the most delectable vegan soups. That day, my favorite, the tomato soup, was on the menu. The tantalizing aroma of roasted tomatoes paired with toasted garlic ciabatta had my stomach doing somersaults of anticipation.

But just as I was mentally diving into that delightful bowl, I felt an unexpected tug on my dreadlocks. Turning around, I found myself face-to-face with a white woman, her blonde straight hair contrasting starkly with the dark ropes of my locks she had presumptuously grabbed. Her eyes examined each lock as if she were a jeweler appraising a necklace of rare gems.

A Conversation about Curiosity

Regaining my composure, I took a step back, gently pulling my dreadlocks out of her grip. It's one thing to be curious, but touching a stranger's hair? That was an unsolicited invasion of my personal space.

Our conversation started predictably:

"Is all of that your real hair?" She asked.

"Yes, it is," I replied.

She continued, "Where do you go to get your hair like this?"

"Nowhere. It's all natural."

"No, it's not. Your hair can't do that. Can it?"

"Yes, it can. If you leave hair alone, stop combing or putting chemicals on it, it does this."

She seemed perplexed. "How long have you had them?"

"About five years," I responded.

Our conversation continued, and while I've always been open to educating others about dreadlocks, I couldn't help but stress that touching someone without consent is never okay.

Beyond the Stereotypes: Embracing the Natural

But let's reflect on the broader picture. In our society, where there's a plethora of hair products, it's no wonder people are mystified by the natural phenomenon of dreadlocks. Advertisements perpetually drill into our minds the need to fix our "flawed" hair.

The Deeper Significance of Dreadlocks

Many who choose dreadlocks, however, defy these societal standards. They often prioritize authenticity over fitting in. The choice to have dreadlocks is less about making a fashion statement and more about embracing individualism, culture, spirituality, or a chemical-free natural life.

It's imperative to remember that while dreadlocks may seem unusual to some, for those who wear them, they hold deep personal significance. They might be seen as just tangled hair by others, but for someone like me, they represent a journey, an identity, and perhaps even the cornerstone of success.


Every lock tells a story, and for those willing to listen, they might just learn something invaluable.

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