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What is black soap? Authentic black soap is dark brown in colour with black specs throughout, hence the name “black soap.” Black soap is made from harvested and air-dried plantain skins, palm leaves, cocoa pod powder, and various oils and butters – coconut oil, shea butter, cocoa butter and kernel oil. It is rich in naturally occurring vitamins E and A and antioxidants. Black soap can be used for… Conditioning shampoo. It’s gentle because there’s no artificial lathering agent. Also, its antibacterial properties prevent dandruff. Facial cleanser. It prevents excess oil production in oily-skinned individuals. Its antibacterial properties help prevent acne. Because it’s all natural, it’s also great for sensitive skin. Body soap. The vitamin A and E will keep skin smooth and soft.
NOTE: Even though REAL black soap is all natural, you should do a patch test if using it for the first time, as you may be allergic. Also, always read the ingredients when purchasing black soap (it should contain roasted plantain skins, cocoa pod, palm kernel oil, coconut oil, palm oil & natural sodium) to ensure you are getting the real deal.
What an awesome topic!
In this video, YouTube’s Lauren Jackson discusses how she feels about her natural hair.
For me, personally, going natural and starting my locs was more of a lifestyle choice than an aesthetic one. I realized that I had been trying subconsciously to fit in or even blend into the background. To do that, I had to chemically straighten my hair and rock my super-thick hair in a ponytail or bun all the time. I had to wear makeup to feel pretty, and I had to buy clothes that were “in style.”
When I started going to the gym on a regular basis, I was make-up free, dressed down, and rocking my natural hair. The attention I garnered nurtured my confidence and lead me to ditch the full make-up, tamed-down hair, and look the way I naturally do.
It was one of the best things that ever happened to me. I now am conscious of the amount of physical activity I get, how healthy the food that goes into my body is, and love rocking my super thick locs loose and free.
Like I said, for me, locking my hair was more of a lifestyle choice… a culmination of the positive changes I had been making.
What do your locs represent to you?
JahSun is at least 6’1 and his locs reach his calves. He turns heads every where he goes and considers his locs a part of who he is. Here are some of the questions he gets asked the most…
How long have you had your locs?
Going on 26 years now.
What made you want to start your locs and how did you start them?
My best friend and I were hanging out one day and he said it would be really cool to try starting locs. I free formed. It was just wash and go for me. The more you wash your hair, the faster it locs. The back locked first, then the front. My friend never started his.
Do you have any locked idols, real life or famous?
No. I don’t really look up to people like that.
How do you maintain them?
It’s always been wash and go. I’ve just recently started to experiment with getting it twisted and styled. Before, all I’d do is make sure to physically separate my locs at the roots (known as “rip and tear” or “popping”).
What are some of the cons of having locs?
I get hot easily. I sweat a lot. Riding a bike is difficult. Driving is sometimes difficult. When driving, I actually put my locs in my lap. Bending down, I have to hold them at times so they don’t touch the ground. Climbing stairs… easy stuff takes more care.
I’ve tried driving with my hair up but it blocks my side vision.
Some people just don’t like them. And then there’s that stereotype about smoking weed and gangs.
What are some of the pros of having locs?
People compliment me all the time. People don’t mess with me because of my locs, which helps with my line of work. Certain neighbourhoods recognize automatically that there are things I’m not down with/involved in. They know that Rastas (as opposed to “Dreads”) aren’t usually involved in gangs.
They’re beautiful. They’re an icebreaker or conversation starter.
I stand out and get many looks.
I save money on haircuts. I can experiment with different styles.
They suit me. They represent natural living. They’re a part of me. They represent non-conformity.
How did starting your locs change your life? Or your mindset?
I started them for fun, just to see what would happen.
Now, I don’t shave, I’m a vegetarian, I’m more conscious. I’m aware of how my words and actions dictate my image and the stereotype people will have of locs.
I’ve learned that norms are meant to be broken and you should always be yourself. They have taught me to be humble. They represent my pro-blackness.
I’ve changed as a person. I used to be involved with the law. I now have greater insight into who I am, who I want to be.
Do you ever think about cutting them?
Never, ever. They’re still too short. I need them to be longer. LOL.
How do you wear your hair most of the time?
Always in a ponytail, out, or down. It’s always showing. Sometimes I’ll wear a hat or turban-type hat in the winter but I’m not a hat person.
How long does it take to shampoo? What kind of shampoo do you use?
About half an hour. I do three shampoos. I end up using about half a bottle every time I wash. I like lather and need to see it to feel my hair is clean. Right now, I use Organix Anti-Breakage Keratin Oil Shampoo.
If you had to do anything differently, what would it be?
I wish my locs started off a little thicker. Thinner locks often break.
Are any of your family members locked?
Two of my younger siblings, my brother and sister, are also locked. My brother has locs past his bum. My sister’s locs are waist length.
What is the question that you get most tired of people asking, when it comes to your hair?
“How long have you been growing your hair?” is the number one question. But I also get a lot of “Is it real?” Kids (teens) will sometimes ask me if I have weed on me. And I get the joke “Can I have some of your hair?” Sometimes people will ask if they can take a pic.
Do you consider yourself Rasta. Why or why not?
I don’t like to be labelled or put in a box. But I’m more of a Rasta than a Dread. I follow a lot of the Rasta way of life. It’s not about religion for me, just livity.
What do your locs represent to you?
Me! To everyone else, it represents whatever they want it to represent.
But to me, they represent the freedom to do whatever I choose to (in conjunction with laws, of course), non-confinement. They also represent lions, strength, humbleness, respect, love, peace, different planet-type uniqueness, unity, and natural living.