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.