If you pass a handsome man in Auburn, AL, with striking salt-and-pepper locs, that just might be Ted G. He admits there aren’t many brown people in his city and his 16-month-old locs stand out in the crowd. Before taking the leap to locs, Ted wore a typical fade like many men. But now that he’s a dread, there’s no looking back. Below he details his first loc journey, why he started again, and why he’s proud to be part of the community.
How long have you been growing your locs?
About 16 months.
How did you wear your hair before locing?
Short afro with temple fade, twisted via sponge brush. It took me a while to get the sponge brush method down, but once I did, I thought I’d wear it like that for the rest of my life.
How did you start your locs? Why did you choose this method?
I started my locs by twists. I’d gone this route before so I was familiar with the care and upkeep.
What/who inspired you to start your loc journey?
It was my family that inspired me. They stumbled across an old picture of me with locs from 2007, and they found it quite amusing. For some reason I took it personal. They thought I looked funny, but at the time I had those locs many people thought they looked nice on me.
Another motivation I had at this same time was that I’d just cut my hair because I wanted to look more “professional.” But after I cut it, no one liked it…and I mean no one, from family members to co-workers. Both of those factors fueled me even more to just let my hair grow out, as long as I wanted, and, furthermore, wear it however I wanted to wear it.
So I decided this time I was going to let it loc up and I wouldn’t look back.
What’s the natural hair/locs scene like in your city? Do you find yourself one of few or is it common?
Here in Auburn, Blacks are still the minority, and locs are definitely in the minority among those of color. And with me being salt and pepper, I’m most definitely one of the few. I like that.
Describe your hair.
Salt and pepper, and seems to be more straight than curly.
Name one thing you’ve learned about your hair since locing.
I’ve learned that my grey hair texture is very different than it was when it was black. It’s a little more coarse, which works to my advantage with dreads.
Share your current maintenance routine. How do you maintain your locs?
I sleep in a satin head wrap and on a satin pillowcase in the event that my head wrap slips off. My loctician usually palm rolls at this point since my locs have gotten a little longer.
I only wash it about once a month, sometimes twice. I go for a retwist every 3-4 weeks. The longer I’ve gone without one is about six weeks. I use rose water bout once every other day to keep my hair moist when needed and a few times a week I use this Nag Champa tightening spray from a company called Dollylocks. It contains natural ingredients and keeps my crown smelling so good.
What’s the biggest misconception about having locs?
That if you wear locs, you can’t wash your hair until they’ve completely loc’ed.
Name the best thing about being loc’d.
Many people want locs but don’t have the patience to see it through. I’m proud that I finally had the patience to endure and enjoy the process my second time around. My first attempt ended after 11 months.
Where can we find you online?
Any advice or words of encouragement for other loc heads?
It’s called a crown for a reason. Wear it with pride, no matter what stage of the process you are in. It belongs to you, so own it.