TikToker Sparks Debate After Explaining Why the Locks Hairstyle is Not For Straight Hair

This TikToker sat down and talked about their 5-year-long experience with matted locks.
By Savannah Moss
Image: @Esco_the_barbarian | TikTok

In a viral TikTok posted by user @esco_tha_barbarian, who goes by just J online, they explain why dreadlocks are not for white people and why you should not have locks as someone with straight hair. Although some might be familiar with the term “dreadlocks,” the term comes from Europeans who found the Kenyan warriors’ locs and did not like them, naming them “dreadlocks.” As such, many Black creators and writers have discussed that these should be referred to as locks to avoid this term. J posted a series of videos explaining their experience with locked hair, where they explain that the term “matt locks” is different from just “locks.” While locks are a neat and protective style worn by many Black people, matted locks are from backcombing them and forming the mats in the hair, hence the name and why the styles are different.

@esco_tha_barbarian

That is all, thats the whole video

♬ original sound – J

After they established the difference between the two, they explained why locs are not intended for straight hair. They explain that they are not trying to keep anyone from doing anything, but rather trying to warn them. J then explains the process of traction alopecia. This is hair loss after it is has been repetitively exposed to tension on the scalp. When the hair forms a loc, it hangs from one section of the scalp, causing some to lose their hair if they have their hair in a style not meant for them. Even J, who has thick and wavy hair, explains that after five years with locks, says that they now have started hair loss treatment, although only in their twenties.

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@esco_tha_barbarian

Reply to @esco_the_barbarian Locs… matte or otherwise are not for straight hair!

♬ original sound – J

Some were upset with J’s video, saying that they should be able to wear whatever hairstyle they want and that there are bigger things to worry about. When J explained they do not use the term “dreadlocks” because they are not Black and that the hairstyles are two different things, many were upset with this as well. One commenter noted that “Its hair, ain’t that deep.” Another wrote “Why is this a problem? They are called dreadlocks.”

@esco_tha_barbarian

Reply to @esco_tha_barbarian it’s under the sauce

♬ original sound – J

However, others were more upset that J did not speak out about the fact that locks also have racial implications. Traditionally, many POC will wear locks as a hairstyle for the protection of their hair, but also as a part of their culture. Some worried that J was skipping over the racial aspects and only listing the functionality of the hairstyle. One wrote that “Nah still not for us man. It’s more than just hair.” Some commenters, however, felt that it was a good thing J was warning people, as one commenter wrote “I think they just needed to hear it from you. We tried to tell them.” Overall, many in the comments were divided on opinions, which J seemed open to as they kept the comments on and did not delete anything, which many were appreciative of.