Wednesday, October 5, 2011

My son Jalen's Loc Journey

My journey back to my natural hair has been amazing and taking my children along with me has been even better.  My two younger children, Jalen 11 & Tia 12, have encountered struggles and opinions about their natural hair but have found a way to love themselves and set their opinions above others. My children and I have leaned on the support of  our YouTube family & fellow bloggers who have provide education, support & a sense of community.  I hope to encourage other mothers to support their children in this journey by sharing our experiences.  I will feature my children in a two part blog post & share their natural hair journey.  Let's begin with Jalen....




My 11 year old son, Jalen, made the decision to grow locs on his own.  It was a combination of loving longer hair and hating to get a haircut.  He is also extremely tenderheaded, like myself, and the thought of little maintenance was appealing.  Locs were foreign to me, I didn't know how to start grow them out, maintain them or what to expect.  My money was very tight so paying to have them done was out of the question.  I decided to enroll in the University of DIY, YouTube.  I found a video showing how to palm roll locs and we began our journey. I was surprised to see the results and Jalen was in love. (he had worn cornrows so his hair had length)   When we first began the journey, most of the prejudice surprisingly was from our family.  They began with the typical stereotypes that people would judge him, they weren't clean & he was ruining his future....Wow at 7 it was over? Constantly family members would ask him when he plan to cut his hair, made faces & tried to reduce his self esteem.  Luckily for Jalen he had a mother that taught him that when making decisions there will be people who don't agree but it doesn't make the decision incorrect. He has been wearing locs now for four years and is very confident with them.  Jalen has embraced his locs and except for  the occasional mistake of people thinking  he's as a girl, which puberty is quicker than I like solving, he has not experienced any adverse effects.  His peers have accepted his locs as part of him and many parents commend him on his commitment.
I believe his ability to deal with the occasional stare or question is due in part to  the continuous support he receives from his immediate family and his self confidence. Beginning the journey at a younger age may have helped him and it makes me wonder how the experience would be if he started the journey at an older age.  Would the peer pressure would be a stronger factor if he was maybe 15 when it began?  What do you think? 

How do you feel about locs on young men & young ladies? Would you support your kids wearing locs? Let me know how you feel. I love reading your comments!
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