HometownBell County


Loc hairstyle largely present in Central Texas yet discrimination still persists

Posted at 2:29 PM, Jul 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-04 12:26:27-04

KILLEEN, Texas — Hair discrimination has recently been discussed in the House State Affairs Committee in Texas.

Texas lawmakers could ban race-based hair discrimination in schools and workplaces under a bill called the CROWN Act.

The loc hairstyle is one style that's discriminated against largely, and here in Central Texas, people wear the hairstyle with a sense of pride but also because of a deeper meaning.

Jah Kilo, a resident in Killeen, said “Anytime you see somebody with the turban, basically most of the time it’s a bobo dread; other times it’s a style thing... turban or no turban… you give everyone respect still.”

Kilo also said each coil and curl in the loc symbolizes strength in adversity.

Loctician Nadia Vic in Killeen, who beautifies most of the heads filled with locs in Killeen, shared why she started her journey.

“As a single parent, I actually loc’d my hair because the cost of hairdressers became exorbitant back in the 90s, and it's even higher now,” she said.

Some have been doing it for its convenience and cost.

For others; however, it's a way of life.

“I remember one time when I was working...I went inside the courthouse. The bailiff told me I need to remove my hair wrap. I said 'no' he said 'why?' I said it's my way of life: Rastafari,” said Darlene Golden, president of Songhai Bamboo Roots in Killeen.

The locs were given the name "Dread" loc but Darlene added, "There's nothing dreadful about it."

“People started looking at me and these were my own-colored people; they would make suggestions [like] 'why you coming in here like that…'” said Golden.

A study by All Things Hair found that 44.3% of women reported that they have faced discrimination because of their hairstyle.

Cultural acceptance is changing the way Central Texas and the way the world views hair. The CROWN Act is one bill being considered in State Congress and could put an end to race-based hair discrimination for good.