Most of us know Taren Guy from YouTube! Her channel used to be Taren916 because years ago when she started it the purpose was not for branding per say but for fun, a place where she expressed herself and gave us the nitty gritty and the ups and downs of her own hair journey.
I have been a long time supporter of Taren, and one thing I know is that she always kept it real about how she felt. We would sit together in my room, she with a glass of wine on my laptop screen and me with my glass very close by as she worked through some of the emotions many of us felt but were not brave enough to express on camera.
Recently Taren has gone through a noticeable transition, she has cut her hair, colored her hair, grew it out, wore it in the biggest fro ever and now she has transitioned or is transitioning to freedom locs.
If you do not know what freedom locs are, they are basically a style that allows the hair to loc on its own freely without twisting or re-styling.
Here are a few examples:
It is a very ‘free-ing’ process because it allows the hair to just do its thing and is absolutely gorgeous. In Jamaica, we called rastas who have freedom locs “Bubba Dreads” which in the true sense of the term has a negative connotation but for us, was just like using the term ‘nappy’ or ‘dreadlocs’.
Taren Guy explained her decision to do freedom locs in this video:
I was going to just post a picture of Taren’s hair on social media because I thought it was gorgeous but what truly promted this post and the title of it was her Instagram post just this morning.
Taren posted a pretty poignant note and a reflection of the negative side of the natural hair community, captioned Dear Natural Hair Community.
DEAR NATURAL HAIR COMMUNITY: Transitioning into locs has really shown me the tremendous love and vulnerability that women of color posses with words of support, wisdom, relatable testimonies and hopefulness of one day letting go of those things that keep them from moving forward in their truth.
I’ve also experienced the B side of the online natural hair community that I was aware of but still sort of blind to. A side that has truly turned this beautiful space into a commercialized industry.
My locs haven’t even been a week old and I’ve already been canceled for a NATURAL HAIR event due to my hair change as it “doesn’t fit the demo and audience of the attendees” nor does it sit well with sponsors.
I’m a bit disappointed, not because I won’t be attending, but because a space that was created to empower women of color with ALL types of natural hair has turned into a show that only support one type of natural. This post is not meant to be negative… It’s just real.
And it’s a problem. Shout out to all of the beautiful women out there who celebrate their uniqueness while empowering and supporting women trying to do the same… Women who are keeping this beautiful space alive with the intention to educate, inspire and express themselves freely!
Can someone explain why in 2016 when we are still fighting for the right to wear the hair that is naturally growing out of our head without alteration that within our own community we can discriminate against the very thing we are fighting for?
If I were to keep things all the way real I would say to Taren stay true to yourself and true to whatever decision you make when it comes to your own hair regardless of the biases of our own spaces.
This is the epitome of black hair freedom and even though the natural hair community preaches it, we still have to get to the point of actually believing it. – We still have work to do!
Good luck on your beautiful journey Taren!