R&B and Jazz singer Lalah Hathaway is On the Couch! Often called the 'First Daughter of Soul', this amazing, Grammy nominated talent, has a gorgeous head of luscious locs and she's telling all! Read on--
On her hair story…
I’ve had every kind of hair imaginable- - throughout the 70s and 80s I wore afros, weaves, dookie braids and micro braids. I had curly hair, straight hair, red, blonde, and even purple highlights at one point. I experimented quite a bit and at the end of the day, I guess you can say that I love hair. I really love hair… all kinds of hair styles and colors. And so at some point I decided that I wanted to loc my hair and it was expressed to me that it might not be a good idea. Which of course made me really want to loc it. And I did, in 1997.
On maintenance and upkeep…
I don’t do them myself, I find folks to do them. I have 117 locs, and if I try to twist them, right at number 16 or so, I just conk out. I can’t do the back at all.
I have a few stylists spaced out all over town and a few spaced out over the country. They all use different products that work very well, but I couldn’t even begin to tell you names. I’m very low maintenance and don’t even do much between appointments to keep them up. I am an extremely casual wash and wear type of chick. So for me, even in the beginning of wanting the locs, it represented freedom to not have to worry about what was going on with my hair. I had spent so much time in the chair watching them wet the hair, dry the hair, finding the right products for the hair… dying the hair, perming the hair, and it was just using up so much valuable brain power. It was taking up energy that I could have used writing a song every now and again. The locs for me were almost a detachment from having to obsess about my hair in a way.
On the naysayers…
When you’re in a major label, sometimes people decide that they have an idea or a dream for what you should look like or how you should present yourself. Locs did not fit into the picture in the early '90s in terms of the kind of success that everybody wanted. As far as responses from my close friends and family… it was a mixed bag. The more I exuded confidence and became comfortable, the more comfortable they became.
On advice for people thinking of loc’ing…
I always tell women, if you’re thinking about loc’ing your hair, do it. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Now that doesn’t mean that some mornings I don’t want to get up and chop them all off and get a full lace front… because sometimes, I have those days. I watched 3 Aalyiah videos the other day and I thought ‘oh, I miss that hair’. So what I’ve done is try to do things like that in the locs. I’m always trying new stuff and some of the photos from the new album you’ll see that I’m really just experimenting with my hair like I always did before. I love it! I love the flexibility I have. I love the fact that now wigs are hip and that was not the case in 1992. You can do whatever you want with your hair now. You can wear it straight and black one day or curly and blonde the next. I think people were less yielding in the '90s, like they wanted you to get with a certain look and stick to it, and now girls just switch it up all the time.
On upcoming projects…
I have a new record, called, ‘Where it All Begins’ and it’ll be in stores and on Itunes and Amazon on October 18th 2011. I’m really excited about it! You can download my single ‘If you Want To’ from my website right now—lalahhathaway.com. It’ll be available on Itunes in the coming weeks. I’m in the process of gearing up for tour, so things are moving fast right now.
On the CurlyNikki community…
I’m on Twitter a lot and I get a lot of natural hair questions and I think it’s really wonderful. Like you said, if there are women that are thinking of loc’ing their hair, I’d tell them to go on and do it, it’ll grow like a flower and you’ll be amazed.
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