by Sherrell Dorsey of Organic Beauty Vixen

It was the fall of 2005 and I was fresh off the plane in New York City ready to seize my new life as a college freshman in the Big Apple, I had so much more than freedom in the concrete jungle. I had Brooklyn. Not too keen with the transportation system I hopped the first thing smokin’ and ended up in downtown Brooklyn amongst strangers with thick accents, big buildings and music on the street that sang the soundtrack to my new life.

Walking past the many shops and shoddy sneaker stores I drunk in the artistry of hairstyles adorning the many brown beauties who held their heads as high as their heels.

“Miss, your dreads are absolutely gorgeous,” I said meekly, not completely comfortable speaking to strangers in New York without a can of mase (I knew Law & Order way too well).

“Baby, there’s nothing dreadful about my hair,” the brown-skinned woman with high-cheekbones responded brashly.

That day was a reality check for me. And after four years of rocking locs I cringe when someone pays me the exact same complement. There isn’t anything dreadful about my hair.

I’m often inundated when asked about my “dreads”. Do I correct others? Should it matter if I or anyone else for that matter uses either word. Some people get highly offended while others don’t care.

What’s your take?

Sherrell Dorsey is a natural beauty expert, writer, speaker and advocate of health, wellness and sustainability in communities of color. In addition to creating OrganicBeautyVixen.com, Sherrell writes beauty articles for Tyra Banks’s beauty and fashion site TypeF.com, Jones Magazine, MySalonScoop.com and Posh Beauty. Follow Sherrell on twitter at www.twitter.com/organicvixen