Rachel Dolezal Debuts New Dreadlocks — Because Who Doesn’t Need a Protective Style?
Rachel Dolezal is flexin' a new hairstyle on the 'Gram just over a year after the big media firestorm about her "transracial" identity.
Early Friday morning, she posted a selfie with the caption, "1/2 way done installing my locs. My go-to summer style when it heats up outside."
Let's break this down a bit. Dolezal's dreadlocks are actually called "faux locs," a temporary "protective style" option as to not have to fuss with one's own hair every day. As Dolezal mentions, summer can be the worst for naturally curly girls. It's hot and humid, and that bomb twist-out can be ruined just by stepping outside. "Installing locs" is a recent phenomenon in black hairstyles. Dozens of Black YouTube hair gurus can walk you through the process, step by step, of twisting your own hair, and wrapping "Marley" hair around it for protection.
But here's where we come back to the huge problem that many people had with Dolezal in the first place: What, exactly, does she think she is gaining — or protecting, in this case — by taking on a new identity?
The world was introduced to Dolezal in June 2015 after her parents said their daughter was lying about her racial identity. Dolezal stepped down as the president of the Spokane, Washington, chapter of the NAACP, and then went on a quick media tour to double down on how she relates to the black experience.
"It's not a costume," Dolezal told Vanity Fair a year ago. "I don't know spiritually and metaphysically how this goes, but I do know that from my earliest memories I have awareness and connection with the black experience, and that's never left me. It's not something that I can put on and take off anymore."
Now, to be real, that "connection" is none the more evident when you look at her hair. Despite Dolezal's murky politics on race and identity, her hairstyling game has — well — been on lock for years. Vanity Fair reported that she began styling black hair while in college. She's given lectures about black hair at Eastern Washington University. And she was doing "braids and weaves about three times a week" around this time last year.
Just look at her commitment:
Dolezal on the Today show, rockin' what looks like the perfect Day 2 twist-out.
Then, some curly braid action in this selfie:
She went back to her "blonde roots" with these dreads:
And then this fancy updo that looks like it could be braids or Senegalese twists:
Instagram users are also giving Dolezal props for her new hairstyle.
Clearly, there's nothing fake about Dolezal's skills with a few bundles of kinky hair weave.