Introducing Texture Talk, a weekly column that delves deep into the vibrant world of curly hair, from crowns of free-flowing curls to strands that are tucked away in protective style.
There are many things to love about Canadian broadcasters and etalk co-host Tyrone Edwards, from her magnetic ability to facilitate candid celebrity conversations to her willingness to speak out publicly on behalf of the black community. But one thing you just can’t miss are the amazing dreadlocks (commonly known as locs) that stick out over her shoulders. It’s a natural hairstyle rarely seen on the air.
The Toronto pop culture aficionado started styling his hair over 10 years ago – shortly before landing his dream job on MuchMusic. For Edwards, locs are a protective hairstyle (a hairstyle that keeps the ends hidden, encourages hair growth, and doesn’t require chemicals to create) that he has long considered cool for its afro texture. But he admits that during his first TV auditions, he was hesitant to go ahead with his now signature look as well as his multiple tattoos. Why? For fear of adding to the systemic prejudices already stacked against him and jeopardizing his chances, he shares. “It’s crazy for myself to say that, but I haven’t locked my hair or got a tattoo for a long time because I was thinking, ‘I’m already a big black man, what if I add the dreadlocks and tattoos, who the hell is going to hire me for a job – let alone a TV job? It wasn’t a question that I didn’t like about my Blackness. I just knew where our company was, and looking for a job as a black man with dreads didn’t seem like a smart approach.
It was only after several failed TV auditions that Edwards decided to let go of those arrogant stigmas and societal pressures and embrace the locs – a hairstyle that he says has allowed him to become his own. “I really believe there is a lesson here: I blocked my hair because I was done trying to be on TV and a few months later got a cold call from MuchMusic” , he said. “Once I decided to be my true self, that’s when the universe bestowed this blessing on me. I love my hair. It means a lot to me. “
Maintenance Loc 101
Edwards is no stranger to showing up for hair and makeup only to be greeted by poorly trained professionals. “I’ve never been on a set where hair is served to me and the barber doesn’t know anything about my hair,” he explains, adding that for years he would come prepared with his own products. After gaining a bit of appeal in the business however, Edwards now brings his own team to set up, like his longtime hairstylist, textured hair expert Nakisha Straker. Here Straker shares the steps and products she uses, and recommends keeping Edwards’ hair ready for the camera.