This is Texture Talk, a weekly column that deep dives into the dynamic world of curly hair, from crowns of curls that are free flowing to strands that are tucked away in a protective style.
There are many things to love about about Canadian television broadcaster and etalk co-anchor Tyrone Edwards, from his magnetic ability to ease celebrities into candid conversations to his drive for speaking out publicly on behalf of the Black community. But one thing you simply can’t miss are the incredible dreadlocks (commonly referred to as locs) that reach past his shoulders. It’s a natural hairstyle rarely seen on-air.
The Toronto-bred pop culture aficionado began locking his hair more than 10 years ago — only a short time before landing his dream job on MuchMusic. For Edwards, locs are a protective hairstyle (one that keeps ends tucked away, encourages hair growth and doesn’t require chemicals to create) that he has long thought of as cool for his afro texture. But he admits that during his early television audition days, he hesitated going forward with his now signature look as well as his multiple tattoos. Why? For fear of adding to the systemic biases already stacked against him and jeopardizing his chances, he shares. “It’s crazy for me to even say this, but I didn’t lock my hair or get tattoos for a long time because I thought, ‘I’m already a big Black man, and if I add the dreadlocks and tattoos, who the hell is going to hire me for a job — much less a job on TV?’It wasn’t a matter of me not loving my Blackness. I just knew where our society was, and searching for a job as a Black man with dreads didn’t sound like a smart approach.”
It wasn’t until after several failed TV auditions that Edwards decided to relinquish those arrogant stigmas and societal pressures and embrace locs — a hairstyle that he says has allowed him to come into his own. “I really believe there is a lesson here: I locked my hair because I was done trying to get on television and just months later I got a cold call from MuchMusic,” he says. “Once I decided to be my true self, that’s when the universe granted me that blessing. I love my hair. It means a lot to me.”
Loc maintenance 101
Edwards is no stranger to showing up for hair and makeup only to be greeted by ill-trained pros. “I’ve never been on a set where the hair is catered to me and the hairstylist knows anything about my hair,” he shares, adding that for years he would come prepared with his own products. After earning some pull in the biz however, Edwards now brings his own squad to set, like his longtime hairstylist, textured hair expert Nakisha Straker. Here, Straker shares the go-to steps and products she uses and recommends to keep Edwards hair looking camera ready.