The relationship between our natural hair and food goes way back…

I don’t remember coming across anyone wearing locks as a young girl when I lived in the UK, but I definitely remember seeing locks for the first time when I moved to Jamaica as a 10 year old. Back then they were worn by a group of people known as Rastafarians, or Rastas as we commonly called them. Rastas had their own spiritual beliefs which they lived by; they grew their uncombed, free-forming dreadlocked hair long, dishevelled and matted, and the colours were a sun-kissed variegated combination of brown, black and bronze.

Besides Rastas, no one else dared to wear locks back then unless they were a rebel, they didn’t need a job, or were pretty well off and didn’t have to care what anyone thought! It wasn’t the thing to do back in the 1970s in the rural town where I lived, especially if you wanted to get ahead in life. If you did, you ran the real risk of being viewed with suspicion or as an outcast.

How things have changed…

Dreadlocks are still common amongst Rastafarians, but they aren’t the only ones wearing them now; locks have lost their ‘taboo’ status. Thanks to increasing cultural acceptability, locks became more mainstream, more fashionable and more cultured in appearance, so over time large locks evolved into the smaller pencil-sized locks with their neat partings we now call ‘traditionals’. Later on, traditionals became smaller still, and these miniature sized versions are our current Microlocks and Sisterlocks.

Most of the people I have met who have made the transition to wearing locks of any size consider them not just a hairstyle but a fundamental part of an emerging sense of self-acceptance on a higher, sensuous, personal level.

Ital food and the Rasta diet

We’ve noted how Rasta-style dreadlocks went from niche to mainstream over the years. Was the Rasta diet also ahead of its time? From what I learned about Rastas from my upbringing, I knew that they ate no processed food whatsoever and some of them didn’t eat salt. Their diet consisted of raw and cooked plant-based – predominantly vegan – food, which they called ‘Ital’, meaning that the food came from the earth and had a positive energy which was transmitted to the body. Meat was considered to be ‘dead’ food with no life-giving force and was avoided. Clearly, Rastas understood the relationship between what we eat and the health of body, mind and spirit.

In recent years we’ve seen more and more people turning to a plant-based diet because of its natural health-giving properties. Note that the term ‘plant-based’ doesn’t specify being 100% vegan, nor does it require you to be 100% raw; it simply means that your diet is centred on natural, unprocessed plant foods. I personally feel a lot of benefits from incorporating a high percentage of raw food, but any whole food is good food, and some whole foods actually release more nutrients when cooked than when they’re raw. So you needn’t feel restricted when you go plant-based – there is an abundance of healthful foods you can eat!

How can Tassahai help you?

If you are at that stage where you…

  • want to go natural
  • your hair is already natural
  • you are considering getting small locks
  • you already have locks
  • you would like help in eating a cleaner healthier diet to feed your hair from the inside

…then you are in the right place.

I can fully support you from the inside out. I can help you in the kitchen by showing you how to create tantalising new dishes which will broaden your culinary repertoire whether you are currently a meat eater, pescatarian, paleo, vegetarian, vegan or somewhere in between. Not only that, but the foods I recommend will make you look and feel more vibrant than ever before!

Of course, as an experienced loctitian, I can also help you to maintain those gorgeous locks you have dreamed about. And with food as your foundation, you’ll be giving your body the nutrients it needs to build beautiful and strong hair.

So this is how we return to our hair and food roots; we have finally come full circle. It seems as if the Rastas knew about this all along.