I am Sophia Washington. I stumbled upon your blog this afternoon. I did the interview you posted for a book you have coming out in the fall. I know it's late but I wanted to turn my interview in anyway incase you want to use it for a later project.
1. What was the initial reaction/response of family/friends/ co-workers to your hair style choice?
From my family, the collective response was “oh no”.  My baby sister relied with “your hair is going to smell like doo-doo”. I really wasn’t looking for approval; I got them whether my family wanted me to or not. My best friend voiced her concerns and opinions; her reaction was the most positive. I’ve had locs 3 or 4 times since then and every time there was a case for why I shouldn’t but I always do what’s best for me.

2. Are you in a career that is friendly to your hair style choice?
I work for a large software company that prides itself on being diverse. My hairstyle has never come up as an issue. I haven’t seen anyone else with locs yet but with offices all over the globe, I refuse to believe I’m the only one. Given that I had them when I started the position, I’d like to assume that they weren’t a factor in the hiring process.

3. Did you notice a boost in confidence or other personal changes once you decided to wear dreadlocks?
When I went natural in late 2006, I had short hair for the first time ever. When my hair was relaxed it was well past my bra strap. After I went natural and cut my hair, it wasn’t until I got my first set of starter locks that I really felt good about the way I looked. I got more attention from men and I wasn’t mad about that!
Like I said, I’ve had locs several times since then and I’m on what I deemed my final set. I still love my locs and I feel great about the way I look.

4. What do you like or dislike about dreadlocks?
I love that I don’t have to comb for “fix” my hair everyday. It’s nice to just let it be. I don’t like that after they mature and thicken that they take a long time to dry. I’m a busy body so sitting under a dryer for 2 or more hours is not ideal for me.

5. What state are you from and is there a large population of dread wearers there?
I live in Maryland; the Washington Metropolitan Area. There a more people with them than without. That maybe an exaggeration but you can go any where at any time and see someone with locs. It’s a culture and a community here, if you’re not getting support from you family, loc’d bothers and sisters on the street will show you love.

6. Do you believe dreadlocks add to the masculinity of the black male or does it box him in to more stereotypes?
Let’s not pre-judge anybody; a man with locs could work for a fortune 500 company and a guy with a short hair-cut could be sling’n dope. The unfortunate truth is that Black men, by default, are stereotyped but having the right conduct can go a long way. A man who doesn’t want to be mistaken for a thug can easily conduct himself otherwise. And you don’t have to have locs to be masculine.

7. When did you decided to go natural/dreadlock?
I decided to go natural in late 2006. I had a relaxer all my little life up until then and I was beginning to see changes and decided to quick while I was ahead. I had not experience with my natural texture; it was a true learning experience. In early 2007 I went and got starter locs. Unfortunately I don’t have that first set now, I combed them out 9 months later and started a second set and kept those for just over 2 years. And I had another set for about 6 months and a week after for them reinstalled. I know, I was doing way too much! But, there’s a reason behind all those restarts; they were never in vain.

8. Do you view wearing dreadlocks as a larger tie to the African American culture?
9. Is there a generational gap of misunderstanding about the political component associated with the dread wearers of Jamaica?
10. Does it concern you how other ethnic groups view young black men wearing dreadlocks?

My concern isn’t so much with other ethnic groups; my concern is more on other Black people. Let’s address the issues amongst our own people before we try to fix someone else’s views.

11. Are Dreadlocks just another hairstyle or is there a certain responsibility or honor that comes with wearing dreadlocks.

I always caution again using “hairstyle” when describing dreadlocks, generally. They are much more than a style by themselves, they can certainly be styled but the locs themselves, to me, are more meaningful. Every one has different reasons and convictions on why they wear their hair a certain way but for me locs a representation of self. I’m free spirited, creative and outspoken; my hair fits perfectly into that description.

Whether you have locs or not, honor your elders, respect others and handle your responsibilities honestly and responsibly. Locs don’t automatically make me or anyone else more deserving of respect; you get what you put out. Whether you wear them for religious or personal convictions, don’t knock someone else for their choices.