Rachel Dolezal Debuts New Dreadlocks — Because Who Doesn’t Need a Protective Style?

Source: Instagram
Source: Instagram

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."

A photo posted by (@) on

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.


A photo posted by (@) on

Then, some curly braid action in this selfie:


A photo posted by (@) on

She went back to her "blonde roots" with these dreads:


A photo posted by (@) on

And then this fancy updo that looks like it could be braids or Senegalese twists:


A photo posted by (@) on

Instagram users are also giving Dolezal props for her new hairstyle. 

Source: Instagram

Clearly, there's nothing fake about Dolezal's skills with a few bundles of kinky hair weave.

Read more:
Disney Star's Response to Criticism of Her Dreadlocks Deserves a Standing Ovation
The Huge Problem With the Rachel Dolezal Scandal That Everyone Needs to Know
In One Quote, Rihanna Explains Why She Thinks Rachel Dolezal Is a Hero

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Erin E. Evans

Erin E. Evans is a senior editor of The Movement at Mic.

MORE FROM

Will Justice Anthony Kennedy retire at end of Supreme Court term? Here's what we know.

Rumors that the 80-year-old swing justice may leave the bench are fueling fear of a second Trump pick on the nation's high court.

3 states and D.C. allow same flammable building materials behind Grenfell Tower fire

The causes of London's Grenfell Tower are similar to the justifications used to waive fire regulations in the U.S.

New Jersey bill would require kids to be taught how to interact with police

Students from kindergarten through 12th grade would receive the education.

UK Parliament hit with cyberattack

Members of Parliament had difficulty accessing their emails Saturday in the wake of the attack.

Istanbul LGBT pride march banned by government for safety concerns

A right-wing nationalist group has vowed to stop the protest.

Compounds seized by US in December reportedly contained material useful in Russia probe

The Trump administration has reportedly been considering returning the New York and Maryland compounds to Russia.

Will Justice Anthony Kennedy retire at end of Supreme Court term? Here's what we know.

Rumors that the 80-year-old swing justice may leave the bench are fueling fear of a second Trump pick on the nation's high court.

3 states and D.C. allow same flammable building materials behind Grenfell Tower fire

The causes of London's Grenfell Tower are similar to the justifications used to waive fire regulations in the U.S.

New Jersey bill would require kids to be taught how to interact with police

Students from kindergarten through 12th grade would receive the education.

UK Parliament hit with cyberattack

Members of Parliament had difficulty accessing their emails Saturday in the wake of the attack.

Istanbul LGBT pride march banned by government for safety concerns

A right-wing nationalist group has vowed to stop the protest.

Compounds seized by US in December reportedly contained material useful in Russia probe

The Trump administration has reportedly been considering returning the New York and Maryland compounds to Russia.