Editor’s Note: For 13-year-old actor Terrence Little Gardenhigh, his sense of style begins at his crown. With lush, black dreadlocs (locs) that flow to the middle of his back, Terrence loves trying different styles whether he’s hanging out with his family or on set (he stars in Nickelodeon’s hit series “Danger Force” and was in “Coffee & Kareem”). Years ago, he begged his parents to let him grow his hair like his favorite NFL player, Marshawn Lynch of the Seattle Seahawks, but we’ll let him tell you the story in his own words.
By Terrence Little Gardenhigh
The Seattle Seahawks have been my favorite team since I was living in Olympia, Wash. I was 6 years old when I saw Marshawn Lynch turn into “Beast Mode.” I witnessed his hair hanging out of his helmet, and I thought that was what gave him his power. I told my mommy I wanted my hair like his, and she asked why. I told her I wanted to have special powers and be strong like Marshawn Lynch, and she said, “OK, let’s do it!”
My mother told me that the style was called dread locs, and she showed me pictures of different styles and asked me which images I liked the best. I was so happy to get started, but when she finished the hairstyle, it did not look like Marshawn Lynch. It was much shorter, and I was disappointed. Seeing the disappointment on my face, my mother explained that I would receive my special superpowers if I took care of my locs, behaved and exercised. I had to work for it, and it would not happen overnight.
I loved the process of growing my locs because my mother made the process fun. Caring for my locs with my mother has been a form of my self-care ritual. My mother washes my locs and soaks them while I lay down and listen to music, or we talk, and it feels so relaxing. Often we find a good movie or something to watch while she puts oil on my scalp and twists my hair. Sometimes I fall asleep because it feels so good.
When I see myself on television, I feel good and proud because I don’t see many others who look like me, and I like to look different. I love for my locs to be styled in different looks, and I feel powerful when I look in the mirror. I love my hair. It just feels good, and my daddy is even considering locking his hair.
I get compliments from other people with locs, and we trade tips on how to maintain them, or we smile at each other and say, “I love your hair!” It’s not for everyone because you go through stages of feeling like it will never grow, and you have to make sure you take care of it. But the best reward is seeing it grow the older you get and how it changes over the years. I can’t imagine how it will look when I’m a bit older, like 18 or so!
I am looking forward to continuing my locs journey.