Ninth Annual DC Love Locs Natural Hair Expo

For the Love of Natural Hair

Tempie leads a planning meeting. 

Natural hair love and education continues to flourish in the African-American community as Tempie Satcher-Ducosin of Asaze Natural Hair plans the ninth Annual DC Love Locs Natural Hair Expo. Satcher-Ducosin’s enthusiasm and passion for natural hair is the driving force in the planning of the event, on a shoestring budget with only a small committee of family and friends helping at the end of the six-month planning process.

The event will take place from 12:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 19, at the St. Elizabeth’s East Gateway Pavilion. This year’s theme will focus on fitness and nutrition for healthy natural hair. MC Quest will serve as the master of ceremonies as he has in years past. Lauren Jackson of “TheSisterLockedDiva” blog will serve as the designated blogger for the hair expo. The family-friendly program includes a variety of workshops on hair and nutrition, a fitness demonstration by Da Go-Go, and an evening fashion and hair show. Vendors will sell everything from food to hair products and fashion accessories. Tickets may be purchased at www.dclovelocsexpo.com. 

Although Satcher-Ducosin has a steady base of vendors that participate in the events, she has experienced challenges in finding corporate sponsors for the community event and dreams of all the things that she would do with a proper event budget. She feels blessed that her grassroots efforts have seen the event grow over nine years to several hundred attendees and a day of celebration and education in her community.        

A certified natural hair stylist with a home-based studio in Northeast, Satcher-Ducosin helps customers with their traditional and interlock locks. She has had natural hair for almost 30 years, long before it was stylish to have natural locks in the African-American community. She remembers as a tender-headed child being marked by an awful hair experience. Her mother would treat her hair with Vigorol when she was in elementary school. One summer, in York, Pa., her hair was treated with a perm on top of the Vigorol, and the combination proved to be too much. Much of her hair broke off, creating bald spots, at a time when a girl was hard-pressed to find a wig.

Today Satcher-Ducosin is impressed with all of the options available to natural-hair-wearing sisters. There is a lot more information available to the public, and she is always checking youtube.com for the latest videos in the natural hair movement.        

Satcher-Ducosin began her hair journey away from relaxers and chemicals with braided extensions. Though stylish, she was happy to leave the salt-n-pepa asymmetrical haircuts behind, and no longer worried about covering bald patches where her hair had fallen out from harsh chemical relaxers.

She transitioned to locks and has been locking her hair for the past 15 years. She had traditional locks for about seven years and still keeps her first set of locks in a glass vase in her natural hair studio in her home. Since cutting off her traditional locks she wears her hair in sisterlocks embellished with a dark red rinse. The thinner gauge of sisterlocks allows for easier curling and added versatility in styling. 

Satcher-Ducosin maintains her locks with regular appointments with a sisterlocks specialist. She sleeps with a satin scarf covering her locks every night and works diligently on maintaining a good level of moisture in her hair. She routinely massages her scalp with olive oil. Though she knows of societal stereotypes that locks are dry, coarse, and dirty, the locks in her social circle are stylish, moist, clean, and beautiful. “I don’t call them dred locks because locks should not be dreaded. They should be loved. That is why, I call them love locks and named the expo ‘Love Locs.’” 

Satcher-Ducosin, born and raised in Southeast Washington, is a true gem east of the river. When she is not planning the expo, her “baby,” she is an avid country music karaoke singer a couple of times a week. She infuses her own style of blues into traditional country songs. Her favorite singers include Shania Twain, Tricia Yearwood, and LeAnn Rimes. Satcher-Ducosin consumes more sushi than soul food with her husband of 13 years, Dennis “DJ Duke” Ducosin, a Hawaiian of Asian ancestry and a former colleague.

An optimist, Satcher-Ducosin survived being laid off from federal employment and has thrived in her entrepreneurial ventures. She has collected inspirational words in a self-published book, “Don’t Get Discouraged … Be Encouraged,” and created a line of soy candles to accompany the daily devotional words. Satcher-Ducosin uses her creativity to live life on her own terms and pursue her varied interests, of which natural hair is the most important.

Ferzana is a thinker, writer, and blogger co-working from the Hive 2.0 in historic Anacostia. You can follow Ferzana’s ramblings at @byFerzana on Twitter or Facebook or check out her start-up blog at www.byFerzana.com.


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