Friday, December 30, 2011

Lock Resolutions

I resolve to seperate my locks regularly.
I resolve to cover my locks at night.
I resolve to inspect my locks for lint regularly.

These three resolutions some up the challenges in my lock journey. My last row of locs is filled with lint. I've read queries about removing build up and such. But honestly, I don't believe it will remove embedded lint. Lint is a fiber, like our hair. So anything that could "dissolve" lint would have to dissolve hair, also.  With embedded lint the options are cut the locs, comb them out, or color them. For now, I use a Sharpie to color the lint.

Ok, just had to get that out!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

7 month locks, 6 months pregnant

Freshly retwisted! Sorry about the excessive flash.  It makes my head look more "scalpy" than it really is.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

What am I thinking?

Long time no see...

While allowing life to keep me from blogging, I've had a disturbing thought: Maybe I should take down my locs.  There are some hairstyles that I miss and more styles that I'd like to try.  Then I remembered why I wanted locs in the first place, freedom.  With a baby on the way, the LAST thing I want to worry about is my hair.  How do these other mothers do it?!?!?!  Yeah, I may not keep my maintenance schedule but now I've learned to skip the wash if I'm not willing or able to retwist.  I can pin my locks on one side, put on some earrings and lipstick and still turn heads.  Big loose hair is not that easy.

Honestly, I'm accustomed to big, long hair.  I miss it. I've always had one or the other, most often both. But in due time, my locs will satisfy my craving for long hair.

This picture with DH was taken in July.  New pics are coming, I promise.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

4 Month Hair Update

In the "hot rod" before retwisting

I apologize for the bad self-photography.
Twilight Zone. Where are the locs?  Looks like a tangled mass.                 

Finally finished!

Most of my locs are firming up, nicely. But several of them have loose hairs wrapped around the forming loc due to my retwisting issues. When I correct the parts, some strands are pulled from one loc and twisted with the other.  Has any one else experienced this?
Locs like these look fuzzy because there are loose strands wrapped around them. Those strands will eventually work themselves in.

Locs like this one have few or no loose strands. All of the hair is intertwining without interruptions from "part correction".

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Hairy Situation

Happy Thursday, everybody!

Just when I'm finally ready to make a new post with pictures, I can't find the USB cord for my Blackberry! Hubby probably has it.

So after four months with this set of locks, I've learned that I have to separate them constantly or else they will tangle beyond recognition.  One would think the sides or the back would be bad from sleeping on them. But noooooo, it's the crown that wants to become one giant lock with tentacles. I have spent countless hours retwisting  reestablishing parts and enough is enough!  I am now a believer in the importance of separating locs. So much for "keeping my hands out of my hair".  Looks like they need to stay in there if I don't want these 232 locs to become 58.  I think I need to GENTLY twist my hair once or twice a week.

Good News

My locs are getting firm.  It's still to soon to try any real styles or roller setting, though.  I occasionally pin back the sides for variety.The locks at the nape of my neck look and feel more mature than the rest. That surprised me because the hair in that area is looser than the rest.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Status Update

Hey everybody,

I've been a busy bee, working on a musical and handling family matters. Speaking of family matters, I'm pregnant! Hopefully I'll take some pictures and make a thorough hair post next week, when things settle down. Thank you for visiting!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


I apologize for not posting these last few weeks. There's a lot going on with me, good things! I used to wonder how people can go weeks or months without posting on their blog. Now I understand. Here's a picture from three weeks ago. I'll make a more detailed post later. Thank you for visiting.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Too soon

The verdict is in, TOO SOON FOR BRAID-OUTS!

Yesterday, I gave it a try. When I finished the first braid, I knew it would be the last. I braided six locks together and it looked and felt like I was braiding loose hair.  I should have taken pictures of that skinny braid. SMH...

Looking at others' pics and vids, I thought, "my hair is the same length as So&So's, why not". I'll tell you why, So&So's locs are more mature than mine. My hair is not locked at all yet, just tangled. My "locs" are not firm either. Although I have several styles I want to try, I must patiently wait until my hair is ready. Until then I will enjoy collecting earrings.

Monday, May 23, 2011

I did do my hair, see?

Unless you part my scalp, my hair looks the same before and after twisting.  In fact it's become wilder!

2 Months and counting

Saturday I was desperate to wash my hair.  Even though I was going out of town for the day, I HAD to wash that morning!!!  So I washed my hair and twisted as much as I could before leaving.  I did more of it in the car while my husband drove.  In an effort to make some quick bangs to match my ponytail, I twisted some of the front locks the wrong way. And the crown... I just waited until the next day to deal with that.  I'm thinking about doing a braid out later this week.  Is it too soon for that?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

6 Weeks Continued

Enough with the tarantula. Here are some pictures =)
With all this kinky hair, I have some naturally straight strands here and there.  A few years ago, when I wore a big Afro, I had to tuck the straight hairs in.

After wash

The left looks less defined because it's been slept  on. I'll try to sleep on the otherside for the sake of symmetry, LOL. 

Sunday, May 8, 2011

6 Weeks

Happy Mother's Day!

Each retwisting session is shorter and easier than the last, YAY! My locs feel more like locs. The last 3 inches of hair stays in its section and feels kind of firm.  Except for a few rows in "The Twilight Zone", I didn't have to reestablish my parts. That was a HUGE time saver. There were fewer strands in the sink. You know what that means?  The shed hair is staying IN the locs!  I can feel some buds developing along the length of my locs, too.   

Water really is good for locs.  My locs change and mature with each wash.  As a sufferer of Hand In Hair disease, I noticed a huge difference in the look and feel of my hair. I will post pictures soon. Until then this photo represents how my hair looks now.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Wind Beneath My Wings - Hair Inspiration

I am eternally grateful to these women for sharing their hair experiences and advice with the public.

This book by Lonnice Brittenum Bonner, was my BIBLE. I referred to it often for guidance. This book is a must have for anyone with virgin hair. I like all of her books because she shares funny anecdotes about her hair experiences.

Phyllis Johnson
When I saw her YouTube videos, I KNEW  that I wanted Sisterlocks. She's had her locks for over 10 years and does others' hair too! She also has her own line of loc products. I've been using her Conditioning Mist for a few weeks and I like it.

I was inspired by another of Phyllis's videos. This one featured traditional locks.

I was intrigued by the springy roots. All of the traditional locs I've seen before had firm bases, pulled taut. Fast forward three years, and I'm trying to figure out how to have springy roots. That look appeals to me for some reason. I don't know Phyllis's method, but I came up with something.  As my locks mature, we'll see if it works. More on that later.

Bronze Goddess

I recently came across her videos and I am HOOKED. Great styles, tutorials, and advice!

Thank you ladies for helping Sistas with this hair situation, seriously.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Reflections Vol. 1

Being natural for 17 years or so, I often reflect on my hair experiences.  So I've decided to include those reflections here. 

I was about 16 years old in this picture.  It's been nearly a year since my last relaxer. I just pressed my new growth to blend the two textures.  I pressed my hair with an electric, thermostat-controlled marcel curling iron.  At this point I began reading all the hair articles I could find - conditioning, styling, hair and scalp anatomy, you name it.  I had seen many women and girls with damaged hair and I was determined to NOT look like them. That sounds mean, but that was my motivation. My priorities were 
1) prevent damage 
2) style my hair in a way that camouflaged any flaws 
My hair was different lengths, no not layered, just various lengths due to growth patterns and breakage. So I kept my hair pinned up. Since the back section was long I would let that hang while the rest was pinned up. I NEVER wore a wrap or any sleek, Aaliyah-inspired hairdo. I wore curly styles to conceal my uneven tresses. 

One of my favorite everyday styles a single  French braid with bangs. Sometimes I would tuck the braid into the base to protect the ends.  Next would be a French Roll with bangs. The last resort was the Wilma Flintstone hairdo. Those bangs were pressed to death! It's no wonder they suffered heat damage. 

 My mother had/has a Sampson complex when it comes to cutting hair. My only reason for not pressing the issue was my insecurities about having a large head. I "needed" to have a lot of hair with this head. So I trimmed the relaxed ends every few weeks. If any one wants to know more about the "grow out" option of going natural, I can certainly help you. It can be done with patience and careful handling.

Monday, April 25, 2011

What's weird with your hair?

That's what my husband asked when he saw my hair. I'd just spent hours on my hair and it looks basically the same as it did after I washed it.  The only difference is that the roots are neater. The picture below is after I retwisted. The others are immediately after shampooing. Not much difference, huh? 

Products and Procedure
First I do rinse with a 50/50 of apple cider vinegar and water. After it sits for a few minutes, I rinse it out. I mix Suave Coconut Shampoo or Elasta Creme Conditioning Shampoo with water and spray it on my scalp. I work the mixture through my scalp and gently squeeze the lather through my locks.  Rinse, rinse.   Then I towel dry.  For retwisting I use HealthyLocks Conditioning Mist, by Phyllis Johnson, and a mixture of the pink Queen Helene gel and my hair butter concoction. I only use a tiny bit on each section and I mist the undone hair with water as it dries.  It took me about 6 or 7 hours this time. Sounds like a lot, but that was less time than before.  Since the sections at The Crown always disappear  (the coils sorta stay on the ends, but the hair gets all mixed up from the root to about 2 inches), I have to reestablish the parts. I look forward to when that won't be necessary.  That will cut those hours in half!!!!!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

4 Weeks

 It's interesting how shorter locs fall wherever they please. I wrap my hair in a scarf nightly, away from my face. When I remove the scarf in the morning, the locks eventually frame my face, I even have bangs. Now that's what I call a natural style.

 Well, you learn something new everyday! I found out that once you wash traditional locks for the first time they become teenage locs. Makes sense to me. My locs do not look the same after the first wash and retwist. Many of them look like cheese curls. This weekend I will wash and retwist again! My hair is progressing well!

A bit of foreshadowing... Years ago I read some hair advice that said, " styles that work with your hair's texture and tendencies are best and the easiest to maintain." I thought, "Well my hair tends to tangle, should I get locks?" YES

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Why Didn't I Start SOONER!!!

What began as research has become a source of great regret. I'm looking at videos and photos of beautiful, mature locs and I'm thinking, "Why didn't I start locs sooner, like ten years ago? " One  word, FEAR. Here are some concerns that prevented me from locking YEARS ago when I really wanted to and my remedy for them

1. They aren't versatile. I would get tired of letting my locs hang straight all of the time.
What can be further from the truth? There are countless was to style locs!

2. They aren't acceptable in certain social/religious settings.
I was already a maverick for wearing my hair natural during the late '90's but locs  were too "extreme".
Plus I was a member of a conservative Christian  religion with imperialist standards of beauty. "Don't let your appearance be a stumbling block to your ministry" Give me a break! I now have the courage to express myself and not seek anyone's permission or approval. But I had to grow into that courage. Now that I'm in my 30's I finally realize, it's MY life, I'll do what I please, it's only hair!!!

3. When I get tired of them, I'll have to shave my head.
That's not necessarily so. And even if I do decide to shave my head, so what. The hair will grow back, it's not like I amputated a limb!!

4. Locs are not as beautiful, feminine, or sexy as loose hair.
 Another myth. Locs are absolutely beautiful and sexy and feminine. I've turned plenty of heads with my mini locs and now my baby traditional locs. And the best is yet to come!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Too many locs?

After stalking casually viewing other people's blog's, YouTube videos, and Fotki albums, I noticed what appeared to be an innumerable mass of traditional locs was actually 90-150. I have 232! Do I need to combine? I hope not. I don't twist tightly nor do I use clips. Time will tell...

Sunday, April 10, 2011

First Wash Retwist - Early Onset Puberty at 2 Weeks????!!

Wait four weeks to shampoo my hair?  No, thank you. I prefer to wash at least every 2 weeks.  My scalp will itch and flake after 8 days. Plus I'm working out now so I really need some soap and water on my head. It felt sooooo good to wash my scalp! When I washed my hair, all of the coils stayed in at the ends but the parts virtually disappeared.

Retwisting was fine until I got to the crown.  The crown - The Twilight Zone, The Bermuda Triangle - this is the part of my scalp that sprouts 1 million strands per square inch. The more sections I part, the more hair I have left to do.  Time stands still when I get to this part of my head.  No matter what I do press & curl, twists, and now locs, I struggle to complete this area. People are often concerned about styling hair in the back of their heads.  For me that's a breeze, I just grab the hand held mirror as I go.  But when I get to the crown I have to check and check again and check one more time. Speed is not an option here.  Thankfully, once I get to the top and the sides of my head, things progressed quickly.

So after washing and retwisting, my locs are puffy in the middle. I didn't expect them to look like this after the first wash.  Is this the beginning of the teenage stage?!?!  Looks like my locs are experiencing early onset puberty. Maybe I should detangle the hair and redo the coils.  Wait - I'm growing LOCS, so the tangled coils need to stay as they are.