Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Two years going on three


Soooooo.... I realize it's been almost a year since I posted! Whoops!!!


To be honest, it's not as if I have forgotten to post... it's really that I haven't quite figured out what to post about!! You see after a while hair is just hair... and there's only so much you can talk about when it comes to hair... especially if you're like myself where most days you don't style your hair and you simply shake it out and go. It's hair and it's growing. As of today unstretched it sits between the shoulder blades while stretched (not like it matters) it BSL. One style that I do enjoy doing when I have the time is the bun... as you'll see in a little bit

So my hair routine hasn't change besides the fact that I have tried on three separate occasions to dye my hair (box dye) and have only accomplished to had a slight tint to it... seen mainly in light only *eye roll* I'll admit I'm afraid of bleaching it to lift the color then applying color simply for the fact that I do not wish to weaken my locs. I just don't trust it even, conditioning be damned. So alas I'm stuck with the color God has given me, lol. Nothing wrong with that I suppose.

As far as styling goes, as I alluded to earlier I don't do much of it. Which is probably best when starting out your locs as excessive stretching can lead to locs weakening. Full disclosure: despite this philosophy I have had a couple of locs snap. I was dreading the day this would happen, but when the day came I found I didn't really care. Whereas when I first got my locs installed I think I would have freaked out and shed a tear or two...., but as you locs mature and begin to figure themselves out you accept that this is just part of the process! no big deal! Unless of course a few locs become several locs. Then maybe go see your consultant.

Speaking of consultant. I'm still seeing mine. I've been tempted to take a sisterlocks retightening class... but hell, who am I fulling. I can't even be bothered to style my hair. But maybe one day...

But enough of me yapping... here's so pictures  (selfies) in no particular chronological order of my hair in the past 12 months.

Oh and yes this has been the best hair decision I have made. No regrets and my BFF joined the sisterlocks family this past year! Yay!

Enjoy!


 




 
                                   






Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Sisterlocks at 19 months!...Counting down to two years!

October 2014  (3 months)          October 2015 (15 months)


From Neck Length to Shoulder Length - A year's difference
So as is typical of me I am overdue on posting updates. As of today I am... mmm 1 year and 7 month's into my journey. I find there's not much to talk about really. I mean it's hair... I wash it, I style it... sometimes, I retighten it and it grows (yay!). I've been eager to get past the 2 year marks cause if my other blogging sisterlockers are correct that's when you see some magical growth happening! I'm still religious about my retights every 4 weeks. And I wash my hair about a week and a half when my scalp gets too itchy to bare. My styling is still rudimentary at best. I'm so lazy with it! I admire all sisterlockers who put curls in their hair and do all this and that with it.... Enh.. I'm impressed when I actually get up and try to do something with it. Usually I just wake up and go, lol!
              
Woke up and tried...(lol)                       Wake up and Go                                    Styled

Loc Surgery!

Before       After 
So when I was a natural, before I started my locs I had issues with breakage. I did all the moisturizing tips every You-tuber ever published. My frustration with the issue is actually one of my bigger motivators to start my locs. Well the my old friend decided to rear its ugly head is quite a different way. Overtime I noticed several strands thinning mid length. The thinning actually looked to be due to unraveling of the pattern in some places (A result of premature abandoning of braiding and banding????  who knows? )  Naturally, this concerned me and frustrated me. I was prepared to simply take a scissor to the locks and cut away the weakened area and giving the loc a chance to start again. However, an epiphany came across me and I realize that this was the reason I had a consultant. I brought it to the attention of my consultant she  No problem! Come on by! She had me come over later that day and waaaahlaaaah! She fixed it! She did loc surgery. Now I couldn't see the technique she used (this is how they stay employed) but it clearly involved needle and thread. I thought the results  on my three problem locs looked amazing and natural. I tell you she proved her worth with that because I was on the fence of taking the retightening class and going it on my own. Not anymore!
Before       After 
Before       After 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Oh My! Look at the time! It's already been a YEAR!


1 year!.
2 weeks
.. not really. It will be a year next week, but you get the gist. It actually would have rolled on by me uncelebrated until a reader gave me a gentle nudge that I haven't updated in quite a while. Last time I posted I was between 7-8 months. So all pictures in this one will encompass months 8 - 12.
Just letting it do what it do!


Staging/Growth

So when it comes to fullness I believe my hair has likely peaked... or at the very least plateaued at the moment. Now I'm finally starting to see the difference in the length! I judge the length my hair while its wet after washing since the weight of the water lengthens the loc some. Is that the best way to do it?? iuhno... I just don't enjoy pulling down on my locs  to see its true length and while it's dry there's shrinkage, so I've decided this is a fair compromise. Two months into my journey my locs were a tad bit longer than neck length, now they're pushing past shoulder length. For those of you hoping for technical side by side pictures from the back or side... or what have you..I'm afraid I will have to disappoint you. My interest in locking up was not to see how long I could grow my hair, but instead the freedom it provided me. So I'm afraid all I have are pictures of me enjoying life! :)

Although my locs are definitely maturing.. You can still see the pattern in some locs but in many it's beginning to fade as the hair starts to matte within in it. I wonder how long that'll take to completely go away. Anyone out there know??

Maintenance

So I guess I'm in the stage in which I'm experimenting with products, mainly shampoos. After running out of Sisterlocks starter shampoo I decided to leave the nest and explore other options. Over the weeks I have tried 3 shampoos.

Alaffia - African Black Soap
     Would be my favorite had I not found Shea Moisture. Doesn't leave hair dry, leaves scalp clean
Trader Joe's - Tea Tree Tingle
     Not bad but my least favorite. Can be very drying, leaves hair flat, smells wonderful
Shea Moisture - Jamaican Black Castor Oil
     My Favorite. Not drying, adds back in moisture and leaves hair light, fluffy and clean

Hair Lengthened Out after Flat Twists
I'm still struggling on finding the conditioning balance. I don't know if its because my locs are still maturing but deep conditioning put my hair at risk for slippage (at least for my shorter locs). Not conditioning causes breakage that I can see. At the moment I've been playing it by ear seeing how my hair feels and doing a regular condition when it's starting to feel dry. I think the trick for me is going to also be finding the right shampoo and regimen. It has been less of a problem since I've switched to Shea.

For issues with dry scalp I can usually keep it under control by applying a mix I made of natural hair/scalp friendly oils to the scalp after washing. This usually lasts me for the entire week until the next wash. Shea butter also has a superfruit scalp oil that I think works just as well as my oil mix.

I was tempted to try the moisturizing spray Sisterlocks makes as a way to add moisture in between washes. If I do say so myself, don't waste your money. I have been able to discern little to no difference between using that and water.  Blah.

Styling

Freedom to Workout!
So I have to admit. I style my hair less and less these days and I LOVE IT. I have always been, since childhood, not keen on spending a lot of time on my hair day to day. So after washing my hair I will put it in lock-loops and take them out the next morning. I do my loops in large sections cause I also hate tight curls (queue flash back of horrible family picture with me looking like a black curly sue), as a result my curls are more waves then anything else and only last 3-4 days max. After which I just let it be until my next wash. In addition to my shear laziness and lack of desire, I also have made going to the gym at least 4 times a week part of my regimen. Sisterlocks curls are just as vulnerable to sweat and water as permed hair. So that gives me less of an incentive to style my hair.

Now make no mistake about it... I'll do a little something to my hair every now and then... but usually if I style it, It'll be the good ole trust hair to the side.
Birthday updo! 

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Sisterlocks at 6 months

7 months
Ok, so the title is a little false. At the moment I'm actually past 6 months and currently I'm between 7 and 8 months, but those are such odd numbers for an update so I'm cheating.  I know I've been MIA on my journey somewhat.... but what is there really to say month to month that isn't grossly different from what I said the previous month?

4 months
4 Months
I have settled into my journey so much so it's hard to think of it as a journey. Shrinkage is still an "issue" an issue I don't think about but I know some people may be curious. My hair appears about 3 inches shorter that what it is. I don't notice it and it doesn't bother me. I do finally notice some growth. I'm think that may be due to locking process advancing. The more locked they become the less shrinkage there seems to be, which translates into the hair seeming longer. My sister says the biggest difference she has seen has not been in growth but has instead been in volume. I'm definitely more excited about volume then growth.


Staging 

5 months
5 months
As far as staging I'm definitely settling into the budding phases.  Solid buds have formed on almost all of my locs and the matting process has started to to extend up the rest of the locs.  My late bloomers are the locs in the front. My champions are those towards the middle and the back. I can't wait until I get to the end of these teenage years cause your locs really do whatever it is they want. One day you're having a fabulous hair day, a good shake of the head and BOOM, you're ready for the runway. Other days there's nothing to be done with it. Some days you compromise with your hair.... "I see you unruly hair, and I raise you one loc soc."

Before my installation I did what I thought was a decent trim of my unhealthy ends. But through the budding stage you'll really find out how well of a job you really did.  It's a natural part of the locking process in the budding phase to have some buds fall off as your hair figures itself out. However, the unhealthier  or more straggly/uneven your ends are when you start the more likely a bud will grow on those weak ends and eventually snap off and form a more permanent bud where the ends are less straggly. Though I'm no consultant and I don't know how many is too many, I've had more than my preference of locs go through that aforementioned process. For future sisterlockers who may be reading this. My advice to you is to let go of your desire to keep all the length you can. Give you hair a nice EVEN trim before your install.  If your ends are not healthy and even you're gonna lose that length in the budding process, which logically makes no sense considering you pay per inch in your installation. So save your money and long budding stage

Maintenance




6 months
6 months

What can I say here. I wash it and let it be.   I will confess I abandoned the braiding and banding method way before my 6 months was up.  With the no conditioner no moisturizer ban I had way too much breakage from the rubber bands and braiding than I was comfortable with. Now I'm not saying this is for everyone. I have a really tight and dry curl pattern which made slippage non problematic for me.

I've been religiously getting my hair retightened every 4 weeks. I'm actually kind of sad cause my consultant will be out on maternity leave (congratulations to her!) and I have to find a replacement for the next several months. This has made me play with the idea of taking the retightening class myself, maybe that's next step in the journey.

New Year's Eve
I'm back to using the sisterlocks starts shampoo . Because I have past my 6 months mark I now sparingly moisturizing my scalp and hair after a wash with a oil mix I have. I'm holding off conditioners until I get the OK from my consultant. I'm not trying to over due it on the moisture as they're still locking but I don't want dry brittle hair either. It's a balancing games as always

Styling.

To keep excess water out of my hair after a wash I will flat twist my hair and let it dry that essentially my styling. I've calmed down on the updos, doing them only on occasion in which I'm dressing up for something. I once put them on rollers once. But mainly I just let it be as to not interrupt the locking process as much as possible.

Well that's all I have for an update.

3 months (top), 5 months (bttm), 7 months (rt)

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Investing In Yourself

So now that life has settled into a new routine for me I've begun to ask myself the question what am I do to do with all this free time? A large part of me was scared of getting trapped in the mundane routine of a 9-5 40 hour work week. Terrified even. I thought about revisiting hobbies of mine, art, paintings, drawings, reading, knitting, but so far none of this has appealed to me as of yet. My creative juices haven't begun to flow yet.

I dunno how the thought came about. Maybe I had just finished a day's worth of useless spending. I came to the realization that in the last 4 years I have invested in all the material things that make me "feel" good. The clothes, bags, hair, shoes, furniture, house, car. All the things I wanted with tangible monetary value I had gathered. As I swiped my credit card to purchase an unneeded bag it dawned of me that I could be doing something much better with my disposable income.

Really with money you have three choices. You can spend it. You can save it. or You can invest it. So I begun think more on investing. And not the kind you do on Wall Street. See there's another type of investing we can do. Investing in ourselves. Unlike Wall Street it has non the risks and all of the benefits. And when I say investing in yourself I'm not talking about buying yourself new clothes or anything regarding your appearance, or anything that makes you feel good, actually.

The type of investment I'm talking about is something that cannot be taken away or devalued by anyone else. It's the same type of investment you make in your self when you choose to go to school, learn a new trade, skill or talent.  For example, once you learn something you will always have knowledge.  What you do and how you apply that knowledge is up to you. But at the end of the day no one can take that knowledge away from you.

That's the kind of investment I'm speaking of. But I can hear a few people saying, well that's not a hard or unique type of investment. After all millions of us seek knowledge, whether its a formal education from Yale or an informal one from the University of Google.  And they would be right. But I'm talking about investing in something many of us, especially as Americans, neglect for a million and one reasons. Our health.



We as Americans are less willing to dedicate the same amount of money and energy to better our health that we dedicate to our materialistic belongings.  But our materialistic possessions only have value as long as others find value in them. Would you want those Jordans if others didn't want or admire them as well? Or that nice car? The nice clothes? The nice bags? So essentially in a around about way we can conclude that these we gather these materialist possessions not just for ourselves, but also for other people.

However, investing in your health is the one benefit that you exclusively benefit from. But man of us find it outrageous to pay $40 for a gym membership. I get it. The monetary investment and the amount of energy needed to be successful can seem steep. But I ask you this. How good is that fancy car of yours if you're too sick to drive it. What purpose do those shoes and clothes have if you're too sick to get out of your bed. I'm not saying go out and go visit your doctor and get tons of prescriptions to help you be healthier. I'm telling you to BE HEALTHIER. Move your body. The human body wasn't meant to be as lazy as our society allows it to be. Eat healthier. The human body isn't meant to process ridiculous amounts of processed foods and sugars.  Invest in your body!

As we have moved into a information driven society the investment of the mind carried more weight than that of the body. But I'm here to tell you that the physical encasement of your soul that keeps you here is just as worthy of an investment as your mind. Not to mention that fact that when it improves so does your mind! So with all this in mind (no pun intended) I decided that I have nothing to lose from investing in my body. I got a gym membership, I got a personal trainer and I got up off my ass. I am making the conscience choice to shift money from materialistic things that serve no other function but to paint a picture for other people to investing in my body and making that my greatest work of art. Join me!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Hiatus Over

So I realized that I took a bit of a hiatus. In my defense I warned that I do this kind of disappearing act every so often. Since my last post I got swept up in studying for my boards, then taking my boards, then starting work, then getting accustomed to the energy level required to work. Well now that that's over I'm baaaaaaaack. I have a couple of entries I'm working on. I most definitely overdue for a sisterlocks update whichI think I may do come this December when I hit my 6 months mark. Besides that I have of topics I think I want to blab about. But not right now. Right now I just wanted to say hello and that I hope you all are doing well!