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)