Princess' Journey to Sisterlocks

This blog was developed to document my personal hair journey, from natural beginnings, thru all the trials and tribulations, to where I am today, BACK TO NATURAL!. I have finally reached the Sisterlocks pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. I have come full circle!

Friday, April 07, 2006

It's my Birthday ... Happy Birthday to me!

Well, with God's good grace, I have made it to my 44th birthday ... today! And for my special day, I decided that my usual freestyle just wouldn't do, so I would not do that 'do; I would do a new 'do.

For this style I did a thorough wash with JML Tingle Shampoo, conditioned with the JML Protein Conditioner, applied the No Itch Gro Spray to my scalp and then a light coating of the Island Oil all over. I let my locs partially air dry for about an hour or so, then braided them into about 30 braids which I then rolled on rods.

After completely dry (some air, some dryer) I removed the rods, and this is the result ...





And after removing the curly braids ... Waaalaaa!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Issues? Not Anymore! I just don't worry about it ...

Here I will address some of the (perceived?) issues that I have had with my Sisterlocks over the past 2 1/2 years. These are topics that have been discussed on the LockItUp webgroup, but which do resurface as new members join and relay their experiences with their SL journeys.

In the early days, before my locs actually "settled", (I thought) there was a problem with an abundance of loose hair around my hairline. Eventually though, this hair began to entwine itself in the nearest lock, thus alleviating that problem!


Not so long ago, I also was curious about a few locks that had "holes" in them. I eventually came to understand that this was probably a result of not retightening correctly. It could have come from not using enough tension while holding the lock when retightening, or perhaps from inserting the tool in the same direction during a rotation. There could be other reasons why this happened that I am not aware of (who knows?)

Here we have a shot of one of my "two headed dragons". This type of loc comes from combining 2 locs together, usually to provide more stability at the root of the loc(s).

Now today, almost 3 years into my journey, the only issue I am dealing with is tryingto keep my parts straight. Actually, it's not so much the straightness of the parts, but it is the catching and snagging of the hairs from other locs that is the problem. You know how much discomfort those little hairs can cause, when they get caught in a neighboring loc. I have very creepy, crawly, clingy hair, which just loves to grab onto other locs, especially in the kitchen area, causing me to have to "pop" the stray hairs ... OUCH! I do the best I can when retightening, but this is something that I will leave up to my consultant to fix when next I see her.

If you find that you have any of the aforementioned "issues", the only advice I can give is to talk to your consultant first, before you try to make any corrections yourself (you might wind up making matters worse). And many times you will find that leaving your locs alone to do their own thing will resolve the problem.

Peace.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Sisterlocks Speech - Outline

For my Verbal Communications class I had to give a speech on a topic that I was well versed in, and I chose Sisterlocks. I only had to turn in the Speech Outline on paper, for the prof to follow during the speech.



(You can click on any of the pics to see them enlarged)

I also had to recite a poem for this same class, and of the ones we could choose from, I chose Maya Angelou's "Still I Rise". You can actually hear Dr. Angelou recite it at http://www.assocblackcharities.org/video/video_2002.shtml. My professor said to make sure we enunciated correctly and to pay close attention to all the cadences in our recitation, so what better way to do it right, than to listen to the original author?

Monday, March 27, 2006

Lock Maintenance

For those of you that have taken the retightening class ... were you taught how to start a loc? I wasn't, and I have 2 locs that just won't stay loc'ed! One is my left sideburn loc and the other is on the same side, but at the nape. I have braided and rebraided these locs so many times, I can't keep count. I even tried cornrowing the one at the nape but it still couldn't hang. I have been maintaining them using the SL tool, or my latch hook, and as long as the hair stays dry, everything's good. But as soon as the slightest bit of moisture hits those locs, they unravel with a quickness. I might have to give a shout out to my consultant if this keeps up. Aarrrrrggh!

Oh, I cut off the rest of my curlyq's! At almost 3 years, about 7/8 of my locs had rounded, blunt ends, but the rest still had curly (and not so curly) hair emerging from the ends. It used to look cute, but as time has passed, it made my locs look less than uniform. And being the anal retentive that I am, those ends just had to go ...

Well, since we're talking about maintenance, I'll just let you know that I am a convert. Thanks to Crickett and the other Jamaican Mango & Lime promoters, I have now bought into the JML product line. Right now on my shower caddy, I have the Tingle Shampoo (which does give quite a tingle) and the Protein Conditioner. In the bathroom cabinet I have the No More Itch Gro Spray and the Island Oil. Let me tell you, that the first time I used the Tingle Shampoo and followed up with the Gro Spray, it was so stimulating, that it scared me. However, now that I know what to expect, I'm ok. (Y'all should have warned a sista') hahaha. The products all smell wonderful, and the conditioner is simply spendid. As I posted on LockItUp a few days ago, this winter was absolutely horrible on my hair. My locs had gotten dry, dull and kind of crunchy (which could have been because I hadn't been keeping up with my usual water intake). Whatever the cause, JML hooked a sista up! From the very 1st use, I could tell the difference, and now that I use the products regularly, my babies are back to their lovable selves.

ttfn (tah tah for now),

Princess

Sunday, March 26, 2006

From the Beginning ...

It all started out so simply ... I was born with thick, soft, black, healthy hair. And I continued this way until junior high, when I was allowed to take on the responsibility of my own haircare; Whew weeee! I could now "style" my own hair! Well, with the onslaught of puberty, and the exposure to the varied hairstyles of girls from outside of my neighborhood, I went nuts! I wanted to try all of those new hairdo's ... but in order to do them, I needed a PERM! That was the beginning of the hair abuse ;o(. From that perm, which was retouched for well over 10 years, I progressed to the dry curl (never did get the wet curl), then back to the perm. For all the damage that I know perms can cause, I must say, that my hair always APPEARED to be very healthy. Now I'm going to tell you a secret, and please don't scream ... but on one occasion, when I got a dry curl that I really didn't like, I went home the same day and put a Dark & Lovely relaxer right on top of it. And to make matters worse, I colored my hair 2 days after that. I now realize that it was only by the grace of God that I had any hair left on my head! After everyone I knew berated me for my cluelessness, I left my hair alone to recover from whatever damage I may have done. Surprisingly, you really couldn't see any surface damage: no hair loss, no limpness, no ragged edges, nothing.

For the next several years, I was in hair confusion, y'all! In between the on and off perms, I would get so disgusted I'd just go back to being "natural" again. I would cut off all the perm, grow back my natural, and wear it in a twa or a tapered fade for a while. Then, when it grew out to a length where I could style it, I pressed and curled it. But when I grew sick and tired of my hair "reverting" everytime it got wet, I tried a texturizer. That worked for a short time, but I soon became disenchanted with that style as well. So, when I grew tired of that, I went right back to the dreaded perm! Drama, drama, drama, drama! Y'all it was a vicious cycle!

But by my late thirties I decided that I had had enough! That was it ... no more hair abuse (or so I thought). Although I gave up the abusive perm, I went right into the braid phase. And we know that not ALL braiders know what they are doing. I went to some braiders that would pull my hair so tight that tears would well up in my eyes. I finally figured out that if I told them that I would not pay if they hurt my head, that, somehow seemed to convince them to ease up on all the pulling and tugging (go figure). Now mind you, all this time what I really wanted was to find a way to wear my natural hair, that would allow me to swim, play, sleep, whatever ... and still my hair would remain as-is, nice and neat; no muss and no fuss. No shrinking, no limp curls, no frizz. I didn't want to have to press it, curl it, grease it, braid it, pick it or slick it ... nothing! I wanted wash and wear hair!!! And that, my friends, is when I discovered locks! Whew weeee, that is what I wanted ... and I wanted it BAD!

However, it just wasn't that simple (sigh, it never is, is it?)

I started accosting everyone I saw who had any type of locks. "Where do you go to get yours done?" "How much is it?" "How often do you have to have it redone?". On and on it went, until finally, I went and got my "twists" in. I hated them! I had a bunch of little strings hanging in my head. I really didn't even give it a chance. I couldn't stand it. But that didn't deter me. I went to 9 different salons (can we say wasted $$), before I realized this wasn't gonna work. I went back to braids. From the braids I progressed to kinky twists, which eventually led me to attempting to lock my hair using my own hair via the 2 strand twist method. But I made them too fat, and couldn't get the right thickness I wanted.

Then one day, while browsing the net, and came across Cherie King's website ... and I was hooked! Bradelocz was the way I was going to achieve my locs. I was sooo excited. I ordered the e-book and paid a girlfriend's niece to braid my hair into tiny little braids. I kept those puppies in for months, but alas, that didn't work out either. Everytime I washed my hair, I would have to keep rebraiding all the braids that unraveled, or came out completely. My hair just would not cooperate (or perhaps I was too impatient). But still I didn't give up!



That is when, by chance, I discovered Sisterlocks. FINALLY, I could e x h a l e !!!

Now don't get me wrong, this journey of 2 1/2 years has not all been a bed of roses, but it sure has been one of the best roller coaster rides I've ever been on. Even with all of the ups and the downs, the highs and the lows, the bunching and the crunching, I know for certain, that this is the very BEST thing that could have ever done for my hair, and for my mental well being) :o).


I have had fun trying different styles with my locs. I have worn flat-twists, ponytails, braidouts, bantu knot-outs, french rolls, and everything in between. And when I didn't feel like doing anything at all, there was always the easy, breezy freestyle!

Now here I am, on the
cusp of my 3 year anniversary, and I couldn't be happier with my Sisterlocks!