Friday 30 December 2011

Well Overdue Update

Oh my sisters. I simply cannot believe that I have not blogged in over a year. I've had my nose firmly rooted in everyone else's blogs and forgotten my own.

Well what better time to do an update than on the last day of 2011.

I'm now two and a half years locked. My hair is healthy and strong. I've even dyed the stray gray hairs using the organic Henna that Ofo advised. I think I'm gonna go brown next.

I still continue to re-tighten my locs myself. I've been reading lots about the various re-ti regimens on the LHBE. I don't know whether it's just me, but I think being able to do one's own hair is a powerful skill and everyone should know how to do it. That way no-one holds you hostage.
It takes me ages to do - about a week in total. I divide my hair into quarters and aim to do one quarter each night. I set the time limit to complete this in a week, which means I can let myself off one evening if I don't feel like doing it. Tips for all you DIY-ers...take your time. There is no need to rush. My hair, my investment, my delight.

My hair is now shoulder length and I now feel the need to style it as opposed to freestyling. Anyhoo, enough text - I'll let the pictures do the talking.

One of my first attempts.

My Default Updo

This style is so easy to do and looks very elegant. 5 mins at the most! This is the style that I wear to work

Side (Flat twist) Back (basket weave and tucked in at nape)

Freshly Re-tightened Hair

I don't tend to wear my hair like this much - I find it quite unflattering. Where I do wear it loosely, I will have crinkles (see above picture taken in 2009). This style I find makes my hair look more voluminous.

Well my hair regime remains simple. I still use Aveda products and no longer need to braid and band (which I had to do for 2 years because my hair is fine and of a loose texture).
I absolutely love my hair and get loads of compliments.

Happy New Year. Happy 2012.

Friday 26 November 2010

I can't believe it!

There's a character here on British TV called Victor Meldrew and his signature outburst is "I can't believe it."
So why am I using his catchphrase? It's simply because I cannot believe that it's a year since I posted on my blog. How time flies.
To be honest I found the whole hair blog thing a little self-indulgent, but well I think I should, by way of remaining in the Locked Fraternity, venture once more into Blogdom and give an update.

So What's New?
Well, I've been locked now for 17 months. And dare I say it? Yes I will. I love my Sisterlocks.
My hair has grown well, it is free moving and looks fabulous. The picture below is a recent one (about a month ago) and is used as a publicity shot for my business.

I continue to draw compliments everywhere I go. Most people still don't recognise them as locs and ask how I managed to twist my hair so finely. I have no problems with this and to be honest with you, I simply don't understand why women get so irate if an enquirer mistakes their locs for twists. I lurve telling people that they're locs and not twists, because this new found knowledge fascinates them and initiates further hair questions. As is the strapline from your paper across the pond: Enquiring minds need to know.

So what's the journey been like?
Well I almost had a coronary when I became too blase about my locs a year ago. I made the fatal error of spending too long washing my hair. You see my hair is soft and fine and the prolonged wash, though appropriately braided and banded, caused significant slippage. So much so that my ends came undone and so did my locks - after 6 months excellent progress.
I was absolutely distraught when Marie, my loctitian berated me and told me how foolish I had been to ignore her instructions. My soft hair simply cannot take an agressive wash. Her brutal honesty made me regress to the behaviour of a three year old complete with the trembing lower lip as I tried my best not to cry. The summary is I had to plait down the loose ends by way of damage limitiation. It took a great deal of discipline to do this because my instant reaction was to cut them all off!
The moral of the story is: Do what your loctitian tells you.

Well 9 months on and all is well. I'm nearly locked but have curly Q's on most of my ends. I think this is the way my hair is going to be. I still braid and band and don't mind it at all.

My regimen is simple. Wash with Aveda Clarifying Shampoo, mist with an essential oil (I simply can't be bothered to mix a whole lot of concoctions) and spray every other day or so with the Olive Oil moistuiser as detailed im my last post. So easy and it gives me great results. My hair is beautiful and healthy. I've had no problems at all!

Now I've saved the best news till last - I self maintain. 'Let freedom reign'. Yes fellow sisterlockers, I have taken the class and now do my hair myself - every six weeks. Regrets? I've had a few cos I've married several together on different occasions. But my patient sister has managed to divorce them so that two once again become one. It takes me ages to retighten but so what? I take my time (I schedule to do it over one week) and when it's done, it's done. I don't sweat the small stuff. It takes as long as it takes.

So that's it. My hair is fab, I feel fab. And I can't believe that I'm closing in on 2 years loc'd. I hardly style - prefering to freestyle. But now that it's getting longer I am prone to adhoc experimentation with great results. My fall back position is still is the braid-out but hey - I'm a simpleton.

Hope you enjoyed the update. Take care.

Saturday 28 November 2009

It's good to be back

Well fellow loc'ers it seems that I've been away for ages. In that time I've sported my locs on the other side of the pond in the great city of Atlanta.

Its coming onto 5 months of loc'dom and I can categorically report that I am having the time of my life. Bad hair day? What are those?

Since my last post my hair has changed considerably. The main difference is the thickness. Each loc has become much more plump. My hair continues to grow about 1/4 to 3/4 inch in between each re tightening. I don't observe a great deal of difference in the length to be honest, but my friends and family certainly do. My dad, who is a traditional Jamaican, anti-dreadlock aficionado loved my hair! I couldn't believe it.

My loc hair care regime is simple. I don't spritz with water as I have been advised that this can cause slippage. I simply allow the steam from the shower to do the work for me. Every couple of days I spray sparingly with Olive Olive Moisturiser and this works a treat.
I wash every 2 weeks and just before each 6 week re tightening.

I use Aveda Hair Detoxifier diluted with two-thirds water. Be warned, Aveda products are expensive. But to borrow another manufacturer's anecdote: 'I'm worth it!"
I spray every couple of days with Olive Oil Moisturising Sheen Spray. It doesn't cause build up, smells great and gives my locs a great sheen.

The journey so far has been pretty uneventful. I have minimal slippage and my hair is healthy and most importantly, my consultant Marie is happy. She informs me that contrary to my opinion my hair is nowhere near locking and it might be another year before it does. Am I bothered? Nah! Although a pain, I'll continue to braid and band until she tells me not to.

I cannot describe the feeling of freedom that I experience with microlocs. I really don't worry about being caught in the rain or being wind swept. Just a quick finger comb and my hair is beautifully restored. It's all good. I love the length (because it looks sassy) and when I feel like it I roll sections into Bantu knots to achieve a crinkly, curly voluminous look. I get many compliments and I feel great about my hair and its progress. Check out the pics below.

Sunday 27 September 2009

Locked in the Caribbean

Sisterlocks Meet-up in Jamaica

I've been back home for two weeks now after a very restful vacation in Jamaica. Whilst there I had the opportunity to meet up with the JA Sisterlockers for lunch and it was such a great experience. I had a hard time trying to eat, converse intelligibly and not keep staring at the beautiful head of locs that were attached to the talking heads of these beautiful women. N'Drea, CaribSun and Jastu were a pleasure to meet. It was indeed an honour. Thank you ladies and hopefully I'll catch up with you on my return next year.

So how did my locs hold up under the intense heat? - very well indeed. Marie my consultant had pre-warned me that the intense heat and humidity combined with the fact that I am a newbie, would put my locs at a greater risk of slippage. She was right. I loved that my scalp was constantly damp from my sweating head, but it did cause several locks to slip. Still no great damage and Marie sorted them out for me at my retightening session. Another thing I noticed was that the rate of growth was faster when I was in the Caribbean. So I am moving to Jamaica immediately and my locs will be down to my bum within a year or two. Result!
OK that's a pipe dream but it was amazing to experience such rapid growth.

My hair is changing in texture and thickness as the loose hair that would have been lost through combing is sprouting and wrapping themselves around my locs. Although I've had about an inch and a half of growth you can hardly tell and I haven't noticed a great deal of change in the length. I don't mind because I love the short and sassy look.

Hot Weather. Cool Hair! Literally

My friends and colleagues are beginning to take notice of my hair and are watching the changes keenly. I continue to attract comments (mostly positive) and remain ready to explain my reasons for locking at the drop of a hat. I am determined to enjoy every stage of the locking process and really, REALLY love my hair.

Saturday 1 August 2009

One month loc'd

I cannot believe how time has flown. It's been a month since I've been loc'd and I absolutely love them. I can't really see much of a change in the pictures but my hair feels thicker and they seem to be settling in well. I am such a compliant customer and follow Marie's instructions all the way. I have no problems doing so because I want my locs to look as fabulous as hers do.

A couple of weeks ago I managed to combine my 3 week follow-up consult with a lunch with some of Marie's clients. Well, how can I describe the event? As woman after woman walked into the restaurant I had to make a conscious effort to keep my jaws from dropping open. Everyone's hair looked spectacular. I had to try mighty hard to maintain eye contact and stop staring at everyone's head! I was the newbie - but only just. Being in the company of such natural fabulosity reconfirmed my decision that micro-locing my hair is the very best decision I could have made for myself and I am assured that they are going to mature into a glorious head of locs.
I wish I'd taken pictures but felt a little shy of asking. I will do next time.

Anyway I have had no problems at all. I have had my first wash (braiding and banding) and that went well. NO SLIPPAGE. I didn't really experience any shrinkage after washing and one month on my length is the same as when I was first loc'd. I am not sure if this will change. It is my theory that the shinkage just might be to do with hair type. Coily, kinky hair simply does its own thing when it is in the lock pattern. My hair strands don't have too many coils and therefore not very much elasticity in it and so tugging on a loc doesn't make it any longer. It just hangs straight down with a few kinks.

I have my first retightening in 2 weeks (6 weeks post installation) and am looking forward to it.

I don't really have a hair care regimen as Marie has instructed me not to put any product in it at this stage. I simply allow the steam and the mist from my shower to moisturise my hair. Then with dampened hands I simply run my fingers through my hair and I'm good to go.
I do have the itchies and my scalp is prone to flaking. So Marie has given me some scalp oil (jojoba, rosemary, sage) which I simply apply to the troubled spot.

I have had lots of compliments from friends, family and colleagues. I love seeing the puzzled look on the sisterin's faces as they try to figure out what's going on with my hair. I have been asked for Marie's number but then they get a little put off when I mention that she is 157 miles away. I can understand that not everyone would want to travel so far, especially in the UK, but I simply look at it a 'me' time.

Please enjoy the pictures and feel free to comment.

Saturday 4 July 2009

Britlocs's First Week in Pictures

Week One

So it's been one week since my locs were installed and I have to say I am loving them. Today was their first outing as I have been at a conference for most of the week. I met up with some friends and as I expected they were curious. I anticipated loads of questions but only got a few. The comments were about the size (why so small?), permanency (when are you going to take them out?). But I did have compliments. On the whole my friends liked them.

The real deal will be at work with my colleagues. I work as a senior manager within the corporate sphere.
I have been really shocked about some of the posts I have been reading on the locks blogs re locs and corporate-dom. I'm not sure that we have that problem in England. Here we are pretty much free to wear our hair how we please as long as both it and the person are well groomed. Fellow Brits - please feel free to correct me here.

I have never felt that my hair is a problem and I don't feel differently with locs. I firmly believe that it is the confidence that the wearer exudes that makes all the difference.
At the moment mine are short. I started with 6 inches of all natural hair. I have to say that I LURVE wearing my hair short and so my short and sassy look microlocs perfectly suits my personality. I know I'll mourn its passing in a year or so. However I am curious to see how long they'll grow.