I’m long overdue with the close-up I’ve been promising you of my sisterlocks—just shy of 2.5 years old. These photos are accidental in the sense that they are for another purpose. However, rather than waiting around for the perfect hair day to take close-ups and another two months passing, here we are.

I was a bit surprised by the reddish tint up top. I haven’t done henna in months but it’s still hanging in there.  I want to color as soon as possible. My grays are getting way too cozy and inviting all their friends, much to my chagrin. I was going to DIY but since I haven’t had any chemical in my hair in around 10 years or more, it’s probably best that I leave it to a professional.

Here are some inspirations:

 

 

 

Stay tuned!

My hair is still growing at an amazingly fast rate. I went one more week than normal and it took an extra 1.5 hours to re-tighten. Not sure what I owe that pleasurable experience to. I do have a big salad several times a week with fresh greens and veggies. Other than that, I can’t say I’ve been eating any better–unfortunately.  It just seemed after the second year, my growth took off. I’m  trying to find the sweet spot with the length of time it takes to re-tighten my hair. All I keep hearing about is the density causing it to take forever. Sigh. I am now convinced that they do NOT need to be any smaller. Small + dense = an install every 5-6 weeks. NO MA’AM!

I am  still using the same products. After I color I will definitely be using the Sisterlocks moisture treatment to prevent breakage and drying. I’m also thinking about trying the Wen line as I understand it maintains color for a long period of time.

Until next time, continue to love and embrace the bend of your hair!

If you’ve been following my journey for any length of time, you can see what I meant in the last post. I am going through a serious growth spurt. I got re-tightened at five weeks and had an amazing amount of new growth. The consultant said “you must be eating your spinach!” I think by year 4, I should be at the maximum length I’m wanting to achieve and will likely keep it cut after that.

Yes, I’m looking towards the future with these locks.

My last re-tightening only took about 4 hours. Praise the Lawd! The consultant was able to get through my hair much faster. So it seems it may be a matter of me cutting down on the length of time between my retightenings. This actually may work better for me because I’m finding that I prefer the look of a fresh re-ti more than I used to.

I’ve been pretty lazy with my hair this summer. A high ponytail or a couple of large twists are all I’ve been doing. I haven’t bothered to curl it because it’s useless. The curls don’t hold past a day or two. An hour of my life I can’t get back.

No change in my regimen lately except that I’m going to refrain from spritzing with the water and oil daily. I think that is surely contributing to the frizziness I’ve been experiencing. I still want to get them groomed and colored for the Fall. I want to try Naturtint instead of hard core color. I’m still scared to color them chemically.  Truth be told, I’ve used nothing but natural products in my hair since way before I’ve been locked. I’m not particularly interested in changing that. I plan to order the Reconstructor before my appointment though. I understand that is the best product to protect the hair after coloring.

Of course I will be back with plenty of photos once I’ve had all of this done.

Continue to love and embrace the bend of your hair.

 

First, I want to thank everyone who has commented here with advice and encouragement or simply checked in to see what I decided as I stood at the crossroads. I truly appreciated your words of encouragement.

So here I am at 26 months locked.

Sisterlocks photo

This was a quick pic taken a couple weeks ago after I washed in preparation for my re-tightening — an ordeal that took seven LONG hours.  I blame part of that on pushing up against the 8 week mark and my growth spurt. However, my latest loctitian also confirmed, as the last two have, that many of my locks are much bigger than they should be which makes it hard to use the official Sisterlocks tool on my head. She also said that they aren’t uniform within the same section of my head. In some places, a smaller one would be next to one that is bigger. I don’t even know what to say about that.

Moving on.

The density of my hair is also apparently an issue, which I rebuke. I have a LOT of thick hair and a large dome. But I only have 452 locks. I’ve seen people with 600+ talking about being re-tightened in 3-4 hours or less. So is she saying that my problem locks and dense hair will never let me be great and have a pleasant re-tightening experience that doesn’t last a damn work day?

She is also the first to say that my grid isn’t correct in places so she had to re-tighten in a different pattern than she is used to. I didn’t necessarily buy that because that is my first time hearing it after having been to a couple different consultants after my installing consultant. But what has been consistent is that I have cause for concern about the size problem and how it’s affecting the length of my re-tightenings. I really cannot take sitting for several hours anymore. I don’t have the time or the patience. It also affects me physically as my behind, neck and back are in pain throughout the next day.

At this point, I’m kind of paralyzed by indecision. Most days I go about my business. Then I’ll get into a rut where I want to just rip them out and be done with it. The way I’m leaning though is just pushing on with my Brotherlocks and hoping they look better as they grow out. I’m finally getting to a length that I can truly rock with. I’ve come a long way baby! I just can’t see going back there at this time. Besides, my face is er…fuller…and I don’t think I can rock shorter hair right now.

I can also finally do a high pony without falling locks. *does the whop*

Not to mention the expense. I’ve also been majorly bitten by the travel bug. I’ve got three possible international adventures on tap for next year. Paying a consultant several hundred more dollars is a painful thought right now.

I will just continue to pray that I find a patient, capable, seasoned consultant who can work with my hair and start splitting some of these locks. I have been playing the consultant shuffle, which is another source of discontent.  I do not want a lot of hands in my head. I was with my last stylist before I locked more than 6 years. I  know exactly what I’m looking for and let’s hope I find it soon! With the growing popularity of Sisterlocks, the consultants are getting busier. I wish I was the do-in-yourself type. Not happening.

In any event, I’m just doing the best I can to take care of my locks. I’m keeping my regimen pretty simple these days. Still rotating through a few different shampoos—- Jane Carter, Anita Grant shampoo bar (really love these), Karen Body Beautiful, Shea Moisture, Eden Bodyworks. That looks real product junkyish huh? Welp. I deep condition with Karen’s Body Beautiful Loc Mask and use the Sweet Ambrosia as a leave in to seal. I like my oils but my potential new consultant wants me to leave the oils alone. She claims the tool slides around too much with the oils left on my head. Again, another first. I came in with a clean head and had even used a clarifying treatment.  I don’t know! I spritz daily with water infused with essential oils. Maybe I’ll just stick to that for a while and see if my locks still feel parched. I think I’m #TeamMoisturize for mature locks. I really don’t subscribe to the school that your hair doesn’t need anything on it. I’m not trying to get them to shine because it ain’t happening. But I do think in addition to staying hydrated, the hair needs added moisture.

I’ve also been getting styles periodically. At a #TeamNaturalHair event, I met the lovely KiKi who has been hooking with up with some funky stuff. If you’re in the Maryland area, check her out! She’s very reasonable. She did the lock loops you see in the first photo below.

That’s all for now.  If you are considering sisterlocks, I still highly recommend them. This journey is an individual experience. Do your research. Talk to several consultants. Look at various pics of their work. Connect with some online forums and soak up all the info you can.

Continue to love and embrace the bend of your hair ladies! I’m STILL working on it.

So today, I’m 21 months locked…and considering starting a new set.

Just sharing some photos of my hair over the past few months.

18 MONTHS (my preferred look – all “bird-nested out” as my boyfriend would say. He prefers the flatter look you’ll see below. Whatev.)

Sisterlock photos

Sisterlocks photos

19 MONTHS (this was my first professional style after my first re-tightening by a new consultant. Didn’t love it.)

Sisterlocks style

Sisterlocks photos

21 MONTHS (2 days after re-tightening – lots of growth)

Comparison shot (2/2011 to 2/2012)

sisterlocks photos

sisterlocks photos

sisterlocks photos

sisterlocks at 21 months

You can really see what I was talking about in this last photo. I have small traditional locks. Hell, I wonder whether I should start palm rolling and save some money! </joke> Sort of.

I came across some old posts where I talked about loving my hair no matter which way it turned out.  So I’m going to meditate on that and I’ll be back with an update.

Continue to love and embrace the bend of your hair ladies! I’m working on it.

I won’t go into a full review of this event since it happened almost three months ago. I did want to finally share my photos from the event. It was so nice to be around so many sisterlock rockers.  And I must say, I’ve never gotten so many compliments on my hair. Ever. Most people I know in real life don’t comment on my hair at all. So it threw me for a loop. People stopped me to take photos. It was nice, especially since I’ve been silently…and now not so silently agonizing over how it’s coming along.

The best part was running into a blog reader (Hey girl!) who had been reading before she decided to get installed. She said I was one of the reasons she decided to pull the trigger. That touched me deeply. Just when you think no one is reading.

Her baby locks are lovely, aren’t they?

Another highlight was running into the first woman I met that had sisterlocks. They still look absolutely gorgeous.

She locked up her baby too. Adorbs! She participated in the hair show at the Revolution.

She wasn’t the only locked little one in the house. My heart melted at this little diva. Can you imagine what her locks will look like by her teen years?

She gets it from her Mama, the lovely lady on the right…standing behind the equally lovely lady with the most stunning locks.

Great running into more women I talked to when I was researching. Her journey has been amazing.

Sisterlocks are beautiful. I’m so glad to be part of this sisterhood regardless of whether my locks fall into what’s considered “the norm.”

Sitting in on a styling class with Sisterlocks creator, Dr. Joanne Cornwell.

Another highlight was meeting this lovely lady after checking our her vlog. Her hair in the last video she posted is gorgeous. The way it falls and frames her face. I love it. She’s even more stunning in person and this up-do is every single thing!

Hope you enjoyed these and are inspired to lock on with your bad selves!

Continue to love and embrace the bend of your hair!

If so, let’s connect! I have some lovely lock and natural hair boards.

If not, stay away. It’s ADDICTIVE.

So I’ve been ending each post with “love and embrace the bend of your hair.”

I think I need a reminder.

As I type I’m  considering taking down my locks and starting over.

Ready for the back story? Here it goes.

Over the past several months, I’ve had my hair re-tightened twice by two different consultants. My installing consultant is currently taking a break.   Remember, I’ve been with my installing consultant from the beginning. Never had anyone else touch my locks. So  while I was nervous about having someone else re-tighten them, I definitely wanted to make sure they were doing okay while my installing consultant is on break.

Although I wasn’t a fit with the first consultant for several reasons, she did ask something that got me concerned. “Did you ask for your locks to be installed this big?” The way she asked bothered me, and was borderline offensive. I responded that I requested they be small but I thought they were just in the plump phase. She didn’t respond to that but later said “well at least your grid looks correct.” Alrighty then. I kept asking her questions about my locks but she was non-commital for the most part. I suppose you have to become a steady client before you get real feedback on your locks. I’ll let her cook with all of that. We just we’re a good fit.

However, the question over the size kept nagging at me everytime I looked in a mirror. Not to mention, I’ve had quite a few people ask if I have traditional locks – even at the Sisterlocks Revolution we had here a few months ago. I want to cry real tears when I’m asked that. No shade to the traditional lock rockers, but that’s not what I was going for. AT ALL.

However, it’s a fact, many of my locks are much bigger than I thought they would be. I know you’re not supposed to compare your journey to anyone else’s. Different hair types, different looks, different results. However, there was always a look I was going for that I thought I could get close to with the small and medium locks that were to have been installed on my head almost 2 years ago. I asked for all small locks actually but was told that you don’t install one size over the entire head, which is understandable.

I thought all this time that they were just in the unruly teen phase,  plump and swollen because I have a lot of density. I’ve just been patient with them, as you’re supposed to be, and have been waiting for them to condense a bit and become more manageable. My ass can’t style worth a damn but these plump locks don’t make it any easier. But I’m sitting around thinking it’s all a part of the journey and waiting to get to the good part.

Sunday, I went to a new consultant who was pre-screened by my installing consultant. We had a consultation and things were good to go.  My re-tightening took ELEVEN and A HALF HOURS. I practically had another installation! During this 11 hours, bless her heart, she straightened out my grid as best she could and alerted me to some issues with it. I was troubled by that but not as much as her telling me that I in fact had XXL locks.

WHAT YOU TALKIN BOUT WILLIS?!

She showed me locks throughout that she thought should have actually been two locks.  She had a rough time retightening me with the hook tool because of the size of the locks. She had to gently push it through the lock which took a lot of time. The other consultant used the same tool and obviously had the same issue. However,  she forced it through the lock recklessly. She tore and ripped through my hair without a care in the world. I had to restrain myself when one of my bulbs on the end came flying off in my lap.  I was installed and maintained with either the nappylocs or clip tool. I should know that, but don’t get me to lying.

After leaving there, I felt and still feel some kinda way! Strange thing is, I’m not angry. Just a bit disappointed and…saddened. I don’t blame anyone. This is just a part of my journey and I’ve got to decide where to go from here. I’ve got well over two grand and HOURS of my life invested in these locks. But if  this is what they are going to be forever, I’m wondering if I should get off this bicycle now and go back and put the training wheels on, so to speak. Or should I just learn to love them as they are?

Before I make any final decision, I will let another consultant or two take a look at them. In making a decision this big, you can’t just take one and a half persons word for it.  If another consultant(s) tells me that my locks were installed at the correct size and that my hair was likely going to do this regardless, I will have to keep it moving.

Frankly, I am going to Paris this Spring and prayerfully South Africa next spring. Another installation is not really in the budget. However, my hair is my crown and I have to be happy with it. As I’ve been taking another look around the sisterlock world, I see that my lock size is not unusual. of course. I always accepted the fact that my hair was going to do what it was going to do. I just want to know that I got what I asked for. That’s it. That’s all.

I didn’t include any pics of my do because I’m not really feeling it right now. I haven’t curled it in weeks. It is growing nicely and it’s great to see my grid. I’ll be back with an update once I figure this all out.

Thank you for “listening!” Any thoughts are welcome.

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