I just wanted to post a quick photo update at 7 1/2 months. Where has the time gone?

I’m starting to get more compliments on my hair now and I find myself responding, “It’s coming along.” That’s what my mother said when she saw it last month. She still calls my locks “pickaninnies.” *eyeroll* I probably need to change that response!

Overall, it’s  continuing to grow and take on that locked appearance, as you can see. I think a few along the bottom row might be just about locked already but the ends aren’t yet sealed. The main problem I’m experiencing now is dryness, particularly around the edges of my hair. My scalp is peeling and I’m constantly picking out huge flakes.

Part of that is my fault because I’m not drinking enough fluids.  So in addition to trying to up my water intake, I’m going to do alternate weekly steam treatments with essential oils and a wash with deep condition.

I’m strongly considering purchasing the Huetiful Hair Steamer that Loc Rocker, Afrobella and Moptop Maven have raved about and that Santa Curly Nikki is giving away. I’m actually pretty convinced after reading Loc Rocker’s review because she also has the dandruff issue as well. Aside from the fact that their product seems to be selling itself through word of mouth and blogger giveaways and outreach, I’m also impressed with how they use social media to connect with the natural hair community. Ive been following them on Facebook and Twitter and their posts and responses seem warm and genuine. They engage their active Facebook community with a lot more than just BUYBUYBUYBUY! And when I mentioned the fact that I was considered a purchase on Twitter, they responded in a way that showed that while they would certainly appreciate my purchase, they also were glad for the consideration and the conversation around their brand. As a social media consultant, this is all very important to me in my purchasing decision. So while I’m praying that I’m fortunate enough to win one, I do plan to purchase regardless and will review it here. Until I pull the trigger though, I’ll be using the  heating cap.

After my recent wash, I sat under the heat cap with  Oyin Handmade’s Honey Hemp conditioner and a mix of rosemary, sage and jojoba oil. My hair felt wonderful afterward. It felt well-moisturized and soft. Since it’s in the “teen” stage of the locking process, it feels a bit rougher to the touch. The deep conditioner has definitely softened it. This was my second time using the Oyin conditioner and I can now definitely recommend it.

We’re having a ridiculously cold winter already so I’m wearing knit and wool hats. I’m concerned about that adding to my dryness problem. I came across some hats online that have silk sewn in but I hesitate to order them because I need to try hats on first. My dome piece is massive! Most hats I find in stores don’t fit either.

I have a two headed dragon in the back. I don’t want a head full of those so I need to be more diligent with separating my locks after washing – though I’m not sure if that’s what caused this because my hand is always in my hair separating my locks. I tried to pull it apart but I felt like I was ripping my hair so I’ll let my consultant handle that. I think she’s going to have to combine it because it seems to be locked already at the top.

I’m considering getting it styled over the holiday break, even though I should wait until after a fresh re-ti and no one is doing that yet but my consultant! If I do, I’ll be sure to post photos.

I’ve been told to stop being stingy with the updates so I must comply!

I don’t feel like there is much to update since my last post. I suppose that’s why I’ve been dragging my feet a bit.

My hair has “dropped,” according to my boyfriend. It’s not sticking up anymore, he announced. Thanks buddy.

He’s right though. Somewhere between the fifth and sixth month, I noticed that when I washed it, the next day it wasn’t sticking up all over the place as usual. It had indeed “dropped.” Loving that.

I haven’t noticed anymore ends sealing but as I head into my seventh month in a couple days, my hair is starting to take on more of a locked appearance. I think I’m into the teenage or budding phase of the locking process.

I’m still leaving it alone for the most part and letting it do what it do. At my last re-ti this past week, I didn’t have any slippage, bunching or any other issues. I’m re-tightening about every eight weeks and washing every two to three. I’m shampooing these days with Dr Bronners Castile Soap in either lavender or unscented and Avalon Organics Lemon Clarfying Shampoo. That’s working pretty well so far. My consultant also recommends Giovanni’s clarifying shampoo. So I’ll try that when I’m done with what I have. I do not need a closet full of products. Notice I said “need.”

I also have started treating my dry scalp with diluted dandruff shampoo. I spray it on and let it sit. Then I follow up with an ACV rinse, still once a month. So far, so good.

I’ve finally been given the go-ahead to start conditioning! I ordered Oyin Handmade Honey Hemp Conditioner and Juices and Berries Leave In (which I will dilute). I cannot wait to wash my hair next and deep condition my tween babies!

Like to see some photos, here they go!

I think you can see here what I mean about them starting to take on a locked appearance. My springs on the end are disappearing.

And now as I am two days away from month seven, here is a comparison shot. One day after installation versus today. As my mother says, they are “coming along!”

I’m finally posting  this long overdue update on the progress of my baby locks so far. I think it’s taken me so long to post because I don’t really feel like they are doing much since I last updated just before month four.

I’ve continued to leave them alone and just let them do what they do. If I’m completely honest, I’m more than ready for the length to really come in but that’s just me being the impatient person I am! I don’t think anymore buds have popped up and the locking process doesn’t appear to be starting yet. I thought it would be by now, based on previous behavior of my hair. I do realize this is totally different process so it will happen when it happens.

My regimen remains the same – wash every two to three weeks, ACV rinse once a month and daily spritzing with distilled water and essential oils. After I had my third re-tightening at the end of September, my consultant said I was experiencing dryness again in the crown of my head. So I put a little jojoba oil directly on my scalp. I’ve also began drinking a TON of water a day, related to other areas of my life I’m working on. So hopefully this helps.

I use my Lock Loops on occasion and really like the curl they produce. Right now, I’m only spritzing with water. I think I will like it better though when I get some hang time and I can use a little product so the curl can hold a bit better.

I’ve slowed up on the wheatgrass smoothies and biotin as well. No particular reason. Well, actually I’ve noticed I can’t keep my eyebrows maintained for more than a week.  So it aids hair growth everywhere.

Here are a few photos over the past couple of months.

The first two were taken two days after I curled with the Lock Loops.

Another random photo on football Sunday a week later. It looks like I had probably curled it again a couple days before as well.

These are month five, taken just the other day. I was on the way to work and did my normal side pin up that you see above. However, I decided to take it a step further and try to do a fauxhawk. When I had my twists, my stylist would braid it up into a fauxhawk. It was so funky to me. I hope to find someone that can do the same. I think I need to get it styled for the first time to combat some boredom I can feel creeping in.

There you have it. Months four and five – as I move into month six. Time is flying.

In the next week or two, I plan to start swimming. I researched swim caps until my eyes glazed over and finally ordered this one.  I’m still waiting for it to arrive and will let you know how it works out. I plan to VERY lightly coat with oil and then leave-in conditioner (after I enter month six), braid and band, and then layer – with that cap being the final barrier between me and the water. We’ll see how it works out. I don’t want to damage my locks but I also need to start swimming. So we’ll see how I can strike a delicate balance. This is another reason I locked. I will not let my hair be an impediment to me maintaining good health.

I decided to take a few photos as my hair was air drying – before shrinkage took away several inches.

I’m still washing roughly every two to three weeks and doing a rosemary and sage tea and ACV rinse.

It seems my consultant finally found the right pattern in the front as I didn’t have any slippage this time. No small fro. It also could have been the fact that the front is growing out and I’m able to braid and band it better.

sisterlocks photos
Sisterlocks photos

I can really see my growth in the back.

sisterlocks photos

sisterlock photos

No wonder my retightenings are taking so long. My hair is dense.

I haven’t curled it in ages. I really don’t like the pipe cleaner curls. I’m going to order some Lock Loops very soon and try those. For now, freestyling is working for me. Sometimes I put a band around the middle and pull the bang out the front. Other times, I let it do what it do.

More buds are popping up and the locks in the back rows are starting to fuse.  I’m finding it harder to keep my hands out of my hair. I just want to feel the process. I need to work on that.

August 1-2 marked three months of being sisterlocked. I’m amazed at the changes in my hair already.

I had my 2nd re-tightening a couple weeks ago. It still took 6-7 hours. We were bleary eyed when it was over so I didn’t take any pics but the growth was remarkable. By the next day, it had shrunken back up so it wasn’t as obvious. The day before I washed it and gave it a rinse with ACV infused with a rosemary/sage tea. My consultant also massaged rosemary and lavender oil into my scalp and gave me a steam treatment. She remarked how much new growth I had before she started. I estimate I had a little more than an inch of new growth since my last re-tightening.

Despite the shrinkage, I think you can see the growth a bit here. The first photo is from the day after my installation was complete. On the right, is a recent photo at three months. They are coming along.

I freestyle most days. I haven’t curled it in some weeks now. I was supposed to get it twisted or braided in the front after this re-tightening. You see how it looks.

To my surprise, buds have started to appear on a few of my locks. There are only a couple so far and they are scattered throughout my head. Also, a few at the very back of my head are starting to lock already. I just noticed that happening a few days ago. I’m not all that surprised because when I would leave my twists in for three or more months, they would start to lock up. I had predicted I would be mostly locked within 6 months. We’ll see if that holds true.

I know the area around my hairline will be the last to lock up. I’m just hoping the new pattern my consultant installed holds up through a washing. I’m going to be very gentle in that area.

Be back later with more updates and photos as I progress.

I just wanted to share some photos of my babies at eleven weeks. My pin up looks a little better this time.

sisterlocks photos

I’m starting to see a little growth. Finally. </impatient> Ignore me. I’m ramping up on the Biotin, multivitamins and green smoothies. My second re-ti is next week and before then, I’ll do another ACV rinse infused with rosemary and/or sage tea that I steep overnight.

I think we’re going to have to try a different pattern around my front edges. They all slid out after the first wash again, even with braiding and banding well. So we’ll deal with that next week.

My little curly q’s look kind of cute in this photo. I wasn’t aware some women wish they had them. I guess I should learn more about hair textures and what the hair will do.

I’m considering getting it twisted or braided up in the front after my next re-ti and then curl the back. Photos to come.

I told you all at the start of this journey that I’m not one for styling my own hair. It’s all about the wake up and go for me most days. I’ve taken to setting it with the pipe cleaners every four days for a bit more definition,  finger raking and rolling out.

I think I’m waiting on it to grow out to a mid-range length and mature a bit before attempting to do more things with it.  I’ve read about people coloring and hot curling at my stage.  That’s just not how I want to treat my babies. Everythang ain’t for everybody.

So here is my half-hearted attempt to style it a bit before going out on the town. I swear the live version was better. The camera hates me these days. So nothing much to see here folks! More of just an update as to how they are progressing as I enter my second month.

sisterlocks pictures

Those spaces are still hanging in there. Surprises me a bit because I thought that was the thickest part of my hair. But it really doesn’t bother me because I never really look back there. It’s also filled in quite nicely since the beginning of my journey. I’ve also resolved myself to the fact that my hair will probably never have a manicured look for long after my re-tightenings because I’m spritzing daily with the essential oil and water to try to combat the dryness. It’s getting better already.

To help with build up, and after getting the okay from my consultant, I tried my first ACV (apple cider vinegar) rinse after my bi-weekly wash the other day. I’m still washing with the Aveda shampoo. However, now I’ve added Aubreys Organic, a mild, non-creamy shampoo to the mix as well to help moisturize.   Here’s the recipe I used:

  • 1 qt distilled water
  • 3 oz Bragg Organic Raw ACV (You can use any ACV. Just prefer all natural products in my hair)
  • Approx 10-15 drops of rosemary/jojoba oil

The oil is optional. My consultant recommended that I add it and many of the recipes I found on the web also suggested it as well. Once you get a whiff of that ACV, you’ll see why. The oils definitely cut the smell. I prefer rosemary because my herbalist tells me it’s great for the hair. My consultant recommended it as well. You can also use tea tree, lavender, peppermint or any of the other essential oils that are good for natural hair. I’m working on growth and combatting dandruff so I’ll be stick with rosemary for a while.

I simply poured the mixture over my entire head slowly, (careful to avoid the eye area) massaged it in and then covered my hair with a plastic cap for about 5-7 minutes. If I had been doing this in the shower, I would have handled my other business and then rinsed it out with cold water, which I understand helps seal the shaft and promotes shine.

My hair did feel cleaner and my scalp looked good. Before washing, I used a rat tail comb to try to scratch up some of the build up and it cleared all of that up. I’ve read where some people complained about their hair smelling like ACV afterwards. I think the essential oil helped with that. I don’t smell it on my hair and I’ve not gotten any side eyes and wrinkled noses thrown in my direction so I think I’m good.

My consultant says I can only do this once a month so my next one will be before my next re-tightening towards the end of July. We’re waiting six weeks this time. Between that and the steam treatment with essential oils, my scalp issues should be on the mend!

I’ll be back with more random pictures and half-hearted styling attempts before then.

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