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.

 

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!

I’m long overdue for a substantial update post. It’s coming this week. I promise! Lots to catch you up on. I have been a bad sisterlock blogger. I have been doing most of my posts offline advising a friend who is about to be locked in two days!

Meantime, I had to share this photo that was posted over on the Sisterlocked Tumblr. This is my lock twin! She appears to have been locked longer than me but almost everything about her locks reminds me of my own. Our locks have swelled to about the same size (although mine are still in the fuzzy stage);  we have about the same density and the  way her layers are growing in remind me of my own – down to those locks sitting on her shoulder.  It’s like looking in a mirror. Of course everyone’s journey is individual, but I believe everyone out there has a lock twin.

Have you found your lock twin?

If you know who this woman is, please leave me a comment. I would love to follow her journey.

I’ll be back shortly. Until then…continue to love and embrace the bend of your hair.

In actuality, I’m approaching my 17th month this coming weekend – just in time for another re-tightening. Time is flying on by.

I haven’t had much to report which is why I’ve been MIA. No major changes except a little growth. It’s been a bit dry lately but I’ve just been dealing with it. I’ve finally confirmed that my hair loves castor oil so I’ll be using that to seal after conditioning.

I also recently bought some of Jane Carter’s products – shampoo, conditioner and the wrap and roll. I’m still having problems with my hair not holding a curl for more than a day or two. So I decided to switch from Taliah Waajid’s Crinkles and Curls to the Jane Carter’s product. Someone suggested that my hair may not have been totally dry. I set it and let it dry over 12 hours. Every piece felt dry to the touch. The curls still weren’t firm and fell out after a couple of days. Maybe I need to try another method other than the Loc Loops. Could just be my hair type. However, I really do prefer Jane Carter’s product. As promised, it did leave my hair softer and non-flaky. I think Taliah’s product is more drying – for me at least.

Here are some photos of my two-day old curls using the  Jane Carter wrap and roll. Excuse the poor quality but my camera is on the fritz.

My hair regimen hasn’t changed. I do think I need to start washing more now that I’m using more product. My hair also loves the water  and wants more than my daily spritzing.

I’m finding that I’m pushing off my re-tightenings longer. It’s the end of September and my last one was mid July. I think I’m starting to dread them and the time it takes. Got to work on that.  This half afro – half locks is not the business.

I didn’t end up getting the henna at the end of August. I did just order it last night though so I will report on the results afterwards. I’m hoping it gets here in time to do it before my re-tightening. I’ve been reading that the henna is good for the hair so I plan to do that often if my hair takes to it.

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

I just passed the 13 month mark on the 1st and 2nd of June. I meant to share some updated photos by that date but ya’ll know how I do!

Since we last “spoke,” I’ve celebrated a birthday (May is mine and my sisterlocks birth month!). I had planned to get henna and a style for the day but it ended up being a really lowkey celebration so I will wait. Perhaps when I go to Martha’s Vineyard in September.

I’ve heard other people say that once they passed the year mark, the locs really started to drop and the growth took off. That has been the case for me. When I had my last retightening, my consultant commented on how she had to do two rotations this time instead of 1 or 1 1/2. I may also be able to attribute that to the Biotin and other B vitamins I’m taking for reasons besides hair growth, although that’s an added benefit!

My regimen remains the same as previous months. I’m doing an essential oil pre poo. The oils I use vary but the ones I currently have in my collection are rosemary, clary sage, extra virgin olive oil, avocado, castor, safflower, jojoba, tea tree, and coconut. They are all fabulous for natural hair. Since my major concerns are dryness, flakes, and growth, I am sure to always use oils in my routine that cater to that.

I’m washing with  Nature’s Gate Tea Tree and Karen’s Body Beautful Cool Clarifying shampoos. I do an ACV rinse diluted in distilled water, in which I’ve steeped rosemary and sage tea leaves. The new addition to my routine is that I finally added in the Huetiful Hair Steamer, which I used to deep condition after an essential oil scalp massage and then an application of Karen’s Body Beautiful Hair Mask. Before I write a post on how the steamer works for MY sisterlocks, I would like to use it once more. So expect to see something here in the next couple of weeks. Perhaps :-)

So here are some photos that I’ve taken since I had my last re-tightening in mid-may. I just washed my hair for the first time and at this rate, I may have to step up my retightening schedule from 6-8 weeks to 4-6 weeks. I just got retightened three weeks ago and I already have at least 1/2 inch or more of new growth, which I suppose is normal.  But I would love for my front to have a manicured look just a little longer! But I’m not complaining.

My first attempt at a Bantu knot set. This didn’t come out perfectly because I didn’t do it correctly but I do like the waved look.

Curls with my trusty lock loops. This is likely the 2nd day.

After my retightening, I asked my loctician to put a few twists in the front of my hair.  I didn’t curl it for about a week.

After curling it.

Some texture shots

What a year it has been.

I am writing this post at 11pm on May 2nd, 2011. This time last year, we were entering the 26th hour of my two day installation.

I am so happy with the changes that my hair has undergone just in the past few months.

Let’s reminisce a bit.

A comparison from Day One to the six month mark.

And here are some recent photos at the 11 month and then the one year mark.

I’m overdue for a re-tightening so excuse the lack of a full fledged photo shoot to mark my year- which is what I had planned. I have an appointment in a couple of weeks so that I will have a fresh do for my upcoming birthday. I plan to also make an appointment with a stylist and possibly get henna. These random silvers sprinkled throughout my hair are not the business! I’m not ready for color yet. I am still not fully locked. The majority of my ends are not sealed and I don’t want to do anything to disturb that process.

My hair has had its good and bad days over the past year but not once have I regretted my decision. This still remains the best thing I could have done for my hair. I love being natural and my hair seems to love being locked.I honestly thought the majority of my hair would be locked by now. However, I am extremely comfortable letting it do what it will do on its own schedule. It feels good to be at a point in the process that I can finally relax. I still admit to being a bit impatient with growth – mainly because I yearn for more styling options. I recently purchased some pretty new hair accessories that will help with the wait.  Meantime, I am still loving my curls and braid-outs. They are looking better and better the longer it grows.

I’m still discovering what products work best for me. I recently purchased some Karen’s Body Beautiful products and my hair seems to love them – especially the Luscious Locks Hair Mask and the Heavenly Jojoba Oil. My consultant raves about them and I agree. So far, so great. I actually love babying my hair. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the birthday fairy brings me a Huetiful steamer. I am still experiencing a lot of dry scalp and regular steam treatments should help.

I’ll be back to update once I get it styled.

Here’s to year one, the first of many.

These two months since I’ve updated have really flown by.

Let’s catch up.

So I’ve seen some changes since I last posted at 9 months.

Growth!

Here are my babies at 10 months.

I finally discovered braidouts, which will be a lifesaver when I am in serious need of a re-tightening. I hadn’t tried a braidout in months – since the early stages. It didn’t come out well so I think I was scared off. So glad I tried again.

Here is the first attempt.

Here is the second a couple weeks later. I did more braids in this one and it came out a bit fuller to me. Loved it.

I tried a braidout again after my re-tightening but it didn’t look the same. I need some roots to make it works. So it’s the perfect style for when my mini fro is popping. I’ve been pushing my re-ti to 8-9 weeks. So this is the look I’ll be rocking quite often.

Although the braids aren’t working on my fairly new re-ti, curls are. I think I’ve finally figured out how to curl my hair with the lock loops to get the look that I want. I’m still only using water but I may start mixing in a bit of setting lotion so my curls will hold longer as it gets warmer.

Here I am in two day old Lock Loops, two days from my 11th month sisterlocked.

I’m finally starting to see a bit of length – which is also why I’m probably liking my curls better as well. They are also finally starting to look like locks and less like twists! Pretty soon, people will stop asking me what I got going on in my head!

I’m still keeping my routine pretty simple. I wash every couple of weeks. I do an oil pre-poo. This last wash, I tried coconut oil instead of avocado oil. I don’t know if I like it. My hair didn’t feel the same. I’m going to give it one more try and then go back to avocado if I need to. I’m still experiencing dry scalp so I’ve added tea tree oil to my regimen. I am using Nature’s Gate Tea Tree shampoo and finishing up my Avalon Organics Lemon Clarifying shampoo. Both are okay. I haven’t found a shampoo I’m head over heels with yet. But I love experimenting.

I’m misting daily with diluted Oyin’s Juices and Berries to get rid of it. I wasn’t using it much otherwise. My loctician gave me that idea. My hair loves water. It comes alive after I spritz. After that’s gone, I’ll go back to my distilled water and oil mix – likely tea tree.

I’m still using the avocado oil and Waleda Rosemary hair oil, which I love. My loctician taught me that it’s okay to layer. So now I spritz and then put oil on it when needed. I was only doing one or the other. No wonder my locks were always thirsty looking this winter.

I plan to check out Karen’s Body Beautiful products once my loctitian gets some samples in stock. She highly recommends them and I trust her judgment. I’ll do a review once I start using them.

I also notice the texture has changed. It had been feeling pretty hard over the past few months, which I read is part of the locking process. Over the past couple of months, it’s been softer to the touch.

I can’t believe I will celebrate my first year locked in one month. I will be back with a reflection post with pictures. I was just looking at some pictures from the first few months and I’m amazed at how far I’ve come. As  I told the woman I met the other day who was inquiring about my locks and my loctician, this is definitely the best decision I could have made for my hair. I chose the right professional to accompany me in this journey and my hair is in great shape. If you’re in the DC area and considering sisterlocks and are looking for a loctician, let me know!

I can’t believe I’m just a few months away from the one year mark.

One year away from getting some color!

Actually, I’m not sure I’ll even color at one year. I think I want to see more length before I make that move.  I say that but then I drool daily over my co-worker’s stunning color job by Miss Jessie. I’m also way over my sporadic grays. I keep mistaking them for lint or dandruff. We’ll see.

Not much change from month 8 other than a little growth. I won’t get re-tightened until early next month.

My routine pretty much remains the same. I haven’t purchased any new products lately. I am really trying not to become a junkie. My bathroom closets are already out of control. I haven’t fallen in love with any one shampoo or conditioner just yet. The ones I’ve chosen so far all seem to work for me. So I’m going to “date around” until I find “the one.”

The only change I’ve made is that before washing, I did an oil pre-poo and sat with a conditioning cap. It lengthened my wash day routine, which is already too long. But my hair loved it. I’ve noticed much less dryness and it’s softer to the touch. I also attribute that to now sleeping on a satin pillowcase in addition to my satin bonnet.

I’m not doing much styling. Rolling it with the lock loops is about as much effort as I can muster.  I love the way it looks after four or five days. See above. I imagine this is what it would look like after using the Caruso Steam Rollers. I still plan to get some of those for quick curls.

That’s about all for now. See you in month ten – if not before!

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.

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