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.

 

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!

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.

First, let me take the time to thank each and every person that stops by to follow me on this journey and leave comments of support. It truly means a lot to me.

So as I mentioned in the last post, I finally got around to trying henna. I had written a long post about it, which I managed to lose. I have put off getting this up long enough. So instead you will get the abridged version with lots of photos, which is what most folks are here for anyway 😉

I decided to henna mostly because I’m scared of coloring right now. I’m already battling dryness and I want my locks to mature a bit more. My consultant says I’m pretty much fully locked but I think I’m going to give it some more time. I may change my mind after taking the color class at the Sisterlocks Revolution in a couple of weeks.  I used to color my permed hair without fear. Go figure – wasn’t scared to put chemical on top of chemical. However, I ain’t messing with these locks. This is a whole different ballgame and I’ve invested WAY too much money and WAY too much time to end up looking like a fool with my locks on the ground.

I researched and purchased Henna for African Hair on Mehandi, as recommended by my consultant and others.  After reading their e-book, I went in with the realistic expectation that the end result would be a reddish tint. I also watched YouTube videos. These are a couple that I found helpful.

To create my henna mix, I used lemon juice to release the dye. For moisture, I added honey, castor, grapeseed and olive oils and a few drops of some scented essential oils. I’m  convinced the addition of the oils and the honey were the reason that the henna wasn’t as drying for me as some have reported.

Here’s how it looked once it was mixed:

I let it sit overnight and way into the next day completely covered in cling wrap. I probably let it sit too long but my day didn’t go as planned so I was a little late getting started.

Here’s how it looked once I unwrapped. I added a bit more lemon juice as directed before application.

Yummy!

It took me about 25 minutes to slather it on to my head…and about five minutes to fend off my boyfriend’s jokes so that he could play photographer. Excuse the poor quality of these photos. My camera is now working again so I won’t have to subject you to wack camera phone pictures. However, I wanted to be sure to capture it.

Then I covered in Saran wrap. Joke time was in full effect.

I let it sit for about 5 hours. Washing it out wasn’t as hard as I imagined. It just took a long time. I didn’t condition after I washed as I thought the henna acted as a conditioner. My consultant says I should have done a DC. Duly noted for next time.

I was getting re-tightened the next day so I let it air dry and went to bed. I could see the reddish tint to my entire head and it had turned my  gray strands a nice blondish-red color. Pleasing.

My consultant didn’t notice immediately that I had henna. *insert sad face that it wasn’t as noticeable as I thought* But she did say it had a nice sheen.

Here’s some photos I took when I got home from the re-ti. Fuzzy stage is in full effect.

I think in this last photo you can see more of the shine the henna gave me. My hair is normally pretty dull after a re-ti because it’s freshly washed and I haven’t put any product in yet.

Here’s how it looked a week or so later.  Messy isn’t it? Don’t ask what I was trying to do here.  Once I start my daily spritzing, my hair looks as if I haven’t even had a re-ti. It sucks up that water and frizzes right on up.  I’ve given up on the idea of having perfectly groomed locks. It ain’t gonna happen. The point is that the color was definitely  a bit more vibrant.

Overall, I was very pleased with my henna experience. I plan to buy in bulk and do it every few months or so.  My hair wasn’t any drier than it usually is and it did feel softened for a while afterwards. My primary purpose in using it will be to cover my grays which are getting more and more plentiful by the day. I’m already not a fan of dark hair on myself and those grays exacerbate my disdain.

Have you done henna? Please share your experience and any suggestions you may have.

Until next time…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!

As promised in my last couple of posts, I’m going to start out this update by sharing my thoughts on how the Huetiful worked for MY sisterlocks. I received one as a birthday gift and have used it three times since then. I didn’t want to report back until I had used it multiple times.

I won’t include photos of the set up. You can get those here and here. I will say that as some have reported across the web, it isn’t easy or intuitive and the directions aren’t thorough. I got so frustrated at one point that I vowed to send it back before the 45 day trial period even though I hadn’t paid a nickel for it. Thank the natural hair gods for YouTube. I had to stop and watch a couple of videos to finish setting it up. I got even more aggravated thinking I was missing a piece but after consulting the website, it was “hidden” in the packaging. Since they addressed it in the FAQs, I imagine this has been an issue.

All three times, I used it on freshly washed hair with essential oils on my scalp and conditioning masques. I used Shea Moisture Raw Shea Restorative Treatment Masque and Karen’s Body Beautiful Luscious Locks Masque. Like Loc Rocker, I put essential oils in the water in the steamer cup for an enhanced experience. It was quite pleasant and calming.

Once it was together, again, like others, I found it challenging to find the right way to position myself so that my entire head got treatment. I am tall so it involved sitting the steamer on top of the foam packaging it came in. I tried sitting backwards, on top of pillows, standing on my head…and I still don’t feel like my whole head got treated.

The steaming session itself, aside from the equipment challenges, is nice. That steam comes out of there! You definitely need a sweatband or towel or you will have an uncomfortably wet, dripping face. After the treatments, my hair would be soft and felt moisturized. However, I don’t know if it was any more so than with another steamer or even a heat cap.

I cannot honestly say that this product gave me better results than other methods I have tried.

I can’t say that my styling was easier or that my hair was softer or more manageable days after. Therefore, as much as I wanted to love this steamer – and you know that I did, I would have to rate it a 4 1/2 out of 10. Much of the deduction of points comes from how challenging  the assembly was and the failed ergonomics. The steaming experience doesn’t make up for it. I would like to see the distributors totally go back to the drawing board. I would hope those of us who already own one would receive a steep discount for the Heutiful 2.0.

Meanwhile I will keep using it. The 45 days has come and gone. If my opinion changes, I will report back. I’m going to try it on dry hair next.

So I’m well into my 14th month locked. Not much change in my regimen. I’m still using the same shampoos and conditioners. I spritz twice daily with my distilled water mixture. However now I’ve added some different oils (sweet almond oil, grapeseed, or sunflower oil). I’ve also added in small amounts of coconut milk and vegetable glycerin. I’m becoming quite the mixologist! I do regular ACV rinses and final loose leaf tea rinses. I’m still using rosemary, sage and now lemongrass.

Over the past couple of months, I have totally been freestyling. Since the time I took almost an hour to roll them and had no curls the next day, I’ve been traumatized. I know this is all part of the terrible teens. I just had a re-ti and my loctician encouraged me to use some setting lotion or Taliah Wajeed’s Krinkle & Curls. I think I’m product averse because I’m scared of build up. I don’t like washing my locks that often so I figure the less I put in the better. However, I miss my curls and want to see how they hang since I’ve experienced some growth over the past couple months. I have a pony tail now you know! <—-fancy!

Here are some random shots- mostly close up for texture.

I finally figured out how to twist the front of my hair. This will likely be the extent of my self-styling!

I’ve decided to henna in late August for my September vacation on the Vineyard. I want to color but I want my locks to settle more. So we will see if henna will keep me satisfied until then. My grays are NOT the business and they all seem to be in front.

Until next time…continue to love and embrace the bend of your hair! <—-my new sign off I think?