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September 8, 2018

Six weeks down

So this Thursday marked my sixth week of loc journey.  Nothing magical about it except I had some moments of randomness that I should document because they were both interesting and funny for me.

  • I have random moments of wanting to wash my hair or go swimming  Neither of those things is gonna happen any time soon cause yeah I'm not trying to schedule an emergency appointment to get retwisted or hide my hair under a hair wrap until I could get back up to my loctitian.
  • Apparently my face looks so different with my hair down in the starter locs a woman that has seen me repeatedly couldn't place me because of it.  We ended up having a good conversation about how locs start because she had no idea.
  • Someone described the act of playing with your locs constantly as loc paw.  I don't have that anymore but I definitely have a loc or two that are my favorites and I find myself messing with them all of the time.
  • The back row is holding up better than before.  Just that left outside one that keeps going meh I don't know if I'm about that life.
So that's what I know at the moment.  No major updates.

September 1, 2018

I've gotten the older black woman seal of approval

If you are not a black woman or from a black family or know a lot of black people you may not understand what I'm talking about.  Whenever something major changes in the family dynamics: weddings, babies, jobs, school, moving, food and hair, there is a contingent of older black women somewhere making judgements about all of it.  You will hear directly what those judgements were if you hang around long enough.  After I got my locs started last month, mom gave the first pronouncement that things were good but I mentioned to an older woman at work what I was doing and she wanted to see them.  Now it was probably my fault for showing them to her in that first week before the hair started to relax and puff up a bit but she gave me the look that only an older black woman can give you.  It's supportive but questioning your life choices all at the same time.  And then she asked what they always do when that is the face they are giving you--does xyz in your family like it?  In this case it was my mom and she did so I got the okay face proceeded with I just need to see how it goes.

So one month in officially and post my first retwist and she was much happier with me and my decision.  My hair was rounder and more defined as well as appearing longer.  Now we're good and she sees the vision lol.  It was one of those moments this week that reminded me of the love that is inherently present and wonderful in the community if you connect with someone.  If you don't then yeah it can be some shady boots kind of stuff happening.  That just reminds me all skinfolk ain't kinfolk though and I keep it pushing.  But the love is appreciated when it comes and helps all of us keep moving towards better versions of ourselves. 

Related to the approval, I have been trying out new sleeping caps to protect my starter locs.  One I couldn't wear through the first night because it was just too tight and didn't cover the very ends of my hair.  I switched to another that works better but there's no elastic in the band so my giant head is stretching it out nightly and there's also no ties so I can't keep it locked into place.  I pull it down around my ears and then it ends up tucked behind them before I wake up in the morning.  That's also why I've been putting on a regular satin bonnet on top of the sleeve because I am pretty sure if I don't then I will wake up with my hair completely out one day.  I ordered two other options, both of which have ties, so I'm hoping that helps.  I will update you when I find out. 

Right now I'm just happy for a three day weekend before my ever increasingly busy schedule keeps going I hope you don't really wanna sleep.  I need to detoxify a bit.  I'm more people to people and their energy when I am stressed even a little bit.  Have a good one all.

August 25, 2018

Random Hair Thoughts

So I opened up blogger, was ready to type and forgot what I wanted to say so I logged off until it popped back in there right quick.  I know this is likely just a by product of doing something new but I am starting to notice a lot more people with locs.  On one hand that's cause the semester just started and we just made a dramatic uptick in young black men on campus about half of whom are loc'd that I've seen.  But even not on campus I'm noticing hairstyles, people, options and the like all related to hair.  I know that's not unique to hair.  Whenever I buy a new car I suddenly notice all the similar cars on the road or in the parking lot or what have you.  There's no one just starting them right now but they are a mix of hues, lengths, sizes and styles and I'm here for it.  I finally got pinterest to stop showing me photos of white girls with locs and as soon as I did I stumbled on a board someone named Nigel Montcrief has assembled with a whole bunch of gray locs.  I'm enjoying that because my locs are salt and pepper so it's nice to see all of these young and old gray loc'd women.  And more than just sisterlocks because that's what I was finding when I searched before.  Nothing wrong with sisterlocks but my patience and my pockets are not set up for them. 

As I am looking at the photos and looking at my own hair something came to me tonight.  I hadn't actually thought about what my hair will look like in like five years.  I was thinking a year from now they'll be a decent length and looking more substantial.  Maybe they'd be chin and shoulder length depending on their location on my head and if so all the better.  But I really hadn't gotten past a year of hair growth in my mind.  I'm looking at locs of varying lengths but when I got past bra strap ones my brain was like damn that will happen if you don't trim them ever.  They just keep growing and getting longer provided you take care of them.  Ha.  Not sure why that surprised me or made me momentarily shocked because my hair has grown quite a bit since I chopped it off that not too long ago February.  But because of the texture the only way it was going to be down my back was if I flat ironed it for a length check or put it in some sort of braid or twist style.  My hair would defy gravity not swing lol.  Permanent length on my hair just threw me for a loop for some reason.  All in all I'm just enjoying myself and my hair and observing folks with hair I would call hair goals. 

August 23, 2018

One Month In

There will be photos.  I was going to do before and after appointment shots but the way my lazy was setup that didn't happen.  I had a meeting before my loc session and yeah when I got out of the car I was just glad to be out of the car.  Everything started on time and I was happy that she thought the locs looked good.  The back row was redone and is chilling on my neck.  Correction the row above that is chilling on my neck.  The middle of that row is minding its business.  The edges are on my neck and feeling more solid than they do when I redo them but got confirmation from the person doing my hair that it was normal for that row to just be a pain.  Based on how they looked today she said that I should be loc'd in a year.  Yeah but letting my hair just do its thing is been oddly liberating even when it wasn't quite doing what I wanted it to do.  And because I haven't been doing anything to it besides oiling my scalp and moisturizing the length of my hair the shorter bits are growing out and I'm pretty happy.

I do need to be fired as my own photog but here's two new photos.  I may tonight or later this week do a side by side from a month ago to today but this is what you got for now. 

I'm happy with the size, the flow of my hair and that it doesn't feel like my hair is somehow unkempt.  The only thing I have decided to do is make sure that my hair is tied down.  The first week I just put on my bonnet and went to bed and I think that led to some of the initial fuzziness.  I was a little worried that it was flattening them out too much but apparently not.  I did grab some caps that are allegedly specifically for loc'd hair so I may just switch to that for the next few days to see how I like them or don't.  Right now I think it's fine because most of my hair is still short enough that it wouldn't matter what was covering my head as long as something was.  Six months from now that may not be an option.  I also thought about an easier way to get oil onto my scalp primarily and remembered I had a bottle for that purpose that I hadn't been using.  I'm going to whip something up and take it from there.  That's it for now.

August 13, 2018

No Photo Just Updates

Hey All,

I meant to update last week but I had to go to a conference.  I may write about that in this post but this is mostly an update about the process thus far.  So I'm three days away from being three weeks into this process.  I'm scheduled for my first retwist next week at the four week mark.  I may shorten that for the second retwist but I have a plan for all of this which of course you know nothing about.  So what has changed in the nearly three weeks?  Not much.  The nape of my neck is on its own plan so I'll have to talk with her about how to maintain that between sessions.  The center/crown area of my hair seems to have maintained the best.  That's where my hair is thicker and a bit coarser especially compared to the nape area.  The sides aren't too bad but since that's where the limited friction would be when I sleep they aren't as tight at my root as the crown.  The very front where the gray is in total control is probably the loosest area compared to the rest.  That's also the result of some hair breakage from previous braiding expeditions but nothing is totally undone there just needs more attention at retwist.  And the other area of breakage that is actually hidden quite well by all these twists is the least uniform but it was also the shortest hair so again that was not a surprise as I have watched a lot of videos and hair less than three inches takes a lot to hold the starter locs unless you interloc which I am not planning on doing right now. 

August 2, 2018

One week in

This has been the longest week ever and not just because I have to make myself stop touching my hair.  It's the week of the summer intensive program and it has been plagued with rain so to make sure my hair didn't get wet I kept it under a head wrap the last four days.  I probably didn't need it today but I wasn't feeling fluffing out my hair.  I'm going to need to come up with a back up plan for the coils around the nape of my neck cause they are not about that life right now.  I fixed one and it was like good looking out.  The rest are slipping--which I have heard is normal but still--along the hairline.  There are only a few though so all things considered my hair is holding up relatively well.  You can't really see the parts at this stage and I'm ok with that.  My scalp was feeling hella exposed for the first few days.  The longer starter locs feel pretty solid and like they are going to chill into their next evolution.  The shorter ones are about 50/50 and then there's the aforementioned nape hair. 

My scalp isn't as itchy now either.  If I don't think about itchy scalp it tends to not flare up.  Even when I do it's something that can usually be resolved with a spot scratch here and there.  I'm going to try to stay up on documenting this process even if I don't post about it weekly I'll try to take photos.  For one thing I'm curious about how this will look over time.  But honestly I wanna be more mindful about my hair while I technically do less to it.  A few days ago I had a dream that I woke up and just combed it all out but I don't have plans to do that.  For now I just wanna keep it looking and feeling healthy for the next few weeks.  Retwist is already scheduled for three weeks from now but got an out of town trip that may push it up a week if I don't like how my hair is feeling when I get back.  I'm not sure why that would bother me really cause I'm not going to do much besides be somewhere with a completely different climate for this time of year. 

Here are the one week photos

July 29, 2018

Starter Locs are itchy & everyone is an expert

I'm not sure why I didn't investigate this or hear about it before I moved forward with getting my locs but my scalp was pissed at me for the last 48 hours.  It's better today but like for real it was like I dunked my head in something I was allergic to because it was like nah son you are gonna scratch me while you are awake. 

Additionally, as I looked for solutions to fix that I went down the rabbit hole of advice for taking care of my locs.  Almost all of it was conflicting advice as well.  Wash at least every two weeks and make sure you condition.  Wash when it's dirty but don't condition.  Wash once a month, condition if you need it but make sure to moisturize your hair all the time.  Starter locs don't seem stable enough to do a whole lot to them for a while but I may consider that after the first retwist is done but for now I'm just trying to keep my scalp oiled and not be cranky and decide if I'm going to try to cover them or spruce them up as they grow out.  But for real itch is a beast lol.

July 27, 2018

So I Did a Thing

In my last post I mentioned I was considering getting locs of some kind.  One of my sorority sisters gave me the name of her loctitian and I ended up looking around for someone else I could consult with around that time.  I was debating small traditional locs or getting something called Sisterlocks.  You could hypothetically do something called microlocks without them being Sisterlocks but let me get into my thought process more.

So when I search for small locs the first thing that tends to come up is Sisterlocks.  They look like locs immediately but are super small.  You can only get them from certified Sisterlocks stylists or trainees.  Trainees are cheaper but the process itself is not in the realm of cheap.  Consultations appear to be a standard part of getting locs but the price for the SL consultation was 10 to 35 bucks more at a minimum than the traditional consult.  Okay I can go with that, you're specialized but I hit a roadblock in that process.  There were no SL certified folks in town and as much as they cost you want to see someone that is certified because the company will not assist you with a bootleg install if the were not in their system.  After months of driving mom back and forth to Indy I was trying to combine trips and couldn't find someone with an opening to see me to consult on the SL that was remotely reasonably priced for the install.  One site just said installation of the locs would start at $750 and then retwists would be around $150 for two hours with a fee per hour after that.  I don't mind paying for my hair but my math was saying that's gonna be 1500 at least over the course of a year and I would have to go a full year before I could take a class to learn how to twist my hair myself, gotta pay for that too, and as I mentioned last post my hair thickness impacts my lazy and I wasn't sure I had it in me to do my hair when I had 300 plus locs in my hair.  If you don't retwist them on a regular schedule they will break as well so yeah the way my bank account was set up it was going ma'am whatcha doing.  That plus as I mentioned no sessions.  I sent a message to someone and they never followed up.  I'm a big fan of go with what the universe is telling so I let Sisterlocks go for a multitude of reasons.