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December 13, 2018

Loc Update & End of Semester Praise Report

So let me start this off by saying as of about 8 hours ago I'm officially done with this semester.  I cannot at all begin to explain how excited that is.  No last minute grading or negotiations with students about their grades.  I was even able to help one out on a paper she needs to rewrite for someone else.  I stayed on top of my grading this term with my two official classes, internship and research.  Proud of myself on that front so yeah do a dance there.  Okay let's move on.

So yesterday was my loc retwist and my hair keeps maintaining well.  As they get longer I can see more closely what size they will likely be as they continue to mature as well.  Loving that.  I'm officially five months loc'd as of today.  I saw someone's locs fresh off her retwist when I was just getting settled into the chair and she's probably six months plus ahead of where I am but around the same size and I was like in love.  We started talking to someone else in the shop who started wondering if the loc life was for her and it was like ma'am totally depends on you but I'm loving this process in ways I can't actually articulate.  She asked if I was saving money being loc'd and I'd have to say probably not on one front.  I'm still having to pay someone at least once a month to do my hair.  That's instead of the every two month Senegalese twist life that would be the equivalent of three months of loc visits and one month of my hair doing whatever it wanted while I let it rest.  Plus products.  At this point, I'm light on products outside of oils and my hair is doing its own thing with minimal input from me.  We both shared that sentiment and she seemed to take it to heart but probably not ready for that and I totally understand that.  It's a lot to commit to.

November 25, 2018

Where do the lonely hearts umm bloggers go?

I was going to post a mini pity party because so many of the women I used to stalk for their hair and just generally happy personas are no longer blogging or doing so very infrequently.  Others are still blogging but are more of a business now than anything else.  I spent about 20 minutes cleaning up my blog feed and adding a couple new folks to groups.  I wanted to be sad but I can't really.  Life happens and when it does there are about 18 million things more important than documenting your hair growth.  I am instead choosing to be grateful that they were around when I was making decisions about hair and being supportive of my journey while they continued on their own.  Trying to map out what it means to have healthy hair solo would have been a train wreck for me.  Those women, that community, helped me do a better job of nurturing my hair, asking questions of stylists and were generally just good folks to digitally be around.  And I definitely can't throw stones.  As of this post I'm almost at the total of the last two years combined (24 this year, 26 total the last two years).  I abandoned them well before they left me.  We all start with vim and vigor and free flowing thoughts and keeping anything going indefinitely is unlikely.  Especially when we get bored.  My hair is exciting to me again so you're going to hear way more from me than you want to for a while.  Buckle up buttercup.

Oh and while my hair friends are taking a break or on hiatus, my food friends are crushing it.  The next time I'm bored for dinner I gotta remember to come back and check things out and maybe get an instant pot.

November 16, 2018

The Year of Many Changes

I have been a busy girl.  I've gone from planning a graduate program to nearly being done with the first semester of a graduate program--five more to go.  I've gotten another 20 ish students to conferences.  I've gone from planning a study abroad course to being four months away from heading out on said trip and have been fundraising my ass off well figuratively not literally cause my butt needs to go to the gym.  And while all the work stuff is good, the personal stuff is good too.  Earlier in the year I planned on getting Lasik cause I was tired of my glasses costing a tiny fortune and if I could I would like to opt for just waking up and seeing clearly with no assistance.  Recovery time was factored in and July seemed like the best option but mom was ill so I stashed that idea.


November 4, 2018

Old-Fashioned Hair Talk

hey guys,

I mean to write this last night because I was noticing something in terms of loc journeys.  People seem to be great about documenting that first year of growth and change and what it is like to go from mostly loose natural hair to mostly cultivated locs.  But after that year the gaps widen or the bloggers/vloggers just vanish.  I think the same thing has happened with some of the natural hair bloggers I used to stalk as well.  I mean life happens and we redirect our energy elsewhere so I get it but it made me sad. These folks become part of my mental extended family with whom I can vent about this one thing with and maybe that's the issue.  We only have that one thing in common so when life happens there's nothing to share or feel like there's a community to lean on.

Work friends are fascinated with my hair change BUT they can't really walk me through it as I am the only person at work with locs right now.  Someone at work wants to get locs but feels she's at least a decade away from that.  Now mind you I can't knock her because I only finally went for it about 20 years after I initially thought I would get them.  That was mostly because I didn't want to look exactly like my mentor more than I already did but now I'll be the one with the gray locs while color has not abandoned her.  I'm really enjoying the process and the ups and downs and I am really feeling like this is the year of long awaited changes for me.

Just gotta get back to the gym.

October 20, 2018

Three Month Update

Hey people,

I am very glad that I was able to retrieve my calendar because as smart as I think I am normally I am super tired because I am sick and my brain was blanking on an important date.  I went from thinking about locs to getting them very quickly.  So quickly I was starting to think that i started the process in August because it didn't seem like I had had them that long.  I was incorrect.  I had my consult with Sarah @ Soul Sistahs in mid July and the install done the next week so yes I am officially three months in.  Corissa has been filling in for Sarah who is on maternity leave and I have to say I enjoy both of them and this journey has been smoother because I have been able to ask questions and discuss what I wanted openly.  I wanted to see what looked different from day one to now so I put together a quick progress update using Pixlr express.

September 23, 2018

Two Month Update & Other Stuff

Hey guys,

I am finally coming up for air from last week.  I was busy every day but Friday when I started getting sick and just slept in.  Monday through Thursday was super hectic for me including a drive in for my second retwist.  My loctician is on maternity leave so someone else in her shop is filling in.  In general I liked the new technique but she combined a few without letting me know and they just looked awkward when I came home so I split those and went about my day after letting her know I had done it.  There was also a bit of oil overload so I will probably ask her to stand down on that next time.  Now beyond that I noticed a few things about my hair. 

First thing is the length of these coil/starter locs.  My hair is longer all over, save the damaged patches I mentioned a few months ago, to the point that it is hanging in certain places and is making tying it down with my old method problematic.  I did buy a loc soc from Curly NuGrowth and a new Slap Cap that allows me to tie it into place.  I have mentioned before that I have a big head and it's because I have a big head.  Anything that is wholly dependent on a band to keep it on my head will be okay for a few weeks before my head stretches it out and then starts slipping off while I'm asleep.  Even with the tie down options I am probably going to put on an extra cap to hope that something has my hair covered in the morning. 

Second thing is even as much as I move around in my sleep and play in my head, still working on that, my locs are retaining their shape really well as has been noted each time I go in.  I wasn't sure that would happen because when my hair is in braids it is resistant to all of that and starts to slip in different places as soon as humanly possible.  Doing nothing to my hair is taking almost no effort.  I am more concerned about dryness of course but spraying with one of my moisturizers and oiling my scalp has been working well.  I may start adding some JBCO to the patches that were damaged before I started the whole loc process to help them grow but I may just need to massage those areas a bit more like I did many moons ago when my edges were on vacation.

Finally, I am just loving a new phase of my hair journey.  I'm not sure I would have gotten here without the long and winding road I traveled and not because I had issues with locs but because I wasn't ready to risk whatever I thought might be in play professionally and personally by going in this direction.  That's the beauty of aging.  The field of effs you have to give about things like that become more and more barren.  All right, enough of me babbling. Here are update photos.  Oh and I lost 2 pounds lol.




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.