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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.

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.