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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.

July 15, 2018

Hairy Decisions

I mentioned a hair setback last post and I'm happy to report that it seems like the hair is saying chick I ain't going no where.  It will slowly grow back out and in the mean time I've been debating what to do next with my hair.  I think I mentioned it before that I got frustrated with my braid shop because the last install I either lost braids around the edges or kept having them just totally untwist around the edges as well.  My hair is at least two different textures.  The vast majority of my hair is wiry and coarse so it hangs out with braids relatively well.  The back of my hair, the kitchen as my grandmother would call it, isn't as coarse and so there's a 50/50 shot that the weight of a braid is going to slide off of it not matter what I do.  That's why I would go back to the shop about a month after the installation and get them redone and by the time I was ready to take them out it would have slipped back to the redo point.  So yeah the braids weren't going to be a permanent option to help my hair grow especially since I wasn't retaining as much hair I wanted to each time.

Leaving my hair out is fine but limiting at the moment because I am not going to put my hair into a puff ball as much while the damage grows out.  I can attempt to make it defined and curly but that only works for a finite time frame.  That is leading me to what is totally a permanent solution but allows my hair to be in its natural state but in a style that is flexible.  I'd lose the giant fro option and I'm trying to decide if I'm okay with that.  I've been debating getting dreadlocs or Sisterlocks.  One would be more expensive but look better to me and the other would be more cost effective but may not be as manageable as I might like.  I'm going to include a slide show here for you to see what I'm thinking about.  Locs, if I got them would need to be on the smaller side which I think is like slide three here.  The Sisterlocks are smaller and the ones here are maybe a bit smaller than I might like but I like the look of them.

What are your thoughts?  If you have locs or Sisterlocks would you recommend them? 

June 26, 2018

Let's Get Caught Up

It's basically been a month since I posted and that is because the simple surgery that my mother was supposed to have on the first has turned into another weeks long odyssey.  On the very good upside she's back in town and on the mend instead of in a hospital an hour away from me.  On the down side we're looking at least another week before she's headed home.  Considering where I was two weeks ago though I'm glad that she's getting healthy and I'm not in the middle of making less optimistic plans.  I still haven't put my hair back up in a protective style and there are a few reasons for that.

I need to get used to my hair just being out.  I don't want to have to wig or bun or twist forever.  So far it's meant paying more attention to my hair and figuring how to keep it stretched.  When I just tie down my fro the ends get tangled up more and end up causing some breakage.  Since I got more mindful about what to do with it before bed there has been less of that.  I looked at lots of options and if my curl pattern wasn't supercalifragilisticexpialidotious then those would work.  I also saw the hair threading and yeah I just don't have that patience for that plus I don't really want it straight just not so shrunken in the morning.  I finally stumbled on someone with similar texture who said they just did two strand twists overnight and then fluffed it back out with water and product in the morning.  That has been working surprisingly well when I stick to it.  Gotta be consistent if I want the gray mane to keep it pushing.

And I did notice some damaged spots where my band sat in the back of my head.  I'm sure there are some protective styles that wouldn't put stress on those spots but for now I'd rather be able to get to them easily to nurse them back to help with whatever potion or product or scalp massage I like.  I have been using As I Am Long and Luxe Scalp Serum mostly.  I had some castor oil elixir but let me tell you about how my hair like legit rejected it.  My scalp was angry so I just skipped that.  I also briefly thought the damage might be related to the DevaCurl products but I haven't noticed any other major issues and the damage is on both sides in the same position so I'm going to go with the bands.  Thankfully the serum is soothing and so far my hair likes it. 

Classes are good and now done ha.  Now it's just take care of me.  I haven't gained any weight but I'm stuck at my loss point so back to the gym as well.  What's up with you guys?

May 27, 2018

Blessed but still quite stressed

I'm two weeks into summer classes which isn't horrible in terms of workload and what I need to do.  It also means only four more weeks of me actually having to be on campus and then yeah time off for the kid.  Some of you may remember I'm also in the middle of the four week span of suckage that is my life between the anniversary of my father's death and Father's Day.  In the middle of there I graduated from my MA program, my brother's birthday hits, my dad's birthday hits and this year for an extra added dose of well that's fucked up, one of my sorority sisters died this week.  She wasn't forty and she wasn't ill.  I haven't been really able to process her loss and it is for the best because I could come up with about eighteen thousand people that should be gone instead of her but that's not cool either.  I'll miss her and while we as a line were blessed not to lose anyone in fourteen years this hurts in ways I can't really articulate. 

Add into that stress that I'm tired because of the mom care taking duties that are underway and I have made about a million excuses not to go to the gym.  Thursday and Friday I said no more of that.  I wasn't there more than 45 minutes, at least 30 though, working out but it felt good to clear my head.  Ate too much over the ensuing bad news days but have doubled down on the diet plan.  I have to take care of myself for a variety of reason but if for none other than to honor my 6.  Gotta experience life fully and that means getting my health fully under control. 

I also splurged on some DevaCurl bundle set and leave in conditioner.  My hair really does like it and seems to look healthy after I use it.  Depending on how this new set works I may scrap some of the older stuff that I've just been working through and may or may not be helping my hair.  I also gotta figure out how to take care of my hair more when it's out cause I'm not really up for twists right now.  I'm tired man.  Hope all of you are doing well.

May 13, 2018

Trying Again

After my trim last month I swore I'd try another twist out or wash and go and see how it went.  I've mentioned before that I don't think I use enough product when I want to do a defined set because every youtube video I watch seems to have product seeping out of all twists.  Heck even when I went to get the trip there was a lot of product there to define my hair that did disappear as it dried.  After my last wash day I did layer in more product and had a few good days of wash and go that I didn't try to do anything to.  It was cute.  Today I said meh let's try the twist out again.  I looked at more two strand twist videos and flat twist videos but y'all when I tell you that my hands hate my hair--cramps cause it's thick no matter how long it is--I looked hard at the flat twists and said not today ma'am.  Maybe if I do it on a Saturday so I can take my time but I literally never do my hair on a Saturday like I should.  I need to work on that.  My hair ended up in five sections and about 13 twists.  Instead of letting them go all willy nilly under my bonnet I got a scarf and tied them down and now it's a waiting game to see how it will look in the morning and if it's try.  If all else fails a puff or Afro will do. 

Speaking of puffs.  I ordered the Puff Cuff because it looked like it would be easier on my hair than random bands are.  And some day in the future that will be true.  I've also said before I have a big head which is what makes my Afro look shorter than it is sometimes.  In both the junior and regular puff cuff my hair slides in easily, feels good, blends in with my hair and it should be good.  Nope, my hair isn't long enough to be a frilly puff out of the cuff.  It's basically a tiny baby poof and then my head looks even more giant.  I'll have to stash them for now.

Hope everyone is well.