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December 31, 2018

And just like that, it's nearly 2019

Woo it's been quite a busy few days.  I went to Texas to see the family for Christmas and got all the hugs I could want from my cutie pie nieces.  It was my first long trip away from home with my locs and it taught me something.  I really need to plan better.  I brought oil and spray with me but I was exhausted every night and waking up early every day to let in my contractor so I was running on fumes by the time I got home on Saturday.  I did fill up my tank for 1.90 a gallon so let's just say small wins.  Regardless, had I oiled up before I left my hair would have been fine that week and then I COULD have taken the spray but likely wouldn't have paid much attention to it honestly.

I still have a favorite loc even though it changes now instead of being one of the top central ones.  And I'm more aware of my hair health if that makes sense now.  I did my oil and spray routine today and my scalp was like ma'am bless you.  Good looking out to you and yours.  My hair is back under my wrap now because seriously I'm about ready for a nap.  I'm not sure about the seeing the ball drop faster than I see my head drop onto the pillow but I'm also very well aware that I lost the ability to do the all nighters a long time ago and the late nighters not as long ago but long enough lol.

I'm almost six months loc'd and I am still enjoying it.  My hair is growing still and now that I'm using a loc soc I'm not getting curly locs unplanned.  I'm getting used to them being hanging on or near my neck.  I'm still obsessively watching loc videos on YouTube and then remembering that my journey is my own, much like my loose natural hair journey was, so that I can take things with a grain of salt.  For example I'm not super worried about lint because I've always slept with a bonnet on even when my hair was relaxed and I don't like a lot of furry clothes.  I don't typically wear scarves and I got a warm slap from Grace Eleyae which is lined with satin so nothing catching on my locs when I do have to cover them up.  Plus, and this is true whenever I do anything slightly new or different, I'm noticing how many other people are loc'd and appreciating their hair as I watch them move around.  Plus much like when my hair was out and silvery in all it's glory or in silver twists people are fascinated by it so I get lots of questions and complements.

Next year I think I'll be just enjoying life, my hair and keeping you updated.  Next week will be the six month retwist.  I'll take photos like normal and update after that.  Have a good New Year's Eve.  And if you know where I live, stop by and I'll let you have some fried turkey lol.  Happy New Year!

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.

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.

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.

April 29, 2018

It's Wash Day Again

This post may mostly be photos as I haven't shared any visual hair updates in a while.  I just washed my hair after a few weeks of stress and worry because my mother was ill.  I did a quick wash after Chicago but nothing close to the normal wash and deep conditioning routine.  So this first photo is just me fresh out the shower with a little finger shaping.  I have some interesting stuff happening at my hairline.  It almost feels like a reveres widows peak cause the hair all around the nape is like we just gonna do our own thing, hope you like it.

So this photo is post deep condition, with leave ins added and just styling products pulled through my hair with my fingers.  I'll get back to why I did that in a second.

For the most part I just pulled product through my hair and down to weigh down my hair and hopefully keep it stretched a bit more than normal but I'm okay if it scrunches up a bit.  Still glad it's still growing.  Now this last photo I may need to go crop to get to the point.  So you see the wavy tight curly hair all around except the very nape of my neck is like nah we doing our own thing back here too.  Not sure why but it develops a curl patter totally unlike the rest of my head at all times. 

So earlier I mentioned that I pulled the product through my hair for a reason and yes I had one.  I used DevaCurl's Wash Day Wonder today instead of prepooing.  I lost a few knots but in general my hair was like come through.  It mostly loosened up and detangled with just my fingers moving through it.  I didn't want to stress it or me out anymore than I had to so I just kept up that process throughout the rest of my wash day.  At this moment my hair feels great and smells good so I'm happy.  I'm not sure how it will hold up after I go to bed tonight.  Going to attempt a pineapple but meh that is hit or miss for me.  And if all else fails I'm going to try the puff cuff I just bought.  Hoping my giant head works with the junior at least lol.  Hope you all have a good week.

April 12, 2018

Who is Massively Sleep Deprived with a Fresh Haircut

If you guessed me you are totally and completely correct.  This week is normally hectic for me because I take students to a different state for a conference.  That means 50 million store runs and stockpiling food for mom so that she doesn't have to cook for the count em THREE WHOLE DAYS I'm not there.  This week to add insult to injury mom gets freakishly sick the night before I need to leave.  So sick that during the wee hours of the day I need to leave we end up at the ER.  As ERs go they worked super fast.  From admission time to keeping her three hours passed.  The problem is those three hours led me into work time.  I had to shower, go back to the hospital, go to work and then decide about taking 11 students on a trip that no one else is prepped for except me.  After consulting with the doctors and seeing her in the morning I decided to go for it and at the worst I would crash when we got to the hotel.  As usual, there was some confusion upon getting to the hotel but we got settled in, went out for dinner and then I eventually crashed 20 hours after I was woken up to start my adventurous day. 

Before the great medical caper occurred I looked to see if there was a natural hair shop near the hotel because I was in desperate need of a trim.  Like my hair was healthy and felt good but the ends were like ma'am please quit playing.  It's been at least a year since I had a trim because my hair has mostly been in twists.  And when I was ready to stop twisting for a bit I looked up and my stylist has left the shop.  This matters cause I live in an area where there is very little option of getting my hair done in town by someone who actually understands African American hair.  If you remember that's part of why I quit relaxing it several years ago now because there was no one around that could be relied on after people got fed up with their shops and just moved to different shops without notice.  So instead of hacking my own hair off cause I would totally be focused on maintaining length more than health I figured it was time to find a professional.  Not surprisingly because of where our hotel is located but the search I did for natural hair salons near X came up with 20 results.  About five of those results were reasonably walkable from the hotel and two of them seemed to actually focus on textured hair not just be a hair salon using "natural" products.  I went with the one that had the most extensive site, reviews and seemed to be focused on hair health more than just providing a style of choice.  Heck I didn't even want a style I just wanted a trim.  Now due to the exhaustion of yesterday I had no idea if I would even make it to this appointment and was prepared to forgo the deposit if sleep said girl naw sit down.

I was in a good session until it wasn't and then I ran up and dropped off some stuff I knew I wouldn't need and headed out because I can get lost faster walking than I can driving.  It wasn't a huge detour but I made it there super early so I wandered around after making sure I was at the right spot.  Side note, the donuts were disappointing and I'm mad they are in my calorie count for the day.  I needed the hair cut like I thought.  And it was about how much hair I thought needed to go after looking at a few youtube videos, thanks ladies, about looking at the areas where our hair starts to then as an indication of health.  Depending on the area of my blown out fro I lost between and inch to two all over and it looked balanced after she was done so that's good.  She wet my hair again and then added a little bit of product to what I thought was scrunch it but it was more of a defining of my curls and put me under the dryer for maybe 15 minutes.  Let's just say I was surprised my hair was behaving and felt full and healthy with no weird knots at the end where it was tangling on itself.  Yeah for hydration, steamers and a good cut.  No photo cause I'm hella tired.  Maybe in a few days when I get home. 

Hope all is well.

March 3, 2018

Preemptive fail?

I took my twist down yesterday because I was tired of them and my scalp was super itchy.  But as I'm home alone for a bit there was no need to rush through the process of washing them out and what not.  Instead I lathered in some oils and leave ins so I could do a long term deep condition.  When I do that it loosens up more of the dirt and makes the detangling easier later.  I planned on washing my hair before bed and then doing an overnight deep condition before styling but that didn't happen. I'm home alone because I got up at 2:30 to make sure my mother was ready to get on plane at 6:30 so she could make it to Dallas in time for the family roll out to a funeral in another state.  So we're clear that is AM.  I still had to run to work, have a meeting and eat some food and then take down said twists.  By the time I was done with that and putting in the leave ins I was hanging on by a thread.  At 9PM I gave it up and slept all the way through till the next morning. 

I took my time today and watched more YouTube videos about what to do with my hair.  I was fully prepared to attempt a horse shoe method twist out.  I went through my routine, all was good, and my hair was like ma'am stop it.  I tried it with a few different lengths and thicknesses of flexi-rods but it was still like give up the ghost ma'am.  Now I didn't really have a plan B so I got frustrated and was about to say eff it let it just dry and I'll put in something to make it curly on Monday and we'll rock the fro with my new wraps.  But instead I went back to my old short flex-rods, hard to find them that length anymore which is neither here nor there, and did a normal flexi set using one rod per pull of hair.  I used Curl Manetenance from Aunt Jackie's and Wrap and Roll lotion from Jane Carter Solution and then set my hair.  I rolled it from the root for a change and I can't say it took longer than normal but I was taking my time.  Everything is rolled now and I don't have to take this down for over 24 hours so if it's not dry then my hair is just being evil.  I will try to take a photo when it's all loose and see if we have achieved cute curls or if I really need to learn hot to braid my own hair.

February 24, 2018

How Black Panther Made My Month

This is still going to be a hair post but it will take a random journey to get to me.  So unless you've been sleeping under a rock you know that Black Panther was released.  In FOUR FLIPPING DAYS it made over 400 million worldwide and appears to have picked up another 200 million over the last week.  It's a good movie.  It's a good superhero movie.  There are themes that I'm willing to unpack beginning March 1st but right now I just have to say after living with a shitty president, racism on steroids, white men convinced they are being discriminated against, enablers of all the aforementioned things and folks at work you can't back hand slap but who really really need that let's just say I was tired.  I was so tired that if someone had given me an express pass to what white folks THOUGHT Wakanda was I would have taken it just to be enveloped in blackness for a bit.  I bought my tickets to the movie weeks ahead of time.  I took mom and rocked my Wakanda Panthers gear (thanks inclusiverandomness.com) and then my I'm rooting for everybody black shirt.  It was glorious EACH OF THE THREE TIMES I saw it.  It gave me my mojo back, a new girl crush, someone to inspire my nieces with, and a great idea for a work thing that other folks loved too and boom now we're doing that.

Black beauty and excellence, especially in the post Obama moments, was much needed.  I don't think I was aware how much I needed it but I'll be damned if I didn't.  My petty has made all manner of things possible after Black Panther and I don't think folks will fully understand what this means now or for the future.  We'll see.  Now you're probably still wondering how this connects to hair.  Well every fierce melanin infused woman in the movie was rocking her natural hair.  No one was trying to assimilate into anything other than the follicles coming out of her head.  Some may argue about Shuri wearing braids but hell we do that to protect our natural hair so eff that argument.  Again this movie gave me life when I wasn't sure that's what I was even looking for.  If you haven't seen it go do so please and thank you then on March 1st we can talk.

I'm still deciding what to do with my hair.  This latest twist install has not gone well and the shop owner is making me think its time to figure out how to suffer deal with this ever growing mass of tendrils on my own.  Nope I won't have a stylist on tap but there's got to be a better way to do this without paying an arm and leg to someone who doesn't seem as invested in my scalp as I do.  And there's gotta be a way to work with this level of gray without it making me angry that the styles don't blend as easily as I liked. I'm committing again to figuring out the products and the styles that will make this curly cuteness pop.  First step up is hair wraps.  Let's see how that goes.

For now enjoy your journeys and your tendrils and oh yeah Wakanda Forever!

January 21, 2018

It's Mid January so it's Aussie Time

And nope I don't mean Aussie Moist.  I do love Aussie Moist but right now it's Australian Open tennis time and I've lost some of my favorites but more of my can't stand yas have bounced.  See ya Maria lol.  Beyond that it's been three weeks and I'm down almost 9 pounds total.  I need to get back to the gym regularly again but can I say the weather has been a special kind of hell here lately.  This week it should be good so I'm going to try to push it.  I'm eating well still and I'm loving myfitnesspal because it's giving me a good idea of what I'm eating even if it's low cal it's not always as healthy as it could be.  I'm not doing totally without aid clearly since I'm using my apps but it's good to see what is present there.  I thought about adding Noom but I know how finicky I am and there's literally no point in making another person insane.  Elizabeth was a saint to deal with that as long as she did lol. 

So quick hair update and then I'm going to go back to binging tennis until I go to sleep.  I kept my hair down about a month this time.  I was able to keep it moisturized relatively well and the products I used made it soft as hell (as was noted when I went to get my hair tucked away).  Aunt Jackie's is the business is all I can say.  That plus my DevaCurl has my hair happy and growing.  So I was thinking about leaving it out longer really.  But after three weeks of total hair fails I have recognized a few things.  My hair's default move is to poof.  I tried a few different roller sets and another braid/twist out and like a four of my hair, never in the same location, would be amazingly defined and cute.  The rest was really giving me this expression through follicular anger. 

Part of it was just the style itself but the other issue I'm seeing is because my hair is so gray that unless the style is on point and perfect then it just looks a mess.  My options there are to dye it, not happening, or keep letting it grow out so that the bigger poof is too cute.  I am opting for the latter and then going to try to figure out what to do with my hair when it's out.  My hair is healthy and strong so I enjoy that part.  It's just so tightly coiled that without some direct hot heat the texture never relaxes enough to hold a style outside of poof.  Gotta be a plan out there.  I'll figure it out.

January 15, 2018

Influenster Goodies: Hair Care Herbal Essences biorenew

Hey folks so photos first for a change.  This is a quick post until I use the product.  Influenster sent me a new full size set of biorenew from Herbal Essences.  I haven't sniffed them yet but I was hoping for something that looked less heavy which to me means not a flower scent cause they are usually stronger.  I'll tell you how I like it and about the scent later. 

January 5, 2018

Random Quickie

Back to the gym for the first time.  I'll be going back in the morning since we are finally out of the ridiculous wind chill advisory streak we've been under.  New equipment, building still needs some updates but the biggest thing is my behind has been sticking to a reasonable meal plan.  Three meals and two snacks a day thus far, typically around 1300 calories each day and I've been able to dump all of my favorite recipes into an app to use as part of my meal logging.  It's working with my Fitbit app so when I do workout it gives me this calorie cushion to play with.  I haven't abused that yet, I just ended up with more calories left in my ideal calorie count for the day.  Plus work has started again and that's making me move around more too than the slug I had been over the break.  Biggest news flash.  I weighed in today not expecting much.  I didn't believe the scale so I weighed myself in multiple parts of the house just to make sure the back wasn't somehow being super generous to me.  It wasn't.  HA I've lost 5 pounds.

My hair and I well yeah I tried a new thing cause my twist outs are always fails.  Tried a flexi rod set and all that came from that was really stretched hair.  Maybe I need to use super small flexi rods right now but I didn't have any and remember how I mentioned it's four degrees below hell freezing over here so I wasn't leaving the house with wet hair to go find some.  No curls, no definition, just straight super moisturized hair.  I put a little bit of Aunt Jackie's in my hair and at least the curls came back and looked on point.  Aunt Jackie's and DevaCurl are saving my life right now.  Okay so yeah that's all I got right now.