Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I got an e-mail concerned that they couldn't see my hair in this photo so I tweaked it with Picasa.
Picasa is a photo editing program that is simple to use, free, doesn't crash my computer and does abo 80% of what I use photoshop for. So I use Picasa for simple jobs and only use photoshop when I must.

The fill light makes this a lousy photo but it is a great picture of my hair.

A picture! a picture!

Welcome, finally a picture. When I compare the pictures from eight months ago to the pictures for now it is amazing to me how much my hair has grown. My lock seem to just get longer each day. I have always had a lot of hair, but I have also always had a lot of breakage. I think my hair grew about as fast as it broke.

when my hair is straight, it looks longer, but I think you can even tell in this picture. How much growth I have had. I also think you can tell how much I like my locks. They never stop making me smile.

I do have to be careful at work. I sometimes get an urge to mess with my hair was talking to people. It is because it feels fun to me. I am amazed that I am enjoying my hair I am also amazed that I can just take my hands and mess it up shake my head and still have great-looking hair.

Lock blog at long last

It has been eight months since I posted here. I promised myself and people who read this blog that I would be a good blogger and I'm not. I really wanted to post regularly, but two things have gotten in the way. The first is simply my time. I am a full-time graduate student, I work, and I have three kids. The second thing and maybe the most important thing though is my vanity. I simply have not made time to take pictures of my hair that looked as good as I think it looks. In the intervening eight months I have had my hair re-tightened twice by my locktician and did it myself once. I have gotten compliments on the street, and from friends and from people at church. my husband loves my locks. I have been extremely happy and comfortable in my own skin. I think that my hair looks great, and it is growing like crazy. I love my locks! In the daytime I am a social worker. I usually wear my hair with some girl in it. I have tried a variety of curling methods. I'll discuss later, but I I say this to say that what I think is great about my locks is that I can curl it for a more conservative look. And I can have them loose and wild for a more fun look. The flexibility is amazing to me. I started out using perm rods to curl my locks. I would put a few drops of setting lotion and a few drops of an essential wheel for a pretty smell in a spray bottle spray my locks and then roll them on perm rods. I chose a perm rods side that was about the size of three pencils. That seemed to make tight curls that were not too tight for me. At first I only used water. But I found that the curls lasted longer if I put a little setting lotion in the water. The problem was I didn't like the smell of the setting lotion. So I bought a tiny bottle of essential oil, and I put less than one drop in the bottle of water and setting lotion. That is plenty to give my hair a pretty smell with how making my locks slip. That may not be true for anyone else. I have extremely thick hair that is really happy to lock and has slipped very little. I use a spray bottle because if I put my hair in any type of rollers, while it is wet from washing it will not dry overnight. My hair is too thick and my locks are too many for it to dry in any one nights sleep. Well, maybe I just don't sleep enough. I guess I get about seven hours of sleep and if I put it up on rollers when I wake up seven hours later, it is still wet. If I wash my hair I let it dry and then spray it a bit rather than roll it up wet. That way I don't have wet hair in the morning to deal with. I bought a bonnet style hair dryer and I can dry it with the bonnet style hairdryer. But I think it is not just good for my locks I find it very annoying, noisy and confining. I just use the hairdryer as an emergency backup method. The hairdryer will also work if I just spray the locks and get under the dryer for about 20 minutes. I just rarely have 20 minutes to spend under the dryer. I used to rods and got great results but I really wanted to sleep more. I found them hard and they poked me in the head at night. next, I tried some satin-covered rollers with a small wider in them. They work, but they had a couple of problems. First, they were very small so it took a lot of them to back my thick locks around. Second, they slipped out easily. Oh, I guess there were three problems, third. Why yours quickly began to poke through the material. Next, I ordered lock loops on the Internet. I really like the lock loops. They do well with my locks I get great curls. I can put in a handful of lock loops and go to sleep and not have any pain from them poking in my head. They are also black and discreet and I don't feel silly sleeping in them. They also seem to dry quickly and not hold any odors. There is another company that makes a similar product called soft spikes. Maybe I should've bought them. I think that you get more for your money. But I ordered the lock loops, and that's what I have. Will, I bought type of cleaners. I saw on the Internet that some women have done their hair with pipe cleaners. I started using them one day by I couldn't sleep in them. So I took him out before I went to sleep. Maybe you have to be a tougher woman than I am, in order to curl your locks with pipe cleaners. I do not like them poking me in the head, and I am just too tired these days to lose sleep over my hair.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

This day has been beyond my wildest dreams. Maybe my new do is even too great (is that possible?) Many people complemented me and asked me about my hair.

My not sisterlocks, not nappylocks -- microlocks look is new to the streets of Pittsburgh. Even on a cold windy day people noticed my do. I didn't really look to get noticed on the street. I am middle aged and married but I am happy to have more people excited about natural hair. So many people stopped me to go out of their way to compliment my hair. What fun!

I sprayed a little water and put some perm rods in in for about an hour this morning. The curls are great. They have lasted all day.

I also have people asking me about how to get their locks done. My biggest challenge is what to call my locks . . .microlocks . . . cousinlocks. . . Funny how many people have to be told a couple of times that this is all my hair that grew out of my head.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I have started a little styling and I like my locks better and better. I am struggling to keep my hands out of my hair and can't help looking a little extra in the mirror. Equally important I am celebrating my decision to have natural hair in any form. I was wearing my hair in two fat cornrows down the side before I got locked. It wasn't my favorite style but I loved the thickness and texture of my hair too much to go back to scalp burning relaxers.

I was in Natural Choice salon in Oakland I saw the prettiest little girl around 3 years old getting her hair done. She was getting a style of cute little Afro puffs. She was so charming and happy. I loved her smile. It was so open and healthy and self-loving. At the same age I was crying with the sizzle of a hot comb in my hair and a wack with the brush if I moved. I was worlds away. I celebrate Natural Choice and natural hair care and I want to say thank you for me and that pretty little girl. As much as I love my fancy locks I even more celebrate natural hair care and the movement away from hair care torture.

Monday, February 18, 2008

wow I can't believe it's all done. The locks look great. They are more than I would have ever dreamed. It is fun to be able to style my hair already. You can see in a few of the pictures that a couple of blocks have unraveled. I plan to be patient and let them start to really lock up, fill out and looked even more beautiful.

In part thanks to all of the wonderful pictures and advice I have gotten from so many wonderful women I feel confident that I am on my way.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

lock day part four

Hey here are a few more pictures of the process. When I was contemplating getting my hair done I wanted to see pictures of the process and I just couldn't find any. I'm sorry if this is too many pictures. My locticans don't have any secrets and are happy to have you all see the process. There joy and strength in their skill is really bread for the journey.

Lock day part three - how did I get here

I was just thinking about how I got here with my hair being worked on by two women all day. It is a strange place to be. I never thought I would get locks but I never thought I would have this huge head of natural hair either.

I kept my hair braided for more than five years. Finally my hair got so long that it was taking longer to get the braids with extensions out than it was taking to put them in. i was considering cutting my hair for braids and extensions so it seemed like a good time for a hair experiment.

I saw a woman with Sisterlocks(R) many years ago in Harrisburg PA. I started exploring how I could get that pretty microlock look here in Pittsburgh. I didn't really care about the brand but the brand made is easier for me to feel confident about the outcomes. I tried to find a certified consultant or trainee in Pittsburgh but the nearest that I could find were in Ohio, or Harrisburg Pa. Both of them are a four or so hour drive I just couldn't bring myself to that much of a carbon footprint. I wanted little locks but not that bad.

I tried every shop in town, most said palm roll only, I then called the Sisterlock (R) company and they confirmed that there were no consultants or trainees in Pittsburgh. I then ordered the Nappylocks (R) kit for about $100. The main thing that I learned is that my daughter and I were not women enough to put in all of those locks. Finally I went back to the first salon I tried and I found a lovely and soft-spoken sister with a line waiting for her to tighten locks. I told her what I wanted and she said "no problem". Is it ok if my friend helps too?

I just stepped out in faith and booked a day. I have wavered in the time between booking the day and now but I am happy that I have persisted.

Lock day part two

I am guessing that we are about 60% of the way. It is pretty exciting! I am very happy that I have taking control of the fate of my hair and stepped out to something new and natural. I am still loving my locticians! I feel guilty that one of them is pumping rather than nursing her baby so we can get this done. I offered to send my husband for her baby but she said no.

The lock are small and scaply but I can tell that they will fill in. I am looking good!

Lock day prequil

I guess I should have published this before the locks start-- sorry. Before the locks I kept my hair braided with extentions for about 5 years. Before that perms and other mess!

I had a 8" long head of natural hair. I just wanted to post some photos of what went into the locks just in case they look great when it is all over.


My Lock day

It has been a long journey to this point. Hot combs from the stove, hard to maintian blow out afros, relaxers and braids with extensions are all littered on the road behind me. Ahead of me is a new adventure -- my own tiny dreadlocks.

Two wonderful lockticians are working on creating a head full of lovely locks. About 20% are done.

I wanted to post some pictures that would show the process. There are a few before pictures